My attention span is beginning to wain, so I figured I would do a condensed version and bring this multi-part blog series to an end! It’s about time!
In this last post, I would like to share a few thoughts that make Christianity distinct from other faiths. Let me know what you think about these. Do you agree? Disagree? Are these different than other religions? Or not? Let’s begin.
God is personal. God is with us. He showed this firsthand by coming to earth as Jesus. He lived among us, ate among us, worked among us, walked among us…God Himself became our neighbor. Now, THAT is amazing enough! But, there is much more. God (as the Holy Spirit) is with us. He is personal. Wherever I go, whatever I know, I know that He is with me. I can “feel” His presence on occasion.
But, most of all, I know that He is here. In Psalm 23, David thanks God that when he goes through tough times, God is with Him. Most religions that believe in a god believe that he is somewhere in the cosmos…distant, far, unreachable and unapproachable. My God is completely opposite! He is with me!
God is not just with me, He is in me. What? Why and how would the God of the universe dwell inside of us? When we open up our lives to Him, He sends His Spirit, which is the manifestation of His presence, to dwell inside of us. He does this because it is the natural extension of His grace.
Now, this is not the same thing as becoming one with the universe. God is not becoming “one” with us in the sense Uof “fusion”. Actually, His very existence inside of us allows each of us to become the totality of who He has made us to be! God’s process in our lives is one of transformation from the inside out. His dwelling in us begins, continues, and completes this process.
History. The Bible is a historical book. It is filled with real stories of real people connecting with a real God. The Bible was written by a multitude of authors over thousands of years. This is distinctly different from many other religious texts. Some religious texts are the collections of wise sayings of those who began their religion. Other religious texts are ones that were given to the religious leader by some type of angel (Islam, Mormonism). Even though those texts might contain some historical elements, these events were simply handed to those leaders by the “angel” who gave them these texts.
The Bible is a book which contains imperfect humans inspired by a perfect God. It is the ultimate reality of God’s interaction with His creation. He reveals Himself throughout human history in a multitude of ways, and dozens of authors had the opportunity to communicate what that has looked like through history. Amazing!
The resurrection! Christianity is the only faith that not just teaches, but SHOWS the power of God over death. Out of every human experience, death is the only one that is final. Jobs, relationships, money, homes, education, etc can all change. They are hardly final. But death? That’s final! Jesus proved His power over that which humans have no power over. Every other religion’s leader is dead today. Our leader is alive!
There are many things that make Christianity different. God knows us, He is with us, He is in us, He has revealed Himself to us through all of history, and He is alive! Would you like to know Him? Speak to Him! Tell Him what’s in your heart to say and invite Him into your life. He loves you deeply and eternally!