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The Church of God in Christ (COGIC) is an historically African-American Holiness-Pentecostal church. The church has congregations in nearly 60 countries around the world. With a membership of over ...
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The Church of God in Christ is a Bible-believing Evangelical church which teaches being born again through repentance and receiving Christ as Lord and Saviour. They are also a Pentecostal or Full Gospel church which believes everything written in the Bible and that "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever." (Hebrews 13:8) They teach that just as the Bible teaches, that there is an experience for every saved child of God of being baptized and filled with the Holy Spirit after they are saved. Jesus promised this experience to His disciples. "But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judæa, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth." (Acts 1:8) Notice that this verse doesn't say "but you shall receive salvation and you shall become Christians when the Holy Spirit is come upon you"! It speaks of POWER and witnessing. That happens after salvation. You can't witness of something you don't already possess. " And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high. "(Luke 24:49) Again Jesus here speaks of an empowering experience He would pour out on His followers, and not about getting saved. These promises were fulfilled on the day of Pentecost: "And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. "(Acts 2:1-4) Ever since this initial outpouring, every time a group of people believed on Jesus, were saved and were baptized in water, they were afterwards filled with the Holy Spirit like the first occurrence when God sent the Holy Spirit. Instance 2: "Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John: Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost: (For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.) Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost. "(Acts 8:14-17) Instance 3: "Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus. When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied. "(Acts 19:4-6) Notice the order of events in every case. First they believe on Jesus Christ and are saved. Next they are baptized in water. THEN they are filled with the Holy Spirit for power. Sometimes it happens after believing on Jesus but before water baptism: Instance 4: "And he commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testify that it is he which was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead. To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins. While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word. And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost. For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter, Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we? "(Acts 10:42-47) They believed on Jesus and were filled with the Holy Spirit but baptized in water afterwards.
In review of the COGIC statement of faith, it is Biblical, though not fully inclusive of what scripture says. COGIC says tongues is a sign of the infilling of the Holy Spirit. They don't say that it is the only sign, so their statement is Biblical. Acts 11:15 Peter states "as I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell on them just as on us at the beginning." I don't see that the people in Joppa who had the Holy Spirit fall on them, were at that point "saved" since they hadn't heard the Word until after Peter had spoken.. I think the question is unfortunate, as it is divisive in the Body of Christ. I believe that we should be very careful not to allow minor doctrinal differences to limit who we accept as brothers and sisters in Christ. John 13;34-35 ESV "35 A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.
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