Human Nature & God’s Redemption
- Carefully watch these two Bible Project videos: “Khata/Sin” and “Sacrifice and Atonement”. (You may want to watch them multiple times and even take notes.)
The Relevance of Jesus and Christianity in the World
Reconciling certain biblical issues and teachings has remained difficult since the inception of the world, sparking theological exploration of the issues to determine their in-depth understanding, meanings, and implications. Some people question the goodness of God when He allowed Satan to enter the Earth and torment man. Some ask how God could destroy a people that He Himself created. Others find occasion with born of Jesus of a virgin woman and why Jesus could not save Himself on the hands of His enemies when he was a good teacher and powerful being who could cast evil spirit from people and bring the dead back to life. However, a theological exploration of the various issues, some of which are raised above, has revealed that contradictions and misunderstandings often arise since people fail to contextualize Christianity and the Bible. It is against this backdrop that this paper argues for the full embrace of the Bible and contextualization of Christianity, underscoring why Jesus had to die despite being a sinless and a powerful being.
Comprehending the Christianity context is a crucial aspect of the occupants of planet Earth. White argues that people ought to seek to profess a belief in Christianity since there are more advantages than disadvantages of doing the same, pointing out that Christianity influences the right facet of living and accords blessings to people (178). Similarly, Paipais contends that Christianity enables people to seek to make enhanced ways of supporting quality living standards, adding that reciprocity will be realized by involving in Christian perspectives (365). Developing an individual connection with God is a crucial facet in anyone’s life. The Lord showers those who believe in Him with blessings. The Lord is merciful and generous towards those who follow His commandments, implying that Christians tend to get favours whenever they pray unto God (Reddemann 1501). The Holy Spirit both guides and encourages Christians towards developing lasting impacts on their surroundings. Christianity teaches that there is a life beyond Earth and that that life can be achieved when people believe in God by becoming Christians (Münz-Manor and Arentzen 37). Through Christianity, man is led to believe in Jesus, the son of God, who encourages humanity to be lasting disciples for God’s world. White posits that believing in God confers several blessings upon humanity since those who believe in a God who has good plans for His people will least be shaken and worried when there earthly challenges and strife for they look forward to a better city and that such strife and challenges are pointers towards the soon return of the Saviour who would come and save them for eternal life (172). Social interactions within the society will have solid meanings to people and being a Christian inspires one to comprehend social constructs from some advantageous point.
The Bible and Christianity champion a belief in Jesus as the lamb without blemish that God sent to save man. Nonetheless, there are difficulties in accepting the fact that God could allow His only begotten son, Jesus, to be tormented and tortured by evil men when both Jesus and the Father had powers to influence things differently. Whereas such controversies arise, God remains a loving and just God and a universal judge. God declares that the just punishment for sin is death (Romans 6:23). God, nonetheless, out of His love towards his creatures did plan a way whereby sinners may justly be forgiven and accepted by Himself (Paipais 369). Instead of man having to die for his sin, God, through His son, saves man from the punishment of sins the price of transgression must be paid for justice to be served (Reddemann 1505). According to White (172), a spirit did not have the ability to atone for man’s sins, necessitating a physical, sinless being. As such, God’s son became son of man as well so that in man’s stead, He could serve as man’s legal substitute. For this reason, Jesus had to die. There are two main reasons why Jesus qualified to atone for man’s sins: (i) He was a lamb without sin or defect; and (ii) He was God’s son incarnate, thus a being of infinite value whose sacrifice would suffice in God’s eyes to cover for the guilt of humanity (Münz-Manor and Arentzen 36). It is also important to note that Jesus had to die on the cross since it was ordained as the only fulfillment of bible prophecy.
Since a means for man’s salvation has been provided, there is a need for each and every individual to be saved. The bible indicates that the wages of sin is death (physical and spiritual). Salvation is important to humanity of all generations for various reasons. Without salvation, one’s sins will block him from having an association with God both in the present and after death (Paipais 369). Salvation is equally the only way through which man can eventually have eternal life with God.
To conclude, it is true that there are certain issues and biblical teachings that may be unclear at first sight. However, an exploration of the Bible reveals that Christianity and the Bible can be trusted and believed in. For fundamentalist and conservatives Christians, salvation is crucial since they hold the belief that without salvation from sin, they will not be capable of having a proper association with God, and they will not be forgiven of their sins, and will consequently not enter heaven. Atonement is crucial since the atoning death of the son of God was the only way through which salvation could be offered to humanity. Similarly, it is important to note that the fact that God allowed His only son to die does not imply that He is unjust God, but a more loving being that always desires a good relationship with His creatures.
Münz-Manor, Ophir and Arentzen, Thomas. “Soundscapes of Salvation: Resounding Refrains in Jewish and Christian Liturgical Poems”. Studies in Late Antiquity, vol. 3, no. 1, 2019, p. 36–55. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/sla.2019.3.1.36
Paipais, V. “First image revisited: human nature, original sin and international relations”. J Int Relat Dev, vol. 22, 2019, pp. 364–388. https://doi.org/10.1057/s41268-016-0072-y
Reddemann, Lukas. “Chapter 16 Epic Salvation: Christ’s Descent into Hell and the Landscape of the Underworld in Neo-Latin Christian Epic”. Landscape and the Visual Hermeneutics of Place, 1500–1700. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill, 2020. https://doi.org/10.1163/9789004440401_017 Web.
White, Benjamin L. “Justin between Paul and the Heretics: The Salvation of Christian Judaizers in the Dialogue with Trypho.” Journal of Early Christian Studies, vol. 26 no. 2, 2018, p. 163-189. Project MUSE, doi:10.1353/earl.2018.0017.