News and Views
Jesus is Unique
Friday, May 11, 2012
There are several significant ways in which Christianity is unique, different from all other religions. This uniqueness is centered in Jesus Christ.
It has been said that, "Religion is mankind's search for God; Christianity is God's search for mankind." The God who searches for mankind is unique as a triune being, God, Father and Son and Holy Spirit. He uniquely prepared a special people through whom He gave us His written Word, the Bible, with its hundreds of accurate predictions of His living Word, Jesus. He came to earth to live a perfect human life as Son of God and Son of Man; Jesus, who uniquely kept His will perfectly in tune with the will of God the Father.
Some ancient mythologies contain imitation accounts of imperfect, lustful gods deceiving or raping beautiful women and producing great warrior heroes, but none of them are anything like the gentle account of God the Holy Spirit softly coming upon a willing virgin to beget God the Son, Jesus.
Christianity is unique in its declaration that our good works can not earn us a place in God's good books. Paul wrote, "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God--not by works , so that no one can boast." (Eph. 2:8-9 NIV) We can only accept or reject that wonderful free gift of reconciliation with God which Jesus earned for us through His sacrificial death on the cross in place of us. God does expect us to do good things, not to earn His acceptance, but to express appreciation for the joy and wonder of living in relationship with Him. That subtle difference in motivation is huge, and unique to Christianity, as is our relationship to God. We are enabled to live in a love relationship with God, not because He disregards our wrong-doing and rebellion, but because Jesus' shed blood has cleansed us and paid the penalty for us so that we can stand before God as righteous.
Christianity is also the only religion which points to its founder's empty grave, empty because He, Jesus, rose from the dead and is alive forevermore. We also have the promise that we, too, will rise from the dead to eternal life, an eternity in which we ourselves will live in the very presence of our glorious God, Father and Son and Holy Spirit.
When understood as a whole, Christianity is also a uniquely logical faith resting on God's great power, knowledge, love and justice. At the same time, it is uniquely personal as we experience the comfort, peace and joy of God's presence and learn to recognize how He communicates directly to each one of us. One God, one Bible, one Saviour and Lord, one way to forgiveness, one blessed and joyous life now and forever. What more could we possibly want?
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