The General Secretary of The Church of Pentecost (COP), Apostle Alexander Nana Yaw Kumi-Larbi, has emphasized that The Church of Pentecost believes that the doctrines of Repentance, Justification and Sanctification are necessary for salvation.
Apostle Kumi-Larbi made this statement at the Officers’ session of the just-ended Nkawkaw Area Apostolization which was held from Wednesday, March 14 to Friday, March 16, 2018.
Speaking on the 5th Doctrine of the COP: “Repentance, Justification and Sanctification,” he stressed that consequent to the fall of man which led to his total depravity; God’s remedy to regenerate man and restore him to a state of righteousness has been met in the death of Jesus Christ and His atoning sacrifice.
According to him, understanding the process of the rebirth and what God does to the new Christian at the rebirth is crucial to the subsequent growth of the individual believer.
‘Repentance, justification and sanctification are not different stages of salvation. It is an instantaneous act of God and holistic in nature. They occur concurrently,” he said.
Apostle Kumi-Larbi explained that “repentance, justification and sanctification constitute regeneration or a new birth – an act leading to recreation and transformation of an individual by God and the Holy Spirit such that eternal life from God is imparted to the new believer’s heart giving him the identity of a child of God so that he or she no longer conforms to this world but is now created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.”
This, he said, comes to those who repent of sin, turn to God (Matthew 3:2), and put their faith in the Lord Jesus and their Lord and Saviour (John 1:12).
The General Secretary revealed that since regeneration involves a transition from an old life of sin to a new life of obedience to Jesus Christ, the regenerated person is characterized by freedom from the bondage of sin, spiritual desire and disposition to obey God and follow the leading of the Spirit, living righteous lives, loving other believers, avoiding a life of Sin and not loving the world.
“The regenerated man is not a refurbished sinner but a new creation. Regeneration is necessary because apart from Christ, all people in their inherent nature are sinners, incapable of obeying and pleasing God,” he said.
He defined repentance as the deliberate turning of a person from being against God to becoming obedient and living in right relationship with God. Repentance is considered the first step in the Christian’s journey to God and it is, therefore, an essential requirement for the entry into the kingdom of God.
“Repentance is not feeling of guilt and shame for sin because one has been found out or arrested, being sorry for a wrongdoing, reforming your life or trying to turn a new leaf or make a fresh start, trying to be religious and having a head faith, but rather a change of mind from a sinful lifestyle to the total acceptance of the truth of Jesus Christ as reported in the Holy Scriptures resulting in a changed life or behavioral ‘fruit,’” he said.
The General Secretary asserted The Church of Pentecost holds the 16th century Protestant belief of justification by faith alone in Jesus Christ’s finished work of the Cross, which is central to the doctrine of salvation.
According to him, Justification is “an instantaneous legal act of God in which God forgives us our sins and imputes Christ’s righteousness to us, and this we receive by faith.”
“We are justified or declared innocent and righteous on account of our faith in Christ and His atonement so that we can remain in Christ. However, we still have the responsibility of having to choose the right course of action, which befits our calling all the time,” he added.
Apostle Kumi-Larbi explained that Salvation, on the other hand, is the progressive work of God in humans that make them free from sin and become more like Christ in their actual lives.
The programme was attended by the entire Nkawkaw Area pastorate and their spouses as well as over 1200 officers and lay-leaders in the Area.
Report By: Overseer Clement Amankwa