What makes Christianity apart from any other religion of the world can be summarized in two words: Jesus Christ. He is the center and foundation of the Christian faith, and He also is the reason why Christianity is different from all the other religions of the world.
The religions of the world are built on fear. They all have one thing in common: they are all searching for god or gods. Their deities are angry when they are violated; they become vengeful when they are offended. Their gods are hostile towards man. When a sinner violates his god, he must somehow seek to mitigate that god’s animosity toward him so that he can live in peace.
Generally, there are two ways these religions seek to pacify the offended deity and to gain their favor: ceremonially and morally. They have invented various ceremonials, bizarre rituals, and sacrifices while trying to accumulate ‘good deeds’. Regardless of the brand, all the religions of the world are in a desperate attempt to placate their gods who get great pleasure out of destroying them. That is really the heart of every false religion.
Here are FIVE reasons why Christianity is different than every other religion.
Our God is compassionate, merciful, and gracious
Christianity, on the contrary, the true and living God who at His very nature is compassionate, who in His very heart is merciful, gracious, and loving came down to earth searching for us! Instead of us reaching up to God, God has reached down to us! It is never a question of placating Him. The God of Christianity who has come down to earth does not stand in front of us as an angry, vengeful God. Rather, our God is a Peacemaker, a Savior. Our God desires to save people from their sins, with no ceremonial achievement and no moral worthiness required from the man. God saw a world of sinners whose sin was directly against Him. It offended Him, blasphemed Him, dishonored Him. They violated His holy Law, and yet He loved them and sought not to destroy them but came down to earth to save them (John 3:16).
Our God is born of a virgin
The virgin birth is the means by which the eternal Son of God became incarnate as fully human. This miracle of the incarnation is one of the deepest mysteries of the faith, but it is one that we dare not deny. Virgin birth relates to the identity of the Savior. He was a real human being that had a heavenly origin. He was fully God and fully human without sin. Since Jesus had not a literal, biological father, the sin nature (the guilt of Adam’s sin) was not passed down to Him. The Savior who lived a sinless life and made a sacrifice on the cross for our sins was none other than the baby who was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of a virgin. This is the faith of the true church, established in God’s inerrant Word and cherished throughout the ages. Without the virgin birth, there would be no salvation for sinners. Christians believe in the virgin-born Savior who died on the cross to reconcile sinners to God the father. For as by a sinful man comes death, by a sinless man comes the resurrection of the dead (1 Cor 15:21).
Our God offers Good News of Salvation
From God’s perspective there’s only two men who have ever lived, Adam and Christ. Every person is in either Adam or is in Christ. They were the two representative men. Adam represented the entire human race. Whatever Adam did affected every human being. Everyone enters into this world in Adam. Adam sin and we were already charged with Adam’s sin. Sin is an offense to God’s holiness. Because God is holy and a righteous judge, He has to punish the sin. The punishment for the Sin is the eternal condemnation to hell. Ever since Adam’s sin, every human has been guilty of disobeying God’s righteous laws (Romans 5:12).
Jesus Christ represents another race of people. Christ entered the world where Adam disobeyed, lived a perfectly obedient, sinless life. He willingly bore our iniquities upon Himself, went to the cross on our behalf and made a perfect sacrifice to God as the due payment for our sins. The death of Christ accomplished reconciliation between man and God. Jesus came down from Heaven to do for us what we could never do for ourselves: bring us to God. No matter how hard we try, we cannot erase the stain of sin by ourselves. But by His death and resurrection, Christ did this for us. Now, God promises to forgive our sin and to grant eternal life to all who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. God will credit Christ’s sinlessness, His perfect righteousness to all who believe (Romans 5:18-21).
Our God is a Savior of all people especially of believers
He is the Savior of all men potentially (1 Timothy 1:15); of believers alone effectually. All men enjoy to some degree the saving that believers enjoy. God is patient with the unbeliever. They receive a delayed judgment because of God’s love for the believer. They are not destroyed instantaneously upon their first iniquity, which God would have every right to do. God did not do this for Angels when they sin. He judged them instantly. But for what Christ has done for the sinner God is still patient and gives the opportunity to repent.
God sustains the lives of His sworn enemies, often for many decades! God provides food (Psalm 104:27, 28), sunlight and rainfall (Matt. 5:45), as well as life and breath and all things (Acts 17:25), for “in Him we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28). God preserves, delivers, and supplies the needs of all who live in this world, and it is in this sense that He extends grace to them, saving them from destruction every day they live. Not only the unbeliever enjoys a delayed judgment but also receives an abundant temporal blessing. And within that, they have time and opportunity to repent. However, as wonderful as it is, it is only a temporal grace because all unbelievers eventually die and will face judgment (Heb. 9:27). But with the believers, Jesus is especially their Savior, and judgment is permanently removed from them. He saves believers especially (1 Timothy 4:10) – not just in a temporal sense, but in a spiritual sense and an eternal sense.
Our God is the determiner of human destiny
Scripture tells us that we have all sinned; we have all committed evil acts (Romans 3:10-18). As a result of our sin, we deserve God’s anger and judgment. The only just punishment for sins committed against an infinite and eternal God is an infinite punishment (Romans 6:23; Revelation 20:11-15). There is no way a sinful human would be able to get away with this punishment by his own efforts, according to God’s terms. Knowing our utter helplessness God initiated a rescue plan for man to escape from His punishment. He sends His own Son to be born of a virgin (Isaiah 7:14), to be offered as a sacrifice on the cross for our sins (Hebrews 2:17).
The child that was born on Christmas day in Bethlehem, is no ordinary Child. He is the determiner of human destiny. God commands all people everywhere to believe in His Son, Jesus Christ. He has set a day when He will judge the world with justice by the man (Christ) He has appointed (Acts 17:30-31). There are only two destinations opened to all of us as human beings: Heaven (state of salvation) or Hell (damnation). Everyone is headed for death and everyone is going to live forever either in heaven or hell based on the choice they made about Jesus Christ. To those who believe, it is the savor of glory in heaven. To those who reject, it is eternal damnation in hell.
The plea to the unbeliever
Dear unbeliever, if you’re still breathing, it’s because of our God’s grace. He could snuff your life out any moment, and He would be perfectly just in doing so. But He has given you life, and time, and gospel opportunity, to believe and make things right. While there is time, while there is opportunity, while there is the knowledge of the truth, you should be swift to turn back to our God.
Salvation is not a question of intelligence. It’s a question of faith. Our God is not asking you to do penance; He is not asking you to put nails in your shoes; He is not asking you to inflict flogging on yourself; He is not asking you to receive sacraments or to collect good deeds. Your only hope to avoid perishing at the hands of God is to believe! There is no salvation in any other–Christ and Christ alone! “Whoever believes in Him will not be put to shame” (Rom 10:1). “Whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Rom 10:13). But the judgment will fall on the unbeliever one day, because of their stubbornness and unrepentant heart, they are storing up wrath against themselves for the day of God’s wrath when his righteous judgment will be revealed. (Romans 2).
As believers, we shouldn’t merely celebrate the birth of Christ. Christmas is an opportunity for us to celebrate every aspect of Christ’s life – His humble incarnation, His transformative ministry, His righteous example, and, ultimately, His sacrificial death.