6. The Ordinances of the Church
Baptism in Water
The ordinance of baptism by immersion is commanded by the Scriptures. All who repent and believe on Christ as Saviour and Lord are to be baptized. Thus they declare to the world that they have died with Christ and that they also have been raised with Him to walk in newness of life.
The Lord's Supper, consisting of the elements --bread and the fruit of the vine-- is the symbol expressing our sharing the divine nature of our Lord Jesus Christ (2 Peter 1:4 [KJV/NIV]), a memorial of his suffering and death (1 Corinthians 11:26 [KJV/NIV]), and a prophecy of His second coming (1 Corinthians 11:26 [KJV/NIV]), and is enjoined on all believers "till He come!"
7. The Baptism in the Holy Spirit
All believers are entitled to and should ardently expect and earnestly seek the promise of the Father, the baptism in the Holy Spirit and fire, according to the command of our Lord Jesus Christ. This was the normal experience of all in the early Christian Church. With it comes the enduement of power for life and service, the bestowment of the gifts and their uses in the work of the ministry.
This experience is distinct from and subsequent to the experience of the new birth.
With the baptism in the Holy Spirit come such experiences as:
- an overflowing fullness of the Spirit, John 7:37-39 [KJV/NIV], Acts 4:8 [KJV/NIV]
- a deepened reverence for God, Acts 2:43 [KJV/NIV], Hebrews 12:28 [KJV/NIV]
- an intensified consecration to God and dedication to His work, Acts 2:42 [KJV/NIV]
- and a more active love for Christ, for His Word and for the lost, Mark 16:20 [KJV/NIV]
8. The Initial Physical Evidence of the Baptism in the Holy Spirit
The baptism of believers in the Holy Spirit is witnessed by the initial physical sign of speaking with other tongues as the Spirit of God gives them utterance.
The speaking in tongues in this instance is the same in essence as the gift of tongues, but is different in purpose and use.
Sanctification is an act of separation from that which is evil, and of dedication unto God.
The Scriptures teach a life of "holiness without which no man shall see the Lord."
By the power of the Holy Spirit we are able to obey the command: "Be ye holy, for I am holy."
Sanctification is realized in the believer by recognizing his identification with Christ in His death and resurrection, and by the faith reckoning daily upon the fact of that union, and by offering every faculty continually to the dominion of the Holy Spirit.
10. The Church and its Mission
The Church is the Body of Christ, the habitation of God through the Spirit, with divine appointments for the fulfillment of her great commission. Each believer, born of the Spirit, is an integral part of the General Assembly and Church of the Firstborn, which are written in heaven.
Since God’s purpose concerning man is to seek and to save that which is lost, to be worshipped by man, to build a body of believers in the image of His Son, and to demonstrate His love and compassion for all the world, the priority reason for being of the Assemblies of God as part of the Church is:
- To be an agency of God for evangelizing the world.
- To be a corporate body in which man may worship God.
- To be a channel of God’s purpose to build a body of saints being perfected in the image of His Son.
- To be a people who demonstrate God’s love and compassion for all the world.
The Assemblies of God exists expressly to give continuing emphasis to this reason for being in the New Testament apostolic pattern by teaching and encouraging believers to be baptized in the Holy Spirit. This experience:
- Enables them to evangelize in the power of the Spirit with accompanying supernatural signs.
- Adds a necessary dimension to worshipful relationship with God.
- Enables them to respond to the full working of the Holy Spirit in expression of fruit and gifts and ministries as in New Testament times for the edifying of the body of Christ and care for the poor and needy of the world.