Rescued from this Evil Age
In his Letter to the Galatians, Paul declares that he was called as the Apostle to the Gentiles by the same God who raised Jesus from the dead and thereby “delivered us FROM THIS EVIL AGE.” This statement anticipates his response to certain Jewish believers who were operating in Galatia as if the old era was still in effect. This same Jesus is the one who visited and commissioned Saul of Tarsus to proclaim the “Good News” to the Gentiles.
His resurrection was more than the miraculous restoration of the life of one man in the first century. It was and remains the pivotal event that signaled the commencement of the Messianic age, the time of fulfillment of all that God had promised. In his death and resurrection, the “powers and principalities” that enslaved humanity were defeated decisively.
|[Hourglass Photo by Aron Visuals on Unsplash]|
The resurrection of Jesus marked the inauguration of an entirely new era, the final stage in the redemptive plan of God, therefore, nothing has been or ever could be the same again - (1 Corinthians 2:5-8, Ephesians 1:17-23, Colossians 2:15, 1 Peter 3:22).
His disciples have been rescued “out of the authority of the darkness and translated into the Kingdom of His beloved Son.” No longer are they under the dominion of the “powers and principalities,” especially Satan, sin, or Death. The Son of God came in the “FULLNESS OF TIME” to redeem his people. Consequently, they are the ones “upon whom the ends of the ages have arrived.”
Believers have received the “ransomed release, the discharge” of the judicial sentence for their sins that previously condemned them to separation forever from their Creator - (Colossians 1:12-20).
This is why Paul declares that the followers of Jesus have been “rescued from this evil age” even though they remain in the existing fallen world. With the coming of the Son, the jurisdiction of the old order reached its termination point. Jesus is the “end of the Law for righteousness to everyone who believes” - (Galatians 4:3-11, Romans 10:1-4).
According to Paul, Jesus “gave himself for our sins.” His death was necessary “ON ACCOUNT OF” the sins that alienated us from God (Greek preposition huper). He acted for our sake when he surrendered his life on the Cross. This idea is implicit in two declarations by Paul in Galatians:
- “The life I now live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of God who loved me and gave himself ON ACCOUNT OF (huper) me” - - (Galatians 2:20).
- “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse ON ACCOUNT OF (huper) us” - (Galatians 3:13).
History is divided into two ages - the present evil age, and the age to come. In the Nazarene’s death and resurrection, the “age to come” dawned in the middle of the present age. Though we continue to live in a fallen world, we belong to the coming age that, even now, is invading the present wherever the Gospel is proclaimed.
Moreover, the death of Jesus inaugurated the time of fulfillment. All the promises of God are coming to fruition in him, and the old order is in the process of PASSING AWAY, present tense - (Romans 12:2, Colossians 1:12-13, 2:19, 4:3-9, 5:5, 1 Corinthians 7:31).
By emphasizing his death and resurrection as the basis of all that God has done, Paul highlights the ALL-SUFFICIENCY of his sacrifice for the forgiveness of sins and our deliverance from Satan, sin, decay, and death. Thus, seeking salvation and deliverance elsewhere is in vain, including in the rite of circumcision or the other requirements of the Levitical code. Only in Jesus and by exercising faith in him is everlasting life found and received.