Friday, 5 February 2016

What Makes Christianity Special?

Marco Palmezzano: Crucifixion of Jesus of Nazareth (ca. 1490), public domain.

Joel Kontinen

We seem to have a universal need for searching for answers to life’s ultimate questions.

Christianity gives us answers to the big issues humanity is facing, such as why there is so much suffering in the world and what is man’s ultimate destiny.

It shows why we differ from all other living beings. Created in God’s image, we are “fearfully and wonderfully made,” as Psalm 139:14 puts it. Our bodies are full of amazing molecular machines that display our Creator’s handiwork and cannot be explained away by evolution.

Other religions and humanistic ideologies fail to give us satisfactory answers.

Christianity also differs from all other religions that we know of in another very pertinent way.

Non-Christian religions focus on what we should do to please God. This often involves various kinds of rituals, such as sacrifices, observing holy days and perhaps fasting.

In contrast, Christianity has to do with trust. We trust that God has already done everything that is necessary for our salvation.

Salvation is necessary because we are all tainted with the sin nature that we inherited from our earliest ancestors. Their disobedience brought death and suffering into the world.

This shows why there is so much bloodshed and suffering in the world. Only the Judeo-Christian worldview can explain why things all too often go awry.

All we need to do is to believe that Jesus Christ came to earth to atone for our sins. He was willing to die on a wooden cross for our sake.

After seeing what God had done, the jailer at Philippi asked the apostles Paul and Silas what he should do. They replied: “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved” (Acts 16:31).

But God has more in store for us. We are not meant to be armchair believers but true disciples who want to share the good news of salvation to a world that desperately needs hope.

Scripture quotations from the New King James Version (NKJV).