Why did Isa die?
Christians say that Isa died in order to pay the penalty for the sins of all people. But was this necessary? Why could God, who is all-powerful, not simply forgive people’s sins? Why should an innocent person have to pay for the sins of a guilty one? Surely, each person is responsible for their own sins. It is up to everyone to do enough good works to make up for their sins. How can it be right to live in an immoral way and then expect to be forgiven simply by believing in Isa? We will look carefully at all of these questions.
Why does God not forgive sins by simply choosing to forgive them?
Almighty God is a perfect, just and righteous judge. When he first created man, he knew that man would disobey him and break his laws. This happened with Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden, and it has continued ever since. Apart from Isa, no one has kept God’s laws and avoided sin. Everyone has deserved God’s punishment.
God cannot ignore sin or overlook it. From all eternity, he had prepared a perfect solution: he would come himself to take responsibility for the sins of all men and women, and to offer them his forgiveness.
When Yahya ibn Zakaria (John the Baptist) saw Isa coming towards him, he cried out:
Look! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! (John 1:29).
The people of Israel sacrificed lambs when they asked God to forgive their sins. They knew that God’s punishment for sin was death, but the innocent animal died in their place. These sacrifices could never be sufficient. In fact, they were only a picture of the way God had chosen to forgive sins.
Isa, the perfect, innocent Son of God, came to take full responsibility for the world’s sins and to pay the penalty – death. In the Injil, the Apostle Peter wrote of Isa:
He himself bore our sins in his body on the cross… by his wounds you have been healed. (I Peter 2:24).
God chose this way to forgive sins because it perfectly met two aspects of his character: his love for mankind, whom he created, and his perfect justice, which must punish sin and remove it completely from his holy presence.
Is this way of forgiving sins unjust?
Isa – an innocent person – died for the sins of guilty people, but what was the alternative?
We cannot save ourselves because all of us have done wrong. And it is impossible for us to do enough good works to cancel out these wrong deeds.
The apostle Paul wrote in the Injil:
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23)
Deep in their heart, every person knows they cannot stand in the presence of a perfect and holy God. Each of us needs his forgiveness.
The word ‘Injil’ simply means ‘good news’. This good news is that God offers us his forgiveness because of Isa’s death on the cross, followed by his glorious resurrection from the dead.
We urge you not to refuse this offer. We must not be proud and think that we can do without it. Rather, we must be humble, admit our sins, and ask God for his forgiveness.
The apostle John wrote:
If we confess our sins, God is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9)
Our just God will indeed be faithful and forgive us, because Isa has already taken responsibility for our sins and paid their penalty. But, on our side, we must turn away from all sin and sincerely put our trust in Isa and his sacrifice for us.
Can a Christian live in an immoral way because God forgives their sins?
Some people think that because Isa has died for their sins they can do what they like – steal, lie, commit adultery – and they will still be forgiven. But this is not at all what the Injil teaches.
The first command that Isa gave was:
Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near. (Matthew 4:17)
To repent is to turn away from everything that is evil and wrong. So the true follower of Christ must make this decision right at the start. After that, he cannot go back to doing what is wrong. That would completely contradict his faith in Christ.
Isa warned us that our faith must be sincere. It is not enough to listen to what he says. We must put it into practice. He told this story as a warning:
Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash. (Matthew 7:24-27)
The Christian who lives in an immoral way is like the man who built his house on sand. He cannot expect to receive God’s forgiveness and blessing.
Talk to us!
If you’d like to talk or have any questions that are not answered here, please fill out the form below. We’d love to talk with you!
[contact-form-7 404 "Not Found"]