what is the significance of jesus' death?

dayaa

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hello all
(sorry path...i've sort of pinched the subject matter of your faith/works thread here but maybe with a slightly different angle)

could all christians of any denomination please explain their beliefs regarding the significance of jesus' death. i can clearly see the significance of his life, but i find the significance of his death somewhat elusive.

as i understand it there are 2 main ideas:
1: salvation by faith alone
2: salvation by faith and works

just off the top of my head, salvation by faith alone seems a bit nonsensical...it seems to be saying: do whatever you like and get saved anyway.....which to my mind can't be right.

faith and works seems to make a lot more sense (but then from a christian perspective how can you say that jesus' death brought salvation if we still have to work for it?)

to me, the significance of jesus seems to be his life and teachings. i can't quite get my head around what his death had to do with anything.

i just read an essay on path's thread which sort of made sense concerning a living faith automatically brings good works by following jesus' teachings....but still that just emphasizes to me the significance of his life, not his death.

i would be interested in all individuals explanations of this point please.
thankyou:)
 

InLove

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Hi, Peace to All Here--

dayaa--your question is at the heart of it all. I will try to answer...

The Christ existed from the beginning in the Spirit of God. God, the Father (in His Spirit) sent the Word (Christ) to become flesh and live among us. Christ was willing, because He is in the Father. He chose to love us so much that He allowed Himself to be sacrificed for all of us.

I personally believe that the Holy Spirit has always existed (probably some fellow Christians will disagree). But I believe that, until Jesus Christ walked upon this earth, many people could not see the Spirit of God.

I am trying my best here...maybe not doing so well--it is difficult to explain...

I believe that it is impossible to follow Christ, to sincerely claim Him as Savior, without the Holy Spirit producing works of love from within me. The two are not separated, but make each other complete--that is why I believe that God allows us to see the arguments between Paul and Peter and James in the New Testament. So we can read it and see that it was difficult even for them, and so we may intelligently and spiritually decide for ourselves.

I could go on, but maybe I had better stop, for a while.

You always ask good questions, dayaa

Well, anyway,

InPeace,
InLove
 

JJM

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dayaa said:
hello all
(sorry path...i've sort of pinched the subject matter of your faith/works thread here but maybe with a slightly different angle)

could all christians of any denomination please explain their beliefs regarding the significance of jesus' death. i can clearly see the significance of his life, but i find the significance of his death somewhat elusive.

as i understand it there are 2 main ideas:
1: salvation by faith alone
2: salvation by faith and works

just off the top of my head, salvation by faith alone seems a bit nonsensical...it seems to be saying: do whatever you like and get saved anyway.....which to my mind can't be right.

faith and works seems to make a lot more sense (but then from a christian perspective how can you say that jesus' death brought salvation if we still have to work for it?)

to me, the significance of jesus seems to be his life and teachings. i can't quite get my head around what his death had to do with anything.

i just read an essay on path's thread which sort of made sense concerning a living faith automatically brings good works by following jesus' teachings....but still that just emphasizes to me the significance of his life, not his death.

i would be interested in all individuals explanations of this point please.
thankyou:)
From what I understand, Christ's obedience in His death to the will of the Father destroys that disobedience which is in us. "For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by one man's obedience many will be made righteous." Rom 5:19 Christ's perfect giving of His entirety to God overlaps our selfishness. Our Pride is counteracted by Christ's humility ect. This isn't a perfect example but it is kind of like an algebraic equation when x is over x the two variables cancel out, or maybe yet like a Worker picking up the slack of those which He is working with. Christ through His perfect action as a human being destroys our imperfect action. Thus Athanasius’s "God became man so man may become god." not that we become the Infinite Being but that Christ shares our frailty and lives it perfectly so that we can share in his perfection which stems from His divinity. By God becoming human He makes it so that the fate of humanity and his fate become intermeshed. Now you may say doesn't this have a lot to do with His life. Well yes it does, his sacrifice is the complete submission of himself to the Father’s will but this culminates and is manifested in His death on the Cross. The entire scenario of His death and His perfect acceptance of it allows Christ to lower Himself to the lowest of the low and in this way He takes us to the highest of the high that is the glory of Him.

As for works and Christ’s sacrifice, as I understand our works don't merit that Grace it was His action that created such Grace but we must accept that Grace through our action. It is simply saying that God wishes to give the Grace but we can reject (or refuse to accept it) it by both faith and action.
 

InLove

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Hi, and Peace to All--

JJM--sometimes I have trouble following what you say--maybe we just speak differently somehow. But I really understand and like this:

JJM said:
The entire scenario of His death and His perfect acceptance of it allows Christ to lower Himself to the lowest of the low and in this way He takes us to the highest of the high that is the glory of Him.
dayaa--I hope you are finding what you are looking for. Wherever you look, I also learn.:)

InPeace,
InLove
 

mynameisstephen

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It was Joseph of Arimathaea who had the honor of taking the body of Jesus down from the cross. Think what it would be like to have to pull the cold and lifeless hands of the Son of God from the thick, barbed Roman nails.

These were carpenter’s hands, which once held nails and wood, now being held by nails and wood. These were the hands that broke bread and fed multitudes, now being broken to feed multitudes. They once applied clay to a blind man’s eyes, touched lepers, healed the sick, washed the disciple’s feet, and took children in His arms. These were the hands that, more than once, loosed the cold hand of death, now held firmly by its icy grip.

These were the fingers that wrote in the sand when the adulterous woman was cast at His feet, and for the love of God, fashioned a whip that purged His Father’s house. These were the same fingers that took bread and dipped it in a dish, and gave it to Judas as a gesture of deep love and friendship. Here was the Bread of Life itself, being dipped in the cup of suffering, as the ultimate gesture of God’s love for the evil world that Judas represented.

Joseph’s shame, that he had been afraid to own the Savior, sickened him as he tore the blood-sodden feet from the six-inch cold steel spikes that fastened them to the cross. These were the "beautiful feet" of Him that preached the gospel of peace, that Mary washed with her hair, that walked upon the Sea of Galilee, now crimson with a sea of blood.

As Joseph reached out his arms to get Him down from the cross, perhaps he stared for an instant at the inanimate face of the Son of God. His heart wrenched as he looked upon Him whom they had pierced. This face, which once radiated with the glory of God on the Mount of Transfiguration, which so many had looked upon with such veneration, was now blood-stained from the needle-sharp crown of thorns, deathly pale and twisted from unspeakable suffering as the sin of the world was laid upon Him. His eyes, which once sparkled with the life of God, now stared at nothingness, as He was brought into the dust of death. His lips, which spoke such gracious words and calmed the fears of so many, were swollen and bruised from the beating given to Him by the hardened fists of cruel soldiers. As it is written, "His visage was so marred more than any man" (Isaiah 52:14).

Nicodemus may have reached up to help Joseph with the body. As the cold blood of the Lamb of God covered his hand he was reminded of the blood of the Passover lamb he had seen shed so many times. The death of each spotless animal had been so quick and merciful, but this death had been unspeakably cruel, vicious, inhumane, and brutal. It seemed that all the hatred that sin-loving humanity had for the Light formed itself into a dark and evil spear, and was thrust with cruel delight into the perfect Lamb of God.

Perhaps as he carefully pried the crown from His head, looked at the gaping hole in His side, the deep mass of abrasions upon His back, and the mutilated wounds in His hands and feet, a sense of outrage engrossed him, that this could happen to such a Man as this. But the words of the prophet Isaiah rang within his heart: "He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities . . . the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all . . . as a lamb to the slaughter . . . for the transgression of my people he was stricken . . . yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him . . .by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many" (Isaiah 53:5–11).

Jesus of Nazareth was stripped of His robe, that we might be robed in pure righteousness. He suffered a deathly thirst, that our thirst for life might be quenched. He agonized under the curse of the Law, that we might relish the blessing of the gospel. He took upon Himself the hatred of the world, so that we could experience the love of God. Hell was let loose upon him so that heaven could be let loose upon us. Jesus of Nazareth tasted the bitterness of death, so that we might taste the sweetness of life everlasting. The Son of God willingly passed over His life, that death might freely pass over the sons and daughters of Adam.

May Calvary’s cross be as real to us as it was to those who stood on its bloody soil on that terrible day. May we also gaze upon the face of the crucified Son of God, and may shame grip our hearts if ever the fear of man comes near our souls. May we identify with the apostle Paul, who could have gloried in his dramatic and miraculous experience on the road to Damascus. Instead, he whispered in awe of God’s great love: "God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world" (Galatians 6:14).
 

BlaznFattyz

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somehow this passage just came to me. i think it might answer your question. it is from ephesians.

One in Christ

11Therefore remember that at one time you Gentiles in the flesh, called "the uncircumcision" by what is called the circumcision, which is made in the flesh by hands-- 12remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. 13But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. 14For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility 15by abolishing the law of commandments and ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, 16and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility. 17And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near. 18For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. 19So then you are no longer strangers and aliens,[c] but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, 21in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. 22In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by[d] the Spirit.
-and-
8For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9not by works, so that no one can boast.
 

Blessed87

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dayaa, I'm glad you aren't afraid to ask anything, and you put it in such a polite way!:)

I looked up a good explanation, and here's one I found: http://www.gotquestions.org/substitutionary-atonement.html

There's also a page that tells about different theories of what Jesus' death accomplished. http://www.gotquestions.org/atonement-theories.html
Personally, I'm convinced that His death paid for our sins, and He demonstrated His power in the resurrection. The key is understanding the sacrificial system, which is told in the first few books of the Bible.

I've got to run, but I hope you keep searching, dayaa, and listen to what God has to say, more than what we have to say.

-Adrienne-
 

dayaa

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hello all:)

just wanted to say thanks for all those replies:) i started reading, but it's way too late and i'm too tired and not concentrating...and i scanned down and saw so many....i think it's time to give up for tonight. i'll be back to read them and check out the links etc soon
thanks everyone:)
 

path_of_one

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Blessed87, thanks for the resource. It is very interesting and useful to see the various theories about the meaning of Christ's death. I take somewhat of an issue with it, however, because it does not present such theories in a non-biased manner. By condemning various Christian thinkers over the years as "heretical," and maintaining there is only one correct (Calivinist) interpretation of Christ's death, it is defining Christianity not on who one follows (Jesus Christ) but rather on doctrine.

Many Christians, down through the ages to the very birth of Christianity, have not believed in the doctrine of original sin, and have not believed that Jesus' death was a human sacrifice that cleansed us from this sin. Jews, as I understand it, did not do sin offerings for Adam's sin- they did it for their own. The Old Testament is replete with Jews that were acknowledge to be righteous and good. The Jews that I have discussed this issue with have said that the Jewish God, the God of the Old Testament, is just but also merciful, and was always thus, as He is unchanging. Righteousness was not perfection, but rather a life of consistently seeking after God's will and dutifully trying to act accordingly. Take Abraham, for example. He was acknowledged to be righteous and was blessed by God, but he wasn't perfect. He disobeyed God at times. God forgave him and blessed him richly, because though he occasionally messed up, he was faithful in his efforts.

Personally, I do not believe in original sin. No person is held accountable for another person's wrong-doing. There is no "sin DNA" that resides in the blue-print for our souls. Infants are born good, and that is why we must become "like little children" to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Yep, I follow Pelagius and the other Celtic Christian thinkers. I am not a heretic. I follow Christ. That doesn't mean I agree with every doctrine people who are Christians have put forth. The Calivinist idea is one among many.

My belief is that there is no one right answer to this question. The question should not be, "what does Jesus' death mean?" but rather "What does Jesus' death mean for me?" If a person believes their soul is contaminated by Adam's sin, and God demands perfection, they need an atoning sacrifice. If a person believes their deepest essence is good, but clouded by their wrong-doing, they need an example and a light to lead them to truth. If a person is lonely, they need a friend. If a person is sick, they need a healer.

My experience has been that God is not bounded by anything. He is limitless and omnipotent and beyond comprehension. If God wants someone to enter the Kingdom of Heaven (enter into God's Presence), that person will enter only through the Grace of God. I do not believe there are legal constraints on God, nor that God is unable to look upon sin. Based on my own experience, I believe He's walking with every person at every moment of their lives, and always has been. He is with the drug addict when they overdose. He is with the man who is beating his wife. He is with the prostitute. He is with me when I lie, or gossip, or become angry and hurt another's feelings. He is with us every moment, whether we recognize Him or not, whether we turn toward Him or not. The meaning of Jesus, for me, is not that God finally figured He'd send one part of Himself to pay for everyone's sins, but rather that Jesus Christ is an eternal aspect of God that unites divinity and humanity, heaven and earth. Christ always existed, as John tells us- the God that was in Christ is eternal. The Eternal Christ has always united God and humanity, and has always provided the path home to union with God. God exists outside time. We don't. We think of Jesus on some sort of timeline in the history of humanity- people before Jesus couldn't get into heaven, Jesus comes and pays for sin, then people can get into heaven and have the Holy Spirit. But this puts God within our human conceptualization of time. Jesus the man existed a couple thousand years ago and died once. Christ of God has ever been and will always be, uniting divinity and creation. He was the Word through which creation was spoken. Jesus Christ the man is the physical manifestation of an eternal uniting force.

I think death is another part of life. Death is not separate from living, but simply one of the many actions of living. One's death, like one's actions in life, reflects one's spiritual path. Jesus Christ, the perfect union of divinity and humanity, died in accordance with the will of God and the wisdom of God's teachings found during Jesus' life. Jesus taught a way of giving all power and glory to God, of loving boundlessly, of forsaking personal comforts, possessions, and prestige for a humble life of a servant. Jesus taught peace and forgiveness, and that these were the pathway to forgiveness by God. Jesus' death was indeed self-sacrifice, for he had all power and yet it was in embracing God's will as a servant, as one of the powerless, that he finished his own teachings and ended his life in accordance with his own wisdom. And it is this remarkable final testimony of his teachings, in a long line of testimonies, that catapulted his teachings to a global level and authenticated them as God's for so many. If Jesus had taught peace, but smote down his persecutors rather than forgiving them as he did- the dischord would have proven he was not of God. If he had taught humble service and yet been willing to use his own power for himself (rather than for God's work), he would have contradicted himself. The choice Jesus made in allowing himself to be crucified is foreshadowed by his temptation by Satan in the wilderness, and it is the ultimate question given to us all- use power for onself, or use it for God. Be God's servant, or a servant of oneself.

Jesus did, indeed, give the ultimate example of giving up oneself for God. If Jesus had no real temptation as a human being, it cheapens his experience in the wilderness and his constant life of service, culminating in his supreme act of giving up power to God. If he was not truly human, with all of our temptations and desires, and also truly of God, with a divine inner nature, then he could not really expect us all to take up our cross and follow him. For if he did not really experience temptation, he did not live a fully human life. God not only loved us enough that He sent a bit of himself to manifest physically among us, to lead us on our path, to comfort and guide us, to dwell within us... he loved us enough to have the human experience, to show us that he did not expect for us to withstand what he would not- pain, suffering, temptation, the struggle to shine as a light in a world oft dark. Jesus ultimately does show God's love for us, through his life including his death, and giving us the hope of recognizing that death is not the end of us. The Christ's importance cannot be underestimated, for it is the Eternal Word that is the uniting force that reconciles God and humanity. One need not believe in original sin and blood payment to believe that Christ died according to the will of God, so that his light might illuminate the path home to God for people everywhere.
 

Bandit

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the life of Jesus would have been worthless if he had not laid down his life for the sheep there at Calvary. The significance of his death, in brief, was our way & only way to obtain eternal life through faith in his blood for the remissions of sins.





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For this is my blood of the New Testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. Matt. 26 28 KJV

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But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the Blood of Christ. Eph. 2:13 KJV

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Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forebearance of God; To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus. Rom. 3 24-26

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For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul. Lev. 17:11

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But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. Rom. 5 8-10

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But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. 1st John 1:7
 

mee

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dayaa said:
hello all
(sorry path...i've sort of pinched the subject matter of your faith/works thread here but maybe with a slightly different angle)

could all christians of any denomination please explain their beliefs regarding the significance of jesus' death. i can clearly see the significance of his life, but i find the significance of his death somewhat elusive.

as i understand it there are 2 main ideas:
1: salvation by faith alone
2: salvation by faith and works

just off the top of my head, salvation by faith alone seems a bit nonsensical...it seems to be saying: do whatever you like and get saved anyway.....which to my mind can't be right.

faith and works seems to make a lot more sense (but then from a christian perspective how can you say that jesus' death brought salvation if we still have to work for it?)

to me, the significance of jesus seems to be his life and teachings. i can't quite get my head around what his death had to do with anything.

i just read an essay on path's thread which sort of made sense concerning a living faith automatically brings good works by following jesus' teachings....but still that just emphasizes to me the significance of his life, not his death.

i would be interested in all individuals explanations of this point please.
thankyou:)

The ransom is Jehovah’s greatest gift to mankind. It makes possible our deliverance from sin and death

Just as the Son of man came, not to be ministered to, but to minister and to give his soul a ransom in exchange for many.....matthew 20;28

who gave himself a corresponding ransom for all—[this is] what is to be witnessed to at its own particular times...1 Timothy 2;6

(Mark 10:45) For even the Son of man came, not to be ministered to, but to minister and to give his soul a ransom in exchange for many."​


(Colossians 1:14) by means of whom we have our release by ransom, the forgiveness of our sins.

"In Adam all are dying," said the apostle Paul. (1 Corinthians 15:22) The ransom thus had to involve the death of the exact equal of Adam—a perfect human. (Romans 5:14) No other kind of creature could balance the scales of justice. Only a perfect human, someone not under the Adamic death sentence, could offer "a corresponding ransom"—one corresponding perfectly to Adam. (1 Timothy 2:6) "Through one man [Adam] sin entered into the world and death through sin." (Romans 5:12) And "since death is through a man," God provided for the redemption of mankind "through a man." (1 Corinthians 15:21) How?

Jehovah arranged to have a perfect man voluntarily sacrifice his life. According to Romans 6:23, "the wages sin pays is death." In sacrificing his life, the ransomer would "taste death for every man." In other words, he would pay the wage for Adam’s sin

To illustrate: Imagine that you live in a town where most of the residents are employed at a large factory. You and your neighbors are well paid for your labors and lead comfortable lives. That is, until the day the factory closes its doors. The reason? The factory manager turned corrupt, forcing the business into bankruptcy. Suddenly out of work, you and your neighbors are unable to pay the bills. Marriage mates, children, and creditors suffer because of that one man’s corruption. Is there a way out? Yes! A wealthy benefactor decides to intervene. He appreciates the value of the company. He also feels for its many employees and their families. So he arranges to pay off the company’s debt and reopen the factory. The cancellation of that one debt brings relief to the many employees and their families and to the creditors. Similarly, the cancellation of Adam’s debt benefits untold millions

 

Quahom1

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dayaa said:
...to me, the significance of jesus seems to be his life and teachings. i can't quite get my head around what his death had to do with anything.

i just read an essay on path's thread which sort of made sense concerning a living faith automatically brings good works by following jesus' teachings....but still that just emphasizes to me the significance of his life, not his death.

i would be interested in all individuals explanations of this point please.
thankyou:)
In the Old Testament, a sacrifice of the best first fruits of the harvest were in order, to atone to God the Father for the sins of man. Depending upon the severety of the sins, determined the type of sacrifice. Usually, a fatted calf was sacrificed on an alter, and according to the OT, if the sacrificer provided his finest to the Father, and his intentions plain and true, then God accepted the sweet aroma of the sacrifice as atonement for the sins.

This was Jewish tradition, for centuries. Now when Jesus came, He originally came for the Jews. And as the Jews are the "people of the Law and tradition", the stage was set for God reclaiming His people...by providing the ultimate first fruits...His Son, as the sacrifice for all sins.

Until this time (the time of Jesus), God the Father could not look upon man, for the sins that covered him were ugly and unsightly in God's eyes. In short we were a pathetic lot before God.

Jesus' arrival became the mediatary between God the Father and Man, and then ultimately the sacrifice to carry all of our sins away from the sight of God the Father.

Jesus had to die, because the wages of sin is death. So He chose to become our ultimate sacrifice to God the Father, by taking on all of man's sins past, present and future, with Him in His death.

That would normally have been the end of it, except Jesus is not just a man. By rising from the dead, He defeats death, and says to us "Your sins are taken from you, just believe in me, and put your faith in me, for I have paid for your life."

That is the purpose of the death of Jesus, and more importantly the rising from death of Jesus.

v/r

Q
 

BlaznFattyz

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i think another important significance of jesus is to save the entire world. i imagine back in jerasulem that pharisees were very discriminatory towards the poor, the homeless, the sinners, and the unclean and they were not allowed into certain holy places. jesus also denounced the pharisees moneymaking schemes in the church's name that only benefited them, and their greater than thou attitude with their clothing and works and prayers so all men could see. jesus brought christianity to not just jews, but to all the gentiles spread all over the face of the earth with love, compassion, forgiveness and truth towards humanity.
 

Proph 1

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The question should really be, "what is the significance of Jesus' ressurrection?" I say this because, if Jesus rose then we better take him for his word. He said that he died to pay the price for our sins, and wwithout him, no man will see Heaven.

We should all look into that claim.
 

mee

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Proph 1 said:
The question should really be, "what is the significance of Jesus' ressurrection?" I say this because, if Jesus rose then we better take him for his word. He said that he died to pay the price for our sins, and wwithout him, no man will see Heaven.

We should all look into that claim.

For just as in Adam all are dying, so also in the Christ all will be made alive...1 CORINTHIANS 15;22yes we are in a dieing state ,but we can get everlasting life back again if we recogonize the ransom sacrifice that Jesus made for us .yes Jesus was a perfect man on this earth , he was in the same postion as Adam was before adam sinned ,but Jesus was faithful to God , not like adam who was unfaithful .so jesus has cancelled those sins that adam gave us. noone else can give us everlasting life but only jesus

"For God loved the world so much that he gave his only-begotten Son, in order that everyone exercising faith in him might not be destroyed but have everlasting life..John 3;16

It is even so written: "The first man Adam became a living soul." The last Adam became a life-giving spirit1 corinthians 15;45

For just as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted also to the Son to have life in himself...John 5;26

 
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