Analyze the Christian faith, not as critics portray it, but as given by those of us who have experienced God’s grace. Think it through carefully and you will discover clear evidence of its divine origin.
Every religious belief system promises life after death or at least some form of fulfillment. But there is a unique dimension to Christianity that makes it different from every other faith.
No other faith offers forgiveness for even the most heinous sins—for free. The Bible says, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not of works so that no one can boast.” Forgiveness for sin and a relationship with God is neither earned nor merited. It is the gift of God.
Jesus promised a thief, a man being crucified for the wicked life he had lived, “Today you will be with me in paradise.” Without a chance to work himself into God’s favor, without even asking to be forgiven, he was assured that within just a few hours he would awaken in paradise.
The distinctive feature of our faith is that every one of us, regardless of our past, have already been forgiven. No one is beyond the heart of God; all have been offered the gift of eternal life. Those who respond and accept God’s gracious overture ratify a choice already made on their behalf. The gift is ours to accept or reject, a choice God leaves up to us.
No other faith would portray its founder as being born of a virgin, walking on water, or coming back to life after death. No myth here, for these were not legends developed centuries after the fact. These claims had a historical basis, validated by men who were eye-witnesses to Jesus’ life.
No other faith portrays a God who “so loved us that He gave His one and only son that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” And that, I would note, includes the most wicked among us. Our God is not an autocratic, mean-spirited, self-serving deity. He is a Father figure, loving His children, and committed to helping us become everything God created us to be.
And no other faith brings fundamental change to the life of the believer. The greatest miracle I have ever seen is the transformation that comes into a man’s life when he accepts Jesus Christ as his Lord. More than just the discovery of a new religious faith, there are vital changes that come to his character and perspective on life. “If any man is in Christ,” the Bible says, “he is a new creation: old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”
But each of us must make that discovery for ourselves. God is a gentleman, and He reveals Himself only by invitation. Where He is welcome, however, amazing changes take place.
I am pleased to advocate for the faith that has transformed my world. I believe in its divine origin because of what God has done in my life. I cannot imagine where I would be today were it not for the goodness of God. I’m not the man I want to be, but neither am I the man I once was. I am a work in process, and the best is still to come. It is, indeed, a wonderful life!
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