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APPENDIX A (July 2013)
Churches of God, General Conference Historic Statements of Faith
1844, 1926, & 1975
The Churches of God, General Conference (CGGC) acknowledges the Bible as the “only and all sufficient rule of faith and practice” and affirms no creed as obligatory. However, from time to time the CGGC approved a statement of faith as a declaration of the “things believed among us.” These statements serve as a summary of the biblical doctrine commonly accepted within the fellowship. As such these expressions of faith have varied from statement to statement based on the needs and theological challenges at the time of writing. Nevertheless a comparison of these statements will show the core teachings of the CGGC have remained soundly biblical and consistent.
THE STATEMENT OF 1844
John Winebrenner’s Twenty-Seven Point Statement of Faith
John Winebrenner, “History of the Churches of God,” All Religious Denominations (Harrisburg: 1848),, 170-180. First published in An Original History of the Religious Denominations, I. Daniel Rupp (Philadelphia, 1844). The multiple scripture references are not quoted below for the sake of brevity.
THE STATEMENT OF 1925
The Centennial Statement based on Winebrenner’s 27 Points (1844)
S. G. Yahn, History of the Churches of God (Harrisburg: 1926), 112-119. Scripture references are not quoted below for the sake of brevity.
We believe that the Bible is the divinely inspired word of God; that the inspiration of its writers enabled them to record truth without error; and that it is our only and all-sufficient rule of faith and practice.
We believe in one supreme God—the Father, Son and Holy Ghost—and that they are co-equal and co-eternal.
We believe in the miraculous conception, the virgin birth, the vicarious sacrifice, the bodily resurrection, the triumphant ascension and the second coming of Jesus Christ.
We believe in his deity—that he was, and is, God the Son as well as the Son of God.
We believe in the gift and work of the Holy Spirit.
We believe that God made man by an original specific act of creation.
We believe in the fall of man, and that his only possible redemption is through the atonement of Christ.
We believe that man is justified by faith in Christ, and not by works of the law, or by works of his own righteousness.
We believe in the free moral agency of man, as opposed to his unconditional election or reprobation, i.e., that a man must accept Jesus as his Savior, and of his own free will continue in the goodness of God to be numbered with the elect.
We believe that only those who have been born again by the word and Spirit, and who continue to manifest repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ, and to live virtuous and obedient lives will be saved.
We believe that sanctification of the person (personality) is instantaneous and simultaneous with regeneration; that the sanctification of the nature, is a gradual growth in grace and truth.
We believe in Baptism, Feet-washing and the Lord’s Supper as church ordinances.
We believe in Christian unity, in the Lord’s Day as a time of rest and worship, and that civil governments are ordained of God.
We believe in the immortality of the soul (that when a believer departs from the body he is consciously at home with the Lord).
We believe in the resurrection of the dead, in a judgment following the resurrection, and in everlasting rewards and punishments.
Yahn’s comment on the 1925 statement: It will be noticed that the foregoing statements are substantially the same from a doctrinal viewpoint, thus showing that our people have held fast to the faith of the fathers without wavering. A few of the paragraphs in Winebrenner’s statement-from 14 to 20 inclusive-pertain to church methods and public questions, and are not included in the statement of 1925, which is strictly doctrinal. On the other hand, the latter statement emphasizes the scriptural account of man’s creation and the doctrines of Christ’s miraculous conception, his virgin birth and his deity, because these were the doctrines against which modernism was making its special attack.
THE STATEMENT OF 1975
The Sesquicentennial Statement based upon the 1925 Statement of Faith
We believe in one supreme God—the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; co-equal and co-eternal: and in the miraculous conception, the virgin birth, the vicarious sacrifice, the bodily resurrection, the triumphant ascension, and the second coming of our Lord.
We believe in the gift and work of the Holy Spirit; the divinely inspired Word of God as our only and all-sufficient rule of faith and practice; and in the free moral agency of man.
We believe God created man; man has fallen; and his only possible redemption is through the atonement of Christ.
We believe in the forgiveness of sins; rebirth by the Word and Spirit and justification by faith.
We believe baptism, feetwashing, and the Lord’s Supper to be ordinances of the church.
We believe in the holiness of the Lord’s Day; and God’s appointment of civil governments.
We believe in the resurrection of the dead; the final judgment; and life everlasting.
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