Since there is not universal agreement upon the definition of
evangelicals, we must first make a definitive statement about
evangelicals, as related the following paragraphs. Here, the term
"evangelicals" refers to that subset of believers who share the
What Do Evangelicals Believe?
Evangelicals view the Bible in a literal and conservative
sense. They do not constitute a denomination; rather, they can be found
in evangelical Bible churches,
and Methodist churches,
as well as many others. Of
course, all evangelicals do not agree on everything, but most will
general agreement on the core doctrines of Christianity, as outlined below.
- Conservative interpretation
of the Bible, as well as a conservative world view
- A belief in, and a desire for, sharing the gospel
- Tolerance of other
viewpoints, as opposed to those who
might be categorized as "fundamentalists"
Evangelicals believe in the Old and New Testaments as verbally inspired
by God and without error in the original writings. They
believe that the scriptures are to be interpreted in a normal and
literal way, and that they are understood as the believer is guided by
the Spirit of God. Such interpretation quite naturally leads to a
pre-millennial dispensational view of history (John 10:35, Matthew
5:18, 2 Timothy 3:16, 2 Peter 1:21, 1 Corinthians 2:13, 1 Timothy 5:18,
1 Corinthians 2:14-16, John 16:12-15).
There is one eternal God who, though a single essence, exists in three
equal persons--Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, constituting the doctrine
of the Trinity (John 6:27, Hebrews 1:8, Acts 5:3-4, Deuteronomy
6:4, 2 Corinthians 13:14, Matthew 28:19, Isaiah 48:16).
God the Son became flesh in the person of Jesus Christ, who was
begotten by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary, and who is
true God (deity) and true man (humanity) (John 1:14, Matthew 1:18-25,
Matthew 26:38, John 11:33, John 8:40, Hebrews 1:8, Hebrews 2:14). Jesus
Christ died for our sins
as a substitutionary sacrifice, and all
who believe in Him are declared righteous on the basis of His shed
blood (2 Corinthians 5:14, Mark 10:45, Romans 3:24-26, 1 Peter 3:18,
The physical body of Christ was resurrected, He ascended into heaven,
and He lives there for us. He serves as high priest, intercessor,
and advocate in our behalf with the Father (Romans 1:4, John
20:25-27, 1 John 2:1, Hebrews 7:25, Mark 16:19, Acts 1:9-11).
Jesus will return physically to the earth before His millennial kingdom
is established here. He will come in His Father's glory to
establish His kingdom in which He shall reign in righteousness
and peace (Acts 1:11, Matthew 24:30, Revelation 20:4-6, Isaiah 9:6-7, Isaiah 11:2-5).
The Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit is a person of the godhead. He convicts the
world of sin,
and seals the believer, sets the believer apart to a holy
life, baptizes the believer into the body of Christ, and permanently
indwells the believer (2 Corinthians 2:10-11, 12:11, Isaiah 40:13-14,
Psalm 139:7, Titus 3:5, John 3:5-7, 14:16-17, 16:8, Ephesians 1:13, 2
Thessalonians 2:13, 1 Corinthians 12:13, Romans 8:9).
Man was created in the image of God, be he sinned and consequently
experienced physical death
(separation of the soul from the body) and spiritual death (separation
from God). The
consequences of this sin
affect the entire human race. All humans are
born with a sinful
nature, and are in need of salvation
(Genesis 1:26-27, 2:17, 3:6, Romans
3:23, 5:12-19, Ephesians 2:1-3, 4:18, Mark 7:20-23, John 2:24-25).
Whoever believes in Jesus Christ as his Savior becomes a child of God.
is not the result of any human effort or
merit (John 1:12, 3:16, Ephesians 2:8-9, Romans 3:28).
The Security of the Believer
All believers are kept eternally secure by the power of God through the
new birth, the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, and intercession of
Christ (John 10:28-30, 14:16-17, 1 Peter 1:23, Ephesians 4:30, 1 John
2:1, Romans 8:38-39).
All believers still possess the flesh (the sinful
nature) in this life,
but God has made full provision for believers to overcome this flesh
and to live for God through identification with Christ and a knowledge
of the scriptures, and by the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit
(Romans 7:15-21, 6:1-11, 8:11-13, Ephesians 2:10).
God answers prayers (James 5:14-15, 1 John 5:14-15).
in its invisible form, is universal, the true body of
Christ. All believers, from the day of Pentecost until the church
is caught up
in the rapture, are members of the universal church,
regardless of denominational affiliation. Christ ordained the ordinances of
water baptism and the Lord's supper until He returns (Colossians 1:18,
Ephesians 4:4-6, Acts 1:5, 11:15-16, 1 Corinthians 12:13, 11:24-26, 1
Thessalonians 4:13-17, Matthew 16:18, 28:19).
All people will be resurrected. Believers are resurrected to
enjoy life with God. Unbelievers are resurrected to experience judgment
and then eternal suffering apart from God (1 Corinthians 15:52, 1
Thessalonians 4:16, Revelation 20:4-6, 12-15, John 5:28-29, Daniel
12:2, Revelation 21:1-8).
Satan is a real person and, when given the
opportunity, he attempts to
defeat Christians. However, Christians can overcome Satan's
schemes by applying scriptural truth (Ephesians 6:10-19, Luke 10:18,
Job 1:6-12, John 8:44).
Age will end with Jesus returning to the earth to rapture
This rapture is imminent, premillennial, and
pre-tribulational. All members of the body of Christ, living and dead,
will at that time be caught up to be with the Lord forever (1
Thessalonians 4:13-18, 1 Corinthians 15:51-53, Titus 2:13).
is to build of every member of the body, and make Christ
known to the whole world. Every member of the body shares in this
purpose. In relation to the world, believers are sent by
Christ to communicate to unsaved people that God was reconciling the
world to Himself in Christ (Matthew 28:18-20, Mark 16:15, 2 Corinthians
5:18-20, John 17:18-20, Acts 1:8, Romans 10:12-15, Isaiah 45:22, 49:6).
All believers are to give attention to becoming spiritually mature in
order to function in the body of Christ and bring glory to God. The
Bible emphasizes the godly exercise of one's spiritual
Owen Weber 2008