Fundamentals of the Christian Faith in the Light of the Gospels
by Maulana Sadr-ud-Din
The Righteous Have Always Existed in the World Says the Gospel: Belief in God requires Obedience to His Apostle
Jesus said that for the achievement of eternal and everlasting life, it is essentially necessary that man should believe in the One True God, and it is equally necessary that one should believe in the apostleship of the prophet Jesus. In order to acquaint His servants with the ways that lead into His presence, God picks up a righteous man to be His apostle, and he, with the blessing and grace of Divine guidance and his own excellent example, sets people on the Right Path. With reference to these two very important articles of faith, the Gospel has inculcated:
“And this is life eternal, that they might know thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou has sent [as thy apostle]” (John, 17:3).
Addressing his disciples, Jesus said:
“He that receiveth you receiveth me, and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me” (Matthew, 10:40).
“Whosoever shall receive me, receiveth not me, but him that sent me” (Mark, 9:37).
In these verses Jesus has expounded very explicitly the real purpose for which an apostle is sent, namely, to impart unto the people a knowledge of the Divine Being, and to call upon them to obey the Commandments of God, and to follow in the footsteps of this apostle. But the followers of the apostle, there is no gainsaying this fearful fact, either through mistake or having been overwhelmed with excessive love for him, invest him with Divinity instead of looking upon him as an apostle of God.
“He that hath received his testimony hath set to his seal that God is true. For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God” (John, 3:33–34).
Here Jesus professes that he was God’s apostle who appeared among his people to teach them the most important principle of the unity of God.