I would like to begin this New Year 2019 by offering the first fruits of my labour to the Lord. I have heard many who are feeding on spiritual milk debating on whether the God the Jews, Christians & Muslims worship is the same. I have realized what I usually discuss on my blog is spiritual meat, which is difficult for those who are on spiritual milk to appraise. So, I would like to dedicated some of my time on this New Year’s Day to substantially answering this question with scripture.
Gen 1:26 (Old Testament – Creation Account)
Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”
Mat 28:19 (New Testament – Great Commission)
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
I would like to start this piece by saying Christian, Muslims and Jews do not worship the same God, I say this essentially because only Christians believe that God is One in Three Persons i.e. God-the-Father, God-the-Son & God-the-Holy Spirit. Both Muslims & Jews deny the deity of Jesus Christ as the Son of God incarnate who took human form in the womb of the virgin Mary to be that pure, perfect unblemished sacrifice for all sin. So, it is safe to assume that Jews & Muslims do not worship the same God as Christians do because they deny Jesus is God. It’s important to note that everything God does, He does to bring glory to Himself and the reason mankind is a relational/social being is because God is relational within Himself as the Father, Son & Spirit. These three Persons are distinct and are each equally omniscient, omnipresent and omnipotent in One God head. Time is as old a creation as the earth itself and the Three Persons of the Godhead have existed eternally before time from the very beginning. Also, you must know that creation did not come into being because God was lonely but for His glory. Take a look at ourselves, we freely glorify His love, His wrath, His justice and His mercy. There is no escaping God (Ps 139:7-12). If you think the elect were made to keep a lonely God company in heaven, think again, because the elect have life from the life Jesus imparted to them & we are who are His elect are the true sons of Abraham, because the God – Jesus Christ who gave Abraham spiritual life, is the God who has regenerated His people, both Messianic Jews and Gentiles with His life giving spirit. You may ask how could Abraham be saved through faith in Jesus, when Jesus hadn’t died before Abraham’s time, to have faith in Him. Well, I would like to direct your attention to the sacrifice Abraham was commanded to offer by God, a sacrifice which the Angel of the Lord (Jesus – the Son of God) stopped and sovereignly moved Abraham to sacrifice a ram instead, which was symbolic of the substitutionary atonement of Christ for the sins of all God’s people including Abraham. If you want to know why I said that the Angel of the Lord was the Son of God, it’s because if you look at Gen 22:15-18 in the context of the John 1:1, 18, you will notice the Son of God has always been God-the-Father’s spokesperson and even assert His own will as God in the Old Testament as the Angle of the Lord (Gen 21:17-19) and in the New Testament as Jesus Christ (Jn 2:19). Another unique thing about Christianity is that, the brotherhood we share, is in sharing in the life-giving Spirit of Christ. You see, the Bible says life is in the blood and the Jews believe they are all blood descendants of Abraham through the promised son Isaac while the Muslims believe they are all blood descendants of Abraham through the promised son Ishmael. Now, for the 6.5 million Jews in the world, this claim is easy to digest but for the 1.8 billion Muslims all around the world today, that claim is absurd.
7 Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.
21 Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” 22 And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ!
What differentiates mankind from the animals is the spiritual life God has given human beings. This spiritual life is the very nature of God, in which we are made. Notice in Genesis 2:7 that God breathed life into the nostrils of Adams. Then notice in John 20:21-22 that Jesus after His resurrection meets his disciples, breathes on them the Holy Spirit and restores to them the spiritual life that was lost in the fall of Adam. Then notice again in 2Timothy 3:16 how the Holy Spirit applies Salvation by taking what is of Christ and teaching us (John 16:14). These teaching of the Holy Spirit is given to us in scripture, it is the very life giving breath that God breathed into Adams nostrils, the only difference is this life cannot be lost, for our life is sustained by the very life force of God-the-Son, who conquered death – the very sting of death, by taking upon Himself the sins of the world, dying as a result of the wages of all sin & rising victoriously to life on the third day and He remain today as He has always been… seated at the right hand of God-the-Father, for He is the strong/mighty right arm of God, which not even death can thwart.
Psalm 2:12 (Jesus as Lord – Old Testament)
Do homage to the Son, that He not become angry, and you perish in the way,
For His wrath may soon be kindled.
How blessed are all who take refuge in Him!
Mat 2:11 (Jesus as Lord – New Testament)
So, they entered the house; and when they saw the babe with His mother Mary, they prostrated themselves and did Him homage, and opening their treasure-chests offered gifts to Him–gold, frankincense, and myrrh
Psalm 44:3 (Jesus as Saviour – Old Testament)
For by their own sword they did not possess the land, And their own arm did not save them, But Your right hand and Your arm and the light of Your presence, For You favoured them.
1Cor 15:56-57 (Jesus as Saviour – New Testament)
56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
To conclude, I would like you to look at the above verses, as it will help you holistically understand why unlike Judaism & Islam, Christianity reveres Jesus Christ as a Lord & Saviour. I would like to site that Jesus is God-the-Son incarnate who is both fully God and fully man. He is unique in the sense that He is the mediator God has appointed (1Timothy 2:5) and He is that worthy representative all of God’s people have chosen to represent them before God (Rev 5:11-12). Additionally, Jesus understands completely the Holiness of God being the Son of God Himself & so as Jesus Sovereignly brings us to mature in His likeness (Rom 8:29), we conform to the image/nature of God, in which we were made. As Man, Jesus understand our infirmities (Heb 4:15) as He pleads our case like a righteous advocate before God (1Jn 2:1), having paid the penalty of our sins on the cross. This is saving faith & this saving faith is not common with Muslims and Non-Messianic Jews for their faith is largely an expression of what they are doing for God while Christianity is largely an expression of the work of God in the believer, right from election, to justification through faith in Christ and regeneration.