Do you find yourself looking for a Spirit filled, gospel lead church? Do you find yourself drawn to the Pentecostal or Evangelical denominations, but don’t know how to choose which Church to attend and where? Here at Pentecostal Life Church of San Antonio area, we want you to make the most informed of decisions. We also encourage you to follow where the Lord is leading. In order to clarify some of these doctrinal differences, we offer this blog post to help cover a few basics. This article is not all inclusive as that would not be practical due to time and space.
Before we begin to dissect and break down what makes Pentecostals Pentecostal and what classifies Evangelicals as Evangelical, we must first have a common acceptance of what classifies an individual or an organization as Christian. This comes down to the truth, one that cannot be disputed or “edited”. Any organization can be considered Christian so long as they do not encroach upon this truth and what it means in regard to the Lord Jesus Christ.
This key and unequivocal truth is that Jesus Christ is Lord, the Spirit of God manifested thru the flesh of Jesus Christ, and shed sinless blood for our sins. Jesus is the ONLY way to heaven. These truths are best written in the scriptures John 14: 6.
“I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the father except through me.”– John 14:6
This should be common among professing Christians. If a group or organization truly believes and obeys the Bible and does not modify, redact, or rework it’s teaching; then that group is Christian. Some groups may claim to be Christian, while modifying Apostolic Biblical truths to their own theology. Be aware for false doctrines and teachers and turn to the scriptures always for either affirmations or contradictions of supposed Christian beliefs.
While the belief of Jesus Christ as Savior is what unites all Christians, there are many denominations. These denominations are often hundreds of years old and start for a variety of reasons. Lutheranism, for example, started as a course correction for what many felt as inherent corruption of the Catholic Church during the Dark Ages and at the beginning of the Reformation period. Lutherans observe strict traditional means of service, as well as many traditions that have been held by since the early days of what is now known as the Roman Catholic church.
When searching through these denominations, there are commonly factors that lead to one sect of Christianity being different from another. Many times there is a disagreement along the lines of an aspect of God and what it looks like to follow Him. This means that there is a disagreement with aspects of the Holy Spirit infilling and the Christian lifestyle and how they apply within the context of the world today. Another reason for separate denominations lies in the process of how things are done. Some denominations have a certain way of doing things. Music, style of preaching, and other such topics can be the cause of one church being in denomination A and another being in denomination B. Again, it is important to remember that different denominations can still be Christian, so long as they believe and obey the Word of God.
Evangelical is a broad term for a group of several denominations. It is one of the umbrella diversifications for Christians, and unites its sub-denominations under several shared, accepted beliefs. But what are these shared, accepted beliefs?
- Inerrancy of the Bible
- The Bible is God’s word, it is inspired by Him in the hearts and minds of those who wrote it. It contains no errors and is true in every regard. Interpretation of what the Bible said may vary by denomination, but nothing in the Bible is allowed to be omitted or changed.
- The Birth of Jesus Christ
- A reiteration of the core belief between all Christians. Jesus Christ born of a virgin. He lived a sinless life and died willingly on the cross to pay for the sins of all mankind. Jesus was resurrected and ascended into Heaven. He will someday return to take His followers with Him into Heaven.
- Sin and Salvation
- All men and women sin. We are born into it due to the sin of Adam and Eve and their expulsion from God’s presence and the Garden. The payment for sin is death. However, Jesus laid down His life so that we wouldn’t have to. Which brings up the the biblical pattern and teaching that real faith is connected to obedience to the words of Christ and the gospel preaching of the apostles.
There are other shared beliefs, however these are the three core beliefs that unite all evangelicals under the same banner.
Under the accepted common beliefs, such as the ones above, Pentecostals are Evangelicals. However, Evangelicals are not necessarily Pentecostals. One key difference between a Pentecostal and the Common Evangelical is the emphasis placed in the power and the role of the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit/Holy Ghost resides in every believer when they are filled with the Holy Ghost. Pentecostals believe that this Holy Spirit is real, powerful, and still works in miraculous ways even today. At Pentecostal Life Church we share in this belief.
We believe that the Holy Spirit is real, and that God uses the presence and power of the Holy Spirit to work in miraculous ways not only in the Church as a whole, but in each of us as individuals. Common actions or miracles associated with the Spirit include; speaking in tongues, the gift of prophecy, the miraculous healings of the afflicted, and many other means.
If you are searching first-hand for the power of the Holy Spirit, we would love to see you at Pentecostal Life Church of San Antonio. Here you will find a body of believers that believes in and witnesses the movement and power of the Holy Spirit. God is here and He is REAL. If you live in or near San Antonio Texas and desire an Apostolic Pentecostal Holy Spirit Filled Church San Antonio, you are invited to come worship with us at Pentecostal Life Church.