Helping A Muslim Understand The Bible
CAN WE TRUST THE HOLY BIBLE TO BE THE TRUE WORD OF GOD?
Although some say the Bible has been changed, this has never been proved. To the contrary, those who examine the evidence find that it clearly establishes the complete reliability of the Holy Bible. Yes, certainly we can trust God's Word to be true. Has not God said, "Heaven and earth shall pass away, but My Word shall not pass away?" The Bible is very important and God pronounces judgment upon any who would ever try to change it or destroy it.
The Holy Bible is not given to us simply to fill our minds with knowledge. God has a great purpose in giving us His Word. He has revealed Himself in His Word in order that He might become real to us, transform our lives and prepare us for eternity. For this reason we must diligently study the Bible, not letting some things we might not at first understand in it keep us from accepting and believing it.
DO CHRISTIANS BELIEVE IN THREE GODS?
We invite you to study the Bible yourself and see that it emphatically teaches there is only one God. Many verses can be cited from the Bible to prove this. Here are a few:
"I am the Lord and there is no other. Besides Me there is no God." (Isa. 45:5)
"Thou shalt have no other Gods before Me." (Exodus 20:3)
"The first of all commandments is, Hear O Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord." (Mark 12:29)
"Thou believest that there is one God, thou doest well, the devils also believe and tremble." (James 2:19).
These are only a few of the verses to be found in the Holy Bible declaring that God is one. There are no Gods beside Him.
WHY THEN IS CHRIST CALLED THE SON OF GOD IN THE HOLY BIBLE?
We must be careful lest we misunderstand this teaching. If the Bible so clearly proclaims one God, but also calls Jesus Christ "The Son of God" (118 times in the New Testament), then there must be a way of understanding this without there being a contradiction and without our denying it.
When the Holy Bible speaks of Christ being the "Son of God," it does not infer that God took Mary to wife and had a son by her. This is blasphemy and God forbid that we should ever think such a thing. The Bible plainly teaches that Mary was a virgin and Christ was virgin-born.
The works and miracles Christ performed witness to who He is. On one occasion the Jews were about to stone Christ and He gave witness to Himself and to the works and miracles he performed, saying: "Say ye of Him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest, because I said, I am the Son of God? If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not. But if I do, though ye believe not me, believe the works: that ye may know, and believe, that the Father is in Me, and I in Him" (John 10:36-38)
What works did He do? As you study the New Testament you will see how He healed the sick, raised the dead, made the blind to see, the deaf to hear, the lame to walk and the demons to flee. Even the wind and the waves obeyed His command.
Christ's resurrection from the dead proves who He is. In a book of the New Testament called the Epistle to the Romans, we have a verse that helps us understand the meaning of this name: "And declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead." (Romans 1:4) Another verse from the New Testament might further help us to understand why Christ is so named. "And He is the head of the body, the church; who is the beginning, the first-born from the dead: that in all things He might have the preeminence." (Col. 1:18)
So, we see this is a name with special meaning and it has particular reference to Christ's resurrection from the dead. The Bible says Christ's resurrection confirms Him to be the "Son of God" with power.
Christ the Eternal Son. Jesus Christ did not become the "Son of God" when He was born in the lowly manger in Bethlehem nor when He arose from the dead. The Holy Bible teaches us that He is the eternal Son of God. On another occasion the Jews wanted to stone Christ because He said, "Before Abraham was I am." Then, too, John the Baptist witnessed to Christ's pre-existence. "John bare witness of Him, and cried, saying, This was He of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for He was before me." (John 1:15) Christ, Himself, also said, "What and if ye shall see the Son of man ascend up where He was before." (John 6:32)
WAS CHRIST TAKEN TO HEAVEN WITHOUT DYING?
This is an equally important question and the answer is also equally important, yet very clear. The Bible teaches us much concerning Christ's death. The Holy Bible has more than 250 references to the fact that Christ died. Here are a few of them:
"Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us." (Romans 8:34)
"I am He that liveth, and was dead, and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen, and have the keys of hell and of death." (Revelation 1:18)
"For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures." (1 Cor. 15:3)
Christ's resurrection from the dead is clear proof of His death. As you study the Bible you will find that the keystone of Christianity is found in the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. His resurrection from the dead is mentioned some 85 times in the New Testament. (Obviously He could not have risen from the dead if He had not died). The Apostle Paul said in the New Testament, "If Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. " (1 Corinthians 15:14)
The forgiveness of sins is based on Christ's death. Another basic teaching you will find as you study the Bible concerns forgiveness of sin. Christ is called, "The Lamb of God that beareth away the sin of the world." In telling of His death that Christians have always observed, Jesus said, "This is my blood of the covenant which is poured our for many unto remission of sin." Forgiveness and cleansing from sin are always based on the fact of the shedding of Christ's blood as the "Lamb of God."
Who is a Christian? As you study the Bible you will find many more things that are based on either Christ's death or His resurrection. This is the very center of Christianity, that is, God did for us what we could not do for ourselves when He washed away our sins by the blood of Christ and conquered death for us by His resurrection. We praise God for this victory that is ours through Christ. Listen to Christ's own words, "I am the resurrection and the life, He that believeth in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live.' (John 10:25).
The Bible defines a Christian as one who confesses with his mouth that Jesus is Lord and believes in his heart that God raised Him from the dead,
"These things are written that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing ye might have life through His name." (John 20:31)
It is all important to know who Christ really is. For this reason we encourage you to study the whole Bible with an open mind and a prayer to God for His help and enlightenment.
The Bible is a very important book and everyone should know what it teaches. For this reason we are glad to send Bible correspondence courses to any who want to study and find out for themselves just what the real message of the Bible is. Christ said, "Search the Scriptures (that is, the books of the Bible);...they are they which testify of Me." (John 5:39)
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