I think it is important to address why we need to be saved before we share the mechanism of salvation (Christ’s death). It is important for us to realize that God is the Almighty Creator and all of heaven and earth owe Him their complete submission. You can submit now, or later (with very unfortunate consequences).
To start, we need to define sin. Sin is anything that goes against the will of God. Ok, but why is that? The answer is that God is owed our obedience because of who He is, not what He does. For me, the beginning of the salvation experience is to understand that I am not equal to God, He is better than me in every way. He is sovereign (meaning: superlative in quality, of the most exalted kind, of an unqualified nature, having undisputed ascendancy). I must accept that He is in charge and my will and desires are not needed, required, or have any value. Paul tells us that we must become willing slaves, giving up all rights that we think we have. Anything we do against the will of the Sovereign is sin. Anytime we put our desires ahead of God’s (regardless of how small), it is sin.
Since all sin, the payment of the sin is necessary. If God was not sovereign, then we would not owe Him a payment for our sins. But because of His position as God, He is both judge and executioner. God requires a payment for the sin (not sins) of trying to raise our position over that of God’s. Interestingly enough, it’s the same sin that Lucifer is guilty of. A point to note, there is only one sin against God, but it is manifested by many sins against one and another. We do not love God unconditionally nor do we love one another unconditionally.
This is a quick answer to a complex question, but I hope it helps.
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