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God is love (1Jn. 4:8). He created everything to be in harmony with his love (Gen. 1-2). Adam and Eve were thus created to love God, each other, and the world around them. However, a fallen angel named Lucifer led our first parents into sin (Gen. 3:1-7). Upon the entry of sin our first parents were no longer under the power of love but the power of sin (Gen. 3:8-13; 1Jn. 4:18). Adam and all of his descendants, down to this day, are born under the power of sin and consequently are born with a sinful nature that is corrupt and bent to evil (Mic. 7:2-4; Mar. 7:21-23).
Not only are we born under the power of sin with a natural inbuilt lust for evil but each of us without exception actually commit sin (Rom. 3:23; Isa. 53:6). Because we commit sin God, who is the governor and judge of the universe, must punish us (Psa. 145:20; Mat. 10:28). The penalty of sin is death, therefore we are all under the death penalty (Rom. 6:23). The only way to avoid this penalty is to perfectly keep Gods law which no one can do. So we have two problems: 1) we are under the power of sin which corrupts our very nature and 2) we are under the judgment of God which inflicts the death penalty on the sinner. Being a just God, God could not ignore man’s sin (Deut. 32:4). However, the Bible tells us that God loves us and because of his love he wants to spend eternity with us (John 3:16). How could he do so if all of us are under the death penalty?
Sin did not take God by surprise. From eternity past God already had a plan to save the fallen human race – He would not overlook our sin, but would instead take its punishment upon himself (Rev. 13:8). John 3:16 summarizes God’s remedy to the problem of punishing sin (death penalty) while simultaneously wanting to spend eternity with the people he created and loves. It says, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that whosoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life.” Jesus Christ was God in the flesh. He entered our world and lived a perfect, sinless life in human flesh (Joh. 1:1, 14). His perfect life and his death became a replacement for my life and death (Isa. 53; 2Co. 5:21). Those who believe in Jesus as their savior receive his perfect life to their account and their imperfect life is wiped away (Rom. 8:1). In this way, man can be forgiven. The moment we receive Jesus we stand complete in him and are considered perfect by God, not because of our good works, but because of the perfect life of Jesus (Eph. 2:8-9).
Fruits of the Resolution
This perfect life and death of Jesus also provides us power and an example for godly living, that by fixing our eyes on him and being filled with him we can become new creatures that love to keep Gods law of love (Exo. 20:1-17; Joh. 14:15; 1Jo. 5:3). In this way man can be restored. This restoration is evidence of conversion for a saved man is a changed man (Eph. 2:10). It is important to note that this restoration does not form the basis of man’s salvation. Our salvation is already secured “by grace through faith” because of the perfect sacrifice of Jesus. But this restoration is always the evidence that I have been saved. A truly born again person is not just a forgiven sinner but a forgiven and changed sinner growing in the grace of Jesus Christ.
The Final Resolution
While sinners are being saved today the problem of sin has not been fully resolved and will not be until Jesus returns to establish his eternal kingdom without end on the earth (Daniel 2). The second coming of Jesus is the final step in redemption. The saved will go to live with him forever, and the wicked will be eternally destroyed. Sin will be completely eradicated from the universe and the law of love will once again reign absolute (Rev. 21:1-7).