Recently, Hall Gate United Reformed Church met with the Islamic Society of Doncaster for a lunch. we took the time to find out more about each other’s faith. I was sat with a very intelligent man named Azam who seemed to be the chief apologist from their group. He came armed with Biblical quotes to show how Islam wasn’t so different to Judaism and Christianity and then came with Koranic verses to show how Islam was the true religion.
What I found interesting was what he told us about Islam’s uniqueness. He listed the following things.
God is one.
Only God can forgive sins.
We must pray to God alone.
To which this Protestant was inwardly saying: “yes…and?”
In saying these things Azam was showing the real dividing line between our faiths. His problem was with the person of Jesus. Jesus was not divine. Jesus cannot forgive sins. You cannot pray in Jesus’ name. And, of course, the Koran says that Jesus did not die on the cross.
Islam strikes me as being a great example of a religion. It provides discipline and morality. However, that has never been enough. Despite how disciplined or moral my life is I will never be able to stand before God on my own merits. And even if I believe that Allah is God and Mohammed is his prophet I will still have to pay for my sins in some way. I will never be righteous by my own efforts. What am I to do?
Thankfully there is one who is righteous. There is one who lived a perfect life. There is one who was my representative in going to death on a cross. And there is one who could not be held by death but was raised and sits at the right hand of the Father. This man was Jesus but this man was fully God. And in him God was reconciling the world to himself.
Jesus has always divided the world. The religious authorities of his day did not recognise him for who he was. Mohammed could not see him for who he was. The Socinians and Unitarians could not see him for who he was. The Mormons, the Witnesses and scores of others cannot see him for who he really is.
But he is the only way.
Jesus is the God-Man who has brought peace between God and Man. He has assured that you can stand before God with boldness because of what he has done. He is the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. Trust and rest in him and his finished work.
Soli Deo Gloria.