Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins to deliver us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen.
This present evil age! God has planned to deliver us from this “present evil age.” And rightly praise God for that. But is that the point of Paul’s greeting to the Galatians in verses 3-5? Note the grace and the peace that Paul reminds them of in his formal greeting. Paul is not wasting his breath, they need to be reminded that God has granted them both of these wonderful blessings. Furthermore Paul is actually starting this entire letter off with those things that God has already so graciously done.
You see the statement that lies before us is not that of Paul saying that God “will” grant grace and peace; this is not a statement of God promising to forgive us of our sins; it is a declaration that these things have already occurred. This is where the whole, “present evil age” comes into play. Paul is not saying that God is delivering, or even is planning on delivering us from this present evil age. Paul says, God, by His grace, has—delivered us from this present evil age.
What’s more, the way that God has delivered us from “this present evil age”, is not through the means that most Christians think. God’s grace has not rescued us from the evil people that befall us—well, I mean it does, but that’s not what Paul is talking about here. God “…gave himself for our sins…” And why did He forgive us our sins? “…to deliver us from the present evil age…” This present evil age is not so because people hate Christians and mock and ridicule us. This present world is evil because there is human life in it. This, which Paul was talking about 2,000 years ago, but this present age is evil because you and I are sinners, we are, “…by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.” (Ephesians 2:3)
So before we rail against our culture—again, maybe this text might remind us that the reason the world is so evil, is due ONLY to the fact that sinners, like you and I, are in it. May the reminder of God’s grace freely given, and peace that surpasses all understanding be a guide to us this day, as we seek to show that grace and tell of that peace to others.