Doctrine of Sacraments
The African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church recognizes two sacraments only. They are the Sacrament of Baptism and The Lord’s Supper. “Sacraments, ordained of Christ, are not only badges or tokens of Christian men’s profession, but rather they are certain signs of grace and God’s good will toward us, by . . . invisibly in us, and . . . quicken, but also . . . confirm, our faith in, Him.” Baptism is not only a flag of declaration and stamp of separation by which Christians
distinguish themselves from those who are not baptized; but is also a signal which points to the act of regeneration encompassing being born anew. In addition, the baptism of children is to be maintained as a practice in the Church.
The AME Zion Church recognizes the Lord’s Supper as a Sacrament of our atonement by Jesus Christ’s death which is a sign of his great love for us. However, partaking of the Lord’s Supper should be administered to those who rightly, worthily, and with faith receive the same, the bread which we break is the receiving of Christ’s body; similarly “the cup of blessing is a partaking of the blood of Christ.” We do not believe in transubstantiation which teaches that the elements of bread and wine are changed into the actual body and blood of Jesus Christ. There is no biblical support for this teaching which renders it “repugnant to the plain words of the scripture , over-throweth the nature of the Sacrament, and has given occasion to many superstitions.” The bread and wine which represent the body and blood of Christ are distributed, received and eaten in a holy and sacred atmosphere. And faith is the method in which the body of Christ is accepted ...
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...l goes as far to say “Everyone ought to examine themselves before they eat of the bread and drink from the cup. For those who eat and drink without discerning the body of Christ eat and drink judgment on themselves. That is why many among you are weak and sick, and a number of you have fallen asleep. But if we were more discerning with regard to ourselves, we would not come under such judgment ( I Cor. 11:28-31 NIV). “As a remembrance of Christ,” the Lord’s Supper is also a proclamation of the gospel. By virtue of our eating and drinking, we declare in a symbolic way our savior’s death ( I Cor. 11:26 NIV ). This profession is inclusive of the acknowledgment that Jesus died — that Jesus laid down his life voluntarily. This repetition in the broken bread points to the yielding of his body and the poured wine references “the shedding of his blood.”
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