God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith. Romans 3:25a
Read: Romans 3:22-25
Listen: Romans 3
First and foremost, religion answers questions about the relationship between people and the divine. For Islam, that relationship relies on earning standing through the five pillars. If you say the correct confession, pray five times a day, give money to charity, fast during Ramadan and make a pilgrimage to Mecca, you should be in good standing with Allah. Islam means submission. The five pillars show how to submit to earn God’s favor.
Christianity is something entirely different. Christianity acknowledges something needs to be done for a relationship between people and the divine. Instead of placing that responsibility at the feet of people, God himself steps onto the earth in the person of Jesus. He substitutes himself for us, paying for our sins on the cross. He suffers in our place. There’s nothing we could do to earn God’s favor, and we don’t deserve it. It’s a gift purchased through Jesus’ death and offered to us. He pays for and offers us his favor.
The primary difference between Islam and Christianity is Jesus. For Muslims, Jesus is a prophet. For Christians, Jesus is God in flesh. He’s the God who entered the world and gave himself on the cross for us. He’s the God who rose from the grave and defeated death, so those who accept his free gift would no longer be slaves to sin but adopted into God’s family.
IN YOUR CHAIR TIME TODAY
Return to the weekend service by worshiping through the song Remembrance by Hillsong Worship. The lyrics are powerful, speaking to Jesus’ body broken for us and his blood shed for us.
Download a printable PDF of the BTW week here.