By: Henry Morris
“Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father.” (Galatians 1:4)
There can never be a greater gift than this. Our Lord Jesus Christ not only has given us forgiveness and salvation and all spiritual blessings, He gave Himself! The pure, glorious Son of God gave Himself, substituting Himself in our place to suffer the righteous judgment of God on our sins.
Six times this wonderful affirmation is found in God’s Word. The first is in our text, assuring us that when He gave Himself, He paid the price to deliver us from this present evil world into the eternal world to come.
Then, in the next occurrence, this promise is made intensely personal. Christ “loved me, and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20). The gift Christ gave is more than the world could ever give.
The supremely sacrificial nature of His gift is then emphasized. “Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God” (Ephesians 5:2). The sacrifice has brought us to Himself, for “Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it. . . . That he might present it to himself a glorious church” (Ephesians 5:25, 27).
The offering was sufficient to pay for the redemption of all sin, as He “gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time” (1 Timothy 2:6). This ransom is not merely to redeem us from the penalty of sin at the judgment, however, but also from the power of sin in our lives, and this is the testimony of the final occurrence of this great declaration. Christ “gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works” (Titus 2:14).
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“For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind.” (Isaiah 65:17)
People often think they are being practical when they place material values ahead of spiritual, emphasizing that we have to “live in the real world.” The fact is, however, that we are not living in the real world at all but in a world that is dying and will soon be gone. “The world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever” (1 John 2:17). This is not even the world that God created, for that world was “very good” (Genesis 1:31). Because “sin entered into the world, and death by sin” (Romans 5:12), therefore, “the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now” (Romans 8:22). In fact, this world is not even as it was soon after God’s curse, for “the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished” (2 Peter 3:6).
The present, post-Flood world is now under the dominion of Satan, who is “the prince of this world” (John 12:31) and of “all the kingdoms of the world” (Matthew 4:8). The Lord Jesus Christ came to “deliver us from this present evil world” (Galatians 1:4). As our text says, this world shall not even “be remembered, nor come into mind.” It “shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God” (Romans 8:21).
Therefore, we must “be not conformed to this world” (Romans 12:2). We must “live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:12-13). In the meantime, our true citizenship, if we have been born again in Christ, is in the real world to come, and we are His ambassadors to an alien land (2 Corinthians 5:20).
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