“…who gave himself for our sins to deliver us from this present evil age…” Galatians 1:4
There is a spirit at work in the whole world. Often we overlook this because we’re concerned with our own lives, but God looks at the world in a way that we don’t. He can see the prevailing systems of thought that run through the world and governments and societies.
Sin isn’t just prevalent in individual human hearts but in whole societies and it conspires to breed all sorts of evil. It ends up contributing to all sorts of evil and dysfunction that we see reported in the nightly news, and now hour by hour on Twitter.
Sin isn’t just a thing we do, an aberrant single action we take against God or against one another. It is a power that influences and pollutes whole families and cities and nations.
Jesus not only gave himself up for us so that we may be delivered from our sins. He also did that so we may be delivered from this present evil age. An age is a particular period of history. Jesus has delivered us out of this present evil age.
Have you ever thought of your life in this way, that you’re living in the midst of a specific age?
What does it mean to be delivered out of this present evil age? What implications does it have? I think 1 John 2:15-16 has insight here. It encourages us to not love the world or the things in the world. And then Romans 12:2 tells us to not be conformed to this world. The Greek word for world means “age”.
There is a prevailing spirit, a dominant mindset that pervades this world. In Ephesians 2 we are told that we once walked according to this mindset, according to the course of this world. There is a spirit at work in the sons of disobedience. Those who don’t know Christ are under the influence, whether they realize or not, of this spirit. Have you ever wondered why people are influenced the way they are, why whole societies lean toward certain mindsets and behaviors?
We have been delivered out of, freed from the bondage to this spirit. We have been liberated into obedience to Christ. Before, we weren’t able to please God but now, in Christ, we are able to please our Father and have been adopted into his family. Now we must live according to this new identity always reminding ourselves that we aren’t controlled by the spirit of this present evil age.
Praise God that he has, in Christ, delivered us out of this present evil age! There is a new age to come for which we are being prepared and will live in with God.