The identity of Jesus Christ, which is one of the Bible’s most vital messages, is central to all branches of the Christian faith. Roman Catholicism, Eastern Orthodox, and Protestant Christianity all affirm that Jesus is God. Do Pentecostals believe that Jesus is God, too?
Historic Pentecostalism, which lies inside the theological framework of Protestant Christianity, affirms the deity of Jesus Christ, which means that he is God. The largest Pentecostal denomination, the Assemblies of God, unequivocally accepts, believes, and defends the Bible’s teaching that Jesus is God.
Why do Pentecostals believe in the deity of Jesus Christ? Does the Assemblies of God denomination believe Jesus is God? Keep reading to learn the answers to these questions and more.
Why do Penetecostals believe in the deity of Jesus Christ?
Historic orthodox Pentecostalism has always believed that the Bible teaches that Jesus is God. Jesus, who is the second person of the Trinity, is declared to be God throughout the Bible. (Also see What Is a Pentecostal Church?)
The Old Testament foretells his deity; the New Testament Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, reveal his deity; and the writings of the Apostle Paul and others in the early church affirm his deity.
Is Pentecostalism a denomination or a belief system? Pentecostalism isn’t a denomination, but a collection of beliefs that certain Christians, churches, and denominations hold. Pentecostals are Christians and believe in the central tenets of the faith like the Trinity, the inspiration of Scripture, the fallenness of humanity, and the Second Coming of Christ.
What distinguishes Pentecostal Christianity from other believers? The unique doctrines in Pentecostal theology include the belief that for individuals, the baptism of the Holy Spirit occurs sometime after conversion, and that the initial evidence of it is speaking in tongues. Non-Pentecostal Christians believe that baptism of the Holy Spirit occurs at the time of conversion.
Furthermore, some non-Pentecostal Christians believe speaking in tongues is a spiritual gift that is still active today (though they may not practice it themselves), but others think it was only for the establishment of the Church in the first century. (See the full article Do Pentecostals Speak in Tongues?)
What kind of churches do Pentecostals attend? Christians with Pentecostal beliefs and practices can be found in a variety of denominations, including Baptist, Methodist, and Lutheran, but they are more commonly found in churches and denominations that subscribe to Pentecostal theology like the Assemblies of God (more below).
Is the word “Trinity” in the Bible? Though the word “Trinity” isn’t used in Scripture, the fundamental truths of the doctrine are. Arguing that the doctrine of the Trinity is false because the word doesn’t appear in the Bible reveals a misunderstanding or ignorance about how the early church studied and articulated theology.
Why do Pentecostals believe in the Trinity? Like other Christians, Pentecostals believe that Jesus is God because they are persuaded that the Bible teaches the doctrine. Common points of emphasis include:
- The word “God” is used of Christ in the Bible: “No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and is in closest relationship with the Father, has made him known” (John 1:18, NIV); also “Simon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who through the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ have received a faith as precious as ours” (2 Peter. 1:1, NIV). Also see John 20:28, Romans 9:5, Titus 2:13, and Hebrews 1:8.
- The word “Lord” is used of Christ: In some contexts in the New Testament, “Lord” means sir or master. In other contexts, it’s the translation for Yahweh, one of the names for God in the Old Testament. “Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord” (Luke 2:11, NIV). Also see Luke 1:43, Matthew 3:3, 1 Corinthians 8:6, Hebrews 1:10-12).
- Jesus identified himself as the “I AM”: ““Very truly I tell you,” Jesus answered, “before Abraham was born, I am!” (John 8:58, NIV). It’s clear from the context that those heard him understood he was claiming to be God because they picked up stones to throw at him, which is the punishment for blasphemy: “At this, they picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus hid himself, slipping away from the temple grounds” (John 8:59, NIV).
- Jesus possessed the attributes of deity: The Gospels teach that Jesus possessed qualities that only God has, according to the Bible. For example, Jesus was omniscient (John 1:48, 6:64), omnipresent (Matt. 18:20, 28:20), sovereign, such as being able to forgive sin (Mark 2:5-7), and immortal (John 2:19-22). The Bible is also clear that only God is to be worshipped, yet Jesus accepts the worship of others on numerous occasions (Phil. 2:9-11, Heb. 1:6, Rev. 5:12).
Also see Pentecostal vs Charismatic: What’s the Difference? to learn more.
Does the Assemblies of God denomination believe Jesus is God?
The largest denomination in the world that embraces Pentecostal theology is the Assemblies of God. The Assemblies of God, which is a Protestant Christian denomination, began in the early 20th century. The Assemblies of God’s belief statement, called the 16 Fundamental Truths, affirms the deity of Jesus Christ.
In the 16 Fundamental Truths, #3 is “The Deity of the Lord Jesus Christ.” There are six points the statement makes about the doctrine as its revealed in the Bible:
|Statement 1: The Lord Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of God. The Scriptures declare: His virgin birth.|
|Scriptural Support: Matthew 1:23; Luke 1:31; Luke 1:35; example: Matthew 1:23, “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means ‘God with us’).” (NIV)|
|Statement 2: The Lord Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of God. The Scriptures declare: His sinless life.|
|Scriptural Support: Hebrews 7:26; 1 Peter 2:22; example: Hebrews 7:26, “Such a high priest truly meets our need–one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens.” (NIV)|
|Statement 3: The Lord Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of God. The Scriptures declare: His miracles.|
|Scriptural Support: Acts 2:22; Acts 10:38; example: Acts 2:22, “Fellow Israelites, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know.” (NIV)|
|Statement 3: The Lord Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of God. The Scriptures declare: His substitutionary work on the cross,|
|Scriptural Support: 1 Corinthians 15:3; 2 Corinthians 5:21; example: 1 Corinthians 15:3, “For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures” (NIV)|
|Statement 4: The Lord Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of God. The Scriptures declare: His bodily resurrection from the dead.|
|Scriptural Support: Matthew 28:6; Luke 24:39; 1 Corinthians 15:4; example: Matthew 28:6, “He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay.” (NIV)|
|Statement 5: The Lord Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of God. The Scriptures declare: His exaltation to the right hand of God,|
|Scriptural Support: Acts 1:9; Acts 1:11; Acts 2:33; Philippians 2:9-11; Hebrews 1:3; example: Hebrews 1:3, “The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.” (NIV)|
Also see What Is An Ex-Pentecostal?
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