This weekend, we celebrate a momentous occasion: the commencement of Passover as well as the Resurrection. Jews are continuing in their remembrance of the Death Angel passing them over, while Christians remember when Death was conquered! But as we all know, not everyone believes the Christ is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. So what is it, exactly, that sets us apart?
1) Christianity is not a religion; it’s a relationship.
Religion is a man-made attempt, a ritual, to reach God–whatever or whomever you deem that entity to be. It is man stumbling–and failing–to reach God. Yet Christianity is just the opposite. It is God reaching down to man: creating man in His image (Genesis 1:27), then giving them the ability and the tools to reach back to Him.
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. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. (Romans 10:9-10)
2) Christianity is based not on what you can do for God, but rather, what God did for you.
Every religion focuses on the human, either human works or human glorification. But no amount of works can promise you godhood or a relationship with God. Even the works of Judaism have become obsolete since Christ became the ultimate atonement for our sins. He already purchased our freedom. All we need do is accept it.
Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”), that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. (Galatians 3:13-14)
And as for good works, we do them, not to be saved, but because we are saved; as an act of dedication, not obligation.
For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:8-10)
3) Christianity is the only belief system that promises all of its subscribers will be indwelt and led by the same Spirit.
Many other religions promise that spirit guides or angels will come into you and flow through you. Many also claim that many spirits or familiars will lead you or come into you and give you power. And these spirits may “guide” you for a time, but ultimately, they will drive you to places you never ever wanted to go and show you things you never wanted to see, not really. Yet Christianity promises that only one Spirit, one Guide, will come to you: the Holy Ghost. And not only is He the only Spirit Who can truly be everywhere at the same time and thus, in all of His believers, at the same time, but He is a Gentlemen; here to help you, not to drive you against your will.
And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever—the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. (John 14:16-17)
But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me. (John 15:26)
But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth. (Acts 1:8)
4) Christianity is the only belief system where the religious leader not only died, but rose again.
Most religions claim that their leader died. Of course, there are always a few exceptions to the rules: And some, like the Mormons, also believe their leader died as a martyr for their sins. But those claims remain unverified. Anyone can die. But it takes a God to raise Himself up again.
Jesus answered and said to them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” …But He was speaking of the temple of His body. Therefore, when He had risen from the dead, His disciples remembered that He had said this to them; and they believed the Scripture and the word which Jesus had said. (John 2:19, 21-22)
5) Christianity is marked by the demonstration of the power of its God–a power that overrides all others.
True Christianity follows Christ’s example, not only in love, but in power.
For the kingdom of God is not in word but in power. (I Corinthians 4:20)
And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover. (Mark 16:17-18)
While there are many false prophets and false Christs who can perform signs and wonders (Matthew 24:24, Mark 13:22), it is the Finger (Spirit) of God that overrides every other power in the earth and heavens.
But if I cast out demons with the finger of God, surely the kingdom of God has come upon you. When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own palace, his goods are in peace. But when a stronger than he comes upon him and overcomes him, he takes from him all his armor in which he trusted, and divides his spoils. (Luke 11:20-22)
6) Christianity is the only belief system that assures everlasting life.
Many religions make claims about living “heaven on earth.” Some believe in reincarnation: going around the mulberry bush until you finally get it right. Similarly, Mormonism states if you do all the right things, you can achieve godhood in the hereafter. But none of these actually offer assurance. It’s like studying for a final, doing everything you can to pass, only walk out of the final never knowing the result. Many people die never knowing if they’ve done enough to attain Heaven–if they believe in Heaven. The answer is no. No human can ever do enough to deserve Heaven.
But we are all like an unclean thing, And all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags; We all fade as a leaf, And our iniquities, like the wind, Have taken us away. (Isaiah 64:6)
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God… (Romans 3:23)
That’s why we need Jesus. It is only the acceptance of His Sacrifice that makes us worthy.
Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life. (John 5:24)
The gift of God is available to us all. On this Resurrection weekend and Passover, we celebrate that gift. And praise God, that is our assurance. Happy Resurrection Day!
For more “ready arguments” for your faith, check out this awesome teaching by Dr. Perry Stone!