Word of Life

Sharing the Good News with Muslims Worldwide

Bible Correspondence Course

20. Isa al-Masih, Our Life

Many prophets came to prepare the way for Sayyidna Isa bin Maryam (his peace be upon us). The Bible speaks about this very clearly. "In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe."[1]

Sayyidna Isa Ruh-u'llah said, "Come to me ... and I will give you rest."[2] As we have seen, He claimed, "I am the Way and the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father except by me."[3] Many have known powerfully the truth of this verse through a life spent following Sayyidna Isa. For, He is indeed the only way to God, and eternal life is only found in Him. Without Him we would remain separated from God, hopelessly lost in eternal darkness.

Sayyidna Isa Kalimatu'llah once said to the Jews, "You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me. Yet you refuse to come to me to have life."[4] Just to study and gain knowledge is not enough. It is our response to God’s revelation in Isa al-Masih which matters.

1) What Should I Do Then?

I believe in Isa al-Masih. I believe He is the Saviour of all humanity. What must I do then to follow Him and to enter the Kingdom of God?

A Jewish ruler once said to Isa bin Maryam, "Rabbi, we know you are a teacher who has come from God. For no-one could perform the miraculous signs you are doing if God were not with Him."[5] In response Sayyidna said, "I tell you the truth, no-one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again."[6] Sayyidna Isa al-Masih added, "no-one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit."[7]

Before His ascension, Sayyidna Isa gave His disciples the great commission, "Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptised will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned."[8]

This is a very clear command and explains why Sayyidna’s disciples sought to share the gospel of Isa al-Masih wherever they went, calling for people to be baptised. For example, Peter preached to the Jews at the feast of Pentecost. He told them how Sayyidna Isa bin Maryam’s coming had been predicted in the Scriptures, and how He had been crucified and raised from the dead. Many understood the message and wanted to follow Sayyidna Isa al-Masih as their Saviour. Therefore they asked the apostles what they should do. Peter replied, "Repent and be baptised, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit." The Bible says that those who accepted His message that day and were baptised, numbered about three thousand.[9]

Here Peter raises two questions which we are going to look at:

  1. Who is the Holy Spirit?
  2. What is Baptism?

2) Who is the Holy Spirit?

We read about the Holy Spirit throughout the whole Bible, from the first chapter of Genesis to the last chapter of Revelation.[10] This shows us clearly that God's Spirit is actively at work amongst God’s people. The Spirit of God is not just a spiritual presence but He is God Himself. The Holy Spirit is called by several names in the Bible:

The Spirit of God

(Genesis 1:2; Ephesians 4:30)

The Holy Spirit

(Acts 1:5, 8; 2:1-4)

The Counsellor

(John 14:16)

The Spirit of Truth

(John 14:17; 15:26)

The Spirit of Christ

(Romans 8:9)

The Spirit of His Son

(Galatians 4:6)

The Spirit of Holiness

(Romans 1:4)

The Spirit of Wisdom

(Ephesians 1:17)

3) The Coming of the Holy Spirit

The Bible tells us that, although the Holy Spirit is at work everywhere, He specifically anointed certain people in the Old Testament in order to enable them to do special tasks. (Read for example: Exodus 31:3; 1 Samuel 10:6; 1 Chronicles 28:12; Isaiah 42:1; Ezekiel 11:5).

In the Injil we see that Sayyidna Isa Ruh-u'llah promised that His Holy Spirit would come and live in every one who follows Him. This began on the day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit completely changed Sayyidna’s disciples. Instead of hiding away in fear of being arrested, they courageously began to preach and teach publicly about Isa al-Masih.

4) The Work of the Holy Spirit Today

The Holy Spirit convicts people of their sinfulness and their utter need for God.[11] For it is only by the kindness of a loving God that we are led to repentance.[12]

The Holy Spirit equips us to serve God and others. The more we surrender ourselves to the guidance and control of the Holy Spirit, the more our lives become like Sayyidna Isa’s. This is because the Holy Spirit produces "love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control."[13] By ourselves we are completely unable to live lives which demonstrate all these qualities. However, God's Holy Spirit can make all things possible.

5) What is Baptism?

Philip and the Ethiopian

When the message of Sayyidna Isa bin Maryam is accepted by someone seeking the truth, this believer is then baptised. In the Injil we read of one example: One day Philip, a disciple of Sayyidna Isa, was guided by an angel to meet an Ethiopian. Philip talked to him about Isa al-Masih from the book of the prophet Hazrat Shaya (Isaiah). The Ethiopian exclaimed passionately that he believed in Isa al-Masih and should be baptised. So Philip baptised him there and then.[14]

What Does Baptism Signify?

When we accept Isa al-Masih as Lord and Savour, we become one with Him. Baptism symbolises dying and being buried with Isa al-Masih and then, just as Sayyidna rose, the believer is raised to a new life in Him. As the Bible says, "... all of us who were baptised into Christ Jesus were baptised into his death... We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead ... we too may live a new life."[15]

6) Living With Christ

Sayyidna Isa Kalimatu'llah said, "Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven."[16] A believer can share in the love, joy and peace of Isa Ruh-u'llah. If you are a follower of Isa, some people will not mind your new faith, but others might find your new joy in Isa al-Masih to be something they regard as an enemy.

Sayyidna Isa al-Masih understands such situations and He has warned us that following Him will not be easy. However, He also promised that He will give us peace in our hearts and He will always be with us. He said, "Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.

Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven."[17]

7) A Changed Life

The true Christian is the one who follows Isa al-Masih, who has Christ as their life. True Christians are not those who simply live in ‘Christian’ lands, but those who have given themselves to Isa al-Masih in worship. If you have done this, you are “a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who brought you out of darkness into his wonderful light.”[18]

A Christian cannot live without Isa al-Masih. Sayyidna Isa said, "Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. I am the vine, you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing."[19]

This reminds us that we cannot overcome Satan by ourselves. Only Sayyidna Isa al-Masih can, because He has defeated Satan once for all. Satan always tries to harm those who have accepted Christ, and shake their faith. He stirs up opposition to try and make Sayyidna Isa’s followers deny their faith in Him. True believers continue to listen to Sayyidna Isa Ruh-u'llah in such situations. He warns us of opposition but reassures us that He is all-powerful. "All this I have told you so that you will not go astray. They will put you out of the synagogue; in fact, a time is coming when anyone who kills you will think he is offering a service to God. They will do such things because they have not known the Father or me... I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world".[20]

His peace be upon you, forever

References:

  1. [1] Hebrews 1:1-2
  2. [2] Matthew 11:28
  3. [3] John 14:6
  4. [4] John 5:39-40
  5. [5] John 3:2
  6. [6] John 3:3
  7. [7] John 3:5
  8. [8] Mark 16:15-16
  9. [9] Acts 2:14-42
  10. [10] Genesis 1:2, Revelation 22:17
  11. [11] John 16:8-11
  12. [12] Romans 2:4
  13. [13] Galatians 5:22-23
  14. [14] Acts 8:26-40
  15. [15] Romans 6:3-4
  16. [16] Matthew 5:16
  17. [17] Matthew 10:28-32
  18. [18] 1 Peter 2:9
  19. [19] John 15:4-5
  20. [20] John 16:1-3, 33

Next...

Word of Life

Thank you for visiting

Copyright & Published by Word of Life. Reg. Charity No.328492