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What Does it Mean That Jesus ‘Delivers Us from This Present Evil Age’?

  • Dr. Audrey Davidheiser Crosswalk Contributing Writer
  • 2023 5 Apr
What Does it Mean That Jesus ‘Delivers Us from This Present Evil Age’?

I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve read—and finished—Galatians before.

But this is the first time a question materializes as I mosey into the first chapter:

“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” (Galatians 1:3-4, ESV).

What does it mean that Jesus delivers us from this present evil age?

One thing it can’t mean is Jesus transporting every Christian to heaven immediately upon conversion. Heaps of us in the world make this clear. According to the Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary, at the time of this writing, more than 2.6 billion Christians exist, marking Christianity as the religion with the largest number of adherents on earth.

Romans 10:14 affirms the wisdom behind God’s decision not to zap us straight to our eternal destiny. If every person departed the earth instantaneously after deciding to follow Christ, who would then evangelize and teach and preach the remaining masses?

Delivering us from this evil age can’t mean that Christians live in a bubble either, as though we’re immune to the many perils plaguing the planet. The tragic shooting at a Nashville Christian school shows as much.

Our times have no shortage of hardship indeed. I wrote an article, praying for this year, because of the myriad of distresses we face. From financial woes to bank closures, all of us are exposed to all of the above—regardless of our belief systems. The $7 carton of eggs isn’t only priced for the witch in the check-out lane in front of us or the atheist behind us. Christians are expected to pay the same amount.

Then there are mental and emotional pressures. Consider how divisive the world has become: Hot-button issues—abortion, LGBTQIA, trauma in the church—force us to side with one group over another.

No, being a believer doesn’t shelter us from societal strife, as evidenced by splits in churches in America and abroad over some of these issues.

What the Verse Means

So then, what does Galatians 1:4 mean? The following are three possible answers.

1. No More Working for Salvation

The Passion Translation paraphrases this verse as such: “He’s the Anointed One who offered himself as the sacrifice for our sins! He has rescued us from this evil world system and set us free, just as our Father God desired.”

It goes on to explains that “this evil world system” includes the religious system based on duty and performance instead of love and grace.

So, one way to understand Galatians 1:4 is that thanks to Jesus, we’re delivered from having to work to secure our own salvation.

2. New Master

Christians have the advantage of belonging to the kingdom of God. Practically speaking, this means that no matter how awful things are down here, they don’t have the final say. If you get fired for standing up for what’s right, for instance, the Lord is able to secure you a better job elsewhere. And while inflation might deplete your hope, because Jesus has sacrificed Himself for us, you have an avenue in praying for His supernatural intervention for your situation.

Bottom line? Because of Jesus, you can expect something satisfactory at the end of your trials. “In all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28).

3. Not Worse

Things may feel bad—especially given how rocky the last few years have been—but they could have been worse. That’s because having a Savior means He’s sheltering us from rock bottom.

If you wish to verify this fact, spend some time reading testimonies from folks who came to the saving knowledge of Jesus. You’ll see a stark contrast between how desperate life was pre-Jesus versus now. Converts to Christianity are living witnesses to the veracity of David’s words: “I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread” (Psalm 37:25).

But Is this Experience Yours?

I make it a daily practice to read the Word—and judge areas of my life against it.

Have I applied the passages I’ve just read into practice? I ask myself this question regularly to keep me from being stuck in the “hearer only” mode and deceive myself in the process (James 1:22).

I invite you to do the same.

With regards to the verse we’ve focused on today, it means inspecting yourself and honestly assessing if you’ve experienced Jesus’ deliverance from this present evil age.

If it feels as though you’re constantly broke or fights continue to cripple your relationships, something’s off. Yes, we live in fallen world overflowing with trouble and trials, but Jesus has overcome the world (John 16:33). As His followers, we can expect to lean on His power to cause us to, similarly, overcome.

This is why Paul could label us more than conquerors “through Him who loved us” (Romans 8:37).

If you haven’t seen the manifestation of Jesus’ deliverance in your life, therefore, check the following areas for clues:

  • Have you invited Jesus to be the Lord of your life? Skim this article if you’re not sure.
  • Do you nurture an ongoing relationship with Him? Reserve a quiet time to pray, read, and meditate on the Bible on a daily basis.
  • How is your prayer life? Do you know how to hear God’s voice? Once you become a believer, hearing His voice is your birthright. As Jesus said, “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me” (John 10:27).

Don’t be ashamed to reach out if you’re struggling with any of the above areas. This is one reason attending a local church is vital to your growth as a believer. Sitting under a pastor’s teaching and communing with fellow Christians serve as an invaluable source of support when your faith feels weak, especially in the unprecedented times we live in.

On that note, I keep hoping that things will improve. So far, my hope hasn’t panned out.

But I’ll stubbornly cling to Galatians 1:4 no matter how bleak tomorrow gets.

How about you?

Photo Credit: ©Getty Images/Kamonwan Wankaew

dr. audrey davidheiser bio photoAudrey Davidheiser, PhD is a California licensed psychologist, certified Internal Family Systems (IFS) therapist and IFSI approved clinical consultant, as well as author of Surviving Difficult People: When Your Faith and Feelings Clash. After founding and directing a counseling center for the Los Angeles Dream Center, she now devotes her practice to survivors of trauma—including spiritual abuse. Visit her on and Instagram @DrAudreyD.