Beliefs of Apostolic Pentecostals

by Aaron Charles

If someone says, "I'm an Apostolic Pentecostal," he might mean something slightly different than the next person. Christian denominations — even groups of the same name — differ sometimes in their specific beliefs. You can be sure, though, that Apostolic Pentecostals believe in two major things: the teachings of Jesus Christ's apostles from the first century A.D., and the reception of Holy Spirit among Christians after Christ's death at the event called Pentecost.

The Bible

Apostolic Pentecostals believe that the Bible is the book through which God has revealed his personality and purpose. Since they believe that God inspired the writings in the Bible, Apostolic Pentecostals say that the Bible is infallible and completely dependable, and as such, it is the authoritative source for understanding how Christians should live and how individuals can be saved from imperfection and death. They believe this, in part, because of what the Apostle Paul wrote to a man named Timothy: "All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching the truth, rebuking error, correcting faults, and giving instruction for right living, so that the person who serves God may be fully qualified and equipped to do every kind of good deed".

Divine Gifts

Apostolic Pentecostals also say that it was Holy Spirit that God used to inspire the writers of the Bible to pen the Hebrew and Greek scriptures. And they believe that this same spirit can also, in the modern day, give Christians miraculous gifts, according to the Bible, in the first century: the ability to heal, speak in foreign tongues and more. Apostolic Pentecostals are not against the use of medical doctors, but they believe that God can aid — or, in some cases, make unnecessary — the work of human physicians.

Jesus Christ

Jesus is both God and man, according to United Pentecostal Church International, in the sense that Jesus is the manifestation of God in the flesh. At the same time, Apostolic Pentecostals believe that Jesus is also the Son of God, and that the Holy Spirit and the Heavenly Father are also God. As a man, Apostolic Pentecostals say, Jesus lived a perfect life and died as a sacrifice to redeem imperfect humankind from their errors. In order to benefit from this sacrifice, an Apostolic Pentecostal must have faith in this sacrifice and live a life according to how Jesus lived.

Present and Future

Living according to how Jesus lived differs in the eyes of Apostolic Pentecostals from how other Christians view it. For instance, Apostolic Pentecostals believe that a woman shouldn't wear makeup or jewelry, claiming that they might excite illicit desires in others. They also believe in abstaining from alcohol because of the potential dangers resulting from intoxication. Practices such as these, Apostolic Pentecostals say, help them remain holy and prepare for the future, when Jesus will judge the world and grant eternal life to the faithful and holy, and eternal death to the unfaithful and unholy.

About the Author

Aaron Charles began writing about "pragmatic art" in 2006 for an online arts journal based in Minneapolis, Minn. After working for telecom giant Comcast and traveling to Oregon, he's written business and technology articles for both online and print publications, including Salon.com and "The Portland Upside."

Photo Credits

  • Uriel Sinai/Getty Images News/Getty Images