One of the main ideas of Christian religion is based upon the fact that situation with humanity was greatly influenced by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is very much interconnected with my personal beliefs regarding human behavior. In my opinion each person should behave just and only with correspondence with his heart’s voice and convictions. The person should be so confident in every his or her action, that he or she should be ready to die for them. For me, it is the only case when person’s life is real and worth living. People should imbue each their deed and word with love and faithfulness to create and not to destroy. And to my opinion what Jesus Christ did, was primarily his predestination and I just adore him for having enough strength to follow his way.
Salvation is a very interesting term, which is generally used not obligatory in relation to religious issues, but in secular manner. For example, Lenin in late 1920s was referred to as the “savior” of Russian people and in 1980s there were established particular councils of salvation in Africa, which were aiming to restore economic and political stability in the country. In such a way, salvation is also the general human quest for liberation and striving for better life.
Even in different religions, salvation has different meanings. Concept of salvation has different opinion regarding how it is achieved, in what form and what are its consequences and for whom.
In order to explore Christian meaning of salvation, it is necessary to understand what makes salvation special in Christian religion and how it was possible in relation to the story of Jesus Christ.
First, I would like to describe Paul’s opinions upon the subject matter. In his letters he brightly describes the total range of benefits that are proposed to those who will turn his faith to Jesus Christ, and what Jesus secured for believers.
According to Paul, salvation is connected with notion of healing and liberation, while Augustine the Hippo viewed church as the hospital with people in the healing process. Paul suggested that salvation is three-dimensional term and has relation to something that took place in the past, to something that takes place in the present and to something that will take place in the future.
Paul also considered salvation as the process of adoption through which people are accepted to the God’s family (Romans 8:15; Galatians 4:5). And therefore through Jesus Christ believers are able to share the same rights and privileges as Jesus and can probably have the same glory as he did.
Salvation as the justification was also supported by Paul (Romans 5:1-2) and involved the idea that believers through their faith will change their legal status in the sight of God, despite their sinfulness.
Salvation as redemption is also very argumentative opinion, as it introduces the idea that Jesus Christ secures the freedom of those who believe from slavery to death and law, probably, changing it to the slavery to God.
If the salvation is viewed as setting free, then people should have been imprisoned by someone and somewhere. The New Testament makes the suggestion that Jesus Christ’s life is the payment for the liberation achievement. But does God need the payment from his Son? Or it is devil who needs the payment for our liberation? When we were captured by him then? Or it referred only for sinners? Origen (Christian theologian, Alexandria), believed that devil possessed rights for fallen humanity and God was nothing left to do then to respect the state of things. But by the death and resurrection of Christ, a sinless person, God cheated upon devil and in such a manner gifted the opportunity for being saved to all people. It was made in the following manner- after dying on the cross, Jesus descended to hell and there he broke the gates to set the sinful imprisoned souls free. This idea is also supported in 1 Peter 3:18-22 with “preaching to the spirits in prison”.
There are several theories of atonement that will assist in more profound understanding of salvation itself. And there are also three basic approaches to the study, which include viewing cross as the sacrifice, cross as the victory, and cross as forgiveness. New Testament predominantly supports the idea that Christ death on the cross was the sacrifice, effective and perfect, according to the Letter of Hebrews. But there is the analogy with sacrificing lamb (during the Jewish festival of the Passover). Was it the same? And should sacrifices be offered upon everyday basis? Or one time will b enough? I support the idea of Augustine the Hippo, who considered a true sacrifice to be offered in every action and is aimed to unite people with God in the holy fellowship. An then he continues upon the Jesus’s death as about “one and most true sacrifice offered for us, he purged, abolished, and extinguished whatever guilt there was by which the principalities and powers lawfully detained us to pay penalty”.
Jesus Christ death was equally the victory over hostile forces and that victory was given to people through the Jesus Resurrection. It was the victory over sin, death and Satan. Death was Christ’s weapon to defeat the sin and fear of death itself. Jesus was the conquering hero, who liberated people from being imprisoned by hostile forces.
Notions of judgment and forgiveness are connected with salvation. In Genesis is described how God created the world and how he inspired it with his divine nature. God has also created human being so that they had fellowship in eternity with their creator, but there appeared the barrier to the connection in the form of the human sin. And thus there should have been the way to restore the fellowship and Christ death became that mean in achieving that objective. Geneva theologian Francois Turrettini said the following regarding human sin: “The threefold misery of humanity resulting from sin( that is ignorance, guilt and the oppression and bondage of sin) required this threefold office. Ignorance is healed through the prophetic office, guilt through priestly, and the oppression and bondage of sin through the kingly…” He argued that Jesus met all needs and just transferred them to people through the cross and resurrection.
But how Christ’s death and resurrection could relate to our lives literally? There are three ways in understanding how believers relate to Christ. The first mean is participation. It is through faith people participate, according to Paul people are “in Christ”. And subsequently believers are able to share benefits Christ received being obedient upon the cross. The second way- is through representation, as Christ was the covenant representative of the whole humanity. Through faith, people are able to enter the covenant and have the same rights as Christ did. And finally Christ can be viewed as people’s substitution, as he was crucified in our place and God allowed that substitution.
I was thinking a lot about was Christ death the necessity? Was the Jesus Christ relationship with God an ideal pattern? Should each righteous Christian follow that pattern and sacrifice oneself for other’s sake? I don’t have the answer for those questions, but I am sure that what was done to him will remain in people’s heart forever, and that will be support for them in hard times, the reminder that they are not alone and can always find the right answer addressing to God and Jesus Christ through faith.
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