Did Jesus Have to Die
to Forgive Sin?

In the Beginning:

Assertion Justification

God creates the Universe, by His Word.

God said, "Let there be light," and there was light.
   —Genesis 1:3

God creates Man, by His Word.

God said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground."
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.
   —Genesis 1:26-27

God is good.

Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.
   —Psalm 107:1


What you would not expect What you would expect

God has vanished.

People know who God is.

People can't agree who God is, or if there even is a God.

People live under God's rule.

People fight brutal wars over ideology and greed.

People live in peace.

Many people spend eternity in hell, a place of suffering and punishment.

Nobody suffers the terrible punishment of eternal hellfire.

What Happened?

Assertion Justification

Adam and Eve's trangression.

And the LORD God commanded the man,
"You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die."

Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, "Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?"

"You will not surely die," the serpent said to the woman. "For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil."
When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.
   —Genesis 2:16, 3:1, 3:4-7

Man has a sinful nature.

Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.
Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden.
   —Genesis 3:7, 8

God cursed Man.

To Adam he said, "Because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree about which I commanded you,
   ‘You must not eat of it,’
Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life.
It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field.
By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return."
   —Genesis 3:17-19

God drives man from his presence.

So the LORD God banished him from the Garden ...
   —Genesis 3:23

At that time men began to call on the name of the LORD.
   —Genesis 4:26F

Two Views of God's Word

Truth Lie

Reality changes to conform to the Word that God speaks.

"Did God really say...?"

"You must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die."

"You will not surely die."

No, God can't just forgive sin.
God will not contradict His Word.

God can just forgive sin if He wants.
Never mind what He said.


God formed the universe by His powerful Word.

God said, "You must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die."

Man believed the serpent: "Did God really say...?", and not God's Word.

The same powerful Word that formed the universe cursed Man.

God will not trivialize His Word by arbitrarily forgiving sin!

God's curse will not be stopped.

Fortunately, God loves us and wants to extend mercy to us.

Therefore, God sent His one and only son,

  • born of a virgin, and free from the sinful nature,
  • subject to temptation like us, but without sin,

  • to suffer the curse on our behalf, although innocent,
    that we who believe on him should not perish but have eternal life.


There are two basic theories about God.

According to one point of view, God sends an angel after every person, to write down everything that person does wrong, so that it can be used against him in the day of judgment. In other words, God has billions of angels who are busy collecting information to send people to Hell.

And so there are many people who, in one way or another, believe that God is looking to punish people for their sin.

Now here is the other point of view from the Bible:

[Jesus said]

"The thief comes only
    to steal
    and kill
    and destroy;

I have come
    that they may have life,
    and have it to the full."

—John 10:10

According to the Bible, God loves the world, and is doing everything He can do to keep us out of Hell. That means everyone. God loves good people, you, me, and the worst person you can think of. No angel of God would spend even one second to try to find some reason to send you to Hell.

It is Satan, the thief, who is working against you. He came to steal your right-standing before God, to kill you, and destroy you in Hell.

Hell was made for the devil and his demons. They willfully and knowingly rebelled against God, and they fully deserve this fate for their evil, evil, failed rebellion. In the garden of Eden, mankind became entangled in Satan's rebellion. Adam and Eve were tricked, and now we too are with the devil on the road to Hell.

Now here is the critical point. God's Word is the most sure thing anywhere, in heaven and on earth. The Bible says, Long ago I learned from your statutes, that you established them to last forever. God's Word is true. God's Word is powerful. God's Word is eternal. God will not or cannot violate his Word.

God's Word therefore becomes a law, that applies to God himself. God is actually constrained by his own Word.

Within the constraints of God's law, by which we stand condemned, there was found a way of escape for us. Christ, although blameless, took upon himself the penalty that was due us. We can take hold of this way of escape through faith:

For God so loved the world
    that he gave his one and only Son,
    that whoever believes in him
    shall not perish
    but have eternal life.

—John 3:16


Many have asked,
“If God is good, why is there so much evil in the world?”
Let me show you four Bible scriptures. The first two are from the Old Testament, and the last two are from the Gospels.

God blessed [Adam and Eve] and said to them,

"Be fruitful and increase in number;
fill the earth and subdue it.
Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air
and over every living creature that moves on the ground.

—Genesis 1:28

Adam and Eve originally had dominion on earth. However, after their sin they gave up their control so that now Satan has rights to operate on earth (as we will see below).

Then [the angel] continued,

"Do not be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to them.

But the prince of the Persian kingdom resisted me twenty-one days. Then Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, because I was detained there with the king of Persia.

Now I have come to explain to you what will happen to your people in the future, for the vision concerns a time yet to come."

—Daniel 10:12-14

The prince of the Persian kingdom is not a person, but an evil spirit. Daniel had been praying for three weeks, without seeing any results. What he could not see is that his prayers set off a battle between the good angels of God and the evil ruling spirits.

The devil led [Jesus] up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. And he said to him,

"I will give you all their authority and splendor,
for it has been given to me,
and I can give it to anyone I want to.
So if you worship me, it will all be yours."

Jesus answered,
"It is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.’"
—Luke 4:4-8

Jesus would not have been tempted in any way if the devil had not been able to offer him all the kingdoms of the world.

[Jesus said]

"This, then, is how you should pray:

Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done
    on earth as it is in heaven.
—Matthew 6:9-10

Therefore God's will is not done on earth to the extent that it is in heaven. Otherwise Jesus would not have us pray that it would be done.

Are you surprised that God's will is not done on earth? It should be obvious to anyone who reads any newspaper today.

However, this prayer, and the scripture with the angel of God speaking to Daniel, both show us that we are able to help bring about God's will on earth through prayer.

Further questions? Critique?
You are invited to
correspond with the author.

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