A Muslim May Ask:
The only way to return back to paradise is through being righteous by doing good deeds and avoid sins. What your faith mean by ‘we are saved by grace’? What is grace?
First, let me suggest that you read my answer to the previous question (Adam’s sin) before you continue reading.
Due to the transgression of Adam on God’s commandment, we inherited from him the nature of sin and therefore we inherited the punishment for that sin which is death.
It is because of Adam’s sin we are all stuck here on earth with no way back to paradise. God had a plan to restore us back to eternal life in paradise, and that is through a second righteous Adam; Jesus Christ.
It is no secret that Islam teaches that Jesus is like Adam, and the only one who is like Adam (see Quran 3:59). Also, Islam teaches that Jesus was sinless (see Muslim, Book 001, Number 0378).
May be it makes sense now why Jesus was not born from a father like the rest of us! So he does not inherit Adam’s ability to sin.
His birth from a woman only was predicted to crush the head of the serpent which fooled Adam and Eve (Genesis 3:15).
Also, the Bible talks about Jesus Christ to be the second Adam who came to reconcile us with God through his righteousness and obedience. He came to fix what the first Adam failed in. Jesus came to give us life instead of the death reigned upon us because of Adam’s transgression.
“For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.” (1 Corinthians 15:21-22)
Now, we are in agreement that we were not in paradise with Adam and Eve when they sinned, yet we saw how their transgression caused their offspring (us) to experience death like them as a result of their sin.
Could not we also agree that God will reconcile us to himself and restore us back to paradise through the righteousness of the second Adam whom He sent to redeem us?
“Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men. For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous.” (Romans 5:18-19)
Do we really need to do much to go back to our original place in paradise? Did not the last Adam (Jesus) righteousness already fixed the problem of transgression caused by the first Adam?
“For if, because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ.” (Romans 5:17)
We are already justified through the righteousness of the second Adam, Jesus Christ. But not automatically, you have to believe in him and follow him in order to earn this free gift of grace and restoration to eternity in paradise after death.
“… as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 5:21)
I invite you to read and listen to John Pipers preaching about this subject.
Adam, Christ, and Justification, Part 1
Adam, Christ, and Justification, Part 2
Adam, Christ, and Justification, Part 3
Adam, Christ, and Justification, Part 4
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