23rd August 2012

What’s Unique About Christianity?

“For by grace you have been saved…”
Ephesians 2:8 (NKJV)

The late Christian scholar and author, C.S. Lewis, once entered a room in which a discussion was taking place, on the subject, ‘What’s unique about Christianity?’ Some thought that the incarnation and the bodily resurrection of Christ were unique. Others argued that these concepts were a part of other faiths and therefore not unique. When Lewis was told what the discussion was about, he immediately responded, “Oh that’s easy–it’s grace!” The room fell silent. Lewis continued that Christianity uniquely claims God’s love comes free of charge, no strings attached. No other religion makes that claim. At the end of the discussion everyone concluded that Lewis had a point.

Only Christianity dares to proclaim that God’s love is unconditional – an unconditional love that we call grace. Grace is all about God, and God freely giving to us the gifts of forgiveness, mercy and love. Author, Philip Yancey, put it well when he wrote, “There is nothing we can do to make God love us more, and there is nothing we can do to make God love us less.”

One of the most beautiful passages in scripture pertaining to God’s love and grace must be John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” (RSV, emphasis mine). This little verse contains just twenty four words, but it is packed with so much truth that half a dozen sermons could hardly do its contents justice. It is little wonder that it is often referred to as the ‘golden text.’

The Apostle Paul hit the nail on the head when he wrote that we are, ‘saved by grace, through faith and that it is the gift of God.’ This gift is open to all regardless of race, colour or creed, and all we have to do is accept it–no strings attached. It is God’s good pleasure to give us his gift of salvation made possible by the sacrifice of his Son, Jesus. This is essentially what is unique about Christianity.

Will we respond to his offer by gratefully accepting his precious gift?

Father in heaven, I thank you for the gift of salvation that has been made possible through your Son, Jesus. Help me be ever grateful for this amazing grace.

Study by John Magowan

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