I was once asked by a Christian man what separates Christianity from all other religions after I shared with him about my Buddhist background. I was visiting Monterrey, Mexico at the time, and we had a friend who was translating. In my response, I constructed three main points that absolutely separates Christianity from all other religions, which are man-made.
First of all, Christianity is centered around Christ, Jesus of Nazareth who resurrected from the dead after three days of His crucifixion. Men in their spiritual deadness are simply too proud to write construct statements like:
“He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities–all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him, all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross” (Colossians 1:15-20).
It takes the work and inspiration of the Holy Spirit in order for men to write such things about Christ in reverence and worship (2 Peter 1:20-21). Men blaspheme Christ by making him second in their life as if He can be an accessory. Carnal men can say that He is their Savior but not their Lord. Counterfeit Christs will never disagree with the sinful lifestyles of men who produce them.
Secondly, the one triune, holy God satisfied His wrath while demonstrating His love towards hell-deserving sinners on the cross of Christ. The propitiation of sins was made possible for sinners who fell short of the glory of God and are justified by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ (Romans 3:23-26). This is not of men’s own merit or doing; faith and repentance are a gift from God. Salvation is not a result of works, so that no one may boast (Ephesians 2:8-9). False religion always has a systematic way of crediting themselves by their own deeds in this life. It gets trickier when men will confess that Christ died on the cross for their sins then turn away from the cross and say that their salvation was due to the addition of their baptism or even their ability to believe. Yet, true faith in Jesus Christ is denying oneself in the realization that a sinner can never please God through the Law (Romans 7:7-12).
Thirdly, Christianity involves Christians who believe in these truths and live accordingly through the power of the Holy Spirit. God not only saves the sinner from hell, the punishment of sin, but the Lord also saves from slavery, the power of sin. Christians will not continue in sin and use God’s grace as a license to practice sin. Every single Christian has been buried and resurrected with Christ. (Romans 6:4). God not only justifies a man, but He also makes him righteous. The Christian’s righteousness will exceed that of the Pharisees! (Matthew 5:20). The Christian is born-again (John 3:3); He made Christians alive together in Christ (Ephesians 2:5). In contrast, Buddhists are striving to become a better version of themselves as if they can replicate God’s promising sanctification. They may be able to abstain, discipline, and isolate themselves from the world, but the seed of Adam still remains. In sin, they were conceived, and their sinful nature has yet to be dealt with. Is this also true for Roman Catholics, Muslims, Mormons, Hindus, or even those who claim to be justified by the work of Christ but not sanctified by the work of the Holy Spirit?
Therefore, Christianity cannot be replicated by carnal men and demonic forces. The gospel is pure and authentic. Any deviation from these foundational truths proves to be a false gospel. There have been counterfeits throughout the ages, but God is preserving His bride until the Bridegroom comes back to finish the work that begun (Philippians 1:16). The sufficient and infallible Word of God, sharper than any two-edged sword, is what going to provide discernment for it is the lamp to our feet and the light to our path (Psalm 119:105). God, who is omniscient, will show what is true from what is almost right.
The Bible proves itself to be true and does not need finite men to defend it. May God help me to persevere until the end by faith and not by sight.