UI – Part 353(b) – Explaining the Gospel to Muslims (2 of 2)
(We continue to discuss the Gospel, and the Bible’s New Testament, a New Covenant with the people of God. Two days ago we discussed differences with the Quran and began to explain them. In that piece we shared Mary’s Virgin Birth, Christ’s Divinity, Relationships with Wives and Husbands, Paradise and Freedom in Serving God. Additional topics are reviewed below.)
The Bible and the New Testament is an avenue to a life of hope and joy. Gaining access to this avenue may be difficult in some regions of the world. But it is worth the effort to locate a missionary, or minister, or a copy of the Bible. Turn to the New Testament. If you cannot obtain a complete text, seek a copy of the New Testament or just the Book of John, or Luke. Let your eyes be opened to the Truth.
If you have questions find a Christian that may have answers, or post your question on this Blog. We are all open to such inquiries. It is my prayer and that of so many others that God will find you.
The outline for how individuals should behave, one to another, is in the Bible; in the Quran as well. The Bible, however, levels the playing field for all mankind, men and women. They are equal. Married couples are encouraged to have children and raise them as Christians In the Quran women are referred to as ‘chattel’, the possession (‘tilth’) of man, owned. Muslim women are to have children to help grow Islam, the boys becoming warriors for Allah and the girls submissive and bearers of more children. As for non-Muslim women they can be enslaved by Muslim males and become concubines for married men. No consideration is given to the sanctity of human life.
Christian men are to respect all women, Christian or not. They are also instructed to control themselves, men towards women and women towards men. Sexual desires are a temptation to sin. They cannot be eradicated by covering a woman in a burka or hijab or chador. It is self-control that is needed.
The New Testament, referred to in the Old Testament as a New Covenant, announced the coming of the Lord, but was also a modernization of historical practices. Men changed how they treated women. Respect for others was a tenet of the faithful. War was not a topic. A peaceful existence on earth can be possible with continued progress.
Allah was never tempted, so it is written, but Jesus was. Then Allah never appeared on earth. He remains a mystery. The devil tempted Jesus as he does everyone of us. We are sinners. But Christ never gave in. He remained perfect. Isa is perfect.
Muhammad was weak and as a mortal sinned. He could not stop himself. Yet he is the example for Muslims. Would not a better example be the one who was and is perfect?
Matthew 26:41, “Watch and pray that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
Matthew 4:7, Jesus speaking to the Devil, “It is …written. Do not put the Lord your God to the test.” The devil persisted, but without success, Matthew 4:10, “Jesus said to him, ‘Away from me, Satan!‘ For it is written, ’Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’“
God is One
The Christian view of Father, Son and Holy Spirit is blasphemous to a Muslim. It denotes to them polygamy. But that was Muhammad’s error. He made the mistake of seeing the three as Father, Son and Mary. As Allah is One to a Muslim, so too God is One to a Christian. This may be a mystery to some, but in fact it is plausible. For God to come to earth he had to alter his form, thus the Son. He came to earth to tell all of mankind how much he loved them. He shared the Truth, how to live, and became the example to follow. He made known that a relationship with God is possible. God needed to remain in the heavens to keep the universe working while his presence on earth could provide a greater understanding of our Creator and Lord. If God came to earth as God he would not be recognized. He would not be successful in his quest to have mankind see him and know him, and after the fact know it was God.
God provided a sacrifice for Abraham, a substitute for his son. It was a ram. That is what God did for all of us. He provided a substitute to be punished in our place (for past, present and future sins). Christ was our ram. We are forgiven, our shame no longer a burden as we move forward with a new heart filled with God’s loving and holy spirit. The Holy Spirit is the third leg of the Oneness of God. Allah sacrificed nothing for you and me. Certainly Muhammad sacrificed little, even giving himself permission to live outside the laws of Islam, as noted in the Quran. His actions were not godly.
To help make the connection – Picture the Sun. The Sun has a ray of light, attached, never separated, from its source to earth. The Sun, allegorically, is God, the ray is Christ (the Son) and the warmth we feel is the Spirit of the Lord (Holy Spirit). They are One.
Christ on the Cross
There is much evidence as to Christ dying on the cross. Even non-Christian writers have provided an account for this tragic event. As to dying on the cross, a Roman soldier pierced Jesus side to insure he was dead. He was then taken down and in a cart moved to a tomb. The tomb was closed and two Roman guards were posted. He died. He was buried.
John 19:30, Jesus spoke, “‘It is finished.’ With that he bowed his head and gave up the spirit.”
John 19:33-36, “When they came to Jesus and found that he was already DEAD, they did not break his legs. Instead, one of the (Roman) soldiers pierced Jesus’ side with a spear, bringing a sudden flow of blood and water. The man who saw it has given his testimony, and his testimony is true. He knows that he tells the truth, and he testifies so that you also may believe. These things happened so that the Scripture would be fulfilled: ‘Not one of his bones will be broken.’” (Psalm 34:20)
This is important. God rose from the tomb. The morning after his burial it was empty. He walked the earth and had hundreds of witnesses. He died but was alive in spirit. He overcame death, as foretold. He ascended into heaven after 50 days. Jesus appeared and was witnessed by hundreds during the 50 days. The spirit of the Lord fell upon the disciples and all believers.
There is a penalty for sin, which is death. Christ overcame sin, for us all, as well as death. Adam died spiritually when he sinned, and Christ (God) rose from the dead as proof of his defeating sin and making humans, who believe, right with God. No longer would man be separated from God. The Garden of Eden was re-opened, paradise, for eternal life. God promised to deliver man from sin, and did so.
Without the Resurrection there would be no Christians. It was the ascension of Christ, a return to the heavenly realm, that affirmed the truth told by God while he existed in an earthly state. His sacrifice made us free from the laws to just believe. By believing and having a heart for God we obey the laws, doing what is right. It is innate in the nature of a follower of Christ. The laws were made for those who sin, so they would know.
1 Peter 1:3, “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord, Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.”
Hebrews 9:28, “Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.”
Christ became our substitute (think of the ram in the story of Abraham and his son), bearing our shame and sin. He took the punishment we deserve so we can live an life eternal with the Lord. Overcoming sin the gates to paradise (Garden of Eden) were reopened. He knows our heart and seeks our heart as a follower of the truth which he shared and provided examples. He made his followers right with God.
In simple terms, Christ’s death, burial and bodily resurrection – We are all sinners deserving God’s wrath. Jesus paid for our sins with his blood; Jesus DIED, Jesus was BURIED and Jesus ROSE from the dead for our justification. We are saved through faith in Christ to forgive our sins.
Believe because you accept God’s truth and want to follow. It is freedom. It is not a requirement. Those who choose to follow will be rewarded with hope and joy; they can laugh and sing, even dance. There are no food restrictions. You can doubt and seek answers. As you progress your footings will become steadier; you will not stumble as much and the light that will shine upon you will release you from the darkness that resides in cages filled with hatred.
The Bible is the Good Book for a reason. It is the correct book too. There are no lies, no calls for deception. And the Gospel is the Good News of Jesus Christ. It seeks your heart to love God and your neighbor (mankind). It is God’s gift, inspired and honest.
Know this, the Good News is for you too. If you accept it, accept the forgiveness of God, you will be relieved and made anew. Your life will change. And the prison that may be your life will be no more. Accept Christ and be baptized in the name of the Lord. Let his living water flow over you.
Mark 1:15, “The time has come. The Kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news.”
The Gospel changes people. People change the world.
Thanks Be to God.
Please post comments and question. I will try to answer them all.
Grace and Peace.