PRESENT EVIL AGE - Week of March 27th
By Judy NicholsMarch 27, 2016
PRESENT EVIL AGE
Galatians 1:4 says of Christ that He "gave Himself for our sins to deliver us from the present evil age." While the culture around us is certainly depraved – and becoming more so all the time, it seems – every age since the fall of Adam might be classified as the "present evil age." The introduction of sin into the human race rendered all of subsequent time an "evil age."
It was not a gradual decline but a sudden change. The first recorded overt sin after Adam’s disobedience was murder. Granted, the actual act was preceded and motivated by the sin of jealousy (1 John 3:12), but this was no slippery slope. Rather, it was a precipice over which mankind plunged.
In what way, then, does Jesus’ death for our sins deliver us from the "present evil age?" He died and rose again not only to procure forgiveness of our sins (the moral debt we owe to God) but also to deliver us from sin’s power in our lives. It is the "present evil age" within each of us that Christ came to subdue.
Paul recognized this principle of sin in his members. He wanted to do good, but was unable to. Instead, he did the very evil things he hated. He was a slave to sin, just as every human since Adam has been. (See Romans 7:14-25.)
Jesus Christ went to the cross and rose again, and we with Him if we have put our trust in Him, so that "the body of sin might be made powerless, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin" (Rom. 6:6). Self-effort can’t do it; following the Law can’t do it; only the new life of the Spirit in Christ Jesus can set us free from the law of sin and death (Rom. 8:2). Because Jesus came as a man, His death both condemned sin in the flesh and provided righteousness for us who believe in Him.
The "present evil age" out there, in which we live, however, is relentless in its temptations and attacks. We must be ever vigilant not to fall back into sin. The truth is that because of Christ, we are dead to sin. As Paul exhorted his Roman readers, "Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its lusts, and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. For sin shall not be master over you" (Rom. 6:11-14).
This world may be going to hell in a handbasket and there is little we can do about it (and what there is is another whole topic). But the present evil age within us has been vanquished. We need to believe it and live there. If we all did that, perhaps we would look different enough from the culture around us to delay the descent.
© Judy Nichols 2016