Ordinances of the Church
It is generally admitted that for an ordinance to be valid, it must have been instituted by Christ. When we speak of ordinances of the church, we are speaking of those instituted by Christ, in which by sensible signs the grace of God in Christ, and the benefits of the covenant of grace are represented, sealed, and applied to believers, and these in turn give expression to their faith and allegiance to God. The Church Of God In Christ recognizes three ordinances as having been instituted by Christ himself and therefore, binding upon the church practice.
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 not only the death of Christ as the object of faith which unites the believers to Christ, but also the effect of this act as the giving of life, strength, and joy to the soul. The communicant by faith enters into a 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 is 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 Baptismal Formula given us by Christ for all “…IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER , AND OF THE SON, AND OF THE HOLY GHOST.“ (St. Matthew 28:19)