Every religion in the world is an attempt, in some measure, to answer the most basic question: “What must I do to be right with God.” Or, in some cases, you might say, “What must I do to be right with the gods” or even, “what will be the path to greatest blessing in my life.” It matters not whether we speak about Hinduism or Buddhism or Animism or Wicca or Islam or Judaism or Christianity. They are all seeking peace and blessing with the spiritual world.
Now, most religions answer that question by some sort of ritual that you must do — offering incense, eating the right food, saying the right prayers, behaving in a certain way, attending religious gatherings. The Hindus and Buddhists place food before their idols. The Animists worship their ancestors. Wiccans use magic to harness the powers that reside in nature. The Muslims pray toward Mecca seven times each day. And the Jews of Jesus’ day followed their traditions.
Christianity is unique. Rather than seeking outward conformity to religious activity, Christians seek an inward transformation. Rather than a focus upon the activities that one does, the focus is upon our faith in Jesus Christ–His death and resurrection–which imputes righteousness to us. And from our faith, then, flows a heart for God that expresses itself in love and good deeds.
“[God] mad [Jesus], who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Corinthians 5:21).