The corruption and condemnation resulting from sin are experienced not only by human beings but also by the entire universe. Man as the image of God is designed to stand in a particular relationship with both God and the world. When sin corrupts the image, these relationships are also distorted. Thus when the human race fell into sin, in a real sense the physical creation as a whole experienced a fall. The penal consequences of sin apply not only to human beings, but also to the whole of creation. Thus in addition to human death there is a kind of cosmic death, a cosmic curse.
The cosmic curse affects the world in two ways. One is the distorted relationship with mankind, which was intended by God to be the world’s ruler (Gen 1:28) but mankind has ended up being a slave to the sin of this present evil age. The other is an actual state of disorder, disruption, and decay into which the universe as such has fallen.
Galatians 1:4 says that Christ “gave Himself for our sins so that He might rescue us from this present evil age” or this present evil aion. Paul refers to Satan himself as the “god of this world,” this aion (2 Cor 4:4), and says that we must not conform our minds and lives to it (Rom 12:2). The term aion as used in these texts does not refer to the physical universe as such, but to the age in which we live, the era of the old creation. Nor does the word mean just a bare period of history. It refers to a period of history as marked by a certain ethical or spiritual character, a certain worldview or value system. “This present evil age,” the age to which we must not be conformed, is the world as fallen and corrupted, the world as it exists under the power of Satan, sin, and death.
First John 2:15 is similar: “Do not love the world [kosmos] nor the things in the world.” That John is not referring to the cosmos as created but as fallen is seen in his following explanation: “
 Cottrell, J. (2002). The faith once for all : Bible doctrine for today (215). Joplin, Mo.: College Press Pub.
Published on Tuesday, March 3, 2015 @ 4:43 AM CDT