There are many different religions in the world. Some estimate that there are around 20 major religions with these 20 divided into around 300 subdivisions. Each one believes that they are right and everyone else is wrong or that their beliefs are compatible with the beliefs of others. What sets Christianity apart from other religions? What are some of the unique aspects of Christianity that differ from all, or some, of the other major religions?
Works cannot make us right with God
Many religions, even some sectors of so-called Christianity, believe that, if a person can do enough good, they will be approved by God. Dr. Steve Kern writes, “World religions are self-helps on how man can pull himself up to God establishing his own goodness” (Kern, p. 235). Contrary to the beliefs of these false religions, the Bible tells us that man can never do enough to work his way to heaven .
“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9 ESV).
“…he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit…” (Titus 3:5 ESV).
“…who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace…” (II Timothy 1:9 ESV).
Jesus Christ died on a cross to pay for our sins (Romans 3:25; Hebrews 2:17; I John 2:2, 4:10). There is nothing we can do, apart from trusting in Him, that enables us to have our sins forgiven and begin a new life with God. “No other religion in the world teaches our need for God to save us by His finished work. They are all based on man working to develop his own righteousness by good deeds” (Kern, p. 235).
Many religions seek escape from the world, Christianity seeks to influence it
The goal of many religions is to attain some condition or destination in which they no longer interact, nor are they burdened, with reality. The goal of these religions is escape, or detachment. Conversely, Christianity seeks to bring the truth of the good news of God’s love  to people and help them know God in an intimate personal way. Evangelism, witnessing, and missions are a few of the ways Christians are involved in introducing others to Jesus Christ.
God Seeks Sinners
For those religions that do believe in some sort of god, the god they believe in is usually impersonal, aloof, and standoffish. Their god is ‘up there’ while we are ‘down here’. This is not the case with the God of the Bible. It is God who initiates the process by which we are brought back into a right relationship with Him.
“He first loved us” (I John 4:10, 19).
“…but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8 ESV).
“For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost” (Luke 19:10 ESV).
“For thus says the Lord God: Behold, I, I myself will search for my sheep and will seek them out” (Ezekiel 34:11 ESV).
“I will seek the lost, and I will bring back the strayed, and I will bind up the injured, and I will strengthen the weak, and the fat and the strong I will destroy. I will feed them in justice” (Ezekiel 34:16 ESV).
These verses make it clear that God loves us enough to seek after us, to draw us to Him. He has not abandoned humanity and left us to fend for ourselves. He has not left us without evidence of His love and power. This evidence is even seen in the creation around us (Romans 1:19-20).
The claims of Christianity make sense of the world we see around us
Everything we see in our universe makes sense when interpreted by the biblical record. People’s actions only make sense when we see that God created humanity good, but we rebelled against Him . Those who are without a relationship with God are torn between what they are and what they were created to be.
Drug use, alcoholism, and many other issues that take a toll on society are the result of rebellion against God. As long as a person rejects God and attempts to live by self-made standards and ideas, that person will experience emptiness in his or her soul that they will try to fill with all kinds of false answers.
Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden of Eden , thus corrupting the perfect relationship they had enjoyed since they were created. Since that day, humanity has been separated from the holy God by our sin. However, God loves us so much that He gave His only Son to die on a cross in order to restore holiness to those who would repent and follow Him.
The main thing that sets Christianity apart from all other religions is the person of Jesus Christ
Jesus Christ, God’s only begotten Son, is the centerpiece of the entire Bible, both Old and New Testaments. The Old Testament tells of the initial goodness of Creation, of man’s rebellion and fall, and of God reassuring Adam and Eve that He would provide the way to make things ‘good’ again. The remainder of the Old Testament is the story how God’s strained relationship with His people. They would follow Him for a while, and then decide that their ideas or desires outweighed His lordship, and they would rebel. This reveals that any time we attempt to live our lives apart from God’s grace  and power, we will fail. God is holy (Leviticus 11:44-45, 19:2; Joshua 24:19; I Samuel 2:2, 6:20; Psalm 99:9; I Peter 1:16), but we are not. We are unable, as was mentioned earlier, to keep God’s holy standard or to make ourselves holy enough to mend the separation that began in the Garden of Eden. On our own, we will remain forever separated from God.
However, God did not leave us without hope. He knows our shortcomings and inabilities, so He provided the way by which we can reestablish that wonderful relationship that was lost so long ago. Payment had to be made for the sin of humanity. Punishment must be dealt for that sin; the Bible says that, “…the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23). This means that the life we live in rejection to God earns us death. Death is required as payment for our sin.
This is where that famous, most-often quoted, verse tells us, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16 ESV). A sacrifice was required for the sin of humankind. God loves us so much that He not only drew us to Himself, but also provided the sacrifice for us in the person of His only Son, Jesus Christ. This is the example of perfect love.
What makes Christianity different from other religions? It is the love of God. His love separates false religions from the Truth of the Gospel. The sacrifice of Jesus is the ultimate example of that love. God, working through the Holy Spirit, is calling everyone to experience the love He offers.
God calls each of us to respond to that love . Jesus endured agony that you and I cannot understand. Not only was He beaten, spat upon, humiliated, and finally crucified on a cross, but also He did it willingly…voluntarily. He did it for you and me. God asks for nothing but what is due Him. As Creator, Sustainer, and Savior He is worthy of our love, worship, and allegiance.
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Kern, Dr. Steve. No Other Gods. Amerisearch, 2007.
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version
“Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.”