Finding Righteousness in Istanbul

viaadmin Volume 39

As Muhammad and his friend were walking through the Bazaar Quarter of Istanbul, they heard a loud explosion, and joined the crowd that was gathering at the site. When they saw an American father trying to reassure his two young daughters, Muhammad offered to buy ice cream for the little girls. After the ice cream had comforted them, Mohammad and his friend asked the father about himself.

The American told them he was a Christian and was now visiting other Christians. Muhammad, who regularly went to one of the more than 2400 mosques in the city, was surprised to learn that there were Christians in Istanbul. He knew something about Christianity because a childhood friend had read him library books that contained Bible stories. However, as he had grown older, he was taught that the Quran was the only book of truth. After some discussion, both Muhammad and his friend accepted an invitation to go with the American to a Bible study.

Muhammad’s friend soon lost interest and left, because he believed that he could only be accepted on the judgment day if he kept the laws in the Quran. However, Muhammad continued to attend the Bible studies, and soon met some Turkish Christians who had turned to the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation.

He started studying the Bible and in particular, the tenth chapter of Romans. In verse 3 he read, “For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.” He knew that God was holy, and understood that he was a sinner in God’s sight. He learned that righteousness with God could only be attained by trusting in the atoning work of Christ, and not by following the Quran.

One day he accepted God’s promise, “If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness…” (Romans 10:9-10). That day, Muhammad gained a permanent righteousness and eternal life by trusting in the Lord Jesus Christ.

How are you trying to establish your righteousness before God? Your good works and best efforts can never satisfy God’s holy standard. The only basis of salvation for any of us is the Lord Jesus Christ who, on the cross, took the punishment for our sin so we could “be made the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Corinthians 5:21). Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and God will grant you righteousness through Him.

(Muhammad is not his real name)

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