Christian teaching - How does it differ from other religions?
How does Christian teaching differ from the teachings of other religions? The teaching of Christianity is totally unique in that it has a Person as its focal point. The object of Christian teaching is Jesus Christ Himself. Unlike other religions, it is not dogma or doctrine as an end in itself. The truths that Christians expound dogmatically, the doctrines that make up the "what we believe" charters of Christian churches all point to the Lord of all.
As Christians, we do not seek to learn creeds, nor do we adhere to a carefully bulleted list of do's and don'ts. We embrace the Bible and meditate on it so that we can draw ever closer to the Savior. We live godly lives because we have been filled and empowered by the Person of Jesus Christ through the indwelling Holy Spirit. Any seeking of the scriptures as a means within itself leaves one empty; there may be head knowledge, but nothing is gained of eternal value.
John 5:39-40 says, "You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life." Christ chided the Pharisees for such seeking while He was still on earth. Seekers and students of other religions may declare an allegiance to morality and enriching knowledge, but their lives are not inwardly changed because there is no Indwelling Personality to effect a change.
Christian teaching differs from other religious teaching also in that God Himself instituted it. God, through the Holy Spirit, birthed the Christian Church on the day of Pentecost when the believers in the upper room were baptized with the Holy Spirit. The Apostle Paul explains it by stating that the Spirit baptizes us into one body. 1 Corinthians 12:13 says, "For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body -- whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free -- and we were all given the one Spirit to drink."
This differs from other religions, which were derived from the minds and intellect of men. If men provoke a following, those who follow are subject to the teachings of such men. Many of these followers have every good intention and submit themselves to these man-made teachings with faithfulness, but in the end they have gained nothing for eternity.
Christian teaching draws its adherents closer and closer to full intimacy with God. Ephesians 3:19b says, ". . .that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God." It is always the Person that is the object, not knowledge. Those who seek only knowledge develop self-righteousness and arrogance. 1 Corinthians 8:1b says ". . .Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up." Ultimately, Christianity is distinguished because it is a relationship; all of its teachings promote that relationship. Christ is called the Everlasting Father; we are His children. Followers of the teachings of other religions are merely students.
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