Explaining why Jesus died for our sins

Discussion in 'Theology and Doctrine' started by AnglicanUSGirl2, Apr 17, 2018.

  1. AnglicanUSGirl2

    AnglicanUSGirl2 New Member

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    Someone was grilling my faith recently, and wanted to know why Jesus died for our sins. I said: "To give us eternal life, to atone for our sins."
    This answer didn't satisfy the person. But in my defense, I'm just coming back to Christianity after 18 years, so of course my knowledge is rusty. Can you explain the mystical meaning of why Jesus died for our sins?
     
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  2. Lowly Layman

    Lowly Layman Well-Known Member Anglican

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    The best summary I know comes from the BCP 1979 Eucharist Rite II:
    "You formed us in yourown image, giving the whole world into our care, so that, in obedience to you, our Creator, we might rule and serve all your creatures. When our disobedience took us far from you, you did not abandon us to the power of death. In your mercy you came to our help, so that in seeking you we might find you. Again and again you called us into covenant with you, and through the prophets you taught us to hope for salvation.

    Father, you loved the world so much that in the fullness of time you sent your only Son to be our Savior. Incarnate by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, he lived as one of
    us, yet without sin. To the poor he proclaimed the good news of salvation; to prisoners, freedom; to the sorrowful, joy. To fulfill your purpose he gave himself up to death; and, rising from the grave, destroyed death, and made the whole creation new. And, that we might live no longer for ourselves, but for him who died and rose for us, he sent the Holy Spirit, his own first gift for those who believe, to complete his work in the world, and to bring to fulfillment the sanctification of all."

    But here are other helpful links on the subject that I felt weren't too long or technical:

    https://www.ridley.edu.au/principals-blog/jesus-die/

    http://desertmissionanglican.org/the-why-of-the-cross/
     
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  3. JayEhm

    JayEhm Member

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    If the person has time I usually explain the Gospel in the manner given below. This is a tract I've have wrote and used it to stop the mouths of reprobates and bring glory to God. Usually it leads to an ongoing conversation so be prepare to spend some time giving a response. I usually beg off a long discussion after the Gospel has been explained and make plans for future discussions over coffee.

    [​IMG]

    Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.

    We have many ideas about what a person has to do to get to heaven. Some believe we must follow the “Golden Rule,” and do good deeds which will eventually outweigh the bad we have done, tipping the scales in our favour….after all, we are all basically good people…right?

    If we assume we are good people we are also assuming a standard for what we consider good. Since we assume there is an absolute standard for what is good there must be an absolute standard giver. The Bible repeatedly states that God has given mankind a holy, universal Law, that is written on our hearts and our conscience bears witness to this Law. This Law is revealed and summarized in the Ten Commandments. When we look at God’s Law, we must understand that we have all sinned in some way or another; remember, you don’t have to break all Ten to be guilty of breaking the Law. The Bible warns, “For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become accountable for all of it.”

    “… it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment” Hebrews 9:27

    Let’s look at a few of the Commandments and see how we fare:

    “You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.” Have you ever taken God’s name in vain? If you have, you are a blasphemer and can not enter the Kingdom of God.

    “Honour your father and mother.” Have you always honoured your parents in a respectful manner? In a way that God would consider honouring?

    “You shall not steal.” Have you ever taken something that didn’t belong to you (irrespective of its value)? What do you call someone who takes something that doesn’t belong to them? A thief – You cannot enter God’s Kingdom.

    “You shall not bear false witness.” Have you ever told a lie? Just one? What do you call someone who told a lie? A liar. The Bible warns that all liars will have their part in the Lake of Fire.

    You and I are guilty of sinning against God by breaking His Law, and because we have a conscience, we have sinned “with knowledge.” Isn’t it true that when you steal, lie, etc. you know that it’s wrong? Does the fact that you have sinned against God bother you? The punishment for breaking God’s Law is Hell. Eternal Death.

    “Almost every natural man that hears of hell, flatters himself that he shall escape it; he depends upon himself for his own security; he flatters himself in what he has done, in what he is now doing, or what he intends to do. Every one lays out matters in his own mind how he shall avoid damnation, and flatters himself that he contrives well for himself, and that his schemes will not fail.[1]”

    WHAT MUST YOU DO TO BE SAVED FROM THE PENALTY OF BREAKING GOD’S LAW?

    There is good news, there is a GOSPEL. God the Father has given us a mediator in Jesus Christ who is the incarnation of God. Jesus took upon Himself man’s nature, becoming subject to the Law of God, and perfectly obeying the Law in thought and deed for His entire lifetime on earth. While on earth Christ took the sins of His people upon Himself, and suffering the punishment due to all their sins paid the penalty by dying on the Cross, “…for the wages of sin is death.”

    By dying in place of His people Jesus Christ became the mediator between God and man and revived in His people the righteousness, holiness and true knowledge lost as a consequence of sin.

    As we find ourselves before a holy God we are convicted for breaking His righteous Law. The Holy Spirit moves in the soul to bring us to acknowledge our guilt and brokenness before God and His righteousness. We come to hate sin and find Jesus Christ precious. The Holy Spirit convinces the broken sinner of the shamefulness of sin and then brings the offender to a place where they can, “repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord.”

    If you feel the weight of sin on your heart and have come to see the blackness of your soul in the light of God’s Law…if you have been brought to a place where you dread the judgement of the trice holy God, BELIEVE THE GOSPEL! If you believe that Jesus Christ paid the penalty for your sins the Bible assures us that, “whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved.”

    __________________________________________________

    [1] quote taken from a sermon by Jonathan Edwards titled, “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God.”
     
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  4. Lowly Layman

    Lowly Layman Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Very well put Jay.

    I finally found a very good explanation by CS Lewis for you, it is from Mere Christianity, a book that in my opinion, short of the bible is the best book for a new or restored Christian to read regarding the Christian faith.

    The Perfect Penitent:http://homepages.paradise.net.nz/mischedj/ca_lewisatone.html
     
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  5. AnglicanUSGirl2

    AnglicanUSGirl2 New Member

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    Thank you--that was a great read. C.S. Lewis always excels at making complex topics understandable.
     
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  6. Peteprint

    Peteprint Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Hello AnglicanUSGirl2. There are several theories of the atonement, and you should take the time to familiarize yourself with them:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atonement_in_Christianity
     
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  7. peter

    peter Active Member

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    As usual the Book of Common Prayer is a good starting point. Those of us used to the BCP Communion Service will remember this passage, the last of the "comfortable words"

    And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. (1 John 2:1-2 KJV)
     
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  8. neminem

    neminem Member

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    In a nutshell:
    Our sin is to fear what is not true.
    Jesus willingly died to reveal our sin.
    Those that live a truthful way of life become fearless and immortal.
     

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