The difference between Christianity, Judaism, and Islam

Recently, I was challenged by a person saying that Christians, Jews, and Muslims all worship the same God. This was my response to them (I've added couple of points to this post also):

Can you answer the following questions? According to you, Islam, Christianity and Judaism point to the same God. You are partly right in regards to Jews and Christians worshiping the same God. However, what does Islam and Judaism teach regarding salvation (as I've never heard them teaching anything regards to this)? What do they teach about man's sinful nature? What do they teach about the solution to the sinful nature? In other words, how do people stop sinning when they can't find the strength in themselves to do it?

Jews and Christians both serve the Lord of Heaven's Armies. However, the difference between Jews and Christians is that Jews have refused to accept Jesus Christ as their Messiah. The Jews failed to recognize Him as their Messiah when He came to the earth 2,000 years ago. They were looking for a powerful and political leader who would set them free from the Romans and make them into a nation again. They failed to see the real purpose of the Messiah (i.e. being the solution to their sinful nature which was the root cause for all of their problems- i.e. being destroyed as a nation by their enemies and then being exiled). Sinning against God leads to destruction on so many different levels. Obedience to God brings His blessings. Their sinful nature was preventing them from obeying God, just as how the sinful nature was destroying the Gentiles (non-Jews). Jesus is the Son of God and the way of salvation for both Jews and Gentiles. Thus, it doesn't matter if Jews and Christians worship the same God, as if the Jews don't accept God's way of salvation (the solution to their sinful nature) through Jesus Christ, they can't be saved and receive eternal life. Jesus Christ is the sacrifice that God has offered on our behalf in order to fulfill His own Old Covenant Law and put to death our sinful nature. Through Jesus Christ, both Jews and Gentile believers are under the New Covenant (which allows His Holy Spirit to dwell in us, guide us and empower us against sinful temptations). It's only through the Holy Spirit that we can truly lead righteous lives (in other words, we need God's strength through His Spirit to overcome sin). Unless the Jews accept Jesus Christ as their Messiah, they can't enter the New Covenant [i.e. they remain enslaved to their sinful nature which uses God's Law (the Law of Moses in the Old Covenant) as the source of its power and this leads to eternal death]. Under the New Covenant, when we are led by the Holy Spirit, we are no longer under the Law of Moses. Instead, we bear the fruit of the Spirit (refer to Galatians 6:22-23) and thus, our sinful nature can't derive any power to enslave us in sin as there are no laws against the fruit of the Spirit (i.e. love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control). When we are exposed to the Law of Moses, our sinful nature turns God's commands (evil acts which He prohibits) into evil desires in us (ex. sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, etc.). The purpose of the Law of Moses was to show us our sins/evil desires/sinful nature and to point to the fruit of the Spirit instead. It was also designed to show us that we needed God's power through His Spirit to deal with sinful temptations. In other words for example, love is one of the components of the fruit of the Spirit. In the Law of Moses, God commanded to love your neighbor and not commit adultery. Thus, if you obeyed that commandment, you were actually bearing the fruit of love to people around you instead of betraying and hurting them in any manner (because of your sinful nature turning God's holy commands into sinful desires). Under the Law of Moses, God's Spirit was not empowering people to obey Him (as Jesus Christ the Messiah wasn't sent as a sacrifice for us yet. Only through Jesus Christ can we receive God's Holy Spirit to empower us) and bear the fruit of the Spirit. The Old Covenant animal sacrifices were ultimately designed by God to point to Jesus Christ as the ultimate sacrifice to deal with sin and death. Like I said before, our sinful nature used God's commandments for its own evil purposes (refer to Romans 7:4-25). God's way of salvation through Jesus Christ disarms our sinful nature (refer to Romans 6:1-14; Romans 7:21-25 and Galatians 5:24-26) so that His Holy Spirit can dwell in us and empower us to bear the fruit of the Spirit (which is the opposite of sin/disobedience to God).

Today, Jews are worshiping God from afar off and still headed to eternal destruction. Today they wait and mourn at the Western Wall and hope for the Third Temple to be rebuilt in order to have close communion with God again. However, under the New Covenant, God has enabled through Jesus Christ for our bodies to be His Temple as God doesn't desire lifeless/inanimate temples built out of earthly materials to be His dwelling place. Instead, He desires our living bodies to be His temple, which He has created with His own hands. Under the Old Covenant, only the High Priest was able once a year (on the Day of Atonement) to enter the Holy of Holies (in the Tabernacle and later in the First and Second Temples to be the mediator between God and the Israelites. No other person was permitted to enter the Holy of Holies where God’s presence would come. This is because mankind’s sin separated them from God’s glory and holiness. God can’t stand anything sinful/spiritually unclean. Anything which is sinful that tries to come close to His glorious presence will be killed. Thus, sacrificing Jesus Christ to fulfill God’s regulations to deal with sin was the ultimate sacrifice which enabled our bodies to become cleansed from our sins and become holy in God’s sight. Through Jesus Christ, God’s Spirit can dwell in us and use our bodies as His Temple. God symbolized this veil (which once separated us from Him) being torn by Him through the death of Jesus Christ (refer to Matthew 27:50-51). How awesome He is for providing the solution to our sinful nature and death through Himself! For those who place their faith in Jesus Christ, there is no longer a veil (physical and spiritual) which separates us from God. The role of High Priest has now been taken by Jesus Christ and thus now He mediates between God and all of mankind (both Jews and Gentiles). Both Jews and Gentiles are now able to have the closest communion with God (compared to the Old Covenant Tabernacle/Temple format where an ordinary person was never able to boldly approach God's presence). God wants the Jews to realize that the problem with them is their sinful nature. Their sinful nature is what caused them to be destroyed as a nation and exiled. Thus, there is no point of rebuilding the Temple on the Temple Mount if they are going to continue to sin. God cares about saving their bodies and souls from eternal destruction more than having a temple built for Him on the Temple Mount. God has been using the destruction of the Jewish Temples in the past as well as the ongoing war between Jews and Muslims over the Temple Mount to teach both Jews and the rest of the world (as an illustration) that a bigger war is also occurring in their bodies (the fight between good and evil). Spiritual forces are fighting for control of mankind's body just like how they are fighting for control over the Temple Mount. If mankind lets their own sinful nature (i.e. the enemy within themselves/their dark side) along with Satan and evil spirits to dominate their bodies in sin, it leads to their eternal destruction. However, if they let the Holy Ghost guide them to live righteous lives, it leads to eternal life (refer to Galatians 5:16-26 and Romans 8:2-14).
Refer also to Acts 7:48-53; 1 Corinthians 6:19-20; Acts 2:22-41; Matthew 8:10-12; Matthew 21:33-46; Romans 11:7-36. Just go to http://www.biblegateway.com to access these passages free. Access a modern English translation like the NLT (New Living Translation) if you find the older English translations like the KJV (which is Shakespearean English) difficult to comprehend.

Just like how God allowed different ancient empires (ex. Egyptians, Babylonians, Assyrians, Romans) to oppress and enslave the Israelites, God has used that to teach both Jews and Gentiles that they are all enslaved spiritually to sin (because of their sinful nature/dark side). Who is able to set us free from our sinful nature? Only Jesus Christ (HaMashiach Yeshua). Carnal minded Christians have failed to understand what it means for us to be no longer under the Law of Moses and instead being under God's grace by letting the Holy Spirit guide and empower us to live a righteous life. They have used their traditional Protestant doctrines of sola fide (by faith alone) and sola gratia (by grace alone) to propagate the false notion that a dead faith (i.e. a faith in God that is absent of good works) can save them and give them eternal life. They use selective exegesis (using only certain passages like Ephesians 2:8-9) to teach such false doctrines all the while ignoring what Paul and other authors (who all were inspired by God) wrote regarding how a genuine/saving faith goes hand in hand with good works. The use of selective exegesis to emphasize such deceptive ideologies further shows people's contempt and hatred for God's word (they are only interested in satisfying their sinful appetite/itching ears). When Paul wrote Ephesians 2:8-9, I believe he was tired of Jewish Christians trying to force Gentile converts to follow ceremonial aspects of the Law of Moses (ex. circumcision) in order to be accepted by them. Paul was trying to address this issue. However, Paul was never trying to negate the moral aspects of the Law of Moses into giving us a license to sin by teaching us that we are now under under God's grace (refer to Romans chapter 6). Unfortunately, carnal minded Christians have been used by Satan to try and find loopholes in order to satisfy their itching ears (which crave for sin excusing doctrines). The whole point of the Law of Moses (both moral and ceremonial aspects) was to show the Israelites (as well as Gentiles) that they have an inner problem (i.e. their sinful nature) which caused them to be evil and thereby separated from a holy and sin hating God. God was trying to illustrate this problem through the Law of Moses so that the human mind could understand such spiritual issues. Paul who wrote Ephesians 2:8-9 also wrote Titus 2:14. He was also quoted in Acts 26:20.

Acts 26:20 (NLT):
I preached first to those in Damascus, then in Jerusalem and throughout all Judea, and also to the Gentiles, that all must repent of their sins and turn to God—and prove they have changed by the good things they do.

Titus 2:14 (NLT):
He gave his life to free us from every kind of sin, to cleanse us, and to make us his very own people, totally committed to doing good deeds.

The uniqueness of genuine Christianity is all about what Jesus Christ accomplished in providing the solution to our sinful nature. This is what sets apart genuine Christianity from other faiths.

1 John 2:20-23 (NLT):
"But you are not like that, for the Holy One has given you his Spirit, and all of you know the truth. 21 So I am writing to you not because you don’t know the truth but because you know the difference between truth and lies. 22 And who is a liar? Anyone who says that Jesus is not the Christ. Anyone who denies the Father and the Son is an antichrist. 23 Anyone who denies the Son doesn’t have the Father, either. But anyone who acknowledges the Son has the Father also.

24 So you must remain faithful to what you have been taught from the beginning. If you do, you will remain in fellowship with the Son and with the Father. 25 And in this fellowship we enjoy the eternal life he promised us."

The Bible teaches that it is only Jesus Christ who has broken the power of sin in our lives. That is why the Bible teaches that Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life. No one can come to God the Father, except through Jesus Christ. Does Islam accept Jesus Christ as their Messiah and way of salvation? Do they accept Jesus Christ as the Son of God? Anyone who denies that Jesus is the Christ and the Son of God is an antichrist and the evil spirit of deception works through them.

By putting your faith in God's Son, Jesus Christ, sin's power over you is broken and God will give you His Holy Spirit (Ghost) to dwell inside of your body to empower you in everything, especially overcoming your daily battles against sinful temptations. This is the only way to overcome your sinful nature and live a righteous life which leads to eternal life. Refer to Romans 7:7-25; Romans 6:3-13,15-23; Romans 8:1-17; Galatians 5:16-26; John 14:1-31; Romans 1:18-32; Acts 17:16-34; Isaiah 44:6-20; Habakkuk 2:18-20; Jeremiah 10:1-16).

Islam and Judaism have failed to address this.

Matthew 27:50-51,54 (NLT):
Then Jesus shouted out again, and he released his spirit. 51 At that moment the curtain in the sanctuary of the Temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. The earth shook, rocks split apart,

54 The Roman officer and the other soldiers at the crucifixion were terrified by the earthquake and all that had happened. They said, “This man truly was the Son of God!”

#God   #Jesus   #Bible   #Temple   #bodies   #salvation   #sin   #way   #Christianity   #Judaism   #Islam   #HolyGhost  
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