03/14/2017 by Douwe Blaauwe
Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus Christ, who serves as the focal point for the religion.
It is the world’s largest religion, with over 2.4 billion followers, or 33% of the global population, known as Christians. Christians believe that Jesus is the Son of God and the savior of humanity whose coming as the Messiah (the Christ) was prophesied in the Old Testament.
Christian theology is summarized in creeds such as the Apostles’ Creed and Nicene Creed. These professions of faith state that Jesus suffered, died, was buried, descended into hell, and rose from the dead, in order to grant eternal life to those who believe in him and trust in him for the remission of their sins. The creeds further maintain that Jesus bodily ascended into heaven, where he reigns with God the Father in the unity of the Holy Spirit, and that he will return to judge the living and the dead and grant eternal life to his followers. His incarnation, earthly ministry, crucifixion, and resurrection are often referred to as “the gospel”, meaning “good news”. The term gospel also refers to written accounts of Jesus’s life and teaching, four of which—Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John—are considered canonical and included in the Christian Bible.