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How is Christianity unique?

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How is Christianity different from other religions? While Christianity shares some spiritual ideas with other religions, several of its claims are unique.

First and foremost, the Christian faith is based on the literal, physical resurrection of its founder, Jesus Christ. The apostle Paul considered the resurrection the matter of first importance: "For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures" (1 Corinthians 15:3-4). No other religion is based on the literal resurrection of its founder.

Second, Christianity is unique in its view of God. Christianity is the one faith that teaches there is one God who exists in three Persons—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. All three Persons form one God (Matthew 28:18-19), yet each Person is specifically referred to as God—Father (Genesis 1:1), Son (John 1:1), and Spirit (Acts 5:3-4).

Third, Christianity is unique in its authority. It accepts the 66 books of the Old and New Testament as the inspired Word of God that serves as the authority for matters of faith and practice. Second Timothy 3:16-17 teaches, "All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work." Second Peter 1:20-21 adds, "knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone's own interpretation. For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit."

Fourth, Christianity is unique in its impact. The church began in approximately 33 AD in Jerusalem on the Day of Pentecost under the leadership of the apostle Peter and 120 followers of Jesus (Acts 1—2). That day, 3,000 people were added (Acts 2:41). Soon their number grew to 5,000 men (Acts 4:4). Within the next 30 years, churches expanded across the Roman Empire, including Rome itself (Acts 28). By the fourth century, Christianity became the official religion of the Roman Empire. By the 21st Century, it is the world's largest religion, with more than two billion estimated adherents.

Fifth, Christianity is unique in its teachings regarding salvation. All other religious systems require works in order to receive eternal life, teach reincarnation, or reject the afterlife. The Bible teaches salvation is by faith alone in Jesus Christ apart from works (John 3:16; Ephesians 2:8-9).

Other unique teachings exist, yet these five represent some of the key ways Christianity differs from other world religions. Only the Christian faith is built on Jesus Christ as the resurrected Son of God, believes in a Triune God, accepts only the Holy Bible as the Word of God, has had such an impact, and provides salvation freely by the grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ.

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