Evangelical Characteristics & Beliefs:

Four Characteristics / Four Core Beliefs

 

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There are an estimated 1/2 billion Evangelical Christians in the world today (estimates actually vary from 1/4 billion to 1 billion as of 2006). 

The Bible is accepted by Evangelicals as the Holy Spirit inspired revelation of God's Word (inerrant in the original autographs) and therefore the ultimate authority in matters of faith and practice.  The historicity of the miracles of Jesus Christ and of His Virgin Birth, Crucifixion, Resurrection, and Second Coming are asserted.

Despite many variations, Evangelicals generally adhere to Four Characteristics, and Four Core Beliefs:

[Back] Four Characteristics:

  1. SilverballEmphasis on the conversion experience, also called being saved, or new birth or born again after John 3:3 ("Jesus answered and said unto him, 'Truly, truly, I say unto thee, except a man be born again, he cannot not see the kingdom of God.' "). Thus evangelicals often refer to themselves as born-again Christians. This experience is said to be received by "faith alone" and to be given by God as the result of "grace alone" (Ephesians 2:8,9 1).

  2. SilverballThe Bible as the primary, ultimate and final, or only, source of religious authority, as God's revelation to humanity. Thus, the doctrine of sola scriptura (Scripture alone) is often affirmed and emphasized (II Timothy 3:16 2, John 17:17 3). 

  3. SilverballEncouragement of evangelism (the act of sharing one's beliefs) -- in organized missionary work or by personal encounters and relationships with others (Matthew 28:19 4). 

  4. SilverballA central focus on Christ's redeeming work on the cross as the only means for salvation and the forgiveness of sins                         (I Corinthians 15:3,4 5).

[Back] Four Core Beliefs:

  1. SilverballBiblical inerrancy. (II Timothy 3:16 2, John 17:17 3)

  2. SilverballSalvation comes only through faith in Jesus Christ and not as a result of one's good works (in particular belief in atonement for sins at the cross and the resurrection of Christ). (Ephesians 2:8,9 1; I Corinthians 15:3,4 5)

  3. SilverballIndividuals (above an age of accountability) must personally trust in Jesus Christ for salvation. (John 3:6,7 6)

  4. SilverballAll Christians are commissioned to evangelize and should be publicly baptized as a confession of faith. (Matthew 28:19 4)

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Bible Verses Referenced Above:

 1"For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast."  -Ephesians 2:8,9

2"All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:"   -II Timothy 3:16  

3"Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth."  - John 17:17

4"Go ye therefore and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit:"  -Matthew 28:19    

5"For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures;"  -I Corinthians 15:3,4

6"That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.  Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again." -John 3:6,7

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Sources:

Wikipedia:"Evangelicalism".

Bebbington study of British evangelicalism.

John C. Green, director of the Ray C. Bliss Institute of Applied Politics at the University of Akron in Ohio, in the 2004 American Religious Landscape Report.

Holy Bible (King James Version)

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