A journey through sin beginning and end

Wresting with theological issues is a challenge for me at times for I am a very analytical and logical thinker, and what follows is based on years of marinating with a certain issue. And as time would have it, I have had to change ingredients and sometimes throw out the whole recipe itself. What follows is nowhere perfect, but it is a good recipe at the moment. The issue that you and I are about to embark on is a short journey dealing with sin and death and as the story goes it starts with “In The Beginning.”

20140404-145339.jpgIn the beginning” God created. He created many things including mankind themselves. Things were good and very good as the story goes. Man and woman are created to be in the image of God (Genesis 1:26), part of this image is the ability to have everlasting life or as called in our day; immortality. Now, whether or not this immortality simply meant not growing old and dying, which also opens the door for the possibility of death through jumping off a cliff or drowning; or simply that they could not die no matter what they did, is unknown. But it is clear enough, that mankind could have had a state of immortality. Whether it was with eating from the tree of life that gave this, which has overwhelming implications and connections through all of scripture, or again simply the way they were created in such a way. (sure Genesis 3:22, And the LORD God said, “The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.”–this does not entirely prove that they could have lived forever without eating from it, but it is a fairly persuasive argument).

Here is the beginning: mankind, God, and things very good, a nice utopia. Looking at this beautiful beginning we see two things. One God created, and two mankind is very good, and yes to form my own eisogesis (frowned upon I know), there is no sin. Logically we see, God created mankind and did not create sin (for sin is not very good). He did however give man something else; free will. Whether or not this suggests something of God himself is hard to depict, but it could be presumed. Moving on…

This free will allows mankind choice. Choice to do really whatever he wants, I believe choices are really infinite in this setting. So this open ended option allows a crafty creature or whatever you want to call it (devil, Satan, serpent, or another animal all together, it really does not matter) to enter into the scene and through embellished rhetoric tempt Eve and Adam to eat from the one place they were told not to. So free will chooses, not a great choice I might add, and this choice becomes known as sin. This sin also creates something else known as death. The small world here in the garden is beginning to spiral out of control ( Look out – I don’t do well when I get dizzy).

This choice of free will, births something out of mankind, again that is sin, which allows another ominous thing to emerge, known as death. Death then defaces a truly important aspect of mankind, that is, his immortal state. With death on the scene, mortality is now known. So mankind craving to be more, now actually becomes less. Before we move on, let’s recapitulate. Mankind is very good, God does not create sin, gives man free will . This free will is manipulated to choose and choose wrongly (Indiana Jones intended ). This choice births sin, which out of it emerges death. This death or mortality state then, is not what God intends for mankind. Therefore, death coincides with mortality. The pair of them produce separation from God. Since God is eternal and mortality is not.

Now, we fast forward a bit, through a bunch of things I have a lot of thoughts on, but for the focused task at hand we skip, not due to it being unimportant, solely for time.

Jesus enters the scene somewhere around change of time from B.C. To A.D.. Coincidence, I think not. Jesus who is wrapped up in Israel (not intending on leaving the O.T. Out here), acting as Israel, to redeem the world back to its original created purpose and being, atones for sin. And yes, here emerges immense amount of theological topics such as justification, sanctification and so forth, but we are going to swim past them, and take the lifeboat to safety to venture on. The Messiah or also called Christ, who happens to be Jesus of Nazareth, is sent to earth as both God and man to live a life without sin and to deal with sin. His death (though sinless-meaning he should not have died, for no sin reigned in him) took on the sins of the world and dies in their place as an atonement to the problem. Please note, God did not make Jesus die a terrible death because he is a mean dude, Jesus chose to give his life as a ransom for many (Matthew 20:28). Again this is not to appease the wrath of God, but to free those under penalty of sin and the power of the devil. This is love, not hate, don’t confuse the issue.

Jesus taking on the sins of the world dies. The simple fact is, the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23), so he dies. Yet, he did not sin, but man did. Jesus takes sin, embraces it out of love and pays a penalty for it. This penalty though has no hold on him. Death cannot hold Jesus, because though he held sin, he knew no sin, and the power of death which stems from sin cannot exist on or in Christ. And Jesus, as mystical as it may sound, for the first time felt separation from God in death. For only a short time though, for death had to release something it could not hold.

A new era begins with the resurrection, the first person to come back from death. This victory changes the course of history, and the power of sin and it’s counterpart death, are severely injured.

Out of this death and life come forth a new family, a family that is being restored to the image of God through pistis(faith) in the Messiah. This faith atones and cleanses sin and produces a new being. A being who though still may die, is freed from deaths hold. The sting no longer remains (1 Corinthians 15:54), it lasts only a second ( I am not sure what that means, could be soul sleep, could be some kind of Abraham’s bosom state or whatever you feel, you can fill in the blank) and then there will be “life after death after life,” as NT Wright always says.

Now what about hell? Following the pattern, if one does not have faith in the Messiah, the sting of death still has power over them. This means something… Again sin produced death, and death is separation from God (whatever that entails), either a once for all mortal state (annihilationist theory) or purgatory (a waiting place til death is dealt with {not typical explanation for that} and then everyone finds heavenly bliss(whatever that entails) {universalism}) or whatever theory you feel like inserting.

Based on my simple argument; if sin entered the world, causing separation from God through death (bigger than sin itself), than without Christ there is no cure for the sin problem. But with Christ there is , death no longer holds its power. Yet again, those who have faith in Christ still die as mortals, who of course are restored to life sometime again.

In some eschatological (really kairological event) time there will be a final battle and though sin is a huge issue, it’s effect, that is death (much bigger issue of the two) will be thrown in eternal fire. At this point sin will have no affect on the world, for what it birthed, that is death, has now been destroyed. So though Christ atoned for sin, and faith in him produces life after death after life, we still die, but again for a moment until we are alive-again/ no sting. The problem remains then that death still has some control. It’s power will be eradicated at another future moment, and mankind will then be returned to a previous Eden state (first temple), that is to say the New Jerusalem (or new temple).

It is here that I leave us, sort of the same place I began. Eden in the beginning and a new ambiguous Eden in the end. And of course In the middle of it all, a sin conundrum.

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About thechad3

A dude following God
This entry was posted in Eden, Hell, Jesus, Sin, Theology and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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