By definition, those who believe in the triune God and the inerrancy of Scripture are “evangelical,” and these beliefs are essential for academics to join the Evangelical Theological Society.
“Evangelical” comes from the ancient Greek word for “gospel.” Ev- means good and angel means “message,” so that translators understand that Gospel means “good news” or “good message.” For a believer to be evangelical, then that one must identify with the apostolic gospel. However, for the sake of unity with Christ and His church, every believer should simply exist as a Christian — a follower of Christ. There is more to being a Christian than being an evangelical.
Here are the basic defining characteristics of evangelical beliefs:
1) Evangelicals believe in the triune God who is the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
2) Evangelicals believe in the infallibility of Christ and thus the inerrancy of the Christian Scriptures as Christ’s Spirit revealed to Jesus’s apostles and prophets.
3) Evangelicals believe that salvation is by grace through faith in the death, burial, and bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Therefore, all other evangelical beliefs are Christocentric and founded upon Jesus Christ and core apostolic beliefs. Because of these central beliefs, evangelical views upon social issues will remain conservative to biblical teaching.
Are churches of Christ evangelical? Churches of Christ have these beliefs as their core and the world may identify these churches as evangelical. However, salvation is in the name of Christ and no other (Acts 4:12; 10:43). Christians must declared, “I follow Christ” (1 Cor 1:11). Therefore, the churches of Christ remain simply “Christian.”
There is more to being Christian than to being evangelical. “And in Antioch the disciples were first called Christians” (Acts 11:26b). “Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name” (1 Pet 4:16). “In a short time would you persuade me to be a Christian? And Paul said, ‘Whether short or long, I would to God that not only you but also all who hear me this day might become such as I am—except for these chains'” (Acts 26:28b–29).
The Christians has not only confessed that Jesus is Lord and that He rose from the dead (Rom 10:9–10). The Christian has died to sins, been buried with Christ, and God has raised each believer alive in Christ (Rom 6:3–7). This is the moment of being born again and regenerated through the resurrection (1 Pet 1:3; 3:21). This is the moment that God saves each believer through faith (Eph 2:4–10). Rising from baptism is the exact moment when the believer is “raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God” and “made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses,” (Col 2:12–13).
Thank God that evangelicals believe so strongly. All Christians should show love those who believe. If anyone gives an evangelical scriptures to read, step back because the Gospel is powerful. “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes,” (Rom 1:16a). MORE…