John 6:29, 14:6
Acts 2:23–24, 4:12
Romans 3:23, 5:8, 10:9
It’s been said that all religions are the same and only seemingly different. In truth, Christianity is profoundly different from every religion with only superficial similarities.
Every other religion, including atheism — a religion by definition1 — basically says you can save yourself. Do enough good deeds to please a god, gods, force, or yourself, and you can earn salvation (for atheists, satisfaction). The Bible emphatically teaches the
opposite. No one can earn salvation because God’s standard is perfection. Even our good works are saturated with our sin and are filthy rags before a holy God (Isaiah 64:6).
To earn salvation, we’d have to live a life of perfect obedience to all of God’s laws (James 2:10). And since God sees our motives
and thoughts, those must always be perfectly pure and God exalting (Matthew 5:21–30). Of course, none can do this and thus Scripture says, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).
We also cannot comprehend the gravity of our sin because we cannot fathom the holiness, justice, and infinite nature of the God we’ve sinned against. Think of it this way — lie to a child and there are limited consequences; lie to a spouse and the consequences increase; lie to the government and jail awaits. Same sin, different consequences because of whom the
sin is against. And every sin is an act of treason against the sovereign of the universe, whom we’re attempting to supplant with ourselves. Like Adam and Eve, just one sin justifies our separation from a perfect God who won’t tolerate any sin in His holy presence. Consequently, mankind is hopeless on his own and requires the intervention of a Savior.
All other religions are man grasping for truth and salvation. The Hindu Vedas say truth is mysterious, Buddha searched for truth, and Muhammad said he pointed to the truth. However, Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me” (John 14:6, NASB). Jesus isn’t “a way” and doesn’t “point” to the truth; He is the truth and only way to heaven. Jesus is God become flesh, a fact He continually declared and demonstrated by forgiving sins and performing miracles (Mark 2:1–12). He came from heaven to become our blood relative, to do for us what we could never do for ourselves. Christianity is God reaching to man.
Jesus, the Last Adam, lived a perfect life, died on the Cross to pay the perfect infinite price we couldn’t pay, and defeated death by rising from the grave. No other religion has an empty tomb! Every other major religious leader is dead. Only Jesus rose from the grave, the ultimate confirmation of who He is and what He taught (Acts 2:23–24); that all who will repent (turn away from) their sin and put their faith solely in Christ will be saved (John 6:29; Acts 4:12).
No, Christianity isn’t like other religions. Man’s word and religions say do; God’s Word in Christianity says done in Christ. Whose word will you trust?
1 A definition for religion from Merriam-Webster Dictionary: “a cause, principle, or system of
beliefs held to with ardor and faith.”