If you have been reading this blog, you probably know that “lust” in the Greek New Testament means either good or evil “passionate cravings”. Today we are starting a four part blog on God rescuing us from this present evil age. I thought this picture was appropriate since the Pernicious One (Satan) and our flesh (old sinful nature) want us to follow our evil passionate cravings resulting in enslavement and destruction, ruining our Christian testimony and robbing us of God’s blessings. May this study be a blessing and warning to you as it was to me. Carl
“… Lord Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for our sins so that He might rescue us from this present evil age…” Galatians 1:4
The Lord Jesus willingly gave Himself on the Cross for our sins. This scripture states that the purpose was to “rescue” us “from this present evil age”. The word translated “rescue” means “to pluck out, to draw out, to rescue, to deliver”. In 1522 Martin Luther referred to this in the preface of the first German language New Testament:
“This gospel of God or New Testament is a great message, good news, sounded forth into all the world by the apostles, telling of a true David who strove with sin, death, and the devil, and overcame them, and thereby RESCUED all those who were captive in sin, afflicted with death, and overpowered by the devil. Without any merit of their own he made them righteous, gave them life, and saved them, so that they were given peace and brought back to God.” (Emphasis mine)
As we will see, the gospel is truly emancipation from bondage. Our opening scripture says He came to rescue us from the ethical characteristics of the present age.
“Age” (aion) is defined as a “period of time” and is sometimes translated “world” in the NT. Here it is defined by its moral characteristics. Trench says the following about it:
“All that floating mass of thoughts, opinions, maxims, speculations, hopes, impulses, aims, aspirations, at any time current in the world, which it may be impossible to seize and accurately define, but which constitute a most real and effective power, being the moral or immoral atmosphere which at every moment of our lives we inhale, again inevitably to exhale.”
Notice that it is called an “evil” age. The Greek word for this evil is poneros as opposed to kakos. A kakos man is satisfied to perish in his own corruption but a poneros man “is not content unless he is corrupting others as well, and drawing them into the same destruction with himself.” (Wuest). The English word best describing poneros is the word pernicious, “causing great harm or damage often in a way that is not easily seen or noticed”. A perfect description of Satan’ activity. He is known as The Pernicious One. Let us praise God The Father for sending the Lord Jesus to destroy the works of Satan in our lives, setting us free from the dominion of darkness positionally and experientially (I John 3:8 & Col.1:13).
This ends Part I of God’s Rescue of Man. Part 2 will discuss the pernicious influence of the age and the Lord Jesus’ command to “Have salt within yourselves…” .
Thank you for your time and God bless you and your family.