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The Present Evil Age
One-minute Bible study
Please pray over these verses.

Galatians 1:4
Who gave Himself for our sins that He might rescue us out of the present evil age according to the will of our God and Father.
Galatians 6:14-15
14 But far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom the world has been crucified to me and I to the world.
15 For neither is circumcision anything nor uncircumcision, but a new creation is what matters.
The purpose of Christ giving Himself for our sins is to rescue us out of the present evil age, which is typified by the religious course of the world. The world in Galatians refers to the satanic system that opposes God and His economy. Judaism distracted the churches from participating in the grace of the gospel by bringing them back to the slavery of the law. Christ died to release us from the custody of the law and bring us out of every religious fold to feed on Him as the rich pasture in the church as God’s one flock.
A few more minutes
Please prayerfully read through the following portions of ministry related to this crucial point.
The crucial point in this verse is the present evil age…At Paul’s time a kind of evil age was prevailing, which Paul called the present evil age. An age is a part, a section, or an aspect of the world as the system of Satan, which is used by him to usurp and occupy people and keep them away from God and His purpose. The present evil age here, according to the contents of this book, refers to the religious world, the religious course of the world, the Jewish religion. This is confirmed by 6:14-15, where circumcision is considered a part of the world—the religious world—which, to the apostle Paul, is crucified. Here the apostle emphasizes that the purpose of Christ giving Himself for our sins was to rescue us, to pluck us, out of the Jewish religion, the present evil age. This is to release God’s chosen people from the custody of the law (3:23), to bring them out of the sheepfold (John 10:1, 3), according to the will of God. Thus, in his opening word Paul indicates what he is going to deal with, that is, to rescue the churches that were distracted by Judaism with its law and to bring them back to the grace of the gospel.

While the Lord Jesus was on this earth, the Jewish religion was exposed to the uttermost that it was an evil age. If the Jewish religion had not been such an evil age, how could its leaders have put the Lord Jesus on the cross? To crucify Jesus was absolutely more than an evil thing. His crucifixion exposed the Jewish religion to be the present evil age. This matter was not merely individual but involved a generation. An age refers to one aspect of the world. The world is composed of many ages, while a generation refers to the people, to the Jews. Therefore, on the day of Pentecost in Acts 2:40, Peter, at the conclusion of his message, does not say be saved from God’s condemnation or from eternal perdition but be saved from this crooked generation. This refers to the perverted Jews in this age, who rejected God’s Christ (v. 36) and whose religion was considered by God as the present evil age. (Elders’ Training, Book 6: The Crucial Points of the Truth in Paul’s Epistles, ch. 5, section 1)

If you would like help with understanding this crucial point or would like to share what you have discovered and enjoyed in the Word of God, please click on the button below.
Going deeper
Please read or listen to these materials for an in-depth study of this crucial point. 

Further reading:
Life-study of Galatians, msg. 1
Life-study of Galatians, msg. 12, section 3
The Recovery of Christ in the Present Evil Age, ch. 1, section 1

Radio broadcast links:
Broadcast 1, The Background and Subject of the Book
Broadcast 30, Crucified to the Religious World to Live a New Creation (start at the 11:47-minute mark until the end)

Footnotes from Recovery Version of the New Testament:
Galatians 1:4, footnote 2
Galatians 6:14, footnote 3

Study questions:
  • What did you enjoy from this crucial point?
  • Read Life-study of Galatians message 12, section 3. Explain the significance of the religious world being crucified through Christ’s death.
  • Listen to Broadcast 30, from the 11:47-minute mark until the end of the programme. What is the definition of religion? How does this relate to your own experience?
We highly recommend using the printed Life-study messages as a tool to explore the crucial points. There are over 1,900 Life-study messages in total, and this amazing resource expands and develops the crucial points in greater detail. 

View Life-study of the Bible resources on our website
View crucial points archive
Works Cited

Lee, Witness. Elders’ Training, Book 6: The Crucial Points of the Truth in Paul’s Epistles. Anaheim: Living Stream Ministry, 1985.

All verses and excerpts © 2020 Living Stream Ministry.
Used by permission. Reproduction is prohibited. 
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