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October 17, 2021 | Doug Sauder
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“Grace to you and peace from God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be glory forever and ever.”—Galatians 1:3-4 (NKJV)
Bible passages like this can leave one wondering and shrugging their shoulders. There’s so much going on that it can be a real challenge to track what’s being said. Despite this, this passage contains valuable information. To that end, let’s take this sentence and break it up so we can better understand it.
“Grace to you . . .” Everything starts with the word grace. By definition, grace is the undeserved favor of God. It means God loves us even though we deserve the opposite. He is for us, not against us! Without grace, we’d be lost! But with it, everything that follows is made possible.
“ . . . and peace . . .” Because of the grace of God, we can experience the peace of God. God’s peace isn’t like the world’s peace, which is generally defined by a lack of conflict. God’s peace, in contrast, is a deep-seated sense of wellness that prevails regardless of circumstances. It’s the restful confidence that all is well because all is ultimately in God’s hands.
“ . . . from God the Father . . .” This grace and peace comes from God, which means it’s limitless and inexhaustible. And on top of that, we relate to this great God as our Father. Get this, He’s the one who chose to be identified this way! More than anything else, God wants us to relate to Him with the unique love, intimacy, and trust by which a child relates to his father. He wants us to be as close as possible to Him.
“ . . . and our Lord Jesus Christ . . .” Acting in conjunction with God the Father is God the Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. As if the Father wasn’t enough of a resource for us, the Lord over all things also works to bless our lives. And get this, they both operate on our behalf in perfect harmony with never a rift, disagreement, or stalemate between them.
“ . . . who gave Himself for our sins . . .” Now we come to the most amazing thing of all: Our Lord, who possesses all power and authority, willingly sacrificed Himself on a Roman cross and endured the righteous wrath of God in order to remove the guilt of our sin! It’s one thing to be loved by the Lord but quite another for the Lord to love us so much that He would willingly suffer the most unimaginable death. Yet that’s precisely what our Lord Jesus did for us.
“ . . . that He might deliver us . . .” Jesus did all of this in order to deliver us. Whether we realize it or not, the living Lord has acted on our behalf. He has done all that is necessary to set us free from what we need to be rescued from. We may not always feel delivered from the forces that war against our soul, but the fact is Jesus has done all that is needed for us to know freedom.
“ . . . from this present evil age . . .” This deliverance pertains to the evil age that we live in. Let’s face it, our world remains in rebellion against God. There’s evil all around us, including the spiritual evils that have the power and effect of drawing people away from God, which ends in eternal judgment. But we’ve been rescued from that fate, set apart and kept secure.
“ . . . according to the will of our God and Father . . .” All of this has happened not because we wanted it to, but because God wanted it. That’s important, because it means we are being kept by something greater than ourselves. We are secured by something as great as God, Himself!
“ . . . to whom be glory . . .” All of this leads us to a place of praise. When we take in all the goodness God has poured out on us, we cannot help but glorify Him, declaring He’s worthy of our worship.
“ . . . forever and ever.” And when does all of this expire? Never! Nothing will ever replace all these good things. They are forever and ever and will be just as true an eternity from now!
Pastor Dan Hickling serves our online community, also known as the Calvary Chapel Online Campus. He and his wife Becky have been married for 22 years and have two children, Lauren and Danny. Both Dan and Becky have been part of the CCFL church family for 22 years and have served in full time ministry for 20 of those years.