Sunday, November 6, 2016

Talking about Sin

“But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners." Romans 5:8

After reading through my recent journal one thing stood out above all others.  Memories flooded back of the many in-depth conversations centered around the subject of sin and the cross which I engaged in with my Muslim and believer friends.  Much deeper and bolder inroads were taken into that dark powerful territory. It was not pleasant territory to walk in, but inevitable and necessary.  I went in shining the Light and speaking the Truth and there were strong reactions and responses. Some friends cut me off totally while others listened carefully.

If we want to make the cross and a Savior understood we can not avoid talking about sin. I have discovered that some Muslims who declare they are following Jesus have not understood the cross or ever been convicted of their sin, repented of it, or been transformed. They have primarily been touched by the suffering and love of Jesus. However, that is not complete. To understand the preciousness of our salvation the subject of sin must be addressed. We are saved from the power of sin.

When Jesus came to earth He entered our world of sin. When we decide to enter the lives of our Muslim friends we, too, will soon see the effects of sin: misogyny and misandry, broken families and relationships, cut off communication with someone in their community, toxic and twisted thought patterns, rebelliousness, controlling people, craving for revenge, obsession with correct religious behavior and clothing, overwhelming fear of Allah, hell, and punishment, obsessive concern about forbidden food, etc. We can pick up they are carrying burdens of guilt or shame.

 Recently some Muslim friends received some chocolates. They quickly read the label to see if there was any gelatin in them and since there was none listed they began to enjoy them. They offered me some but I declined. “Don’t worry, there’s no gelatin in them,” they said. “It’s not the gelatin I’m worried about – it’s the sugar,” I replied. While I thought of diabetes prevention they thought of punishment from Allah, bad luck, or hell. Conversations can get extremely vexing and oppressive over what constitutes real sin and righteousness.  

I told Hamida that Jesus Christ came from heaven to earth and did she know why? She didn’t know so I told her it was to die for our sins and explained sin and its consequences from Genesis 3 and how a sacrifice was needed to take the guilt and punishment of our sins away. Jesus Christ made atonement for our sins. She was visibly surprised. She had never heard before that He came to die for our sins.

Have you approached the subject of sin with your Muslim friend? The amazing work of Jesus accomplished on the cross will not be comprehended without understanding our sin. 

Dear heavenly Father, please help me to be able to talk about sin with my Muslim friends. I find it so difficult and uncomfortable.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.