Skip to comments.HOW CAN ONE MAN PAY FOR THE SINS OF ANOTHER?
Posted on 07/14/2011 5:36:29 PM PDT by wmfights
Christians teach that Jesus died on the cross for our sins and that his perfect sinless sacrifice is the only way to receive eternal forgiveness and life. Muslim leaders reject this idea. They say that even if Jesus did die on the cross it is not possible for him to bear our sin because the Qur'an says,
Every soul earns only to its own account; no soul laden bears the load of another. (Qur'an, 6:164, 17:15, 29:7, 53:38, Arberry) From verses like these Muslim leaders conclude that it is not possible for Jesus to bear our sin, instead each person can only bear their own load before God. They also point to verses in the Bible which teach a similar idea.
Fathers shall not be put to death for their children, nor children put to death for their fathers; each is to die for his own sin. (Deuteronomy 24:16, NIV)
The soul who sins is the one who will die. The son will not share the guilt of the father, nor will the father share the guilt of the son. The righteousness of the righteous man will be credited to him, and the wickedness of the wicked will be charged against him. (Ezekiel 18:20, NIV)
Therefore, are Christians wrong to say that Jesus died for our sins?
I will answer this question in three stages:
What the Qur'an and Hadith actually say. Jesus Our Representative Jesus Our Substitute What the Qur'an and Hadith actually say.
It seems that Islamic leaders only show some of what the Qur'an and Hadith actually say about this subject. You may be surprised to learn that the Qur'an actually has verses which say that one person can bear the load of another.
That they may bear their loads complete on the Day of Resurrection, and some of the loads of those that they lead astray without any knowledge. O evil the load they bear! (Qur'an 16:25, Arberry)
They shall certainly carry their loads, and other loads along with their loads, and upon the Day of Resurrection they shall surely be questioned concerning that they were forging. (Qur'an 29:13, Arberry)
Both of these verses refer to bearing the sins of others that you have lead astray. This is not exactly what Christians are saying about Jesus, but it does show that the Qur'an does have some concept of bearing the sins of others.
In the Hadith we also see that a person can bear someone else's load.
Narrated Ibn Abbas: A man came to the Prophet and said, "O Allah's Apostle! My mother died and she ought to have fasted one month (for her missed Ramadan). Shall I fast on her behalf?" The Prophet replied in the affirmative and said, "Allah's debts have more right to be paid. ... " (Sahih al-Bukhuri: vol. 3, bk. 31, no. 174, Khan)
Narrated Ibn 'Abbas: A woman from the tribe of Juhaina came to the Prophet and said, "My mother had vowed to perform Hajj but she died before performing it. May I perform Hajj on my mother's behalf?" The Prophet replied, "Perform Hajj on her behalf. Had there been a debt on your mother, would you have paid it or not? So, pay Allah's debt as He has more right to be paid." (Sahih al-Bukhari: vol. 3, bk. 29, no. 77, Khan)
Narrated Ibn 'Abbas: The mother of Sad bin 'Ubada died in his absence. He said, "O Allah's Apostle! My mother died in my absence; will it be of any benefit for her if I give Sadaqa on her behalf?" The Prophet said, "Yes." Sad said, "I make you a witness that I gave my garden called Al Makhraf in charity on her behalf." (Sahih al-Bukhari: vol. 4, bk. 51, no. 19, Khan)
Here we see that a person can do a good deed and that this good deed is credited to another person's account before God. This teaching is actually quite similar to the Christian belief that Jesus' righteous life is credited to us.
Therefore, when we consider all of what the Qur'an and Hadith say we see that bearing the load of another is a part of their teaching. We should not exaggerate this and say it is exactly the same as in Christianity, but neither should we ignore the similarities. What is clear is that Islam does have a concept of bearing the load of others and to simply say, "each only bears his own load", is not the whole picture.
Jesus Our Representative
What Christians believe about Jesus comes from Law of Moses, the books of the Prophets, the Psalms and the Gospel.
The Bible Law of Moses (Torah) The Prophets (an-anbeea') The Psalms (Zabur) The Gospel (Injeel)
We will now consider some of what these books teach about how a person can bear the load of others.
Firstly, God deals with humanity in many ways. In the prophets we read that he deals with us as individuals, as families, as tribes, as nations and as an entire race. God relates to us in all these ways, not just one way.
So, how can one man bear the sins of others?
The answer is simple. Not all men are the same. God has willed that certain men represent others. Consider the former Prime Minister of Australia, Mr. Kevin Rudd. In 2008 he apologised to the indigenous people of Australia for how they had been treated. Many individual Australians had already said sorry but they could only say it for themselves. The Prime Minister, however, has a unique role and was able to apologise for 20 million Australians at once. No other Australian could do this but the Prime Minister could. The first man, Adam, had a unique representative role like this.
In the Law of Moses (Torah) we read about Adam.
Now the LORD God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed. And the LORD God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground--trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. A river watering the garden flowed from Eden; from there it was separated into four headwaters. ... The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. And the LORD God commanded the man, "You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die." (Genesis 2:8-17, NIV)
God commanded Adam not to eat from a certain tree, but Adam disobeyed God and ate, and he was punished by being cast out of the garden to die.
So the LORD God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken. (Genesis 3:23, NIV) This punishment on Adam did not effect him alone. All of humanity is now out of the garden even though it was Adam who disobeyed. God's punishment on Adam affects us all because Adam is our representative and we are joined to him. What he did affected us individually. In the same way, but for the better, Jesus is our representative. Jesus' death can bear our sin and take our punishment because he represents those joined to him.
In the Gospel Jesus is born from Mary when she is a virgin. Jesus is connected to our humanity through Mary, yet is like Adam in that he had no human father. Jesus is the new Adam.
Adam ... was a pattern of the one to come (Jesus). (Romans 5:14, NIV)
(T)he result of one trespass (of Adam) was condemnation for all men, so also the result of one act of righteousness was justification that brings life for all men. For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man (Jesus) the many will be made righteous. (Roman 5:18-19, NIV)
If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection. (Roman 6:5, NIV)
So it is written: "The first man Adam became a living being"; the last Adam (Jesus), a life-giving spirit. (1 Corinthians 15:45, NIV)
This is how Jesus can pay for the sins of others. When Adam sinned the consequences came upon us all. He was our representative. Jesus is the new representative for God's people. If we are united to him then his death is our death. He can take the punishment that we deserve and pay for it on the cross.
We have already seen that there are verses in the Qur'an and Hadith which show that one person can bear the load of another, but does the Qur'an support the idea of representation? The answer is yes. Here are two examples of how Adam is our representative.
First, when the Qur'an wants to holds Jews to account it refers to the covenant of the Law of Moses and applies this covenant to them. When it wants to hold Christians to account it refers to the covenant of the Gospel and it applies this covenant to them. When the Qur'an wants to hold Muslims to account it refers to the covenant of the Qur'an and it applies this to Muslims. This is the main theme of Sura 5 (Al-Maa'idah). But when the Qur'an wants to hold everyone to account it uses the example and covenant of Adam and applies this to everyone. This is particularly seen in Sura 7:11-58 and 7:172-206. In the Qur'an Adam represents our common humanity and his failings represent the failings that are common to all of humanity.
Secondly, in the Qur'an we see that when Adam sins in the garden the punishment on him comes to us and that we are banished from the garden because of him.
And We said: O Adam! Dwell, you and your wife in the Garden, and eat freely (of the fruits) thereof where you will; but come not near this tree lest you become wrong-doers (Zalimun). (Qur'an, 2:35)
... (Allah said) And their Lord called them, (saying): Did I not forbid you from that tree and tell you: Lo! Satan is an open enemy to you? ... (Qur'an 7:22, Pickthall)
And verily We made a covenant of old with Adam, but he forgot, and We found no constancy in him. (Qur'an 20:115, Pitckthall)
He (God) said: Go down (from here), one of you a foe unto the other. There will be for you on earth a habitation and provision for a while. He said: There shall you live, and there shall you die, and thence shall you be brought forth. (Qur'an, 7:24-25, Pickthall)
This account demonstrates, like the Law of Moses, that what Adam did affected us; it is part of our history. It demonstrates that Adam was our representative.
Some Muslims have told me that Adam did not sin; he just innocently forgot, but this is not what the Qur'an says. The word in Arabic to describe Adam is Zalimun (2:35) which is the common Qur'anic word for sinner or wrong doer. This word is used 16 verses later to describe the idolatry of the Israelites as they worshipped the golden calf.
And when We appointed with Moses forty nights then you took to yourselves the Calf after him and you were evildoers (Zalimun) (Qur'an 2:51, Arberry) The Arabic is very clear, Adam disobeyed God and committed a serious sin, and the consequences of this sin came upon us.
Another common Islamic objection is to say that it was Adam's fate for him to sin, and so it was always God's will for us to be banished from the garden. Therefore we do not suffer the consequences of Adam's sin, instead it was always God's will to banish us from the garden. The problem with this objection is that it is a denial of what the Qur'an and all the prophets teach. The Qur'an always maintains that we are fully responsible for what we do and that God is in control of all things. The following verses shows that human responsibility and divine sovereignty go together and must not be separated.
And who does greater wrong than he who has been reminded of the revelations of his Lord, yet turns away from them and forgets what his hands send forward (to the Judgment)? Lo! on their hearts We have placed coverings so that they understand not, and in their ears a deafness. And though thou call them to the guidance, in that case they can never be led aright. (Qur'an 18:58, Pitckthall)
(on judgement day) Lest any soul should say: Alas, my grief that I was unmindful of Allah, and I was indeed among the scoffers! Or should say: If Allah had but guided me I should have been among the dutiful! (Qur'an 39:56-57, Pickthall)
These verses holds human responsibility and God's sovereignty together; you cannot separate them. We can never say, "I am not responsible for what I do because it was God's plan". Therefore, Adam is responsible for what he did and the consequences of what he did have come to us because we are united to him.
To conclude, it has been shown that God deals with us not only as individuals but also through our representatives. Adam was such a representative; what he did he did for us. Jesus is the new Adam; what he did he did for us. He represented us on the cross and took the punishment we deserve.
Jesus Our Substitute
Offering a sacrifice to God is a major theme in the Law of Moses, the Prophets, the Psalms and the Gospel. The most important sacrifice is where the sacrifice is a substitute for someone else. We see this with Abraham.
God commanded Abraham to offer his son as a sacrifice. Abraham obeyed God, and just as he was about to sacrifice his son God sent his angel who provided Abraham with a substitute.
(The angel said) "Do not lay a hand on the boy," he said. "Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son." Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son. (Genesis 22:12-13, NIV) Abraham's son was saved from God's command of death by a substitute sacrifice.
In the Law of Moses (Torah) we read how the Israelites were delivered from Egypt and Pharaoh. God sent nine plagues on Egypt but they refused to let the Israelites go. The tenth plague was the death of the firstborn son. God was going to send his destroying angel to kill the firstborn son of every family in Egypt. The Israelites were saved from this destroying angel only if they sacrificed a lamb and painted its blood on the doorposts of their homes. The death of this lamb would be a substitute for the death of the firstborn son.
The blood will be a sign for you on the houses where you are; and when I (God) see the blood, I will pass over you. No destructive plague will touch you when I strike Egypt. (Exodus 12:13, NIV)
Then Moses summoned all the elders of Israel and said to them, "Go at once and select the animals for your families and slaughter the Passover lamb. Take a bunch of hyssop, dip it into the blood in the basin and put some of the blood on the top and on both sides of the doorframe. Not one of you shall go out the door of his house until morning. When the LORD goes through the land to strike down the Egyptians, he will see the blood on the top and sides of the doorframe and will pass over that doorway, and he will not permit the destroyer to enter your houses and strike you down. (Exodus 12:21-23, NIV)
The firstborn sons of Israel were saved from the wrath of God by the substitute sacrifice of the Passover lamb. The Israelites were instructed by God to remember this event by celebrating the Passover meal once a year.
The Day of Atonement
In the Law of Moses (Torah) we read that after God delivered Israel from Egypt he commanded them to make a special tent (the tabernacle). This tent was where God spoke to Moses and where the Israelites brought their sacrifices to God. However, the sin of the Israelites defiled this tent and its furniture and made it unclean. In fact the sin of Israel made their whole nation unclean. God provided another sacrifice for the Israelites to take away their sin and uncleanness. It was the Day of Atonement.
Two goats were the main sacrifices on the Day of Atonement. These sacrifices were substitutes for the sin of Israel. Here is what Aaron was instructed to do with the goats.
Then he (Aaron) is to take the two goats and present them before the LORD at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting. He is to cast lots for the two goats - one lot for the LORD and the other for the scapegoat. Aaron shall bring the goat whose lot falls to the LORD and sacrifice it for a sin offering. But the goat chosen by lot as the scapegoat shall be presented alive before the LORD to be used for making atonement by sending it into the desert as a scapegoat. (Leviticus 16:7-10, NIV)
He (Aaron) shall then slaughter the goat for the sin offering for the people and take its blood behind the curtain and do with it as he did with the bull's blood: He shall sprinkle it on the atonement cover and in front of it. (Leviticus 16:15, NIV)
When Aaron has finished making atonement for the Most Holy Place, the Tent of Meeting and the altar, he shall bring forward the live goat. He is to lay both hands on the head of the live goat and confess over it all the wickedness and rebellion of the Israelites - all their sins - and put them on the goat's head. He shall send the goat away into the desert in the care of a man appointed for the task. The goat will carry on itself all their sins to a solitary place; and the man shall release it in the desert. (Leviticus 16:20-22, NIV)
Both of these goats were substitutes for sin. The first goat was killed as a sin offering. The second goat figuratively carried the sins far away. The Law of Moses demonstrates clearly that God accepts a substitute as a sacrifice for sin.
The Servant of the LORD
Hundreds of years after Moses, and hundreds of years before Jesus, God spoke to the prophet Isaiah. He said that he would provide a new sacrifice like he provided for Abraham. This sacrifice would turn away God's wrath like the Passover sacrifice. This sacrifice would remove sin like the the Day of Atonement. This new sacrifice would be a man, true servant of the LORD. This servant would be an individual person who would come and gather God's chosen people from the nation of Israel, and even more, he would bring God's salvation to all the nations of the world.
(God) says: "It is too small a thing for you to be my servant to restore the tribes of Jacob and bring back those of Israel I have kept. I will also make you a light for the nations, that you may bring my salvation to the ends of the earth." (Isaiah 49:6, NIV) Please read this next prophecy very carefully. It was given to the prophet Isaiah hundreds of years before Jesus.
See, my servant will act wisely; he will be raised and lifted up and highly exalted. Just as there were many who were appalled at him - his appearance was so disfigured beyond that of any man and his form marred beyond human likeness, so will he sprinkle many nations, and kings will shut their mouths because of him. For what they were not told, they will see, and what they have not heard, they will understand. Who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed? He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth. By oppression and judgment he was taken away. And who can speak of his descendants? For he was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgression of my people he was stricken. He was assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death, though he had done no violence, nor was any deceit in his mouth. Yet it was the LORD's will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the LORD makes his life a guilt offering, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the LORD will prosper in his hand. After the suffering of his soul, he will see the light of life and be satisfied; by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many, and he will bear their iniquities. Therefore I will give him a portion among the great, and he will divide the spoils with the strong, because he poured out his life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors. For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors. (Isaiah 52:12-53:12, NIV) Here we see that the servant of the LORD will offer himself as a sacrifice for sin; for our sin. What an amazing prophecy hundreds of years before Jesus.
John the Baptist
Hundreds of years after the prophet Isaiah, God sent the prophet John the Baptist. John lived at the time of Jesus and he spoke about Jesus.
The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, "Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!" (John 1:29-31, NIV) The prophet John calls Jesus the, "lamb of God". When John says this he is referring to all the sacrifices that we have read about in the prophets.
In the Gospel Jesus often speaks about his death.
From that time Jesus began to show His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised up on the third day. (Matthew 16:21, NIV)
(Jesus said) ... "(T)he Son of Man (Jesus) did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many." (Matthew 20:28, NIV)
When Jesus celebrated the Passover meal with his disciples he taught them that he was the new Passover lamb.
On the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the disciples came to Jesus and asked, "Where do you want us to make preparations for you to eat the Passover?" He replied, "Go into the city to a certain man and tell him, `The Teacher says: My appointed time is near. I am going to celebrate the Passover with my disciples at your house.'" So the disciples did as Jesus had directed them and prepared the Passover. ... While they were eating, Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, "Take and eat; this is my body." Then he took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, saying, "Drink from it, all of you. This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins." (Matthew 26:17-28, NIV) This is how Jesus understood himself. He said he was the fulfilment of the previous sacrifices. He was the servant of the LORD who gave his life as a sacrifice for the sins of others. This is how Jesus can pay for our sins. He is our substitute.
The disciples of Jesus taught the same message.
Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. (1 Peter 3:18, NIV)
He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world. (1 John 2:2, NIV)
God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. (2 Corinthians 5:21, NIV)
To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood, and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father - to him be glory and power for ever and ever! Amen. (Revelation 1:5-6, NIV)
An Objection Muslims have told me that God does not need any sacrifice to pay for our sins because he can simply forgive. They say he is the God who forgives and nothing more is required than for him just to forgive. However, this is not what the Qur'an says. It says that God's forgiveness is based on him showing favouritism to Muslims on judgement day.
The Qur'an teaches that on judgement day our good and bad deeds will be weighed in the balance.
Then those whose scales are heavy, they are the successful. And those whose scales are light are those who lose their souls, in hell abiding. (Qur'an 23:102-103, Pickthall) The Muslim will be forgiven on judgement day because God will overlook their bad deeds and will multiple their good deeds by ten, thus in the scales they will have more good deeds.
(W)hoso bringeth a good deed will receive tenfold the like thereof, while whoso bringeth an ill-deed will be awarded but the like thereof; and they will not be wronged. (Qur'an 6:160/161, Pickthall)
Whoso bringeth a good deed will have better than its worth; and such are safe from fear that Day. (Qur'an 27:89, Pickthall)
Whoso bringeth a good deed, he will have better than the same; while as for him who bringeth an ill-deed, those who do ill-deeds will be requited only what they did. (Qur'an 28:84, Pickthall)
And as for those who believe and do good works, We shall remit from them their evil deeds and shall repay them the best that they did. (Qur'an 29:7, Pickthall)
Those are they from whom We accept the best of what they do, and overlook their evil deeds. (They are) among the owners of the Garden. This is the true promise which they were promised (in the world). (Qur'an 46:16, Pickthall)
... And whoso scoreth a good deed We add unto its good for him. Lo! Allah is Forgiving, Responsive. (Qur'an 42:23, Pickthall)
Therefore, the Qur'an does not teach that God simply forgives our sins. Instead it says that he will show favouritism to the Muslims in judgement. He will multiple their good deeds by ten and ignore their bad deeds; he will have mercy without justice. This view of God is not taught in the Law of Moses, the Prophets, the Psalms or the Gospel. They all teach that God has mercy with justice and that he will never corrupt his justice. This is why God has provided a sacrifice for us. The sacrifice pays for our sins. The sacrifice is a just payment. On judgement day, Christians are saved, not by God ignoring their sin or multiplying the good by ten, instead they are saved because God himself has paid for their bad deeds. This is just and the testimony of the Law of Moses, the Prophets, the Psalms and the Gospel.
God presented him (Jesus) as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood. He did this to demonstrate his justice, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished - he did it to demonstrate his justice at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus. (Romans 3:25-26, NIV) Forgiveness in Christianity is just and based on the perfect justice of God.
Conclusion We started this article by asking, "How can one man pay for the sins of another?" The Law of Moses, the Prophets, the Psalms and the Gospel answer this for us. They teach that Jesus is our representative like Adam. What Jesus did he did for us. His death was for us. He is the sinless one who took the punishment we deserve.
Secondly, Jesus is our sacrifice. God gave many sacrifices to save and forgive his people, but then he promised that his servant would come and be a sacrifice for sin and bring the true salvation. Jesus came and was the fulfilment of all that God had promised. This is how one man can pay for the sins of another.
Who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed? (Isaiah 53:1, NIV)
Arthur J. Arberry, The Koran Interpreted, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1955.
The Holy Bible - New International Version (NIV), London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1997
Mohammed Marmaduke Pickthall, The Meaning of the Holy Qur'an, Delhi: Crescent Publishing House, 1985.
Who cares what others believe.
1. I believe in God the Father, Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth:
2. And in Jesus Christ, his only begotten Son, our Lord:
3. Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary:
4. Suffered under Pontius Pilate; was crucified, dead and buried: He descended into hell:
5. The third day he rose again from the dead:
6. He ascended into heaven, and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty:
7. From thence he shall come to judge the living and the dead:
8. I believe in the Holy Ghost:
9. I believe in the Holy Catholic church: the Communion of Saints:
10. The forgiveness of sins:
1l. The resurrection of the body:
12. And the life everlasting. Amen.
And Amen!!! I’ve been saved by grace not by works, washed in the blood of Jesus Christ. I have freedom, joy and peace!!!!! I’ve been healed of liver cancer(medically documented). I’ve seen miracles and the love and peace in my heart placed there by God. I only pray that everyone comes to know the love of God, through His Son Jesus. Once Jesus has touched your life, you are changed forever, and never the same again.
Well of course they do. If you had love in your heart for others and didn't want to see anyone burn in hell, wouldn't you care too? Wouldn't you at least try? You can't force anyone to believe and that's the mistake some make. But, you at least have to give it a try. Sometimes your the only light in a dark place.
If someone doesn't want to listen, or talk about it. And I know that, I won't. But, it's a big part of my life. So although I won't push it, I also won't hide it either.
If someone doesn't want to listen, or talk about it. And I know that, I won't. But, it's a big part of my life.
God Bless you.
Why would anyone besides a muslim even MENTION The Lord Jesus Christ, the Second Person of The Holy Trinity; and any part of islam, in the same sentence?
Admittedly, I only skimmed this because of its length.
Considering his background and worldview, the author did some decent research to know that Jesus is the new Adam and has only one Father... God. However, the basic thrust of the article is an incomplete understanding of Christ’s sacrifice.
Yes, He died for us. He died to redeem us. However, God is not put into a box. The Old Testament expectations of the Christ were of one who would provide temporal relief for Israel. But God did something new and entirely unexpected with Jesus...
The story begins with an understanding of the meaning of “covenant.” Many see Jesus on the Cross and think in juridical terms (condemned by our sins) or even contractual terms (He paid the price), and these are true... but insufficient. He is the sacrificial offering of the New Covenant. Covenant differs from contract as much as marriage differs from prostitution. One is family-making, the other is a business arrangement.
Since our fall in the Garden of Eden, God has been rebuilding His Family... following the same model as our Creation. In the Creation account, He worked by days fixing the conditions of this new reality (it was taho wabahu— without form and void). He started by providing first the form and second the inhabitants. In the first three days, He separated light from dark (day one), separated the waters above and below (day two) and gave us dry land with vegetation (day three). He then filled these realms; sun and moon (day four), birds and fish (day five), and animals and man (day six). He rested on the seventh day not out of fatigue but to mark his creation with a covenant... the number seven is a covenantal number. We broke this covenant through disobedience. While some see Original Sin as a stain passed down, it may be better understood as something we lost and could not regain ourselves. We lost our covenantal relationship with God... our kinship. So God set out to start again...
After the flood, the Earth had form and it wasn’t void. God was rebuilding our covenantal relationship this time. God made His first starting-over covenant with Noah and his family with the seven colors of the rainbow. God then made His family-rebuilding covenant with Abraham in the form of a three-fold promise... the land, a nation and all men blessed through him. God affirmed His covenant with Isaac (because Abraham had another son, Ishmael). God confirmed His covenant again with Jacob (because Isaac thought to pass his blessing through Esau). In these promises, the unbroken bloodline matters in fulfilling God’s promise, but it is God, not the Earthly succession Who confirmed the line His promise would follow. God then began to fulfill these promises... the land through Moses on Sinai, the royal dynasty of David, and all people through Christ on the Cross. Seven covenants just like the seven days of creation.
In each successive covenant, God is growing his family... from the family of Noah to the tribe of Jacob to the Nation under Moses to the Kingdom of David and then all nations under Christ. What was Christ doing on the Cross? He was the sacrificial offering of the New Covenant where man could be rejoined to God’s family. Just as the neighbor kids can’t become part of my family on their own—I have to adopt them—so we couldn’t make ourselves part of God’s family. The New Covenant is a return to our participation in the family life of God! We are given many examples in the Old Testament of family covenants through marriages, adoptions and others. In each, there is a sacrificial offering and sign of the covenant.
Just as we don’t delight in the accomplishments of the neighbor kids, so God did not delight in our vain offerings before our redemption. Now, through Christ, God does delight and reward our efforts. In so many places in the New Testament we find that God will reward us for our deeds. That is because Christ has merited for us the ability to merit from God.
Christ on the Cross was at once Priest offering a sacrifice, the sacrificial Lamb of the New Covenant, and the Bridegroom to His Church. Now, in order to be part of His Family, we are commanded to ‘believe.’ However, ‘believe’ is an action word. It doesn’t mean that we have an intellectual understanding or a feeling... just as my kids believe that school is important for them but it doesn’t do them any good until they actually go to school and participate. If we BELIEVE that Jesus is Christ, then we are to DO the Will of His Father... which begins our life in God’s Family through baptism in His Holy Name.
Christ on the Cross isn’t the end from which there is no more to be done, it is the beginning from which all else is possible. It is more than paying the price for sinners, it is restoring lost family members to the Holy Family of God.
I really enjoyed reading that. I hope that others take the time to read all of it. Thank you for posting.
My pleasure. The body of it is from a prior post... but I’ve been wanting to improve on it. This seemed a good topic for it.
God bless you.
I know, but I thought it was well written and presented the Truth in opposition to the deception of islam in a easy to understand manner.
Since our fall in the Garden of Eden, God has been rebuilding His Family..
Great point. I think we can point to God killing the animals to give Adam and Eve clothes as the first sacrifice.
In so many places in the New Testament we find that God will reward us for our deeds. That is because Christ has merited for us the ability to merit from God.
One of the fundamental differences with islam is they believe their works will buy them salvation.
Christ on the Cross isnt the end from which there is no more to be done, it is the beginning from which all else is possible. It is more than paying the price for sinners, it is restoring lost family members to the Holy Family of God.
Didn't Paul go to Mars Hill?
This was far too long to actually read I can only tell you that I worship Jesus Christ as my Savior and am therefore Heaven bound.
I don’t know where muslims are going, that is up to God.
It is nice to see someone else that has been blessed with a medical miracle. My wife was as a toddler and I was at age 32. Of course with mine, He didn’t cure anything, but afflicted me in order to save my life and eventually my soul.
It's worth the time.
I dont know where muslims are going, that is up to God.
Scripture makes it very clear where they are going, that's why it's so important to preach The Gospel to them. The article deals with some of what islam teaches these lost souls and why it is wrong. Also, the article offers some examples of the contradictions in islam.
Powerful post. Thank you!
Yes, that also happened to me. I lost my first child. It didn’t have to be that way. But, He loves us so much, He’s willing to do whatever it takes to draw us to Himself. Once there we are safe and loved beyond anything we could imagine.
Yes, that also happened to me. I lost my first child. It didn’t have to be that way. But, He loves us so much, He’s willing to do whatever it takes to draw us to Himself. Once there we are safe and loved beyond anything we could imagine.
Thank you and God bless you too :)
In our suffering we can, if we join it with His Passion and offer it up for the salvation of souls, share in the suffering of Jesus Christ and save countless souls.
Very well stated and a delight to read...thank you.... It’s always refreshing to read something as this which pulls together the truth in such a way as to be easily understood, and clarifies things so well.
I agree with this as well.
Pretty good article, but I don’t think I would use this approach when witnessing to a Muslim audience.
Let’s look at the strengths and weaknesses of Muslims in regards to His Word.
First, they do recognize a supreme God exists. They are on the right track there, but if they stray from that by attributing positions which are unScriptural or not from His Plan, then they may quickly find themselves worshipping a false god or even the Adversary.
Next let’s look at a major weakness of Islam. Fundamentally, Islam has a problem with justice. That problem really is a major point as an intermediate objective in how we describe doctrine to them.
They are correct to say God is free to forgive. What is incorrect is to assume God is able to forgive in an unjust or unrighteous fashion, which would corrupt His Holiness.
One facet the article failed to mention is the doctrine of Imputation. It is significant to understand how God provides a Plan of Salvation for all mankind in a righteous and just fashion, without violating His Holiness.
In His magnificent Plan, Jesus Christ, as the Son of God and the Son of Man, was uniquely qualified to have all of the personal sins of mankind imputed to Him on the Cross. The Cross was then All Judgment (not forgiveness).
Once all sin was judged on the Cross, we still are in a state of condemnation, UNTIL we place faith in Him, and He now being free to righteously and justly recognize us when we face Him and confess our sins,...now He is free to forgive those sins. Once forgiven, He also is free to immediately create our new man, our human spirit now being regenerated in us to form the new man in us.
We are never converted to Christianity by another human, but only by the divine act of God the Holy Spirit creating that human spirit in us. By His volition, also known as His Sovereignty, He is also free to indwell that perfect human spirit as His new dwelling place or temple.
That conversion is a Divine act, not a human act. We don;t have the ability to do it ourselves. We have the ability to believe in Him and place faith in Him, but only He is able to give us eternal life. That life is IMPUTED upon us, just as all the sins of mankind were IMPUTED upon Christ at the Cross.
If God forgives sins WITHOUT that imputation, then He may be righteously accused of unjustly forgiving whom He will.
Remember the Ark of the Covenant with the Mercy Seat in the Tabernacle. 2 Cherubim sat upon it representing His Perfect Holiness. One of the them represented His Perfect Justice, while the other represented His Perfect Righteousness,...together forming His Perfect Holiness.
Whatever was placed on the Mercy Seat between them, His Perfect Justice demanded Perfect Righteousness in Judgment and likewise His Perfect Righteousness demaned Perfect Justice in judgment of what was before them.
If the item was not corrupt it passed judgment, but that which was corrupt was burnt up.
Our Corrupt Sin Nature is likewise handled by the solution in Christ.
Redemption, Atonement, Propitiation, and Reconciliation all must be addressed when dealing with any human missing the mark when living life by His Plan (i.e. missing the target is sin).
The God of Islam, Allah, might be mercifully forgiving, but without God being Propitiated for a wrong done to Him, not by anything He had done or provided, or by anybody with Perfect Holiness able to Redeem humans from our corrupt thinking, or atoning for our sin sacrificially, or reconciling man back to a perfectly righteous and just God,...any such mercifully forgiving god outside those issues is NOT a just or righteous god, hence not the Perfectly Holy God.
The only real question then becomes, do we have faith in Christ as being the one whom God has provided to us so that He might provide us salvation from eternal condemnation with our corrupt nature? The answer is also provided by God to us, simple by a smidgeon more faith than no faith whatsoever in Christ and what He provided us on the Cross.
Happy to serve. May God bless you.
Wow... and people say the Catholic Church makes it complicated! I offer you one correction for you understanding... we are not just sinners forgiven; we are sons and daughters restored to the Family of God.
I think I can tell the answer to my next question by your post, so I ask by way of instruction... what did God see when Christ hung on the Cross?
Yes, I understand that as when Muslims do mention Christ it is with Islam in mind...not Christianity.
There are a few occassions where I have looked at some of the mulsim teachings but not comparing them with Christianity... for they come from a whole nother area of beliefs...which are political since Islam is a political agenda....though Islam does attempt to masqurade as a religion, the Koran and their beliefs are simply a means of keeping the people in bondage.
I differ with Warmfights about her approach though I understand why she is doing so. But I have seen these types of comparisons do harm to those who are not strong in God’s word and actually get hooked into islam when comparrisons are made. These might be ok for those who are called to work with Muslims...but it’s like asking me to study Freemasonary’s Pikes works..or the satanic verses. I don’t need to understand their beliefs.....it is better to know God’s word and let his spirit do the work on the hearts and minds of those who he draws...and when the time comes they wil be ready to hear the truth.
He certainly did. And he explained to them exactly where they were WRONG, and told them that Christ is the ONLY way to God. And he didn’t mix ANYTHING with the pure Gospel.
First Timothy 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus.
Certainly we should minister to muslims, if possible; and tell them how to be Saved. But it must be by Grace, through faith in Christ; plus NOTHING! Allah, and the Koran and everything else is OUT. They have no more validity in coming to God than the entrails of a chicken being tossed about and scrutinized by a poor lost medicine man in darkest Africa.
Besides the missions programs my local church supports, I support numerous other missions organizations, a number of which specificallly minister to muslims in “closed” countries. And in fact, former muslims are turning to Christ in those “closed” countries and forsaking everything islamic, to follow Him.
My only point in what I said earlier was that you NEVER mix or EQUATE the blood-bought Salvation purchased for us by Christ’s blood, with the heathen, pagan cult of islam. So why would one evenmention them in the same breath when trying to explain Salvation.
Thank you for your reply.
There isn't much to disagree with in your post. But I do want to correct something... When St Paul spoke to the men of Athens, he did mix something with the pure Gospel. He used an example from their own pagan writings to help in his explanation (Acts 17:28). It doesn't invalidate his witness. It was simply a tool to help their understanding.
Also I think we need to remember that salvation is the work of the Spirit of God. It is His ministry so one must also be in tune with Him to know when and who He is preparing and the appointed time for our involvement with the individual.
Islam is a very wretched belief system and as with all cults and those who belong to them, you need to be cautious and aware that though you may be dialoging with them , in their minds you are a candidate to bait and deceive...so discerning this when speaking to them is important.
Also they are taught how to go along with Christians, giving a false idea that they are interested, as a means of recruiting you.
Warmfights....I say this with respect but this writing sounds like your’re attempting to use the Koran to convert Muslims to Christianity.....several times mentioning a muslim’s belief but then correcting him with what the Koran really states...as if teaching them the Koran to round about bring them to the Christ of Christianity...but correcting them for not knowing what their Koran teaches. Why not simply use God’s word??
I mean no disrespect in saying this...just how it reads to me.
I’m finding that out. I’m in the middle of reading a book called, God’s War on Terrorism, by Walad Shoebot- former muslim raised in a Palestinian home where terrorism was taught. I think that’s how his name is spelled anyway. It’s an amazing book.
It is fortunate indeed, for the whole Christian world, that the Apostle Paul also cared what others believed. Cared enough to give his life in the cause of changing their beliefs. Deo gratias.
This is where the spiritual gift of evangelism is so important as opposed to simply a soulish academic training in Christian theology. God the Holy Spirit guides the evangelist through his human spirit to perceive the needs of the unbeliever and/or portions of His Word which would be effective for the unbeliever to consider to guide him towards understanding the Gospel.
It is very important to remember God knows the heart of the unbeliever which we do not. He also has a plan for that unbeliever in His Plan. Every human being unique, may have any number of scarred thought processes which will tend to block out reception of doctrine, but also have weaknesses where they may be open to receive the Gospel to consider. That perception is crucial in properly communicating the Gospel effectively to an unbeliever, although all of us are able to give a witness and minister His Word to our fellow man.
I don't know. Is there an explicit Scripture where God provides that to man?
Excellant post Cvenger....again emphasing the importance that it is the Holy Spirit’s work, both within the un-believer..as well as within us.
There was a time where I carried a certain amount of cash available to the Lord should a need arise for another. At a resturaunt a woman went to pay for her food, tattered looking clearly needy. (I did this thru the owner so as not to be known.) When I looked at the owner he shook his head no so I refrained. I would learn later on that individual was quite wealthy.
My intentions were honorable, but the situation was not at all as I had “perceived”. The ‘owner’ knew his customers and about them. It is very similar to God knowing those He has created....we look to Him concerning those we meet and let Him determine our course of action concerning them.
Exactly right. They believe in a god that does not hold to a perfect standard but instead makes a determination based on a person's works.
They are correct to say God is free to forgive. What is incorrect is to assume God is able to forgive in an unjust or unrighteous fashion, which would corrupt His Holiness.
Which leads us to the need for a perfect sacrifice. Without this perfect sacrifice we can never satisfy righteous judgment.
Thanks for making some great points.
but I dont think I would use this approach when witnessing to a Muslim audience.
One thing I've learned is it is impossible to witness to more than one muslim at a time. When two or more are present a dynamic occurs where they become aggressive in defending their faith.
You might want to read the article before assuming it does that.
I realize the article is rather long, but you might want to read it before assuming what it is about.
If you want to have some fun with the conversation... remind them that Issa (Jesus) is a prophet of Islam so His words are true. Invite them to recite the Lord's Prayer...
They will cover their ears in protest at the first words (if they don't get outright violent). God as our Father is blasphemy in Islam. Rather, Allah is a slave master and a great deceiver of the infidel... and I've heard about that guy before!
Are you going to deny that most Protestant theology says that God saw our sins on the Cross and (because He can't look on sin) turned His Back on Christ? Isn't that what is taught about "My God, My God. Why have You abandoned Me?"
I agree, the Bible doesn't have a direct chapter and verse for this... what do you think based on your reading, training and discernment?
I have reminded muslims that Jesus is a prophet and asked if in islam are prophets liars. The argument they offer is of course "NO prophets are not liars", but the Christian Bible is corrupted and can't be trusted. Actually this opens a great discussion about why Christians know the Scriptures are the inerrant word of God.
Oh, I know. I have had (seemingly) productive conversations with Muslims. My post was a little tongue-in-cheek as far as a strategy... but accurate in its description.
>> “HOW CAN ONE MAN PAY FOR THE SINS OF ANOTHER?” <<
Simple: He has to be sinless himself.
No human but Christ has been sinless.
You would not tell another of the Salvation you possess? Is there something bad about ‘evangelizing’? Is not Good News something that should be told? Especially to those we love? And, are we not commanded to love all?
I have heard that teaching. But I have also been taught another--
In the time of Jesus, Scripture did not have the chapter and verse designations we have today. Thus, in order to refer to a passage of Scripture, you would recite the first few words of it.
Psalms 22 is the passage to which Jesus was referring to when on the cross. Read the Psalm--it fits quite well with the situation.
I respectfully suggest that YOU might want to read the article. All the way through, the writer quotes the Scriptures, and then the Koran, and clearly places them on an equal footing. He pronounces no distinction between them, whatsoever.
Toward the conclusion, he winds up the article by extensively quoting the Koran, and clearly giving it equal veracity with the Scriptures, by failing to state otherwise.
He never states whether he believes one over the other, or which is what. An unsaved individual could read that article and come away concluding that both books are valid, and that it doesn’t matter which you choose to follow; or even whether it matters if you reject them both and consider salvation from sin as optional or unimportant!
Acts 4:10 Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole.
Acts 4:11 This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner.
Acts 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.