Fundamentals of the Christian Faith in the Light of the Gospels
by Maulana Sadr-ud-Din
The Concept of Divine Unity in the Gospels
Man studies Sacred Scriptures that he may be able to get a good knowledge of the Most High God, and of the ways and means of His will and pleasure. Both these important objects can be gained through a careful study of the Gospels. First of all, the Gospels should be studied to obtain knowledge of the Most High God; for, without a knowledge of that Supreme Being, neither peace of mind nor purity of action can be achieved.
THE CONCEPT OF DIVINE UNITY IN THE GOSPELS
About the Most High God the Gospels say that He is the One True God, Who alone should be worshipped and adored, served devotedly and obeyed; and that it is senseless and irrational to raise a creature of His, whosoever he may be, to Divine heights. In this context, the following verses may be read with advantage:
“Again, the devil taketh him [Jesus] up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; and saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me. Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve” (Matthew, 4:8–10).
This passage inculcates in an unambiguous and plain language that the Most High God is the One True God, Who alone should be worshipped and adored, and no other being excepting Him should be invoked in prayer. Besides Matthew, other Gospels, too, have laid stress upon this rational and useful doctrine:
“And one of the scribes asked … him, Which is the first commandment of all? And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is: Hear O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: and thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these. And the scribe said unto him, Well, Master, thou hast said the truth: for there is one God; and there is none other than he…. And when Jesus saw that he answered discreetly, he said unto him, Thou art not far from the kingdom of God…” (Mark, 12:28–34).
“And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? He said unto him, What is written in the law? How readest thou? And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself. And he said unto him, Thou has answered right: this do, and thou shalt live” (Luke, 10:25–28).
Matthew in his Gospel (22:37–39) has also recorded this rational teaching literatim and then stresses its importance thus (22:40):
“On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”
“And this is eternal life, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent” [as Prophet] (John, 17:3).
From these passages, it is clear beyond all doubt that Jesus taught and preached that man should believe in the only true God, and should worship and adore none besides Him.