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Salvation Through Sacrifice Essay

1297 words - 6 pages

In the Christian religion, like many others, the belief in a single, ultimate, powerful being is upheld and practiced. However, unlike other monotheistic religions, the Christian belief in God is expressed in three parts: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. This aspect of Christianity is very unique and is part of what defines it. Although some people may think so, God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are not three separate beings. They are united as one in the Trinity, the same all-powerful God. God is the creator of all and the reason for our salvation as humans. “On the Incarnation” by St. Athanasius is a book explaining the Trinity and the process by which our Savior, Jesus Christ the Son, was revealed to us and how he redeemed us.

In the first chapters of “On the Incarnation”, St. Athanasius discusses the creation of humanity (and all other things). Another point of discussion in the first pages of this book is the fall of humanity and the foundation of our need for salvation. “In regard to the making of the universe and the creation of all things there have been various opinions, and...some say that all things are self-originated and, so to speak, haphazard.” (Athanasius 2) There are many different viewpoints describing Creation, but all are contradictory to the fact that the world and all things in it were created by the Word of God. (Athanasius 3) Evidence of this is demonstrated by the intricate order of all things. Every creature, every plant, every human has a purpose and place in nature. Even inanimate, unintelligent matter functions naturally and sustains itself along with other things transitively. God created Adam and Eve in His image and with creation came their original holiness. They lived in harmony with God in Eden, but that unity was severed by Original Sin. “But if they went astray and became vile, ... then they would come under the natural law of death and live no longer in paradise, but, dying outside of it, continue in death and in corruption.” (Athanasius 4) Because of Original Sin, all humans are born with sin on their conscience. Of course humans had to be punished for their wrongdoings, but destroying them completely would not allow for God’s covenant to be fulfilled. Because of this and continuing human fault, simple repentance was not enough to save us. So, in order to prevent humans from annihilating themselves, it was necessary for God to come in human form as Jesus Christ. (Pohle Feb 7) Some people may ask why God came as an apparently lowly man in comparison to His glorious self. The reasoning for this is simple. “...He assumed a body capable of death, in order that it, through belonging to the Word Who is above all, might become in dying a sufficient exchange for all…” (Athanasius 8) Jesus came in human form so that we can relate to God on a personal level, not to showcase Himself. When we sin, we cannot see or interact with God, and he came as so that we can continue to know Him. Jesus also came in...

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