From where does the idea that Christianity the only true religion come? Other religions claim the same. What is the basis for the Christian claim?
At one level, this question is easily answerable.
Christianity is based upon the idea that Jesus is who He claimed to be. And He said, in John 14:6
And if Jesus is who He claimed to be, then Christianity must be the only true religion, because He said specifically "No one comes to the Father except through me".
At another answer, it's still simple, but too large to fit in a single answer here.
If you're looking for external evidence, there's an entire field of study, known as Aplogetics that seeks to provide a defense for the veracity of Christianity, its teachings, the identity of God, and the Truth of the Bible.
There are volumes of information available (as well as counter-points arguing against the Truth of Christianity). Put simply, there's much too much information to make that an answerable question in this forum, but a Google search for "Apologetics" is a good place to start.
If Christ is indeed the Divine Human (fully God and fully Man) there can be no other, and thus no other religion could lay claim to one who truly knows God and can bring us to him because he is God.
Given that Christianity is the cult of said Jesus Christ, it would follow that if Christians were true to him, they would have a genuine connection to God, and not merely man's reaching up toward him.
Logically, there can only be one true religion. If it is, indeed, true that Jesus is the Eternal Son of God, the Second Person of the Trinity, who became a man when He was born of a virgin 2,000 years ago, lived a sinless life, died a vicarious death and rose from the dead, and if it is, indeed, true that salvation is available to mankind through faith in Him, then Christianity is, in fact, the truth. (I understand that this does not define the beliefs of all that are accepted as Christian on this site.)
Therefore, any religion that claims that Jesus is not any of those things is not true, if, in fact, Jesus really is all of those things.
If Jesus is the Eternal Son of God, then any religion that does not teach that is in error. If Jesus became a man through the virgin birth, then any religion that does not teach that is wrong.
So, Christianity makes truth claims and claims that those claims are actually true (of course). Every other religion does the same thing, so every religion claims that their set of truth claims are, indeed, the ones that are true.
I tried making this a bit short but every time found that whatever that is there is relevant for question.
Christianity gets this tag from its scripture itself and the Divinity of Jesus. A Test for a true religion can be on two counts:
To know the answers for these two premises, we need not look further than the respective religious scriptures and get to know what they depicts, for scripture is like genome of any religious belief.
First Premise: A true religion, irrespective of its ultimate aim of bringing all humanity under its fold, will ensure equality, peace, love, justice etc. to all humanity irrespective of cast, creed or religion.
So a true religion needs to have such a scripture, which clearly states these characteristics of “goodness for all” and become a force for good, making this world a better place for all humans in their earthly life. A religion will evidently exhibit this trait of “goodness for all” if exists in its scripture in a manner it deals with all other humans and also this trait is noticeable to the would-be adherents from the scripture itself.
[A note of caution: Whether every follower of any religion will follow or has followed in the past, of what is spelled out in their scripture is a different matter since that would be due to the weakness of human nature not scripture. But what is to be judged is, whether in first place, the scripture has this in its content or not. If any of the religious scripture does not teach these traits of “goodness” to their neighbor, irrespective of cast, creed or religion or has content that teaches otherwise (to hate, to kill etc. etc) (whether to their followers or non followers), then how would anyone can expect the followers/adherents of that religion to practice it and attempt to bring peace, equality and happiness in the society.]
So if you apply this test to the New Testament, (Not Old testament because that stage was like molding and preparing God’s chosen people into special people compared to others, for receiving the Messiah in the world) and if you weigh it against message of any other religion, the message taught by Jesus is beyond any comparison as well as it is unique.
Scripture of other religion may teach their followers all that is good. But Christianity stands apart in a sense that it teaches to love your neighbor to the extent of loving your enemy. It teaches to be humble, be servant not masters and so on (Matt. 5:38-48, Matt. 7:1-5, Matt 22:39-40). Jesus Himself practiced all this and mingled with sinners, rode on a donkey, washed His disciples’ feet and so on. It teaches that it is the patient that needs a doctor not a healthy man and that Jesus came to seek the sinners not the righteous (Mark 2:13-17, Matt. 9:9-13). Imagine, God with His immense love for you, comes searching you, so as to reform and save you from hell. These are the revolutionary teachings which no other religion has in their scriptures which strengthens the claim that the Good News that Jesus preached is Divinely inspired and much relevant to lead an earthly life in peace will all humans.
Second Premise: If we take the case of some of the major religions in the world, the eastern religions (Hinduism) teach that you can become fully “enlightened” through a reincarnation process by doing enough good deeds. Islam teaches you must follow the teachings of the Qu'ran and the Hadiths and accept Mohammad as God's true prophet for the hope that Allah may grant you entrance into paradise. We see that all these religions began with founders (Mohammad, Buddha, Krishna, etc.) who lived and died too. They never said that they are from above except Jesus.
Jesus taught that He was God in the flesh, who came to Earth in human form to die for the sins of mankind, so that “whosoever would believe on Him would not perish, but have everlasting life”. So whatever Jesus said about salvation and after life is like hearing from God Himself (Horse’s mouth). [If one wants to know the truth regarding any event/incident, it is always trustworthy to hear from the Horse’s mouth rather than from the third or fourth eye witnesses]
Jesus is the only “religious leader” who actually claimed to be God on Earth, in the flesh. Of course, He was the Son of God while in human flesh, and yet also fully God and fully human. With this claim from Jesus, Christianity easily proves that it is a true a religion.
This is what we find in the Christian scripture to support the claim of Jesus. In Isaiah 9:6 it is prophesied the Messiah that comes to Earth in the flesh will be called “Mighty God, everlasting Father”. See Isaiah 7:14 also. Also John 3:31, John 6:41, John 8:23-24, John 10:30, John 8:58 and John 11:25. Gospel of John we find verses that clearly depicts Divinity of Jesus.
Jesus is the only founder of any religion who allowed himself to be worshiped as recorded in places such as John 9:38 and Matthew 14:33. In the Old Testament we see that God is a jealous God and declares that no one besides God is to be worshiped, so for Jesus to allow Himself to be worshiped establishes that He did in fact consider Himself to be God.
Jesus backed up His claims by doing things no regular human being was able to do and He did it with a claim that He is same as God, unlike Moses who did it with the help of God. He changed the weather with his spoken word, walked on water, changed water into wine, instantly healed the blind, the deaf, the paralyzed, created fish and bread to feed thousands, brought the dead back to life. In spite of these awesome supernatural powers He never tried to take control of either people or political system forcibly. On the contrary He shunned it as is seen at John 6:15.
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