We believe that the Bible is the Word of God and contains one harmonious and sufficiently complete system of doctrine. We believe in the full inspiration of the Word of God. We hold the Word of God to be the only authority in all matters and assert that no doctrine can be true or essential, if it does not find a place in this Word.
We believe in God, the Father Almighty, the Author and Creator of all things. The Old Testament reveals God in diverse manners, by manifesting His nature, character, and dominions. The Gospels in the New Testament give us knowledge of God the “Father” or “My Father,” showing the relationship of God to Jesus as father, or representing Him as the Father in the Godhead, and Jesus himself as that son (St. John 15:8; 14:20). Jesus also gives God the distinction of “Fatherhood” to all believers when he explains God in the light of “Your Father” or “Your Father in Heaven” (St. Matthew 11:25).
We believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, the second person in the Godhead of the Trinity or Truine Godhead. We believe that Jesus was and is eternal in His person and nature as the Son of God who was with God in the beginning of creation (St. John 1:1). We believe that Jesus Christ was born of a virgin called Mary according to the scripture (St. Matthew 1:18); thus giving the rise to our fundamental belief in the Virgin Birth and to all of the miraculous events surrounding this phenomenon (St. Matthew 1:18-25). We believe that Jesus Christ became the “suffering Servant” to man; this suffering servant came seeking to redeem man from sin and to reconcile him back to God, his Father (Romans 5:10). We believe that Jesus Christ is standing now as mediator between God and man (1Timothy 2:5).
The Holy Ghost
We believe the Holy Ghost or Holy Spirit is the third person of the Trinity, proceeds from the Father and the Son, and is of the same substance, equal in power and glory. Also, the Holy Ghost is altogether with the Father for the purpose of equipping and empowering the believer, making him a more effective witness for service in the world. He teaches and guides one in all truth (St. John 16:13; Acts 1:8, 8:39).
The Baptism of The Holy Ghost
We believe that the Baptism of the Holy Ghost is an experience subsequent to conversion and sanctification and that tongue-speaking is the consequence of the baptism of the Holy Ghost with the manifestations of the fruit of the spirit (Galatians 5:22-23; Acts 10:46; 19:1-6). We believe that we are not baptized with the Holy Ghost in order to be saved, but that we are baptized with the Holy Ghost because we are saved (Acts 19:1-6; John 3:5). When one receives a baptismal Holy Ghost experience, we believe one will speak with a tongue unknown to oneself according to the sovereign will of Christ. To be filled with the Spirit means to be Spirit-controlled as expressed by Paul in Ephesians 5:18-19. Since the charismatic demonstrations were necessary to help the early church to be successful in implementing the command of Christ, we therefore, believe that a Holy Ghost experience is mandatory for all men today.
We believe that man was created by God, composed of body and soul. We believe that man, by nature, is sinful and unholy. Being born in sin, he needs to be born again, sanctified and cleansed from all sins by the blood of Jesus. We believe that man is saved by confession and forsaking his sins, and believing on the Lord Jesus Christ, and that having become a child of God, by being born again and adopted into the family of God, he may, and should, claim the inheritance of the sons of God, namely the baptism of the Holy Ghost.
Sin, the bible teaches, began in the angelic world (Ezekiel 28:11-19; Isaiah 14:12-20) and is transmitted into the blood of the human race through disobedience and deception motivated by unbelief (1 Timothy 2:14). Adam’s sin, committed by eating of the forbidden fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, carried with it a permanent pollution or depraved human nature to all his descendants. This is called “original sin.” Sin can now be defined as a volitional transgression against God and a lack of conformity to the will of God. We, therefore, conclude that man by nature, is sinful and that he hath fallen from a glorious and righteous state from which he was created, and has become unrighteous and unholy. Man, therefore, must be restored to his state of holiness from which he has fallen by being born again (St. John 3:7).
Salvation deals with the application of the work of redemption to the sinner with his restoration to divine favor and communion with God. This redemptive operation of the Holy Ghost upon sinners is brought about by repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ, which brings about conversion, faith, justification, regeneration, sanctification and the baptism of the Holy Ghost. Repentance is the work of God which results in a change of mind in respect of man’s relationship to God (St. Matthew 3:1, 2:4-17; Acts 20:21). Faith is a certain conviction wrought in the heart by the Holy Spirit, as to the truth of the Gospel and heart trust in the promises of God in Christ (Romans 1:17, 3:28; St. Matthew 9:22; Acts 26:18). Conversion is that act of God whereby he causes the regenerated sinner, in his conscious life to turn to him in repentance and faith (II Kings 5:15; II Chronicles 33:12; 13; St. Luke 19:8, 9; Acts 8:30). Regeneration is that act of God by which the principle of the new life is implanted in man, and the governing disposition of soul is made holy and the first holy exercise of this new disposition is secured. Sanctification is that gracious and continuous operation of the Holy Ghost, by which He delivers the justified sinner from the pollution of sin, renews his whole nature in the image of God and enables him to perform good works (Romans 6:4, 5:6; Colossians 2:12, 3:1).
The Church forms a spiritual unity of which Christ is the divine head. It is animated by one Spirit, the Spirit of Christ; it professes one faith, shares our hope, and serves one King. It is the citadel of the truth and God’s agency for communicating to believers all spiritual blessings. The Church then is the object of our faith rather than of Knowledge. The name of our church, “Church of God in Christ,” is supported by 1 Thessalonians 2:14 and other passages in the Pauline Epistles. The word “church” or “ecclesia” was first applied to the Christian society by Jesus Christ in St. Matthew 16:18, “The occasion being that of his benediction of Peter at Caesarea Phillippi.”
The Second Coming of Christ
We believe in the second coming of Christ; that he shall come from heaven to earth, personally, bodily, visibly (Acts 1:11; Titus 2:13; Matthew 16:27, 24:30, 25:30; Luke 21:27; John 1:14, 17; Titus 2:11), and that the Church, the bride, will be caught up to meet him in the air (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17). We admonish all who have this hope to purify themselves as He is pure.
The Lord’s Supper (Holy Communion)
The Lord’s Supper symbolizes the Lord’s death and suffering for the benefit and in the place of His people. It also symbolizes the believer's participation in the Crucified Christ. It represents the death of Christ as the object of faith, which unites the believers to Christ, but also special spiritual union of his soul with the glorified Christ.
Feet Washing is practiced and recognized as an ordinance in our Church because Christ, by His example, showed that humility characterized greatness in the Kingdom of God, and that service, rendered to others gave evidence that humility, motivated by Love, exists. These services are held subsequent to the Lord’s Supper; however, its regularity is left to the discretion of the Pastor in charge.
We believe that water Baptism is necessary as instructed by Christ in St. John 3:5 “Unless man be born again of water and of the Spirit…” However, we do not believe that water Baptism alone is a means of salvation, but as an outward demonstration that one has already had a conversion experience and has accepted Christ as his personal Savior. As Pentecostals, we practice immersion in preference to “sprinkling,” because immersion corresponds more closely to the death, burial, and resurrection of our Lord (Colossians 2:12). It also symbolizes regeneration and purification more than any other mode. Therefore, we practice immersion as our mode of Baptism. We believe that we should use the following Baptism Formula given to us by Christ for all: “…in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost…” (St. Matthew 28:19).
*This information is from the International Church of God In Christ, Inc. (www.cogic.org)
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