Galatians (6 bite size bits) The Gospel of deliverance from this present evil age.

(Galatians 1:1-5) The Gospel gives an all-encompassing identity in Christ. (Galatians 1:9-2:21) The Gospel roots in the blessing of Abraham. (Galatians 3:1-18) The Gospel fulfilling the purpose of Torah. (Galatians 3:19-4:7) The Gospel of grace or the works of flesh. (Galatians 4:8-5:26) The Gospel ushers in the new creation. (Galatians 6) I. The Gospel of deliverance from this present evil age. 1 Paul, an apostle (not from men nor through man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father who raised Him from the dead), 2 and all the brethren who are with me, To the churches of Galatia: 3 Grace to you and peace from God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ, 4 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, 5 to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen. Galatians 1:1-5 Betraying the generosity and lovingkindness of the Father in heaven, Adam and Eve violate His command not to eat of the Tree of Knowledge and Good and Evil. They listen and act on the basis of deception. This sin fragments their relationship with God, with one another and even with the land. Brokenness spreads into each new generation as the plague of sin ripples through space and time, plunging the world into an “evil age.” Cain kills Abel and fathers a race of killers and warriors. Even as the evil spreads and disfigures the wonder and beauty of God’s good creation, the Father promises to overcome this power through the seed of Adam. Adam gives birth to Seth, the son of promise, and from Seth’s lineage comes Noah, the father of the second world. The relentless ripples of evil corrupt the human race so deeply, that the scarred creation is given over to judgment and God destroys all except Noah and his family. After the deluge, Noah and his family will rebuild this world, according to the purposes of God. But the infectious power of sin is still working and rippling. Brother against brother, son against father, man against woman. The judgment of Babel manifests the deep rift of sin by breaking humans into races that will hate and fight and kill one another. In the fullness of time, Abraham is born. From this childless father, God will bless all nations. Through Abraham comes the promise of blessing to end the evil age. The seed of Adam has not failed. One day, it will reap a harvest of salvation. Impatient for God’s promise, Abraham births a son through his slave woman, shaming his

wife and eventually bringing grief to the widow woman. In due season, Isaac is born and the hope of this seed is not lost. Isaac’s son Jacob deceives his father to secure the blessing. In Jacob, we see the pattern of God’s good purposes working in man’s sinful nature. Jacob consistently uses deception to secure his way, and yet God’s promise is still working. In spite of man’s failure, the promised seed continues to grow, anticipating a fruit of healing for all nations. Following in their father’s footsteps, Jacob sons deceive their father. They betray his beloved son Joseph and sell him into slavery, then they tell Jacob that Joseph was killed in the field. Joseph survives the ordeal and eventually becomes a blessing to his whole family. As ruler in Egypt, he makes provision for his family in Egypt. Yet, eventually this act of kindness and provision results in the enslavement of Joseph’s descendents. After 400 years of suffering, God sends a deliverer. Moses not only frees his people from the physical world of Egypt but also from the mental and social slavery through the ten commandments and the writing of the law. The Torah offers a new foundation for culture rooted in the reality of one God. Like living water, the Torah provides the necessary sustenance to keep the promised seed of deliverance alive. The seed, the promise, the call from the garden is a promise of God’s love that will eventually bear fruit and break the power of this dark age. The wandering tribes of Jacob eventually becomes the nation of Israel as the Lord leads this family of promise through time and according to his purposes. In spite of God’s gracious guidance and leading, sin continues infecting and spreading through the people, resulting in adultery, fornication, deception, idolatry, murder, selfish ambition, dissension and more. The great King David who teaches Israel to worship the Lord also falls to the sins of adultery and murder. King after king after king turns away from the God of grace by indulging in sins that continue rippling into families and nations, causing pain, suffering and never-ending war. Eventually Israel falls to her surrounding neighbors and the people of Judah are led into captivity in Babylon. Jerusalem is completely destroyed and it appears that the people of the promise, the seed-bearers will disappear into history. But God preserves them. They return to the land, and they return to the Torah. In the midst of sin and evil, the promised seed of God is preserved through the Torah people. In the fullness of time, God appears in the midst of His people. Jesus comes as the Christ, the Messiah, the Annointed King to restore the temple, the people and the land. He is the long awaited seed of promise. He fulfills Torah through His

death, bearing the curse of sins upon Him. In His burial, the seed is planted. And in His resurrection, the seed bears fruit for the world. God acts definitively within history to break the power of this evil age. This action really is good news, because the long-awaited seed has borne fruit. And now all nations can stream together in worship of the loving Creator. By Jesus’ act of unrestrained love, the Spirit of God can now be poured out in and upon God’s people, healing and transforming them into people who brings God’s loving, healing touch into all brokenness. Paul proclaims this message of good tidings everywhere he goes. The people of Galatia now enjoy the fruit of this act of God. But Paul is concerned, danger lurks around the corner… 1. Take time to reflect on this history of the world as a history of ever-spreading sin and brokenness. Think about specific stories in Israel’s history that reveal the tension of God’s blessing on a people who continue to struggle with evil. Consider how the seed promised to Adam and Even comes slowly—only in the fullness of time. 2. Think about how Israel’s history is also your history. How has evil/sin fragmented your world? How has the grace of God brought forgiveness, healing and transformation? Can you see glimpses of the seed of promise working throughout your life, even in the midst of dark and difficult times?