And take…the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Ephesians 6:17
Volume 18, Number
In this issue:
The Islamic Profession of Faith (Shahada), to be recited in Arabic in order to become a Muslim, states the basic creed of Islam (without which one cannot be Muslim): "There is no God but Allah. Muhammad is the messenger of Allah." Let us take a look, then, at the Islamic view of God.
"There is no God but Allah"
We are told, "Muslims believe in one, unique, incomparable God, Who has no son nor partner, and that none has the right to be worshipped but Him alone. He is the true God, and every other deity is false. He has the most magnificent names and sublime perfect attributes. No one shares His divinity, nor His attributes. In the Quran, God describes Himself: Say, He is God, the One. God, to Whom the creatures turn for their needs. He begets not, nor was He begotten, and there is none like Him (Quran, 112:1-4). No one has the right to be invoked, supplicated, prayed to, or shown any act of worship, but God alone." ("A Brief, Illustrated Guide To Understanding Islam")
We affirm there is "one God" in contrast to the multiplicity of idolatrous, pagan gods: "there is no other God but one" (1 Cor. 8:4). Yet, we must note that when Muslims speak of Allah as "the One" they only and always speak numerically, denying the Father, Son and Holy Spirit as "one God." By contrast, the Bible speaks of God as a "united one" or Godhead. "Then God said, Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness...so God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them" (Gen. 1:26-27). God (elohim, plural) is "one" according to Deuteronomy 6:4: "Hear O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one" (“Hear, O Israel: Jehovah our God is one Jehovah”, Deut. 6:4, ASV). (See Genesis 2:24, where two are "one.") The Scriptures speak of "the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ" (Eph. 1:3). They speak of God's "Son Jesus Christ", and of "the Holy Spirit of God" (Rom. 1:3; Eph. 4:30). In speaking of Jesus, the Bible says "the Word" (who "was God" and "in the beginning with God") "became flesh and dwelt among us...the only begotten of the Father" (Jno. 1:1-2, 14). Allah of Islam is not the one God of the Bible (Eph. 4:4-6).
"Jesus is not God"
Muslims believe Jesus was a great prophet of Allah, but Jesus is not God.
“Islam rejects the notion that Jesus, peace be upon him, was the son of God. Rather it honors and respects him as one of the great messengers and prophets of Allah to the Children of Israel" (“How to Become a Muslim,” The Islamic Bulletin).
"God is not Jesus, and Jesus is not God. Even Jesus himself rejected this. God has said in the Quran: Indeed, they have disbelieved who have said, “God is the Messiah (Jesus), son of Mary.” The Messiah said, “Children of Israel, worship God, my Lord and your Lord. Whoever associates partners in worship with God, then God has forbidden Paradise for him, and his home is the Fire (Hell). For the wrongdoers (footnote: "the wrongdoers include the polytheists") there will be no helpers” (Quran, 5:72). ("A Brief, Illustrated Guide To Understanding Islam")
“Those who say, ‘The Lord of Mercy has begotten a son,’ preach a monstrous falsehood, at which the very heavens might crack, the earth break asunder and the mountains crumble to dust. That they should ascribe a son to the Merciful, when it does not become Him to beget one!” (Qur’an 19:88) (Ibid)
Contrary to Islamic teaching, Jesus did not reject being God. Indeed, His claim to be the Son of God meant that He and the Father "are one" (Jno. 10:36, 30). When Jesus agreed that He is "the Christ, the Son of the Blessed," it led to His crucifixion (Mk. 14:61-62).
Jesus took to Himself descriptions assigned only to Jehovah. For example, Jesus said, "Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM" - the burning bush name of God (Jno. 8:58; Exo. 3:14-15). And again, "I am the First and the Last" (Rev. 1:17). In Isaiah 44:6 Jehovah said, "I am the First and I am the Last; Besides Me there is no God." Either Isaiah got it wrong, John got it wrong, or they are both right. We understand they are both right, because in Jesus "dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily" (Col. 2:9). Jesus is unique, the only one of His kind (the "only begotten" of the Father); He is full deity and full humanity. Jesus is Immanuel ("God with us," Matt. 1:23).
Jesus as the Son of God:
Islam, because it rejects the Son, dishonors the Father also: "He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him" (Jno. 5:23). God does not approve of or send anyone who denies the Son: “Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father either; he who acknowledges the Son has the Father also” (1 Jno. 2:23). Islam is not from God, but man.
"Jesus did not Die by Crucifixion"
Islam says Jesus escaped execution and later appeared to his disciples without having died.
"Muslims believe that Jesus was not crucified. It was the plan of Jesus’ enemies to crucify him, but God saved him and raised him up to Him. And the likeness of Jesus was put over another man. Jesus’ enemies took this man and crucified him, thinking that he was Jesus. God has said: "...They said, 'We killed the Messiah Jesus, son of Mary, the messenger of God.' They did not kill him, nor did they crucify him, but the likeness of him was put on another man (and they killed that man)..." (Quran, 4:157) (Ibid)
Islam says it only appeared to be Jesus who died on the cross, but it was someone else. Matthew the apostle says something quite different: "Then they crucified Him, and divided His garments, casting lots, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet: 'They divided My garments among them, and for My clothing they cast lots'” (Matt. 27:35). Was Matthew and the other apostles liars? No. Yet, that is what Islam tells us to believe (cf. Acts 4:20).
The gospel of Jesus could not be more clear: Jesus died, He was buried, and He arose from the dead (Lk. 23:46, 52-56; 24:1-8; Acts 2:23; 1 Cor. 1:23; 15:3-4). His resurrection stands as the great evidence that He is the Son of God (Rom. 1:4; Acts 2:24-31). A multitude of witnesses saw Jesus after His resurrection, confirming this fact (1 Cor. 15:4-8).
Islam denies the true God, the true Jesus and the true gospel. No amount of rehabilitation will resuscitate the dead corpse of this fatally flawed religion.
You can find the complete outline of this sermon
plus PowerPoint and MP3 Audio files
Scripture Reading: Psalm 119:17-24
1. The Bible is
not a theoretical book, Jno. 6:68.
The Bald Bandit
"Police in a town outside Cincinnati are searching for a bald man they say was involved in the theft of $847 in Rogaine and memory aids from at least three stores, The Cincinnati Enquirer reported" ("Ohio police hunt for bald man in string of Rogaine thefts," foxnews.com). "Mount Healthy Detective Chris Jones tells WCPO-TV that police are 'scratching our heads at this, no pun intended,' over the Rogaine thefts." (Ibid) The local police have a photo of the man, who was driving a white Jeep Cherokee.
All of this reminds me how important it is to have a good description of the person, place or thing when conducting a search. Male, bald, white Jeep Cherokee. That narrows it down quite a bit.
We should ask for a similar description when searching for the New Testament church. We want to find the right church, the one Jesus built. God has given us a description of the church in the New Testament. Its traits include...
1. Beginning: Pentecost, circa A.D. 30
With the Bible description in hand we can search for and find the church Jesus built (Matt. 16:18). We can also eliminate the churches (denominations) built by men. If a church does not fit the Bible description it is not the church bought by the blood of Jesus (Acts 20:28). Any church that does not fit the Bible description is not the church that belongs to Christ. Does the church of which you are a member fit the Bible description of the church of Christ? If not, you have not yet found the true church. But, it does exist. Obey Jesus and He will add you to it (Acts 2:47).
Created by Chuck Sibbing, last updated. 02/28/2016
The Spirit's Sword is a free,
weekly publication of the Mt. Baker church of Christ, Bellingham, WA