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5/30/2021 The Righteous For The Unrighteous ~Rev. Bernie Chung

In Western countries, Muslims belonging to the Islamic State or traditional Muslim communities enjoy many freedoms. There is a big contrast comparing the treatment experienced by Christians in many Muslim countries. Why is there such a huge gap? The primary reason is that within the Judeo-Christian traditions and beliefs that exist in Western countries, a person’s dignity and freedom of choice are highly valued. In the past 1500 years of Islamic history, such freedom and democratic values have not been accepted by Islam at all.

However, whether in the East or the West, the point is that Islam is a religion that depends on self-reliance and self-effort. Muslims follow a religion that puts the responsibility of salvation entirely on the shoulders of its believers. They try to do their best and hope that Allah will have mercy on them. We Christians believe that God sent His Son to establish our reconciliation with God, and by accepting Christ we have the salvation that is freely given to us. We must seize this opportunity to share this incredible good news with our Muslim friends in our midst.

Muslims do not believe in God and only believe in Allah. Christians believe in what the Bible tells us—our eternal triune God comprises of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Matthew 3:16-17 (NIV84) says: “As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, ‘This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.’”

Muslims claim that human beings are born with pure hearts and without sin. If they commit crimes, they can still overcome them by actions of their own will. We Christians know that we are born spiritually dead, fallen by sin, and no one can save oneself except by God's grace. Romans 3:12 says: “All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one.”

Muslims say that their Lord Allah does not love sinners and everyone must obtain salvation on their own. Christians believe that our God loves sinners, and He sent His son to die for our sins. Romans 5:8 says: “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

Muslims believe that Jesus was only a person and did not die for human sins. Christians believe that Christ is the Son of God, the sinless redeemer who is both God and man, and that he was resurrected for sinful people after death, and that the righteous replaces the unrighteous. 1 Peter 3:18 says: “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit.”

Brothers and Sisters, we should thank God for His grace in granting us the sweet taste of salvation. Let’s pray for our local Muslim friends and find ways to share the Gospel with them. Amen!

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