Christianity teaches that Jesus is the Son of God, God having become human and the saviour of humanity. Christians believe that Jesus is the Messiah prophesied in the Hebrew Bible, referred to as the “Old Testament” in Christianity. The foundation of Christian theology is expressed in the early Christian ecumenical creeds which contain claims predominantly accepted by followers of the Christian faith. These professions state that Jesus suffered, died, was buried, and was resurrected from the dead to open heaven to those who believe in him and trust him for the remission of their sins (salvation). They further maintain that Jesus bodily ascended into heaven where he rules and reigns with God the Father. Most denominations teach that Jesus will return to judge all humans, living and dead, and grant eternal life to his followers. He is considered the model of a virtuous life, and both the revealer and physical incarnation of God. Christians call the message of Jesus Christ the Gospel (“good news”) and hence refer to the earliest written accounts of his ministry as gospels.
Though there are many important differences of interpretation and opinion of the Bible on which Christianity is based, Christians share a set of beliefs that they hold as essential to their faith:Its main points:
- belief in God the Father, Jesus Christ as the Son of God and the Holy Spirit – Trinity: Although there is no single term in use in Scripture to denote the unified Godhead.
- the death, descent into hell, resurrection, and ascension of Christ
- the holiness of the Church and the communion of saints
- Christ’s second coming, the Day of Judgement and salvation of the faithful.