Saturday, June 26, 2010

Delivered - Galatians 1:4 (part 2)

"Grace to you and peace from God our Father,
and the Lord Jesus Christ,
who gave Himself for our sins,
that He might deliver us out of this present evil age,
according to the will of our God and Father,
to whom be the glory forevermore. Amen."
(Galatians 1:3-5)

Real grace and true peace are gifts that come from the Father, through the Son. The Lord Jesus Christ gave Himself for our sins and He gave Himself with a real and tangible purpose - He came to deliver us! He didn't simply give His life as an ethereal portrait of love and grace and peace and sacrifice and deliverance. No, He gave His life to actually free us from our captivity. Christ is the conquering Captain and the rescuing Redeemer. He came and He accomplished that which He came for.

Jesus the Son of God became the Son of Man "that He might deliver us out of this present evil age." He came to deliver us. Is deliverance yours? Are you conquered by Christ or still controlled by the captor of this present evil age? It is an important question to consider.
"This present world is an evil world and it has become so by the sin of man."  (Matthew Henry).
We live in a fallen world.
You know that.
You see that.
It is a world, that though glorious in many ways, is tainted with sin at every turn.
There is a hint of sorrow and sadness even in the greatest blessings that this life has to offer.

Flowers fade.
Friends fail.
Laughter languishes.
Existence is eventually extinguished.

The present age is often a painful age - as Paul puts it - an "evil age".

But there is One who brings beauty from the ashes, who makes all things beautiful in their time. This One makes the most crooked paths straight and the bumpiest roads smooth. Christ Jesus is He who has come and given Himself to deliver us from the curse and bondage and captivity of life under the sun in a sinful, evil land.

Since sin entered the world through Adam's transgression there has been an epic war fought here on creation's battlefield. Sin and Satan and self are fiendish foes that we must fight and fight feverishly. They are foes that we will fall to in our own strength. Oh, praise God for a Savior who truly saves. Praise God for delivering Omnipotence who comes bringing freeing grace and peace to those for whom He has given Himself!!

Hear again the words of Galatians 1:

"Grace to you and peace from God our Father,
and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for our sins,
that He might deliver us out of this present evil age..."

Luther points out that the very use of the language "that He might deliver us" is in and of itself a graphic picture of our own utter, complete, and total inability.

We need Christ to deliver us because we cannot deliver ourselves!!

We are stuck!
We are chained!
We are undone!
We are hopeless and helpless in and of ourselves!
We need Someone outside of us to free us!
Jesus Christ is that Someone!

May our hearts overflow with praise as we meditate on the fact that Christ has come and done that which we can in no way do ourselves. He has freed us from this present evil age.

So, I suppose the important question this day is...
     Are we living as free men or are we living as captives?
     Are we living as slaves or as sons?

Christ "gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us out of this present evil age". Are we living under the curse and control of this evil age or are we living in the freedom that He has given Himself to deliver us into?

Later in this very book, Paul will remind us that "it was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery."

As poetic Dylan put it "everybody has to serve somebody".
Who are we serving?
What yoke are we tied to this day
     - the yoke of a fallen and fearful slave or the yoke of a freed bond-servant?
The former yoke steals, kills, and destroys.
The latter yoke gives life and life abundant!

Christ has come and has given Himself to deliver us. He has come to place upon us the yoke of freedom. Our Deliverer says, "Take my yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you shall find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and my load is light."

This freeing deliverance is from God the Father. Christ has given Himself for our sins "according to the will of our God and Father." Friends, our adoptive Daddy loves us and He has made a way to bring us out of the family of fallen orphans and into the home of His eternal inheritance.

The very fact that He willed our Deliverer is a testimony to His great love for us. He so loved us that He sent His Son - His only begotten Son - that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life!

Are you believing in Him?
Are you pardoned from your perishing?
Are you resting in your Redeemer?
Are you delivered from this present evil world
     - not by what you have given- but by what Christ has given?

Oh friend, flee to Him in faith and find freedom as you do
     - true freedom
          - eternal freedom
               - glorious freedom
                    - freeing freedom!

He gave himself to deliver you - walk no longer in your chains!

In His grace and peace,

"What tho' I cannot break my chain
or e'er throw off my load,
the things impossible to men
are possible to God."
(Augustus Toplady - 1770)

No comments:

Post a Comment