Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Islam and Christianity A Common Word: What was the religion of Abraham?

I read another interesting  post from thgrandverbalizer on his blog. In this article he examines what Religion Abraham had. He makes the arguments that Abraham was not a Jew or a Christian because Abraham predates both Judaism and Christianity. I agree....partly.  Abraham did not have the law but he still made blood sacrifices to atone for his sins. How do we know this? When God asks Abraham to sacrifice Isaac as a burnt offering, Abraham didn't respond with "What is a burnt offering?" This is evidence that he was familiar with this aspect of worship. Abraham and God also made a a covenant over a slaughtered a heifer, goat, ram, dove, and a pigeon in Genesis 15 as a guarantee of the promises given to Abraham. The need to atone for sins through blood sacrifice to take away guilt and stay judgment. is evident before the law was given through Moses and is binding on everyone.

The grandverbalizer quoted the following from the Qur'an:

“Abraham was neither a Jew nor a Christian; rather he was an upright man who had surrendered to Allah (Muslim), and he was not of the idolaters.”( Holy Qur'an chapter 3 verse 67)” 
The suggestion seems to be that Jews and Christians don't submit themselves to God. I totally disagree. The thing is that describing Abraham as a Muslim is a tad of an overreaching conclusion. Did Abraham follow the  pillars of Islam? Did he ever once go to  Mecca? Nope. Therefore if you are going to use the ithe given logic that Abraham as not a Jew or Christian, then Abraham was not a Muslim either. So if you were going to label Abraham's religion  what would it be? Abraham was a believer. That is  how he was made righteous.

 1What then shall we say that Abraham, our forefather, discovered in this matter? 2If, in fact, Abraham was justified by works, he had something to boast about—but not before God. 3What does the Scripture say? "Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness. - Romans 4: 1-3 
Paul quotes from Genesis 15:6. Abrahm was righteous because hebelieved in that God promised him. He didn't just promise him Isaac, God promised that through Abraham and isaac all humanity would be blessed.

God said to Abraham in Genesis 22: 17-18:

17 I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies, 18 and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me." 
Notice "offsrping" is singular! Some translations say "seed". God was referring to one particular person - Jesus. How can I prove that? Jesus said it.
56Your father Abraham rejoiced at the thought of seeing my day; he saw it and was glad."
 57"You are not yet fifty years old," the Jews said to him, "and you have seen Abraham!"
 58"I tell you the truth," Jesus answered, "before Abraham was born, I am!" - John 8:56-58

Jesus' coming  excited Abraham. It was  Abrahm's belief that god was going top do what god told him He was going to do that made Abraham righteous. This is how we are saved today. Not of works.  I'm not saying that Abraham understood all of this as much as we do today but he did know that God would provide the sacrifice Himself.

 6 Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering and placed it on his son Isaac, and he himself carried the fire and the knife. As the two of them went on together, 7 Isaac spoke up and said to his father Abraham, "Father?"
      "Yes, my son?" Abraham replied.
      "The fire and wood are here," Isaac said, "but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?"
 8 Abraham answered, "God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son." And the two of them went on together. - Genesis 22: 6-8

That sacrifice was Jesus Himself.

Islam and Christianity A Common Word: What was the religion of Abraham?

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