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What Does the Bible Say About..Pentecostal Spirituality?

What is Pentecostal spirituality as it relates to an individual? I have been reading about it in terms of the religion, but how do you say a person has enough or lacks in spirituality? I realize this question was dealt with in the book Pentecostal Spirituality but I am having difficulty translating it to ordinary people.


Since I am not a Pentecostal I can not address Pentecostal spirituality except second-hand. I can, on the other hand, address biblical spirituality.

In talking to some Pentecostals I have gotten the following view of Pentecostal spirituality. I don't know whether this is a majority view, a minority view, or even the official view. Some Pentecostals believe that one's spirituality is measured by whether one possesses miraculous gifts, most especially the modern rather than biblical interpretation of "speaking in tongues." Thus one who speaks in tongues is more spiritual than one who does not. (This, in spite of Paul's contention in 1 Corinthians 14 that speaking in tongues was the least important of the spiritual gifts.) I personally have a couple of objections to this view of spirituality. First, even Paul, in the chapter previously mentioned, implies that there were some who possessed spiritual gifts who misused them, being less spiritual than others who didn't have them. Second, since I believe the Bible indicates that the miraculous spiritual gifts were to end shortly after the last apostle died, then measuring spirituality by gifts that no longer exist is a necessarily faulty measure.

Again, I emphasize that I don't know if that view is the common view of Pentecostal spirituality. It is the one that I have been told about.

What I can speak to better is biblical spirituality. What does the Bible say about, or how does it define, spirituality?

Generally, the Bible doesn't speak in terms of one person being more spiritual than another. Galatians 6:1 refers to "ye who are spiritual," not "ye who are more spiritual." Paul generally makes only one distinction: you are fleshly or you are spiritual. (Romans 8; Galatians 3:3; Galatians 5:16-18) He doesn't distinguish between "more fleshly" or "more spiritual." Biblically you are one or the other, with no measure of degrees of either. It is not a matter of having enough spirituality or lacking in spirituality. You are either spiritual or you aren't.

How can any man say another is spiritual enough, or lacks spirituality? That is not our job. God judges hearts; we don't. In fact, in Matthew 7:1-5 Jesus tells us not to be judges of the spirituality of others because by our standards of more or less spiritual none of us are spiritual enough.

On the other hand, we are told how to determine if one is spiritual or not (without judging degrees). "By their fruits ye shall know them." (Matthew 7:16) "By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another." (John 13:35) Paul told the Galatians what some of the works of the flesh were, and the fruit of the spirit (Galatians 5:19-25). If you are spiritual, you exhibit that fruit, caring nothing about degrees. If you are fleshly, you exhibit those works, caring everything about degrees.