Why I Am a Christian
“What is the difference between Christianity and all other religions?” That was the question a group of theologians were discussing when C.S. Lewis walked in. Hearing them wrestle unsuccessfully with the question, he stated his answer. “The difference,” he said, “between Christianity and all other religions is the message of grace–the idea that God will justify the ungodly.” This is unique to Christianity.
Do your research and you will find this to be true. All other major world religions teach that God justifies and offers salvation to the godly, not to the ungodly. They admit that no one is perfect, but God will bless and accept into His eternal kingdom only those whose good works outweigh their bad. Salvation must be merited.
So they all say, but not Christianity! Instead, you find passages such as this one in Romans 4:4-6.
“Now to him who works, the wages are not counted as grace but as debt. But to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness; just as David also describes the blessedness of the man to whom God imputes righteousness apart from works.”
God justifies the ungodly. And he imputes righteousness to sinners apart from works! To some, this is a stumbling block. To others, foolishness. But to those who believe, it is the power of God unto salvation.
Now, God does not do this because He is soft on sin. On the contrary, God being the holy and just God He is, judges sin properly and fully. That is why Jesus took the sinner’s place. And that is why God did not spare His own Son but required Jesus to endure every imaginable curse on the cross on our behalf. And God did not raise Jesus from the dead until the penalty for every sin for every man for all eternity had been paid for absolutely!
Since Jesus has suffered for the ungodly and paid the penalty in full for all our transgressions, sinners have been delivered from the wrath of God. In fact, God’s justice is actually on the side of sinners now. And because He is holy and just, His justice requires that those whose sins have been paid for be set free and never be required to pay for their sins again.
Therefore, David goes on to say, “Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, And whose sins are covered; Blessed is the man to whom the Lord shall not impute sin.” (Romans 4:7-8)
It is not that Christians are already perfect and no longer sin. But because Jesus completely paid for every sin on our behalf on the cross, God can no longer impute our sins to us and be just. God can no longer punish us for our sins and be righteous. Nor does He want to, since He is not only just, but merciful and loving also!
“But what about holiness?” you ask. “What about good works?” Good works do not justify men, but justified men do good works. Holiness is not the root of our justification; it is the fruit of it. Whom God justifies, He glorifies by conforming them to the image of Jesus! God is working in you to will and do His good pleasure. (Romans 8:29-30; Philippians 2:12-13)
Beloved, do you believe on Him who justifies the ungodly? Have you placed your faith in Jesus as your Lord and Savior? Then you can rest today from all condemnation, knowing God has justified you in Him.
This, brethren, is why I am a Christian. I believe in Him who justifies the ungodly through faith in Jesus.