"God said, 'Let Us make man in Our image'" (Ge 1:26). "God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him" (:27). "In the image of God He made man" (9:6). An image in a mirror reflects a form which is why it is called a "mirror image." The word in Greek is morpha which means shape. A form of something is an accurate representation of it such that is resembles the object. In a material sense it is the outward expression of man's holistic, physical-spiritual unity. God created man "'according to Our likeness'" (1:26). "In the day when God created man, He made him in the likeness of God" (5:1). A likeness is a similitude of something in figure or pattern and could be said to be a synonym of image. "Male and female He created them" (1:27, 5:2). Man "is the image and glory of God; but the woman is the glory of man" (1Co 11:7). The husband is to show his wife "honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life" (1Pe 3:7). God said, "'Let them rule'" (Ge 1:26) and "'Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule'" (:28). Therefore, rule or dominion is considered an aspect of man's image of God. "You have made him a little lower than God, and You crown him with glory and majesty! You make him to rule over the works of Your hands" (Ps 8:5-6). But just because you're in God's image doesn't mean you're omnicient, omnipresent, or omnipotent. Scripture does not specify what attributes constitute man's image of God. In Jesus' example "God sent forth His Son, born of a woman" (Gal 4:4) and he was "found in appearance of a man" (Php 2:8). "He existed in the form of God" (:6) but took upon himself "the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men" (:7). "He had to be made like His brethren in all things" (Heb 2:17). But simultaneously "He is the image of the invisible God" (Col 1:15) and "the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature" (Heb 1:3). He had the inner character of God as well as the real characteristics of a human being.
"The Lord God commanded the man, saying . . . but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day you eat of it you will surely die" (Ge 2:16-17). This was a command. Also, there was no explanation and only the consequence of death was stated. It was a matter of trusting God and obeying and "surely" dieing made the result clear. One would assume that when taking care of the animals in the Garden of Eden it was noticed that they died when reaching end of life, so death would not be unfamiliar. Also, you would think they'd be cognizant of God's wisdom and authority inherent in this command. Furthermore, they should have been aware that disobedience would produce a serious result. In a hockey game there are rules, and breaking them leads to a penalty that is served in the penalty box, which in this instance is death. In the game, the length of the penalty depends on the seriousness of the infraction, but in God's command, no time is stipulated. It is a principle based on the Creator's standards. Moses later explained it to Israel saying, "'It shall come about, if you do not obey the Lord your God, to observe and do all His commandments and His statutes with which I charge you today, that all these curses will come upon you and overtake you'" (Dt 28:15). "'See, I have set before you today life and prosperity, and death and adversity'" (30:15). "'Keep His commandments and His statutes and His judgments, that you may live'" (:16). "'But if your heart turns away and you will not obey . . . you shall surely perish'" (:17-18). If disobedient "'the Lord will send upon you curses, confusion, and rebuke, in all you undertake to do, until you are destroyed and until you perish quickly, on account of the evil of your deeds, because you have forsaken Me'" (28:20). It would be rebellion against a holy God. It would be equivalent to breaking God's law because "everyone who practices sin also practices lawlessness" (1Jn 3:4). If breaking the law was condoned then it would be a slight against God's character. God said regarding Judah's transgressions, "'I will not revoke its punishment because they rejected the law of the Lord and have not kept His statutes'" (Amos 2:4). "'All souls are Mine . . . [and] the soul who sins will die'" (Eze 18:4). "So all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years, and he died" (Ge 5:5). One could argue that these are only isolated cases. However, "the Lord has looked down from heaven upon the sons of men to see if there are any who understand, who seek after God. They have all turned aside, together they have become corrupt; there is no one who does good, not even one" (Ps 14:2-3). "If a man has committed a sin worthy of death . . . and you hang him on a tree . . . you shall bury him on the same day (for he who is hanged is accursed of God)" (Dt 21:22-23). "Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us-for it is written, 'cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree'" (Gal 3:13).
One day Adam and Eve were near the tree of knowledge of good and evil and a serpent appeared and "said to the woman, 'You surely will not die!'" (Ge 3:4) if you eat the fruit of the tree. It was a contradiction of God having said "'you will surely die.'" (2:17). Eve could see "that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes" (3:6). But how would she know it "was desirable to make one wise" (:6)? Then the serpent casted doubt on God's credibility saying, "'For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened'" (:5) which is another appeal to eyesight. Also, eating is referred to several times in these dialogs which points to the senses. Furthermore, the serpent said "'you will be like God, knowing good and evil'" (:5) which would imply that God was keeping something from them. It's interesting that Satan himself said "'I will make myself like the Most High'" (Isa 14:14). They proceeded to eat the fruit and "the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew they were naked" (Ge 3:7). They were created in the image of God but the serpent tempted them saying "'you will be like God'" (:5) which insinuated that they were lacking somehow. However, Jesus shows he is not depriving anyone saying, "'For their sakes I sanctify Myself'" (Jn 17:19) and prayed for those "'who believe in Me through their word; that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us'" (:20-21). "We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is" (1Jn 3:2). However, in the garden "the Lord God said, 'Behold, the man has become like one of Us, knowing good and evil; and now he might stretch out his hand, and take also from the tree of life, and eat, and live forever (Ge 3:22). Therefore, God "drove the man out" (:24) of the garden all meaning to many, that it represents separation from God and spiritual death.
God then asked them what they had done and Adam responded that the woman God had provided him offered him the fruit, as if he had no choice. Eve said the serpent had deceived her, as if deception neutralizes critical thinking. Consequently God told Eve that she would have difficulty bearing children and told Adam he would have problems farming. Then God concluded saying how Adam had been created from the earth and would return to it at death. It sounds like they had been deprived of their image of God too. Also the penalty of disobedience seems permanent and that man can't extradite himself. Freedom of choice has cause-and-effect consequences. But is there ever any allowance for making mistakes? Fortunately Christ "was foreknown before the foundation of the world, but has appeared in these last times for the sake of you" (1Pe 1:20). But only those will be helped whose name has "'been written from the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who has been slain'" (Rev 13:8).
Sin entered and things got worse. Man was on his own since "your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden His face from you so that He does not hear" (Isa 59:2). The status quo is, "'No one is good except God alone" (Mk 10:18). "There is not a righteous man on earth who continually does good and who never sins" (Eccl 7:20). "There is no one who does good, not even one" (Ps 14:3). "There is no man who does not sin" (1Ki 8:46). Also, someone cannot do penance to correct the violation "because by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight" (Ro 3:20). "Who can say, 'I have cleansed my heart, I am pure from my sin'?" (Pr 20:9). Therefore Christ was sent "under the Law so that He might redeem those who were under the Law" (Gal 4:4-5). "He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness" (1Pe 2:24). It works when we "put on the new self who is being renewed" (Col 3:10) as we are "being transformed into the same image from glory to glory" (2Co 3:18). It seems that man's image of God was not completely obliterated and that it can be restored in a scriptural way.
"Adam began serving his penalty for disobedience without an end in sight. He also forfeited the rule he had been authorized to have. "You make him rule over the works of Your hands; You have put all things under his feet" (Ps 8:6). Was God just going to go with the status quo? He judges sin but plans forgiveness. After the flood God told Noah, "'I establish My covenant with you'" (Ge 9:11). God initiates the covenant "'which I am making between Me and you'" (:12). There is even evidence where "'I set My bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a sign of a covenant between Me and the earth'" (:13). The pattern is "'I will establish My covenant between Me and you'" (Ge 9:11, 17:1, :7, :19). The covenant is also permanent, as with circumcision which will "be in your flesh" (17:13) as an "'everlasting covenant'" (17:7, :13, :19). It is a personally presented obligation as when "God spoke to Noah and to his sons with him" (9:8). "God said to Abram" (15:13) and "on that day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying" (:18). "The Lord appeared to Abram and said to him" (17:1). All the parties are to fulfill the covenant as God explained, "'Now as for you, you shall keep My covenant, you and your descendants after you throughout their generations'" (:9). There are specific promises as when God told Abram, "'To your descendants I have given this land'" (15:18). God would confirm it to "your descendants . . . to be God to you and to your descendants after you'" (17:7). "You shall keep My covenant, you and your descendants after you throughout their generations'" (:9). For God's part he said, "'Sarah your wife will bear you a son, and you shall call his name Isaac; and I will establish My covenant with him'" (:19). "'I will greatly multiply your descendants'" (16:10). However God also said, "'Know for certain that your descendants will be strangers in a land that is not theirs, where they will be enslaved and oppressed four hunderd years'" (15:13).
God delivered Israel from Egyptian bondage citing, "'You yourselves have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles' wings, and brought you to Myself'" (Ex 19:4). "Moses entreated the Lord his God, and said, 'O Lord, why does Your anger burn against Your people whom you have brought from the land of Egypt with great power and a mighty hand?" (32:11). God had told them, "'If you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be My own possession among all the peoples, for all the earth is mine'" (19:5). God initiated it saying, "'This month shall be the beginning of months for you'" (12:2) and "'You shall keep it until the fourteenth day of the same month, then the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel is to kill it at twilight'" (:6). "'Moreover, they shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and on the lintel of the houses in which they eat it'" (:7). This was reiterated at Mount Sinai when God called to Moses "from the mountain, saying, 'Thus you shall say to the house of Jacob'" (19:3) and that "'these are the words that you shall speak to the sons of Israel'" (:6).
At Mt. Sinai God explained to Moses what his provision and expectations would be. Moses repeated them to Israel and "all the people answered together and said, 'All that the Lord has spoken we will do!'" (Ex 19:8). "Then God spoke all these words" (20:1) which began with the Ten Commandments. Next, God met with them at Mt. Sinai and "all the people perceived the thunder and the lightning flashes and the sound of the trumpet and the mountain smoking . . . [and] then they said to Moses, 'Speak to us yourself and we will listen; but let not God speak to us, or we will die.'" (20:18-19). "Then the Lord said to Moses, 'Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, you yourselves have seen that I have spoken to you from heaven'" (:22). Then God proceeded to provide the details of his requirements to Moses saying, "'Now these are the ordinances which you are to set before them'" (21:1).
To make their journey through the wilderness successful God said, "'I am going to send an angel before you to guard you along the way and to bring you into the place which I have prepared'" (23:20). Since it was a covenant, God commanded, "'You shall not make other gods besides Me; gods of silver or gods of gold, you shall not make for yourselves'" (20:23). "'Be on your guard; and do not mention the name of other gods, nor let them be heard from your mouth'" (23:13). "'You shall not worship their gods, nor serve them, nor do according to their deeds'" (:24). "'They shall not live in your land, because they will make you sin against Me'" (:33). Many years later "they made Him jealous with strange gods; with abominations they provoked Him to anger. They sacrified to demons who were not God, to gods whom they have not known" (Dt 32:16-17). "The things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to demons and not to God; and I do not want you to become sharers with demons" (1Co 10:20). "You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons" (:21).
"Then Moses came and recounted to the people all the words of the Lord and all the ordinances; and all the people answered with one voice and said, 'All the words which the Lord has spoken we will do!'" (Ex 24:3). "Moses wrote down all the words of the Lord" (:4). "Then he took the book of the covenant and read it in the hearing of the people; and they said, 'All that the Lord has spoken we will do, and we will be obedient!'" (:7). "Now the Lord said to Moses, 'Come up to Me on the mountain and remain there, and I will give you the stone tablets with the law and the commandment which I have written for their instruction'" (:12). Moses wrote the first five books of the Bible which are referred to as the Old Covenant. When God "had finished speaking with him upon Mount Sinai, He gave Moses the two tablets of the testimony, tablets of stone, written by the finger of God" (Ex 31:18). "The tablets were God's work, and the writing was God's writing engraved on the tablets" (32:16).
"On the seventh day He called to Moses from the midst of the cloud. And to the eyes of the sons of Israel the appearance of the glory of the Lord was like a consuming fire on the mountain top" (Ex 24:17-18). "Moses was on the mountain forty days and forty nights" (:18). But there was a problem in the camp and the Israelites had sinned. Moses then interceded for them and God modified what he was going to do. Moses said, "Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, Your servants to whom You swore by Yourself, and said to them, 'I will multiply your descendants as the start of the heavens, and all this land of which I have spoken I will give to your descendants, and they shall inherit it forever'" (Ex 32:13).
The Law became the foundation for Israel's purposes. But when the New Covenant arrived "by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight" (Ro 3:20). The Old Covenant had validity but it culminated in the new because the old functioned only temporarily as a type. Christ had been sent "under the Law so that He might redeem those who were under the Law" (Gal 4:4-5). Now "Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes" (Ro 10:4). "The promise to Abraham . . . was not through the Law, but through the righteousness of faith" (4:13). "Apart from the Law the righteousness of God has been manifested . . . even the righteousness of God through all those who believe" (3:21). "He is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that which is of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter" (2:29). "The blood of Christ . . . [will] cleanse your conscience from dead works" (Heb 9:14). This testimony has been presented over the centuries "by the Law and the Prophets" (Ro 3:21) and is not just an afterthought.
"When He comes into the world, He says . . . a body You have prepared for Me" (Heb 10:5). "God sent forth His Son, born of a woman" (Gal 4:4). "Since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same" (Heb 2:14). He was "born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh of the will of man, but of God" (Jn 1:13). "God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son" (3:16). "The Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory" (1:14). "I am the Lord, I have called You in righteousness, I will also hold You by the hand and watch over You, and I will appoint You as a covenant to the people, as a light to the nations" (Isa 42:6). "'Behold, I have come to do Your will'" (Heb 10:9). "'Behold, I come; in the scroll of the book it is written of Me. I delight to do Your will, O My God; Your Law is within My heart'" (Ps 40:7-8). He "emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, being made in the likeness of men" (Php 2:7). "'The Father Himself who sent Me has given Me a commandment as to what to say and what to speak'" (Jn 12:49). "'I lay it [my life] down on My own initiative . . . this commandment I received from My Father'" (10:18).
Some Bible students cite a "law of first mention" which means that a word representing a theme occurs first at the beginning of the Bible and is developed more throughout the remaining books. Furthermore, "these things happened to them as an example, and they were written for our instruction" (1Co 10:11). If sin is the subject, then logically a reference to it early in the Bible could help define what it means. For instance, Moses asked two of the tribes, "'Why are you discouraging the sons of Israel from crossing over into the land which the Lord has given them?'" (Nu 32:7). He referred to them as "sinful men" (:14) and if they disobeyed God he would abandon them in the wilderness again (:15). Moses told them, "'If you do not do so, behold, you have sinned against the Lord, and be sure your sin will find you out'" (:23). Sin, therefore, would be disobeying God's command which is what happened when "she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate" (Ge 3:6). Isaiah told them "your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hiddden His face from you so that He does not hear" (Isa 59:2). "Every transgression and disobedience received a just penalty" (Heb 2:2). We've all heard "fire and brimstone" sermons which seem to imply we are all guilty because "all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Ro 3:23). But God's character requires him to confront sin because permitting it without judgment would be condoning it. God proclaimed he was, "'Compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness and truth; who keeps lovingkindness for thousands, who forgives iniquity, transgression and sin, yet He will by no means leave the guilty unpunished'" (Ex 34:6-7).
What condition is the world in? "There is not a righteous man on earth who continually does good and never sins" (Eccl 7:20). "They have all turned aside, together they have become corrupt; there is no one who does good, not even one" (Ps 14:3). "Like Adam, they have all transgressed the covenant" (Hos 6:7). Even though they "had not sinned in the likeness of the offense of Adam" (Ro 5:14) "there is no man who does not sin" (1Ki 8:46). In addition, "the wages of sin is death" (Ro 6:23). "By a man came death" (1Co 15:21), "in Adam all die" (:22) and "death reigned from Adam until Moses" (Ro 5:14). "The person who sins" (Eze 18:20) and "the soul who sins will die" (:4). How is this turned around or rectified? "The free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Ro 6:23) "who gave Himself for our sins so that He might rescue us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father" (Gal 1:4).
The source of sin can be mental or physical. With the first it can be from being "alienated and hostile in mind, engaged in evil deeds" (Col 1:21). It can be "iniquity . . . and wickedness" (Eze 18:20), "unrighteousness" (Ro 6:13), or "transgression and disobedience" (Heb 2:2). In the second case it can be due to the "sinful flesh" (Ro 8:3) with "its passions and desires" (Gal 5:24). It is in our "mortal body" (Ro 6:12) in "our body of sin" (:6) so that we "obey its lusts" (:12) and are "slaves to sin" (:6). Then the Law was given and "through the Law comes the knowledge of sin" (3:20). Paul said that "the Law is spiritual, but I am of flesh, sold into bondage of sin" (7:14). But "by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight" (3:20). However, "the Law came in so that the transgression would increase; but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more" (5:20). "What the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh" (8:3). Therefore "do not let sin reign in your mortal body . . . [or] go on presenting the members of your body to sin" (6:12-13). "Sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law but under grace" (:14).
"But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us" (Ro 5:8). "He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him" (2Co 5:21). He "gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed" (Titus 2:14). He was "offered once to bear the sins of many" (Heb 9:28) and was "delivered over because of our transgressions, and was raised because of our justification" (Ro 4:25). "If Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is alive because of righteousness" (8:10). "He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed" (1Pe 2:24). "Our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin" (Ro 6:6). "He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only but also for those of the whole world" (1Jn 2:2). Jesus said, "'This is the blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for forgiveness of sins'" (Mt 26:28).
Christ was "foreknown before the foundation of the world, but has appeared in these last times for the sake of you" (1Pe 1:20) as a "testimony given at the proper time" (1Ti 2:6). It was prophesied, "'Behold, I come to do Your will'" (Heb 10:9) because "'I delight to do Your will . . . [since] Your law is within my heart'" (Ps 40:8). He "gave Himself for our sins . . . according to the will of our God and Father" (Gal 1:4). "'This commandment I received from My Father'" (Jn 10:18). Therefore "the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory . . . full of grace and truth" (Jn 1:14). "Since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same" (Heb 2:14) and "emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men" (Php 2:7). He "was made a little while lower than the angels" (Heb 2:9). "In appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death" (Php 2:8) "so through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous" (Ro 5:19).
Jesus explained, "'I am among you as the one who serves'" (Lk 22:27) and "'did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many'" (Mt 20:28). "'Whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave'" (:27). "'I lay down My life'" (Jn 10:17) "on My own initiative . . . [and] I have authority to take it up again'" (:18). "'I sanctify Myself, that they themselves also may be sanctified in truth'" (Jn 17:19). It was by "suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, so that by the grace of God He might taste death for everyone" (Heb 2:9). "He died for all, so that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf" (2Co 5:15). "He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him" (:21). "Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us" (Gal 3:13) for "he who is hanged [on a tree] is accursed of God" (Dt 21:23). Therefore, "'I have set before you today life and prosperity, and death and adversity'" (30:15) and "'a blessing and a curse'" (11:26). A "blessing, if you listen" (:27) and a "curse, if you do not listen'" (:28). He who "'executes My ordinances, and walks in My statutes; he will not die . . . [but] will surely live'" (Eze 18:17). "The righteousness of the righteous will be upon himself" (Eze 18:20).
God's purpose "now has been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus" (2Ti 1:10). He said "'the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve'" (Mk 10:45). Also, "'I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly'" (Jn 10:10). He "abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel" (2Ti 1:10). "In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it" (Jn 1:4-5). "He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world" (1Jn 2:2). A propitiation is the satisfaction of a judgment as if a fine had to be paid as a penalty for breaking the law. Similarly, if "blood pollutes the land [then] no expiation can be made for the land for the blood that is shed on it, except by the blood of him who shed it" (Nu 35:33). "'Whoever sheds man's blood, by man his blood shall be shed'" (Ge 9:6). Expiation is similar to propitiation in that a price is owed to the authority that requires that a recompense be paid.
Man's offense was so serious such that if he "has committed a sin worthy of death and he is put to death, and you hang him on a tree" (Dt 21:22) "one may almost say, all things are cleansed with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness" (Heb 9:22). Therefore Jesus explained, "'This is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for forgiveness of sins'" (Mt 26:28). This covenant was anticipated, "'For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you on the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood by reason of the life that makes atonement'" (Lev 17:11). Atonement is the price paid to satisfy the penalty due from the offense of the violation. "How much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?" (Heb 9:14). "For their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they themselves also may be sanctified in truth'" (Jn 17:19). "'You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you'" (15:3).
Paul instructed to "walk in love, just as Christ also loved you" (Eph 5:2). It is "faith working through love" (Gal 5:6). "'God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son'" (Jn 3:16). "God demonstrates His own love toward us . . . [since] Christ died for us" (Ro 5:8). "For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died" (2Co 5:14). It is what "God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh" (Ro 8:3). "For Christ our Passover also has been sacrificed" (1Co 5:7). "He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross" (Php 2:8). "How much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?" (Heb 9:14). A death took place which was "to purify for Himself a people for His own possession" (Titus 2:14). "When He had made purifications of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on High" (Heb 1:3).
Christ was "delivered over because of our transgressions" (Ro 4:25). "The Lord has caused the iniquity of us all to fall on Him" (Isa 53:6). "He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the chastening of our well-being fell upon Him, and by His scourging we are healed" (Isa 53:5). He prophesied this saying, "'The Son of Man must suffer many things . . . and be killed'" (Mk 8:31). John the Baptist proclaimed Christ as he "'who takes away the sin of the world!'" (Jn 1:29). God "made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf" (1Co 5:21). He "gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God" (Eph 5:2). He was "offered once to bear the sins of many" (Heb 9:28). "One died for all" (2Co 5:14) and "the death that He died, He died to sin once for all" (Ro 6:10). "A death has taken place for the redemption of the transgressions" (Heb 9:15). "He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed" (1Pe 2:24). "What the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did" (Ro 8:3). We "were made to die to the Law through the body of Christ" (7:4). "Having cancelled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross" (Col 2:14). "The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death" (Ro 8:2). It is so that he "might set free those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives" (Heb 2:15). "He who has died is freed from sin" (Ro 6:7). "The free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord" (:23). "Creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption" (8:21).
"Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father" (Ro 6:4). It was "the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead" (8:11). "The Father raises the dead and gives them life" (Jn 5:21). Christ "was raised because of our justification" (Ro 4:25). "Through Him [we] are believers in God, who raised Him from the dead" (1Pe 1:21). Since "we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him" (Ro 6:8). Therefore we "consider [ourselves] to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus" (:11) because "the life that He lives, He lives to God" (:10). We have "concluded this" (2Co 5:14) "that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf" (:15). It is "so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him" (:21) being that "the spirit is alive because of righteousness" (Ro 8:10). "He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you" (:11). "The Son also gives life to whom He wishes" (Jn 5:21). He said, "'I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me'" (14:6).
"Christ, having been raised from the dead, is never to die again" (Ro 6:9). The case is closed. "How shall we who died to sin still live in it?" (:2). Christ has "abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel" (2Ti 1:10). It is a clearcut case which speaks for itself. Paul understood the situation because he was sent to "preach the gospel, not in cleverness of speech, so that the cross of Christ would not be made void" (1Co 1:17). He would not promote anything except "the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world" (Gal 6:14). He "determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified" (1Co 2:2). However, "to Jews [it is] a stumbling block and to Gentiles foolishness" (1:23). "For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God" (:18).
You are redeemed "with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ" (1Pe 1:19). Every believer has "been baptized into Christ Jesus" (Ro 6:3) and is part of "the church of God which He purchased with His own blood" (Ac 20:28). Furthermore, we "have been baptized into His death . . . [and] buried with Him through baptism into death" (Ro 6:3-4) as well as "united with Him in the likeness of His death" (:5). That is why "those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh" (Gal 5:24). "Our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin" (Ro 6:6). "'If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me . . . [for] whoever loses his life for My sake, he is the one who will save it'" (Lk 9:23-24). It was "through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil" (Heb 2:14). "The one who practices sin is of the devil; for the devil has sinned from the beginning. The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil" (1Jn 3:8). For example, Jesus told Peter, "'You are a stumbling block to Me; for you are not setting your mind on God's interests'" (Mt 16:23). "The mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life" (Ro 8:6). "Christ was raised from the dead . . . so we too might walk in newness of life" (6:4). Therefore, "we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection" (:5).