Church of God, International

Garner Ted Armstrong; Tyler, Texas

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Statement of Beliefs

1. GOD

God is the eternal, all present, all powerful, supreme creator and sustainer of the entire universe. God is one, composed of spirit and comprising a family presently consisting of God the Father and Jesus Christ the Son. God is a loving, kind, merciful being who wants to share His magnificent existence by reproducing Himself through man. Psalm 19:1; 50:1, 6-7 Isaiah 44:6; Nehemiah 9:6, 16-17 John 1:12-13; 3:16; 4:8; Romans I:20; Colossians I:16; Hebrews 1:1-2; 1 John 3:1-2

2. BIBLE

The whole Bible is the divinely inspired Word of God containing His plan of salvation, and the record of His participation in history. The Bible is God's revelation of knowledge that man cannot discover for himself. It is the foundation of knowledge, and the guidebook of life. The Old and New Testaments comprise God's written Word, which forms the basis of Christianity as taught by the church and as practiced by the Christian. Deuteronomy 8:3; Matthew 4:4; Luke 4:4; John 17:I7; Romans 8:16; 1 Corinthians 2:7-11; II Timothy 3:16-17; II Peter 1:20

3. JESUS CHRIST

Jesus of Nazareth is the Christ, the Son of God, and the Son of man. He was the prophesied Messiah of the Old Testament, and is described in the New Testament as being fully human and fully divine. As the second member of the God family, He has existed throughout eternity as the "Word." He divested Himself of this power and His majesty, and became a human being to die for the sins of all mankind as our loving and merciful Savior. He was then resurrected, and ascended to heaven to become our High Priest. Jesus Christ shall return to establish the Kingdom of God on earth, and rule as King of kings with His saints forever. Deuteronomy I8:15; Matthew 17:15-1 7; John 1:1-14; 3:16; Acts 2:32-33; Romans 5:8; Philippians 2:7; Hebrews 4:14-15; Revelation 1:13-16

4. THE HOLY SPIRIT

The Holy Spirit is the essence, power, mind, and spiritual extension of God. God begets Christians as His sons and daughters through this Spirit. It strengthens a Christian spiritually, converts his mind, and serves as an earnest or guarantee of eternal life. Acts 1:8; 2:38; Romans 8:9, 14; I Corinthians 2:16; Ephesians 1:13-14

5. MANKIND

Humans are physical beings with no inherent immortality, but they can receive eternal life as a free gift from God. Man was created by God to be wholly flesh and blood, yet in God's image, and with a spiritual component added to his brain to compose the human mind. Genesis 1:26-27; Job 32:8; I Corinthians 2:11; I John 5:11-13

6. ANGELIC REALM

God has created powerful spirit beings as His agents, and messengers. Since man's creation, these spirit beings function as ministering spirits to help mankind attain salvation. Like man, angels have free moral agency. Although created to help God, some of them--led by Satan the devil-rebelled against God's government, transforming themselves into demons. Psalm 91:11-12; Ephesians 6:I2; Hebrews 1:7

7. SALVATION

Salvation is the means by which God, through Christ, saves man from the penalty of sin and gives him eternal life. This process includes one's calling, repentance, baptism, justification, receiving of the Holy Spirit, life of faith and obedience, and final birth into God's Kingdom as a spirit being. Salvation is a freely given gift from God through grace, with our ultimate reward being given according to our works. Matthew 16:27; John 3:16-17; Romans 6:23; Ephesians 2:8-9; Hebrews 6:I-2

8. FAITH

Faith is the sure knowledge that God exists, and that He will accomplish those things He has promised. Faith is necessary for salvation. The basic elements of faith are courage, action, and risk. Romans 1:17; 10:17; Ephesians 3:I7; Hebrews 11:1-2; James 2:22-24

9. REPENTANCE

Repentance is the act of acknowledging one's sins, and resolving to fully obey God. It begins when God opens one's mind to see himself in comparison with God and His law. True repentance is the first step toward reconciliation with God, and thereby toward ultimate salvation. Acts 2:38; 3:19-21; 8:22; I John 3:4

10. BAPTlSM

The ceremony of water baptism is performed by immersion, for the forgiveness of sins, upon true repentance and acceptance of Christ's sacrifice. After this ceremony, and as a result, one receives the baptism of the Holy Spirit through the laying on of hands. Baptism symbolizes the renunciation of the past sinful way of life, the burial of the old man in a watery grave, and the emergence of a new, Spirit-led man living with Christ's mind and following in His footsteps. Matthew 3:13-16; Acts 2:38; Romans 6:1-8; Colossians 2:12

11. LAYING ON OF HANDS

The laying on of hands is an act performed on special occasions, such as for the receiving of God's Holy Spirit after baptism, at ordination, anointing of the sick, or for other special purposes. Matthew 19:13-15; Acts 6:5-6; 8:17-18; 13:3; I Timonthy 4:14; Hebrews 6:2

12. KINGDOM OF GOD

The Kingdom of God is the family of God ruling as the government of God. It is a future world-ruling government to be set up on earth by Christ at His return, with Jesus as King and the resurrected spirit-composed saints in positions of co-rulership with Him. The Kingdom of God--referred to as a "mystery" in the New Testament--was first preached and explained by Christ, then by His church; it shall be established on earth for a thousand years following Christ's return, and shall be completely fulfilled when New Jerusalem and God the Father come down out of heaven to dwell on the New Earth. Mark 4:11; Revelation 5:10; 20:4; 21:1-3, 7, 10

13. GOSPEL

The gospel is the message preached by Christ and by His church about God's coming Kingdom, the restoration of His government on earth, and how mankind can enter that Kingdom and government. It includes the message of what Jesus has done, is doing, and shall do--and ultimately is the message of the entire Old and New Testaments. The primary prupose and commission of the church is to " Go ye thefore, and teach [make disciples of] all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.'' Matthew 3:2; 24:14; 28:19-20; Mark 1:15; Luke 24:47

14. RESURRECTIONS

The hope of all mankind and the promise to the Christian is the resurrection from the dead. The Bible refers to (1) the resurrection of Jesus Christ, the firstborn from the dead and the pioneer of our salvation; (2) the resurrection of the saints--called the "first resurrection"--at the return of Christ when the true believers shall become spirit-composed members of God's family; (3) the resurrection back to physical life of all who have ever died without having understood God's way, for their first opportunity for salvation; (4) the resurrection of the incorrigibly wicked--those who have refused to repent and have rejected God's way-to be consumed in the lake of fire (called the "second death"). John 5:28-29; Acts 2:32; Romans 8:11; I Corinthians 15:20; I Thessalonians 4:I3-17; Revelation 20:4-6, 13-14

15. JUDGMENT

The time of one's judgment is the time of his opportunity for salvation, extending from one's calling by God until his death (or the resurrection at Christ's return). Those who shall qualify for God's Kingdom--the overwhelming majority-shall inherit eternal life, and those who deliberately reject God's way shall be consumed in the lake of fire. Matthew 13:49-50; 25:34; I Peter 4:17; Revelation 20:15; 21:8

16. LAW OF GOD

The law of God as revealed in the Bible is a good, right, and perfect system of eternal directives and principles that reflects God's character and serves as a means of expressing His love toward man. God's law teaches man how to properly worship God, how to love his fellowman, how to live life abundantly, and, at the same time, how to prepare for an eternal spiritual life in the family of God. The law of God is represented in both the Old and the New Testaments, and is expressed by both physical actions and spiritual motivations. John 14:15, 21; Romans 712; I John 5:2-3

17. BIBLICAL COVENANTS

Both testaments record that God made certain promises in the form of specific contracts or agreements with man. These are called "covenants," and define the terms of God's relationship with individuals or groups in various circumstances and eras. Of these covenants, the best known are the covenants made with physical Israel and the New Covenant established on "better promises," which will be fully confirmed with spiritual Israel after the return of Jesus Christ. The New Covenant, which also applies to the New Testament church from the time of the original apostles, makes God's law even more relevant by expanding it to include one's mental attitude and spiritual intent. Matthew 5:21-22; II Timothy 3:15-16; Hebrews 8:6-13

18. TEN COMMANDMENTS

The Ten Commandments, as revealed by God, codified by Moses, and ratified and magnified by Christ, are the perfect expression of God's love. They are the foundation of all biblical teaching, showing man how to express love toward God and fellowman, and are consequently the focal point of Christian life. Exodus 20; Deuteronomy 5; Matthew 5:17-19; Romans 13:10; I Corinthians 7:19; Revelation 12:17; 22:14

19. SABBATH

The seventh-day Sabbath is to be taught and kept holy in accordance with the biblical instruction. Instituted at creation, reaffirmed to Israel as a part of the covenant at Sinai, and taught by Jesus Christ, who is the Messenger of the New Covenant, the observance of the Sabbath is basic to a Christian's relationship with God. Genesis 2:2-3; Exodus 16; 20:8-11; 31:12-1 7; Mark 2:27-28; Luke 4:16

20. ANNUAL HOLY DAYS

The annual holy days were ordained by God, kept by the ancient Israelites, and continued by the early New Testament Christians. These seven annual "appointed feasts" picture God's plan of salvation for man. Leviticus 23; Zechariah 14:16; John 7:8-10 Acts 2:1; 12:3; 20:6, 16; 27:9; I Corinthians 5:8; 16:8

21. TITHING

Tithing is an act of worship; it is a private matter between the individual and God. The church does not "enforce" or "police" tithing, but simply teaches the responsibility to tithe. Each individual has the responsibility to "honor the Lord with his substance and with the firstfruits of all his increase.'' Tithing is a method by which the message of Jesus Christ is proclaimed to the world. Malachi 3:8-I0; Matthew 6:21; 23:23; II Corinthians 9:7

22. SIN

Sin is the transgression of God's law--the falling short or missing the mark of the character of Jesus Christ. Although the penalty for sin is death in the lake of fire, all sin can be completely forgiven by God, who desires that all men be saved. (The unpardonable sin is a sin for which the sinner asks no pardon.) God forgives sin upon the repentance of the individual who accepts the shed blood and sacrifice of Jesus Christ as payment in full for the penalty of his sins. Romans 6.23; Ephesians 4:32; Colossians 1:14; I John 3:4

23. THE CHRISTIAN

A true Christian is one in whom the Holy Spirit dwells. Romans 8:9; I Corinthians 12:13

24. THE CHRISTIAN FAMILY

The marriage relationship is the basis of the family, which in turn is the core of a stable society. As the primary physical analogy of God's plan for mankind, marriage, child rearing, and the family are given a preeminent place in the teachings of the Bible and the church. Although roles are defined, men and women have equal spiritual potential before God. Exodus 20:12; Malachi 4:5-6; Ephesians 5:22-29; 6:1-3; I Peter 3:7

25. HEALING

Divine healing is a miracle that God in His mercy and love may extend to those who call upon Him in time of need, according to faith. The healings of Jesus Christ demonstrate and represent His power to express compassion, to forgive sin, and ultimately, to resurrect the dead and establish the Kingdom of God on earth. Matthew 9:1-7; James 5:14-15

26. THE CHURCH OF GOD

The church is the spiritual body of Christ, a group of persons called out by God and impregnated with His Holy Spirit. As a spiritual body, the church is made up of baptized, Spirit-led individuals who are scattered around the world. I Corinthians 12:12-14, 27; Colossians 3:15

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