4a Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world.
Herein Paul declares in a sentence the grand plan of God concerning our salvation. He begins with Christ’s self-sacrifice for our salvation. He says that Christ “gave himself for our sins”. Christ’s death on the cross was voluntary. He came into this world for that purpose. On numerous occasions, our Lord declared that His mission on earth was to lay down His life for the redemption of sinners. He had Himself said, “For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45). The apostle John recorded Jesus as saying, “I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep” (John 10:11). His death was neither accidental nor forced upon Him. Prior to His death, Jesus said, “No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again” (John 10:18).
Christ’s giving of Himself for our sins was the perfect and final divine act of redemption. His death appeased God’s just wrath against sinners, reconciled people to God, and provided for their redemption. So Paul said in Titus 2:14 that Christ “gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.”
One purpose of Christ’s death is to deliver us from the present evil world. By His death, Christ delivers believing sinners from the power of the present world system. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is an emancipating message. His death draws us to Him and separates us from the governing power and influence of this present world’s wickedness. It is deliverance from the power of this world, fuelled by its threefold seductiveness “in the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye, and the pride of life” (1 John 2:16)!
Unsaved persons live under the corrupting influence of this world and its god, Satan. As 2 Corinthians 4:4 says, “the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not.” But Christ’s death frees all who have trusted Him from the defiling world. Those whom Christ has saved by His death will have His saving power that liberates them from the pollutions of this evil world. We are saved to love Christ and His righteousness, certainly not this world and its ungodly ways of life.