What Makes Christianity Different?
In a world where hundreds of religions exist and even where thousands of gods are worshiped, what makes Christianity different from all the other religions – and how do we know if the God of the Bible is the one true God.
- Christianity Is A Personal Relationship With God
Unlike other religions, Christianity is a personal or one-on-one relationship with God through Jesus Christ. God is more than just our Creator. God through His scriptures refers to Christians as His children; His sons & daughters; His friends; His heirs; His good & faithful servants.
All these titles refer to a personal relationship between God and Christians. God is not distant & inaccessible – but He is accessible, available & ready to receive all who approach Him.
In contrast those who do not have a personal relationship with God through Christ, including hypocrites, will not be recognized or accepted into Heaven on judgment day as Christ will tell such people that He does not KNOW them. This scenario is seen in Matthew 7:22-23 where Jesus says the following “Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never KNEW you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’”
In Greek the word KNEW which Jesus uses refers to a close personal & intimate relationship. It is not about intellectual knowledge of a person but it is about personal one-on-one relationship.
True Christianity is therefore involves a relationship with God who desires that we relate with Him.
- Christianity Is A Lifestyle – Not A Religion
Religion emphasizes the importance of sacrifice, ritual, legalism and how much people should do for God. Other religions tend to emphasize the individual’s personal works & merit in order to please God.
In contrast Christianity emphasizes the importance of the work & sacrifice of Jesus Christ and what He did to freely give salvation to those who believe in Him.
Christianity is a life lived in Christ. The Christian no longer lives for himself or by his own strength – but he lives for Christ & in Christ and the life the Christian lives belongs to Christ.
Galatians 2:19-20 – For I through the law died to the law that I might live to God. 20 I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.
Christianity therefore is more than obeying a set of laws or rules but it is a lifestyle where Christ is given Lordship and control in a person’s life.
- Christianity Is About God Reaching To Man First
1 John 4:19 – We love Him because He first loved us.
Romans 5:8-9 – But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
God loved us first before we ever had the idea that we must love God. Whilst we were sinners, God sought us, planned our redemption through Christ well before we knew that we needed as Saviour: This is the Christian & Biblical viewpoint of God and how God relates to man.
Other religions however may emphasize specific rituals, laws, initiations and behaviours that need to be performed by man in order to reach God. Other religions will also incorrectly teach that God’s love is conditional and that His love is dependent on man’s merit and performance.
However, from the Christian Biblical view, God’s love is unconditional and His love for us is not based on our personal merit or works.
1 John 4:9-11 – In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. 10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
- Christianity is About Salvation By Grace
Grace is undeserved kindness. Grace is God’s riches at Christ’s expense. Grace is God’s goodness towards us even though we don’t deserve it. Grace allows us to be a work in progress without the condemnation.
Therefore a person does not become a Christian or receive salvation based on personal merit or personal works. The scriptures tell us that we are saved by God’s grace and not by our own merit. We are saved by the work of Christ on the cross and not by our own effort.
Ephesians 2:8-10 – For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.
As mentioned before, unlike Christianity other religions will emphasize that personal effort & personal merit without Christ is what will bring about salvation or one’s place in the kingdom of God.
The truth is – there is nobody who is perfect and there is nobody who can perfectly obey all kinds of laws & traditions that are set. Every person has sinned and will continue to sin as long as they live on the earth in the flesh.
However, only Jesus Christ was PERFECT when He lived on this earth. Only Jesus Christ lived a life without sin and this is why Jesus was the PERFECT sacrifice for the sins of mankind.
If mankind could pay God a satisfactory payment for their sins then Jesus would not have come. However man cannot pay for his own sins by his own righteousness or merits. God says that our righteousness and our personal merit are as filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6) and we have all sinned and fall short of God’s glory (Romans 3:23).
Therefore GRACE is an important part of the Christian faith but other religions do not consider the grace of God and the work of grace done through the life, death & resurrection of Christ. Rather other religions consider their law, their tradition, their personal merits & works above Christ and above the work of Christ on the cross.
Galatians 2:21 – I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died in vain.
- God Took The Form of a Man to Redeem Mankind
After Adam sinned, the whole of mankind has inherited the sin nature to this day. From the time Adam sinned, Adam could not pay God for his own sin. Animals that were without blemish had to be sacrificed but even the animals could not adequately pay the price for sin. It is said that the animal sacrifices would only COVER the sins of man. However the blood that Jesus shed on the cross did more – it ERASES the sins of man.
None of God’s prophets could pay for mankind’s sin; Abraham couldn’t pay; neither could Moses & Jacob. God’s angels also could not pay for mankind’s sin. Redemption for sin had to come from a perfect Being. The price had to be paid by One who is without sin. The price had to be paid out of love, grace & mercy.
Therefore God Himself in the form of Jesus Christ took the form of a human in order to redeem mankind.
Romans 5:18-19 – Therefore, as through one man’s offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life. 19 For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous.
Philippians 2:5-11 – Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, 7 but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. 9 Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, 11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Other religions however do not reflect a god who is willing to die & redeem his own to the extent shown in the God of the Bible.
The reality is the remedy for sin is not found in man – but it is found in God – only God through the work of Christ is able to eternally deal with the sin nature of man.
- God Is Not A Creation of Man
In the beginning God created man and when he created man, God created man in His own image. However after the sin of Adam, man began to create gods according to man’s own image & preference. Since the fall of man, mankind has created all kinds of idols and worshipped various types of gods.
Religions are man-made. It is man’s way of trying to reach God.
Christianity however is about God reaching out to mankind. Jesus is the Author & Finisher of the Christian faith. Jesus is the Founder & Head of the Church.
The Christian faith & doctrine does not come from man – but it comes from God.
Galatians 1:6-9 – I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, 7 which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. 9 As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed.
There are certain religions that are founded on supposed angels appearing & telling a person, usually the founder of that religion about a “new” way to worship or receive spiritual enlightenment. Paul warns the Galatians that even if an angel speaks words that are contrary to the gospel of Christ such information / heresy is not to be accepted.
- The Resurrection of Jesus
The founders, the prophets and the leaders of every religion are dead and their bodies are in the ground. However only Jesus Christ rose from the dead. Only Jesus resurrected.
Without the resurrection, Christianity would be just like any other religion. However the resurrection of Christ proves that all believers will resurrect in Christ & that Christ indeed was more than just a man but He was the Son of God. It proves that Christians serve a living God and that physical death is not the end – especially for the Christian believer.
John 11:25 – Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live.
Romans 8:11 – But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.
- The Word of God is Written by God Himself
The Christian manual for life and for all life issues is the Bible. In Christianity it is the word of God which was inspired by God Himself. The Bible in its original text is infallible because God is its Author. Its teachings and doctrine are therefore without error. The Bible is therefore the final authority.
The Bible is a collection of 66 books which were written by about 40 men over a period of 1500 years or more. Most of these authors had never physically met but yet their message in what they wrote is structured, consistent, accurate, inter-related and perfectly unified throughout. Though these writers physically penned the 66 books, the individual writers, at the time of writing, had no idea that their message was eventually to be incorporated into one single Book, that we know today as being The Bible.
Interestingly (as we keep in mind the accuracy & consistency of their writings) these writers believed and claimed that they were writing or transmitting the very word of God – or that their writings were as a result of the inspiration ONE single supernatural Author – God Himself.
2 Timothy 3:16-17 – All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.
DO YOU WANT TO BE A CHRISTIAN or A FOLLOWER OF JESUS CHRIST???
1. ACKNOWLEDGE: “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).
This means that we have all broken God’s laws and God’s 10 Commandments like those mentioned in Exodus 20:1-17. For example, if you have told a lie; if you have stolen something; if you have lusted after somebody or if you have coveted. This means you are guilty of breaking at least one or more of God’s 10 Commandments. Breaking God’s commandments makes us sinners. The fact that we are sinners who have broken God’s law means that we are accountable to God who is the Lawgiver. Romans 6:23 says that “the wages of sin is death BUT the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord”
You must acknowledge that you are a sinner who has broken God’s commandments and that you therefore need Jesus in your life.
2. REPENT: “Unless you repent you will all likewise perish” (Luke 13:3), “Repent therefore and be converted that your sins may be blotted out” (Acts 3:19)
Repenting means: to change your mind; a sincere turning away, in heart, mind and action;
Therefore God wants you to repent of sinful values and of sinful living. God wants you to decide to
follow Him and to make Jesus the Lord of your life.
3. CONFESSION: “If we confess our sins. He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). “That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9)
God is a forgiving God. God will forgive any sin that you have done because Jesus died for ALL your sins and to set you free from the bondage of all types of sin in your life.
4. BELIEVE: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). “He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned” (Mark 16:16)
You must believe that ONLY Jesus can save you and restore your relationship with God. You must believe that Jesus is the ONLY way by which you can have everlasting life and escape from eternal separation from God. You must believe that Jesus died on the cross for you and resurrected from the grave.
“He came to His own, and His own did not receive him, But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name” (John 1:11-12)
By faith, You must receive Jesus as Your Lord & Savior and therefore; you become a child of God; you become born again; you become a Christian; you restore your broken relationship with God
Why not make your eternal decision NOW?
We become born again Christians by GRACE through FAITH or TOTAL TRUST in Jesus Christ as our Lord & Savior (Galatians 3:26) & (Ephesians 2:8,9). Salvation is a FREE gift received through FAITH in Christ.
PLEASE NOTE: You can choose to pray in your own words. This prayer is a sample prayer and it is only an EXPRESSION of your faith, belief & trust in Jesus. Salvation is by GRACE through FAITH or BELIEVING in Christ Jesus as your Lord & Saviour.
“Lord Jesus, I thank You for Your love. I thank You that You died on the cross for me and resurrected so that I may have life through You.
I confess Lord that I have sinned against You and today I ask You to forgive me of all of my sins, past present and future.
I repent of all of my sins and I ask You to cleanse me Jesus.
Thank You for forgiving my sins.
From this moment, come into my life Lord Jesus & take full control of my life. I want to follow You Jesus and I want to follow Your ways. Save me and from today, make me the person You want me to be.
I receive You Lord Jesus right now by faith. I make You my Lord and Savior – Amen”
Have you, by faith, received & accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord & Savior because of what you have read here? If so, please let us know by clicking on the “I have accepted Jesus Christ today” button below so that we may explain this wonderful decision you have made & steps you can make to grow in the Lord.