It is because we wanted to be independent of God, that we are subject to law, because an autonomous structure has to have the structure of law, and if it is not the law/structure/pattern NATURE of God, it has to be some other structure. Now “some other structure” just won’t do. Anything other than that which is either God himself, or a part of God, is not really anything to do with God.
Because God IS love, anything else is NOT love. And this “anything else” is structured to some law base. Unfortunately, anything else that is law based is doomed to fail, because only God is unfailing, because EVERYTHING is of him, and by him. Therefore anything other than God, is essentially NOTHING.
When we observe man’s activities, we find they are locked into a self defeating phenomena called SIN. This sin simply means activities that lie outside God’s domain.
God draws this to our attention by means of drawing our attention to LAW. By doing this, he makes us aware that our operations (sins) are the result of actions that come from these laws, that were essentially derived from our premise of independence and autonomy, and which we are not conforming to.
All of this comes from the fact that we ourselves are a product of God, in fact we were made “in his image”, and we are trying to fill out that image of his, but in an “ungodly” way. We are ‘gods gone wrong’.
God has to bring us back to himself, to show us he is NOT law, but is love, and the reality of this is found in GRACE.
So he, by using a law based principle, which law structure we ourselves have tried to live by and failed, obliterates law by/with GRACE. Which draws our attention to LOVE.
The cross may draw some instantly into that love. Theologians may need to draw a picture of the relationship between the law structure man relates to and claims to understand, and the grace by which God overwhelms and removes, replaces law.
By using the law itself, God removes guilt by removing the penalty, by satisfying it, by taking its effects and consequences WITHIN HIS OWN PERSON. This action reveals him as someone who operates not by law, but by love, and the only operative “law” is that which ensues from his reaction to anything that is not of himself, from himself, or generated by himself; ie LOVE. This means that the only time “law” becomes a “reality”, is when there is an active response needed or demanded, or initiated, when there is a problem. And the only time there is a problem is when MAN is involved.
So all this draws man to God. The simplest summation is that man is both observably dead, and declared to be dead. Dead means something is decaying and dying. Dead means not having life or permanent life, not having life that is relative or relevant to God.
In other words, whatever life there appears to be, is temporary, not a permanent situation.
Once having established that man is dead “in his sins”; his thoughts and actions being self evident as such, God can move by declaring his forgiveness of this death, thus drawing attention to his loving nature, and proving that only by his loving nature, can man be released from his situation. Man himself cannot do it. He can do nothing, he is powerless and helpless, he IS nothing.
God’s forgiveness means that his very nature moves to benefit man. This beneficial movement in man’s favour, is to be seen in Christ wearing our sins, penalties and problems. He takes on board himself, takes within himself, the consequences of the ‘collateral damage’ of bringing into being mankind, who has caused so much pain. God himself institutes the pain that comes from guilt which comes through conscience. And so he shares in this pain along with all the other suffering which man himself has caused. And the death that is the permanent end result of the temporary state of death that man exists, “lives” in.
Because we can’t actually “see” this happening in God, he gives us his Son so we can see it, in Him.
Christ himself IS our forgiveness. God shows how he embraces sin and destroys it within himself, not without suffering. Because HE has embraced it, felt it, suffered it, he says it is dealt with, done with, and nonexistent. This action is what he does because of who he is.
Those who are willing to believe this, are believing in the true nature of God, are believing, trusting, relying on God for their existence and purpose in life, and by trusting their death is dealt with, gain life itself. Because of the nature of God, his love is always dealing with sin and guilt and death, and all the problems associated with man’s temporary existence, and so man’s ongoing sin situation, to whatever extent that may be, is always taken care of, is of no account, because GOD IS LOVE. He is always loving, he is constant, always the same, there is no time element involved. It is (He is) what it (he) is.
Those who don’t believe it are those not wanting to believe in a loving, forgiving God, and so remain unchanged, or perhaps are even worse off, because they have denied the Creator, their maker, and the source of all life. They have also denied his son (and thereby themselves) and the suffering he underwent on their behalf. They have confirmed and declared that they are truly DEAD. And that will be their lot, that will be their “future”. NO FUTURE AT ALL.
The present creation is only half of the story. The real creation is yet to be revealed (manifested) and that will physically happen when Christ returns. Meanwhile, those who are trusting in God through Christ should be visible by their good deeds which come from their renewed inner life. They are declared to be “new creations”, living under the guidance of the Spirit, who is Christ. Christ is already reigning, and his people “reign in life” with him. He reigns over this new creation which God is assembling, in readiness for its finalisation and revealing, soon.
The power of Christians relies on the knowledge of his love, and their reliance on it, as proved by his assurance of the effects of sin being terminated at the cross, for all time. God in a sense has man “over a barrel”, in that he has removed the consequence of sin which is death, and thereby removed the power of “the law of sin and death”. He has effectively declared man to “be alive” in the face of apparent death. Being released from death by the word of God, man remains in death only by his disbelief. [they were unable to enter because of disbelief]
No guilt of man can stand because God has declared it to be taken by Christ. Because Christ has been declared “guilty”, man has been declared “not guilty” [even though logic says the roles are opposite]. Having been forever released of guilt for any wrongful thing that may occur in life, believing man is free forever from the consequences of it. Being thus free, he can rise and merge into the life that God has provided for him, without having to “look over his shoulder” all the time.
Those who allow themselves to be consumed by his love, will become at one with its eternity. Those who resist his love will be totally consumed by the fire of it.