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What Do Evangelicals Believe?

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 following attributes:
  • Conservative interpretation of the Bible, as well as a conservative world view
  • A belief in, and a desire for, sharing the gospel with others
  • Tolerance of other viewpoints, as opposed to those who might be categorized as "fundamentalists"
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, non-denominational churches, independent churches, Baptist churches, and Methodist churches, as well as many others. Of course, all evangelicals do not agree on everything, but most will share a general agreement on the
core doctrines of Christianity, as outlined below.

The Bible

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).

God

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).

Jesus

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, Romans 5:8-9).

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, regenerates 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

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).

Salvation

Whoever believes in Jesus Christ as his Savior becomes a child of God. This salvation 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).

The Flesh

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).

Prayer

God answers prayers (James 5:14-15, 1 John 5:14-15).

The Church

The church, in its invisible form, is universal, the true body of Christ. All believers, from the day of Pentecost until the church is caught up to heaven 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).

Resurrection

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

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).

The Rapture

The Church Age will end with Jesus returning to the earth to rapture the church. 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).

Evangelism

The church 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).

Spiritual Maturity

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 gifts.

Owen Weber 2008