Previous Chapter: That Which Is Born of the Spirit
Each of the chapters in this section are intended to communicate an abridged understanding of the Christian Narrative, which is through the Spiritual perspective being presented in this book. Specific to this chapter, we will primarily explore Christianity’s teachings on salvation.
just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned
Unfortunately for all of humanity, from the very first of mankind to walk, their sin would transpire to become the sin of all mankind’s as well. By the narrative of Christianity, this would then explain how we came to be, sold under sin, captives to our faulty and often irrational mortal passions. Through a curse of God spoken into existence because of ancestral ties to rebellion against Him, our first birth into the world includes being made a prisoner to our base physical urges and having an intimate relationship with the death of our flesh.
but I am of the flesh, sold under sin
Where a living creature requires the breath of God, it is sufficient to consider ourselves, when without this breath, as spiritually dead. Where an eternal creation requires the Spirit of God, it is sufficient to consider ourselves, when without the Spirit, being in a state of spiritual death. As then we see, because of the fall of man, the life without death meant for mankind was expunged, and humanity became set to live a short while being fully dependent upon the passions of their faulty flesh-born desires. Nonetheless, God was not satisfied with the state of His creation.
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.
The event of damnation through an act of humanity’s own propensity towards transgression set the stage for God, in His great love, to reveal to him the full quality of His Virtue, Mercy, and Good nature. Such that as darkness and despair descended upon the earth, His light did shine and purge death away, and salvation from all tyranny and corruption came to the world in His Son the Lord Jesus Christ. In this act, not only might humanity once more spiritually live, but that he may live internally at peace in a world purged into chaos.
I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand.
Where it was that man had been doomed to eternal death, in their flesh and by their flesh, the only remaining way for him to come to redemption was through the grace of God. Because of man’s fallen state, there was simply nothing of his own to give in reconcilable sacrifice that could adequately atone him from the destruction he had wrought upon himself. The appropriate ransom could then only be made by something else acting on his behalf.
But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if many died through one man’s trespass, much more have the grace of God and the free gift by the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for many.
Therefore, in order for us to receive everlasting life and become recipients of the Spiritual birth, something far greater than us had to warrant our life with its own life. As we consider the hefty price that had to be levied – which was the crucifixion and humiliation of One who was innocent – we can surely conclude, by our own shortcomings, that none of us were ever entitled to such a giving of mercy and grace. In no way did humanity deserve this reconciliation, for his plight was justified through his own willful election of sin.
for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God
As we recognize this devotion, where Christ paid the ultimate debt for something undoubtedly unworthy, there is no greater act we can look upon to identify the fullest definition of what love is. In fact, it is such a pure act of love that genuinely understanding this act lends one to adequately understand the very design of creation and the purpose of all life. Such as, all creation, whether of the heavens or the earth, is made to abide in a single relationship sharing union even with God. Regardless of stature, all life is made to coexist interdependent even with its own Creator.
For if, because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in the life through the one man Jesus Christ.
Through the perfect act of God’s love, man’s redemption became free and available to all. This gift, as scripture affirms in the words of the Apostle Paul, is then a gift and offering which can wash away any sum of sin. There is simply no sin, or amount of sin, that can outweigh the redemption presented to us through the Christ. Therefore peace and the foundation for a charitable heart is made accessible for whomever allows for themselves the opportunity.
Inasmuch as, where we see sin as both disobedience to Life and obedience to Death, we see how all sin is sin and generally is not separable by degree. For in God’s righteous judgment any one sin, regardless of our perceived sense of severity, is considered as giving power to body of death. As all sin is then apart of one body, it is punished as one body. Accordingly, the free gift of grace is equal for each to receive as no individual is ever more worthy than another, because all have sinned and we all will sin again.
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
When we were sold to death, in disobedience, we were made a servant to death doing only the will of death. It is then only by acknowledging our death in sin that we come to find the true fullness of life in God. Such life, otherwise known as living in the Holy Spirit, begins only with the birth of our spiritual self by the Spirit. It is only through this spiritual birth, does one genuinely gain the perspective to shed their sinful tendencies and honestly adopt the ways of righteousness. It is only by this birth do we ever come to transform back into the image of God we were first intended to be.
We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.
As we make this transformation, we should always remember and account for the fact that we are always under grace never having earned any portion of blessings from the Spirit. As a matter of fact, it is actually only through abolishing the idea of ‘righteousness through works’ that we are ever truly empowered to earnestly overcome the sinful passions of our bodies. For where our flesh is oppressed by the law, as it cannot uphold the law, it seeks rebellion against the law.
For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot.
However, with the authority of the law subtracted from our lives, so too is much of our tangible body’s power, through temptation and eagerness towards rebellion, to lead us into its death. As the flesh is concerned with itself above all things, all things which do not affirm its egoism are enemies to the flesh. Therefore the very idea of God itself, to the flesh, arouses deep feelings of contempt, jealousy, hostility, and fear.
For while we were living in the flesh, our sinful passions, aroused by the law, were at work in our members to bear fruit for death.
Where there is a consequence of death, death has power over us. However, where there is no consequence of death, death has no power over us. Since all things lead to grace, the desire of our flesh to rebel becomes nullified and void through grace. Naturally then, the words of the gospel are such that we may be led from rituals and doctrines, as these things lead to the arousal of the flesh. Whereas, in doing so, that we may truly become free to love one another as God has commanded above all else.
But now we are released from the law, having died to that which held us captive, so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit and not in the old way of the written code but in the new life of the spirit.
In this manner, living according to the old law, which is in essence ‘righteousness through works,’ is also living according to the flesh. So then, for those who try to earn their salvation or be made more worthy by their actions in the eyes of men, they are also trying to indulge their pride in their accomplishments – which is certainly an aim to satisfy the flesh. For the flesh leads man away from God, all things which lead away from God must be of the flesh.
Yet we know that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, so we also believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified.
Where by the old law alone no one could ever be deemed righteous, without doubt, no one who now alone lives by the old law can be deemed righteous either. As such, all those purely living under the judgment of the law do so live without vindication before God. Where faith has become greater than works, it is only through faith (though this faith is established in the genuine act of humbling ourselves to God) that we receive the Lord’s mercy and grace. It is then only in faith that we are ever justified before the Father. It is then only in this justification that we ever become married with the Spirit which resurrected Christ from His tomb.
…brothers, we are debtors, not of the flesh, to live according to the flesh. For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.
Where our unrighteousness to the old law had made us slaves to death, our new found righteousness, as manifested only by the pure faith in God’s giving grace, has freed us from our slavery. In this liberation established through faith, we are then given a new authority over the hateful ambitions of our flesh. Where in love we cannot sin, we are therefore set free to love our brother and sister, our neighbor, our stranger, and our enemy and to love them as we have been loved by God.
Assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.
– Continue to Chapter 3 –
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