What is the Difference
During a conference on religions quite a few years ago, experts from around the world gathered and debated what, if any, belief was unique to Christianity. They began eliminating possibilities. Incarnation? No, other religions had different versions of gods appearing in human form. Resurrection? No, other religions had stories of returning from death. The debate was still vigorous when Lewis wandered into the room.
"What's the rumpus about?" he asked. And
someone explained that his colleagues were discussing Christianity's unique
contribution among world religions. "Oh, that's easy." Lewis
Grace; God giving us a gift we do not deserve!
8For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith-and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God- 9not by works, so that no one can boast. 10For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
charis (khar'-ece); from; graciousness, of manner or act especially the divine influence upon the heart, and its reflection in the life; including gratitude):
Note: The corresponding verb charitoo, "to endue with divine favor or grace," is used in Luke 1:28, "highly favored", "endued with grace", and Eph 1:6, KJV, "hath made... accepted"; RV, "freely bestowed" ("endued.").
6David says the same thing when he speaks of the blessedness of the man to whom God credits righteousness apart from works: 7"Blessed are they whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. 8Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord will never count against him."
27to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin's name was Mary. 28The angel went to her and said, "Greetings, you who are highly (favored)! The Lord is with you."
In this case favored, charitoo (khar-ee-to'-o); to grace, i.e. indue with special honor: