A simple exercise in helping my son with his social studies homework helped me to realize the difference between Christianity and all other religions. Islam has 5 pillars of faith, Buddhism has the eightfold path, all of which seems to add up to the “do it yourself” system of faith. Salvation comes through doing. A good Muslim participates in the 5 pillars. A Buddhist desiring to reach Nirvana (the eternal state, not the rock band) will follow the path or fall yet again into the cycle of birth and rebirth.
Christianity alone offers the salvation plan that has already been paid in full. We are forgiven and saved, not because of us, but because of God. We live our faith by our behavior, because the author and finisher of our faith has come and gone and laid perfect foundations for us to rest in. We, as Christians, have one pillar of faith, a onefold path. We put our trust in Jesus Christ, and that His sacrificial death on the cross was enough to pay for our sins and put us back into right relations with God. The good deeds, the good behavior, all flow from this. John said it best when he said “We love because He first loved us.”