Three big questions about Christianity: Part 1
What do Christians believe? How is Christianity different to other religions? Is Christianity true?
In a world where people are different, and hail from different walks of life, cultures, and experiences, it’s no surprise that throughout centuries, different stories have circulated about how this world came to be, where we came from, and who God is. There are different stories about what happens after we die, whether there is or isn’t an afterlife, and what we must do to make sure our time in this world is worthwhile.
With so many competing versions of who we are and who God is, how do we know which story is true? Is Christianity just another story or does it stand apart from the other faiths of this world?
In this two-part article, we will tackle the three big questions about Christianity:
- What do Christians believe?
- How is Christianity different to other religions?
- Is Christianity true?
Let's get started!
What do Christians believe?
1. God made everything. Christianity starts with God. It begins with God creating this world, each and every person, and everything in and outside of us. God created every creature with great design and great purpose.
2. Humans rejected Him. The design and purpose were broken when one of the creations, humans, chose not to follow God. Choosing not to follow God is called sin. When humans walked away from God, God's original design and purpose were broken. This destroyed the relationship humans were created to have with God, with one other, and the world around him.
3. Forgiveness comes at a cost. Because of our rebellion, God and man could not be together. In order for man to come to God, a sacrifice was required. And this is what people did for a period of time in the olden days– they sacrificed a lamb and poured its blood before they could enter into God's presence.
4. Jesus restores everything. Christianity proclaims that God so loved us that he himself came to this world, lived in human form, died as humans do, and after three days rose again in victory over death. It proclaims that God became human through Jesus Christ, and through death on a cross, he gave himself as the ultimate sacrifice to bridge the gap between God and the sins of man. It is a faith that proclaims the restoration of God’s original design and relationship with humans. It proclaims that through Jesus Christ, man’s sinfulness is finally and completely paid for by Jesus. Because of this now man can again be with God forever.
And now, we take a look at the first part of question two...
How is Christianity different from other faiths?
Christianity is the only faith where God reaches out to mankind himself; not through external parties such as prophets or preachers, but he himself came into this world in human form.
Unlike other faiths that rest their beliefs on messengers or prophets who claim to provide a link between mankind and God, Christians believe in Jesus who declared to be God himself. Jesus went about healing the sick, performing miracles, and forgiving sin. He openly spoke about being "one with the Father", and about what a person must do to attain eternal life.
The vast majority of historians do not deny that a man called Jesus from Nazareth lived and walked in this world. His existence in history is not in dispute, rather it’s his claims of being God that continue to divide those who accept his claims and those who don’t.
Those of other or no faiths generally accept that Jesus was a good and wise man, a revolutionary, a man who died at the hands of his enemies.
However, what these faiths have not regarded or do not agree on are the claims Jesus made about himself: claims that, if true, make the man called Jesus one of the following – liar, lunatic, or Lord.
Come back tomorrow as we explore the second point that sets Christianity apart from other religions. And we'll also answer the final question: is Christianity true?