145 - ADDITION EXAMPLE 2: Application of these findings in ministry
Because of the vagueness of these three Koran verses it is difficult to use them in your ministry among Muslims. However, there are some ways, in which you can proceed. Here are examples:
In answering Muslim missionaries, who try to persuade you to become a Muslim, you can address the vagueness of these Koran verses about Adam directly. You could answer them in the following way: “You Muslims believe, that Adam was the first prophet and, if I am not mistaken, you base your belief on statements of the Koran, according to which Allah elected Adam (20:122a), pardoned Adam (20:122b), guided Adam well (20:122c), and gave Adam words from himself (2:37a). However, these verses seem to be vague and contradictory to me: In what sense did Allah elect Adam? Why did he punish Adam by banishing him from Paradise if Allah had pardoned him? How did Allah guide Adam well, if he ended up having to leave Paradise? What words did Adam receive from Allah, except the command to leave Paradise? How can I accept the Koran if it has such vague and contradictory verses in it? Therefore, I invite you to consider the teaching of the Bible, which teaches that Adam was punished by God for his sin with death. And Adam did receive a word from God, namely that the seed of his wife will overcome Satan in the moment in which Satan tries to destroy him. This is Jesus Christ, who died for our sins on the cross, but rose from the death conquering the ultimate power of Satan. Believe in this word of God to Adam, then you will have eternal life.”
In speaking with Muslim seekers, who question Islam and are searching for the truth, you can argue in the following way: “Why did Allah command the angels to worship Adam? Does this make Adam a god for the angels? Did Allah then associate Adam with himself as divine before the angels? I believe this is a dangerous teaching of the Koran. The Bible is much safer in its teaching about Adam. It teaches that the angels were not commanded to bow down to Adam, but that Adam was created in God's image. For this reason, Adam had face-to-face fellowship with God, his creator. However, Adam sinned and was separated from God making his previous direct fellowship with God no longer possible. But the image of God in us as descendants of Adam still allows us to understand the Word of God, which he spoke to his chosen servants, and it allows him to understand us, when we speak to him in prayer. In addition, Adam being created in the image of God was the reason, why God could become flesh in a human being. Christ is the true image of God and all the angels of heaven and hell have to worship him, even Satan (Philippians 2:10). Open your heart to this image of God in the flesh and worship him, then you will have eternal life and Satan will never be able to harass you again.”
In your follow-up among new believers from a Muslim background you can go one step further. Show them from the Bible, that contrary to the teaching of the Koran, Adam according to the Bible was not pardoned, rather he was punished. His punishment was death. With his sin he brought death upon himself, upon all mankind and even upon everything that has the breath of life in it on our earth. For the wages of sin is death. The you can go on to say: "You and I must die, because Adam sinned. We have inherited not only his sin, but also his punishment. Here the Bible shows us that sin is not a small fault, which can easily be pardoned by God. No, it is a matter of life and death. If you sin, no matter how small or insignificant your sin may seem, it always causes your death, because it separates you from the only source of life in the universe, which is God himself. Therefore, the only remedy from this sin, the only foundation for a true reversal of this separation from God, is for God to come to us and reconcile us with himself, and through this to give us his eternal life. This is what he did in Jesus Christ, in whom you have come to believe! He carried the punishment for our sin and therefore God no longer counts our sins against us, since we accept Christ's death for our sins as legitimate and necessary for our life."
In discipling committed followers of Christ from a Muslim background, you can then proceed to show that in the Bible Adam was not just a prophet. No, he was much more. He lived in a close relationship with God, being able to communicate with him any time. He did not just receive information from God through an intermediary, like the prophets of the Koran, but he had the right and the privilege to live in the presence of God. This is part of the honor, which was conferred upon him in being created in the image of God. By sinning he forfeited this fellowship with God, because sin is separation from God. However, God came to us again in Jesus Christ to become our Immanuel, which is much more than just being a Prophet or a Messenger, as the Koran teaches. He did this, because he wanted to make us children of God, who have eternal life, the right to live in fellowship with our heavenly Father for eternity. Through faith in the name of Jesus Christ we receive the power to become children of God (John 1:12). Therefore, we will spend eternity with God in heaven. If Adam would have been only a Prophet, we would never be able to attain such a glorious end. Now that Adam was more than a Prophet before he sinned, we also have an infinitely higher hope of glory in Christ Jesus our Lord and Savior.
When teaching and preaching in gatherings of Christians from a Muslim background, you can show that Adam did not repent, as the Koran seems to imply. On the contrary, he tried to vindicate himself, by accusing his wife and his wife followed his example by accusing the snake. This was the most tragic thing that destroyed his life: he did not discern that he sinned and therefore was not able to acknowledge his sin. True repentance can only happen in the power of God's word and of his Holy Spirit, when our eyes become opened to our sin! Every true revival in the church starts with this: individuals and then the fellowship as a whole sees their sins, acknowledges their sins, brings their sins before God and asks for God to judge them according to what they deserve. If you do this, then you see that God did judge and is judging my and our sin on the cross of Jesus Christ. His death is vital for you and for me. This is the secret of the power of the blood of Christ. It does not have magic, but the blood of Christ received power to make me holy, only if I see, understand, acknowledge and confess my sin. Then I see, understand, acknowledge and confess that Christ really did have to die for my sin. Upon such a Bible- and Spirit-wrought repentance and faith in the Cross, God can build his church.
And finally, in warning Christians with little knowledge of Islam from opening up to this religion of the Koran, you can highlight that any tiny sympathy with the teachings of this book brings you closer to a trivialization of sin and therefore to a reduction of the importance of the Cross of Christ. In other words, if you open up to Islam, you will lose your salvation in Jesus Christ, because then you begin to accept the teachings of the Koran, according to which Adam's sin was not that grave as to merit death, rather just a mistake and therefore could easily be pardoned by Allah. If you open up to this anti-biblical teaching then you work against Christ and the God of Christ, who punished the “first Adam” with death and in the “last Adam” Jesus Christ overcame the power of death to grant us eternal life through faith in the Gospel (1 Corinthians 15:45).