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Rescued From the Present Evil Age

Galatians 1:3-5
Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen. (NIVUK)

Paul’s greeting paragraph to the believers in what is now eastern Turkey, is a powerful statement of the gospel.  His words were written on behalf of God the Father and God the Son.  The purpose was to assure Christians under persecution that God was continuing to pour His goodness out towards them.  Jesus Christ’s sacrifice takes away God’s wrath against sinners who repent, and so declares peace … which replaces the war of their fighting against God (Romans 5:1-2), enabling His grace to flow freely.
From the outset of his letter, Paul focuses on the cross of Jesus - His death as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.  That death was intentional and a willing acceptance of His Father’s will (Matthew 26:42).  Christ ‘gave Himself for our sins’ - what a staggering statement, what obedience to Father God and what love towards us sinners.  As Isaiah wrote, “We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all” (Isaiah 53:6).

The purpose of the cross is very wide.  It is not just for our peace and blessing, and the promise of eternal life.  It is also a daily rescue from the domination of sin – to rescue us from the torrid flood waters of this present evil age.  The closer we are to the Lord, the more clearly we see our sin, and find it offensive in a new way.  We struggle over temptation and long to be victorious.  But as we trust and obey, the battles are won because God rescues His people.  It is God’s will that we have Divine strength to say ‘no’ to ungodliness (Titus 2:12-14).  The presence of a rescued church in the midst of a corrupt world is a wonderful sign of hope and an invitation to those who are lost.
God is glorified as believers trust in Jesus to rescue them each day, enabling them to win those difficult spiritual battles.  So it is right that we should start each day believing that it is His purpose that we shall not keep falling to temptation, and praying for His strength to resist as we anticipate His rescuing hand.  We are to work with Him, cooperating in His daily rescues and longing to receive more of His grace.  Often, the workplace is a good place to practise this!

Father God. Thank You that Your plan of salvation is not only about getting me to heaven but also about rescuing me from the corruption which is all around me. I am so glad that my daily struggle matters to You and that You will help me. I am sorry for the times when I feel overwhelmed by the wickedness and give way to temptation. Please forgive me and let Your Word speak to me today to give me fresh strength and help me to trust You to rescue me. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
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© Dr Paul Adams