Text:

…τοῦ δόντος ἑαυτὸν ὑπὲρ τῶν ἁμαρτιῶν ἡμῶν, ὅπως ἐξέληται ἡμᾶς ἐκ τοῦ αἰῶνος τοῦ ἐνεστῶτος πονηροῦ κατὰ τὸ θέλημα τοῦ θεοῦ καὶ πατρὸς ἡμῶν…

Translation:

…who gave himself for our sins, in order to deliver us out of the age of present evil according to the will of our God and Father…

Explanation:

Following from v.3, Paul clarifies how Jesus’ work brings us peace. How? Jesus gave of himself for our sins – not his! Jesus gave himself for (ὑπὲρ) us, in our place! Why did he give himself for us? The purpose clause signifies the reason. So that, or in order to (ὅπως), deliver us out of the age which, in its present existence is evil.  Now, we could not deliver ourselves – Jesus had to do it. The sin inside of us and the sinful world around us, cannot be dealt with by our own doing or works. We require deliverance which is given to us on the basis of the perfect life, the sacrificial death, and the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Finally, this was not just Jesus’ idea (so to speak given he is one person of the Trinity) because we are told here that this deliverance took place according to the will (θέλημα) of God the Father. What grace (remember v.3) is it to know that God our Father has willed our deliverance (before the creation of the world – Eph.2) and that Jesus Christ has accomplished it!

Implication:

It is unmistakably evident, that Jesus’ work has accomplished salvation for us by being the substitution which atones (makes up for) our sin. Jesus’s life kept the law which we failed to keep, and his death dealt with the punishment of sin that we deserve to undergo. This is what is called the active (Jesus’ life under the law) and passive (Jesus’ death) obedience of Christ. This means that Jesus both earned righteousness for our account, and he removed debt (sin) from our account before God. Our account is in the black thanks to Jesus alone! ‘Grace to you and peace’, now takes on a more wonderful meaning doesn’t it?

 

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