Purpose of the Church
The Church of God Fellowship (COGF) in Lansing, Michigan is a congregation of believers that is one of the many congregations throughout the world that are part of the church that Jesus Christ built.
Matthew 16:18 And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock, I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.
The COGF shares the purposes of the Church of God three of which are:
- To proclaim, individually and collectively, the good news (gospel) that our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will return to earth to establish His Kingdom;
Mat 24:14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.Mat 28:19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, Mat 28:20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.Mar 13:10 And the gospel must first be preached to all the nations. Mar 16:15 And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. Mar 16:16 He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.
- To equip its members for the work of the ministry; and
- To edify the members of the body of Christ.
Ephesians 4:11 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, Ephesians 4:12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, Ephesians 4:13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; Ephesians 4:14 that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, Ephesians 4:15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— Ephesians 4:16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.
Statement of Beliefs
The Church of God Fellowship Lansing congregation is a group of believers who observe the seventh day Sabbath (Lev. 23:2 3) and acknowledge that Jesus Christ is God who came in the flesh (John 1:1,14; I John 4:15; 2 John 1:7) and died that whoever believes in Him would not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16 ,17).
Although we believe that the law of God still is valid today (Matt. 5:17, 18), we understand that strict adherence to the law does not save us (Rom. 3:19 ,20; Rom. 8:3 4).
Salvation is by grace and not by the law. We cannot earn salvation by works, because it is by God’s grace and is a gift from God. (Rom. 5:15- 18; Rom. 6:23; Eph. 2:8 9).
However, those who claim to be believers are expected to live righteously (Rom. 12:1; I Pet. 2:24; Titus 2:12), according to the instructions in the Bible.
“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness…” (2 Timothy 3:16).
We believe that the followers of Jesus Christ are known by their love for God and their fellow man. The expressions of that love are based on what the Bible says:
John 13:35 by this all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.
John 14:15 If you love me, keep my commandments.
1 John 5:2 by this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments.
1 John 5:3 for this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome.
In addition to observing the weekly seventh day Sabbath, we also observe God’s other festivals described in Leviticus 23, which we believe picture an outline of God’s plan for mankind as the children of God.
As individuals who are working out our own salvation with fear and trembling (Phil. 2:12), we all are working toward a better understanding of the Scriptures (2 Pet. 3:18, Acts 17:11; Heb. 5:12 -14).
Consequently, we do not all have exactly the same beliefs in our interpretation of everything in the Bible. However, as a congregation, our core beliefs include:
- God is love (I John 4:8) and He created everything by and for Jesus Christ (John 1:3; Eph. 3:9; Col. 1:16; Rev. 4:11).
- God created mankind for the ultimate purpose of giving all who heed His call eternal life a life of abundance and happiness, one without death, sorrow, or tears (John 3:16, 17; Rom. 6:23; Rev. 21:4).
- The Holy Bible, both Old and New Testaments, is still valid today. It is the inspired Word of God and the book from where we draw instruction, inspiration, and doctrine (Matt. 5:17- 18; 2 Tim. 3:16; Heb. 1:1 2).
- Jesus Christ is God who came in the flesh to save us from our sins through His blood and give us eternal life through His body (2 John 1:7; I John 1:7; John 6:47- 51)
- Jesus Christ is the only name under heaven by which we can be saved no other.
Act 4:7 And when they had set them in the midst, they asked, “By what power or by what name have you done this?” Act 4:8 Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers of the people and elders of Israel: Act 4:9 If we this day are judged for a good deed done to a helpless man, by what means he has been made well, Act 4:10 let it be known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by Him this man stands here before you whole. Act 4:11 This is the ‘STONE WHICH WAS REJECTED BY YOU BUILDERS, WHICH HAS BECOME THE CHIEF CORNERSTONE.’ Act 4:12 Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”
- The Holy Spirit is the power by which God does His work (Luke 1:35; John 14:26; John 16:7- 14).
- Before one can receive the Holy Spirit, one must repent of past sinful conduct and be baptized (Acts 2:38), making a complete commitment to follow God’s ways. Baptism is the total immersion of the body under water.
- Other than those times when God granted the Holy Spirit in a different manner, believers receive the Holy Spirit through the laying on of hands after baptism (Acts 8:14- 17).
- Jesus Christ will return the second time (I Thes. 4:13- 18) and this time to bring a physical version of the Kingdom of God to reign on earth (Zech. 14).
- Eventually, God the Father Himself will create a new heaven and a new earth and will dwell with men (Revelation 21:1 3).
- All men and women, no matter what educational, financial, or physical standing, or race, are of equal value to God (Rom. 10:12; Gal. 3:8, 28 29; Col. 3:11).
- Our conduct is based on love towards God and our fellowman:
Mat 22:36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?” Mat 22:37 Jesus said to him, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.’ Mat 22:38 this is the first and great commandment. Mat 22:39 and the second is like it: ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.’ Mat 22:40 on these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”