The Human Condition In Other Religions
Everyone has a take on the ‘human condition’. For instance, all the religions around us exhort that we need to work hard to win favour with God. We have to earn our righteousness by doing good works. They say that when we do good works, God is obligated to bless us and make us enter heaven.
For instance, If you are a Muslim, you are encouraged to pray 5 times daily, give alms, remain clean throughout the day, and abide by a plethora of moral and ceremonial commands. In other words, you are earning your place before God. That is to say, If I am doing all that I am asked, I am putting God under the obligation to save me and help me. In order to be saved, I have to earn my righteousness. This is the basic premise of most of the worldly religions.
The Human Condition In Christianity
Christianity has a unique perspective on the human condition. While other religions emphasize obedience to laws as the means to win God’s favour. Christianity says, ‘no one is righteous before you’ (Psalm 143).
It says humanity is dead. We are dead in our sins so we cannot save ourselves. A corpse cannot make himself alive by doing good. Similarly, no matter how many good works you do, no matter how many alms you give, no matter how many poor you feed, you cannot save yourself.
Unlike other religions, in Christ, righteousness cannot be earned but only received freely. There is nothing that you can do which will make you righteous before God. Even your ‘righteous acts are like filthy rags’ (Isaiah 64:6). We cannot save ourselves for no one is righteous before God.
The Great Solution To The Human Condition
If humanity is dead in their sins, how can they be in the presence of God? This is the question that the whole Bible seeks to answer.
Since we cannot make ourselves right with God by our human efforts, we are helpless. But God, out of his great mercy, came to our help. He sent his one and only Son into the world. His Son, Jesus Christ lived righteously, without sin. And he gave himself to killed on the cross. This is Christianity’s’ great cure of the human condition.
Why would he do that? Because on the cross the great exchange took place. Jesus gave us his righteousness and took our sinfulness. The punishment that we deserved for sin was given to Christ on the cross. And his righteousness was given to us. So now as people who have received the righteousness of Christ, we can dwell in God’s presence. This promise is for all who believe in the name of Jesus Christ. This is the good news.
Other religions answer to the human condition is to ‘do’ but Christ says to us, ‘it is done’. Just believe in me.