1Paul, an apostle- not from men nor through man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him from the dead- 2and all the brothers who are with me,
To the churches of Galatia:
3 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, 4 who gave himself for our sins to deliver us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father,
– Verse 4 says that Jesus died for us to deliver us from this present evil age. Am I living in a way that demonstrates that I have been delivered from the evils of sin in our day? There is no reason, other than my own sinfulness, why I should be characterized by the sins of our times.
Some thoughts about this:
1) Holiness is accomplished first of all by the death of Christ on the cross for our sins. The Holy Spirit Himself will not sanctify anybody who is not a blood bought sinner.
2) There is no other way to holiness than through the cross. This is where Paul is headed in this text. He will get to verses 8 and 9 and say that to preach any other Gospel is to preach damnation on oneself.
3) Sanctification begins now. This text alone smashes any doctrine of grace absent of holiness. Grace teaches us to say no to ungodliness (Titus 2:11-13).
4) We cannot be rescued from sin now except by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
5) The present age is evil.
6) We are called to be separated from the evil that marks the world.
In verse 5 we are told that this deliverance is according to the will of our God and Father. This at least means that the Father and the Son are in complete agreement about what must be done; about their love for us; about the only solution.
It means that the cross is the Father’s will (see Isaiah 53:10 and Matthew 26:39). We must never think that Jesus is the God of mercy in the New Testament while the Father is the God of wrath and justice in the Old Testament. We have the Gospel because God the Father loved the world so much that He gave His only begotten Son. In no way ever does the Son counteract the will of the Father. In no way ever does the Son do or try to do anything that is not what the Father wants Him to do. He and the Father are One. Jesus came into the world to do the Father’s will. He came to save those the Father would give to Him.