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what we believe

Doctrinal Statement

 
 

The following are the doctrinal statements believed and supported by the City of Refuge Church of God in Christ:

 

THE BIBLE 

 
We believe the Scripture, all 66 books of the combined Old and New Testaments, is verbally inspired by God.  We believe the Bible is inerrant in the original writings, and it is the Christian’s final authority in faith and conduct.  (2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:20-21)
 

GOD

We believe there is only one true, living sovereign, holy, and eternally existent God.  God is infinitely perfect and He exists in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  The triune God is the creator and sustainer of all things, the source of all truth, and is worthy of worship, confidence, and obedience.  (Deuteronomy 6:4-5; Genesis 1:31)

THE PERSON AND WORK OF CHRIST

We believe, by the miracle of the virgin birth—that the Lord Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of God.  We believe that He became man without ceasing to be God, to reveal God and to redeem mankind from sin.  We believe Christ died for the sins of all people as a substitutionary sacrifice.  We believe He arose bodily from the dead for our justification. Finally, we believe He is now exalted at the right hand of God as Head of the Church.  Christ is Lord of the individual believer, fulfilling His ministry as our Great High Priest and Advocate.  (John 1:1-3, 14; Matthew 1:18-25; Philippians 2:5-9; Colossians 1:15; 1 Corinthians 15:1-8; Acts 1:11)
 
THE MINISTRY OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
 
We believe the ministry of the Holy Spirit is to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ.  We believe He convicts the world of sin and regenerates the believing sinner, baptizing him into the Church (which is the Body of Christ).  We believe He indwells, guides, instructs, and empowers believers for godly living and service.  We believe God gives all believers at least one spiritual gift so we can use this gift for the strength and outreach of the Church.  (John 14:16-19; 16:7-15; 1 Corinthians 6:19-20; Romans 8:9, 11; Titus 3:5)

BAPTISM OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

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 Spirit with the manifestations of the fruit of the spirit.  (Gal 5:22-23; Acts 10:46; 19:1-6)  We believe that we are not baptized with the Holy Spirit in order to be saved, but that we are baptized with the Holy Spirit because we are saved.  (Acts 29:1-6; John 3:5)
 
SALVATION AND SANCTIFICATION
 
Salvation deals with the application of the work of redemption to the sinner and his restoration to divine favor and communion with God.  This redemptive operation of the Holy Spirit upon sinners is brought about by repentance toward God that brings about conversion, faith, justification, regeneration, sanctification, and baptism of the Holy Spirit. 
 

Sanctification is that gracious and continuous operation of the Holy Spirit, 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.  (Rom 6:4; 5:6, 11, 12; Col 2:12; 3:1,2; Gal 2:19; I Thess 5:23; II Cor 5:17; I Cor 6:15, 20; Jer 31:34; Jn 6:45; Ezek 36:25-27; Phil 2:13; Gal 5:24; Tit 1:15; Heb 9:14) 

 
Sanctification denotes ethical purification with the idea of separation, namely, “the separation of the spirit from all that is impure and polluting, and a renunciation of the sins towards which the desires of the flesh and the mind lead us.”
 
We, therefore, believe that before a believer can be filled with the Holy Spirit, he must first be sanctified.
 
MAN

We believe God created man in His image.  But man sinned, incurring not only physical death, but also spiritual death (separation from God, which all people inherit from Adam).  We believe man is subject to Satan’s power; and that man, within himself, has no means of recovery or salvation.  (Genesis 1:17, 31)

THE CHURCH

We believe the true Church is composed of all that have been regenerated by the Holy Spirit, through saving faith in Jesus Christ.  We also believe that those who are thus members of the true Church are eligible for membership in the local Church.  (Matthew 16:18; 1 Corinthians 12:12-14; Hebrews 10:25)
 

THE BLESSED HOPE

 

We believe in the personal, imminent and premillennial coming of our Lord.  First, He will come to receive His own to Himself; later, He will set up His earthly kingdom and reign over redeemed Israel .  At that time Christ will also reign over all nations, bringing peace and blessing to the world.  We believe this blessed hope has a vital bearing on our personal lives and service.  (Titus 2:13)

 

THE CHRISTIAN'S WALK

 

We believe God calls us—with a holy calling—to walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.  God wants us to live in the power of His indwelling Holy Spirit, so we will not fulfill the lusts of our physical bodies.  We believe the fallen, Adamic nature of the flesh cannot be eradicated in this life.  Therefore, keeping ourselves constantly in subjection to Christ, we must allow God’s Holy Spirit to live through us in a daily “walk” of faith.  Otherwise, the flesh will certainly demonstrate its presence in our lives, to the Lord’s dishonor.  It is the responsibility and privilege of every Christian to proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ and to seek and to make growing disciples.  (Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 1:8)

 

THE ETERNAL STATE

 

We believe the souls of those who have trusted the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation immediately pass into His presence at death.  There they remain in conscious bliss until the resurrection of our bodies at Christ's coming for His Church.  Then, with our souls reunited with our glorified bodies, we will live with Him forever in glory.  We believe God will punish unbelievers with everlasting separation from His presence, His glory, and His power.  (John 3:16; 2:25; Romans 6:23; Revelation 20:15)

 

SATAN

 

We believe Satan is a person, a fallen angel, the author of the fall of man, and the god of this age.  However, we also believe that he is the Christian’s defeated enemy.  His destiny is eternal punishment.  (Job 1:6-12; Mark 8:32)

 

SIN

 

We believe Adam, the first man, sinned by disobedience.  This act resulted in the fall of all mankind.  Therefore, all people have sinned and lost their ability to live for the glory of God.  Mankind's fall has incurred both physical and spiritual death on all until there is forgiveness and salvation by the grace of God.  (Genesis 3:1-24; Romans 3:10-23; 5:12-21; 6:23)

 

THE CHRISTIAN HOME

 

In addition to these important beliefs, we also believe God has given the parents the responsibility to bring up their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. (Ephesians 6:4; Proverbs 22:6)  We believe a consistent and whole education will occur when home, Church, and school work closely together and are in agreement on the basic concepts of life.

 

WATER BAPTISM, LORD'S SUPPER, AND FEET-WASHING

 

Jesus instructed His followers to remember His death and resurrection.  He gave the Church three visible symbols (called "ordinances") as reminders.  We believe the three ordinances are water baptism, the Lord's supper and the washing of feet.  Baptism by immersion is a one-time act of obedience and identification with Jesus as Lord.  It serves as an outward sign of conscious confession of repentance and faith.  The Lord's supper is an ongoing symbol remembering our Lord's death, burial, resurrection, and promised return.  Feet washing shows that humility characterized greatness in the Kingdom of God , and service, rendered to others gave evidence that humility, motivated by love, exits.  Each person must decide whether or not to be baptized, participate in the Lord's supper or feet washing.  Regardless, we do not regard anyone’s participation in these practices as a means of salvation. 

(Matthew 28:18-20; Matthew 26: 26-29; 1 Corinthians 11:23-32)