Religion Research Paper Essay, Research Paper
1. Eden and the Expulsion
a.) Eden, interpreted through the reversal of the curses, is given to Adam and Eve, like a gift from God. Eden offers them food, “and the Lord God made all kinds of trees grow out from the ground – trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food,” (Genesis 2:9) and a place to live a simple life. Adam’s task is to work the land, and in return he would be provided for with no hardship or struggle (Genesis 3:17-19). Prior to the curses, Adam and Eve lived in a state of equality. To Eve God gave the curse, “ Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you” (Genesis 3:16). Ultimately, Eden is a place where Adam and Eve can live eternally (Genesis 3:19).
b.) Adam and Eve’s sin is their betrayal of God. By going against what he asks them to do, “ but you must not eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.” (Genesis 2:17) they show their unfaithfulness to God. Adam and Eve trust the serpent more than they trust God. Their act of sinning is accomplished by eating the fruit from the forbidden tree in Eden, “ The woman you put here with me, gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it” (Genesis 3:12). Adam and Eve disobey God and instead they obey the serpent.
c.) The most immediate consequence Adam and Eve face is their introduction to the notion of shame and embarrassment (Genesis 3:10). Adam and Eve now cover their bodies because they have the wisdom to feel ashamed. The far-reaching consequences, stated in the text, include the loss of all the benefits of living in Eden. The far-reaching consequences touched all the immortally, “ for dust you are and to dust you will return” (Genesis 3:19). For women, childbirth will be painful (Genesis 3:16). And for the rest of eternity women will live under the rule of their husbands (Genesis 3:16). For man, life will no longer be easy and he will have to work hard for everything, “Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life” (Genesis 3:17). Once Adam and Eve acquire the knowledge of good and evil God believes they can no longer exist in Eden. For now they have gone against God’s word and are like the all-knowing God in their wisdom. For this, they are banned from Eden.
2. Salvation, Election and the Covenant
a.) God performs many amazing acts for Israel against the Egyptians. These acts give distinction to Israel and show the power and might of God (Exodus 14:21). The Israelites witness these acts and realize their election as a distinct nation of God. God creates an agreement with the people so that He can test them and so that their fear of God will protect them from sinning, “Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possessions” (Exodus 19:5). With this, God provides a mechanism for the agreement, called the Torah. God states that if this covenant (the agreement between God and Israel) is obeyed; “Although the whole earth is mine, you, will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation” (Exodus 19:5) the people of Israel will be a separate, special nation.
b.) The explicit contents of the Torah covenant state that if the Israelites obey the Lord by His words, “ love the Lord God and keep his requirements, his decrees, his laws and commands always,” (Deuteronomy 11:1) they will be positioned, “ high above all the nations on earth,” (Deuteronomy 28:1). If the Israelites follow the covenant of God they will be blessed through living healthy lives for themselves and their offspring and protection from enemies wherever they travel (Deuteronomy 28: 3-7). This covenant is with all generations of the Israelites and the facts must be passed down through their children. The people of Israel must not follow any other god (Deuteronomy 28:14). The Lord God requires the sole obedience of his believers to be able to fulfill his covenant and grant the people all the blessings. If the covenant is broken, God will eradicate the blessing he promises and will replace them with curses of bead health, death and he will leave them unprotected (Deuteronomy 28:15-68).
c.) The concept of “salvation” in the Torah says that if one obeys God, they will be kept alive in a state of well-being and health, as stated in the Lord’s covenant. The Torah indicates that the Israelites will be prosperous, free from enemies and oppression for generations (Exodus 3:17). Life is valued most on earth, so if the covenant is obeyed God will bless His people in life and the blessing will last in their afterlife, which is through their children. If the covenant rules are followed the Lord will protect the Israelites and, “be their God” (Exodus 29:45). The people of Israel will be saved through their belief and fulfillment of the covenant.
d.) A “community” in Exodus is comprised of a corporate body of persons. The corporate body accepts blessing and curses as a group and is subject to each other’s actions. God’s agreement with the people is with the group as an entire unit: “ all the people answered together” (Exodus 19:8). In Exodus 34:7 one can see that God is willing to punish an innocent person if one of the members of the corporate body has disobey Him. According to the Ancient Hebrews, God punishes the innocent because one’s afterlife is though one’s children. The lessons that are learned through the suffering of the innocent entice a “community” to follow the word of God.
3. New Covenant, New Israel and New Creation
a.) Sin was brought into the world through Adam. Jesus Christ is brought into the world to correct the sin of Adam. Adam brought sin to all mankind and God sent a “gift of righteousness reign in life through one man Jesus Christ.” (Romans 5:17) Jesus was sent to bring back eternal life, which Adam had taken away with his sin. Salvation, in Romans is their freedom from sin through Jesus Christ. “ For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin – because anyone who has died has been freed from sin” (Romans 6:5). God sacrificed his only son, Jesus for the salvation of man. “ But, God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners. Christ died for us” (Romans 5:6). God sent Jesus to die to repent for all the sin of the world. “ The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God” (Romans 6:10). The human response that is called for is to have faith in Christ .Salvation is to have faith and show grace. Grace is the mechanism by which salvation is given. God said, to believe in this faith and you will be saved from sin.
b.) The role of law in salvation history was to raise trespass. However, when sin increased the graces was raised as well. Jesus Christ was able to bring us grace through himself and to maybe one day bring us everlasting life, “so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ Our Lord” (Romans 5:21). When we obey the Lord and are baptized we accept the death of Jesus as part of our lives and we renew a life through him. When you are living your life by Jesus you are living under grace, therefore sin does not rule you and you do live under the word of the law, “ For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace” (Romans 6:14). The resurrection of Jesus Christ implies that Christians whom are baptized have been done so into his death and therefore, like Jesus’ resurrection, we too can have a new life. Because we know we were part of his death we know that we are part of his resurrection and that our old body of sin can be removed because Jesus died to, “remove the sin once and for all” (Romans 6:10). Therefore, through the resurrection of Christ Christians believe that they live with him.
c.) In the beginning, Adam was created in the Garden of Eden. Adam committed sin there, and from then on contaminated all mankind with sin. God wanted to eliminate sin, so he sent Jesus Christ as an offering, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering,” (Romans 8:3). When Jesus was resurrected this sin was removed and humans could now live in righteousness. If one believed in Jesus then he is a part of you and it is his spirit that lives in you. This spirit will guide you through a life fee of sin. The change in creation frees us from our ties to Adam and sin and allows up to have live with the spirit of Christ in us and wait, “for the redemption of our bodies,” (Romans 8:23)
d.) By examining Paul’s parable of the olive tree, one can see that he believed that God planned to unite Israel and the Gentiles. Paul compared Israel to a nurtured olive tree that had been afflicted with broken branches and given new wild ones. Those wild branched being the Gentiles. Paul says that as long as the Gentiles, “ do not persist in disbelief” (Romans 11:23) they will be part of God’s plan. Paul believes that God will save all the people. The term ‘all Israel’ refers to everyone who believes in Christ and is no longer just the chosen people.