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What We Believe

WHAT IS THE GOSPEL?

The gospel is good news. That's what the word gospel means. The gospel is the message of good news about what God has done for us through Jesus Christ.

But first, the bad news. No one likes to talk about sin, but we have to understand the bad news before we can fully appreciate the good news. The Bible shows us that all human beings are sinners, that we have all rebelled against the God who made us. Ultimately, God's judgment against our sin is death--eternal separation from a holy God.

But the Bible also shows us that God is merciful, gracious, and wholly loving. It wouldn't be just or loving for God to merely excuse our sin and to look the other way. Instead, God in His justice and love made a way of forgiveness in order to bring about our reconciliation with Him.

God sent His Son Jesus Christ into the world to save sinners. Jesus lived a life of perfect obedience to God, a life that we should have lived. Jesus died the death that we should have died as the just punishment for our sins. He was put to death on a cross, bearing the wrath of God in our place as our substitute.

The Bible says that the good news of forgiveness and reconciliation is for all who repent (turn away from sin and return to God), and who place their trust in the saving work of Jesus Christ made on their behalf. 

This good news shapes all that we believe and all that we do as a local church. 

WHAT IS AN EVANGELICAL FREE CHURCH?

The Evangelical Free Church of America is an association of over 1,200 churches. The Free Church also includes a worldwide ministry of 1,400 churches on 40 mission fields. Evangelical refers to our emphasis on the good news of God's love expressed in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Free refers to our form of church government - every local church has the right and responsibility to govern itself.

The Evangelical Free Church believes in fellowship and cooperation with other churches and denominations of similar faith. We have our early roots in the Scandinavian countries but we include persons from many ethnic backgrounds.

To learn more about the Evangelical Free Church of America visit efca.org.

STATEMENT OF FAITH

The Evangelical Free Church of America is an association of autonomous churches united around these theological convictions:

God

We believe in one God, Creator of all things, holy, infinitely perfect, and eternally existing in a loving unity of three equally divine Persons: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Having limitless knowledge and sovereign power, God has graciously purposed from eternity to redeem a people for Himself and to make all things new for His own glory.

The Bible

We believe that God has spoken in the Scriptures, both Old and New Testaments, through the words of human authors. As the verbally inspired Word of God, the Bible is without error in the original writings, the complete revelation of His will for salvation, and the ultimate authority by which every realm of human knowledge and endeavor should be judged. Therefore, it is to be believed in all that it teaches, obeyed in all that it requires, and trusted in all that it promises.

The Human Condition

We believe that God created Adam and Eve in His image, but they sinned when tempted by Satan. In union with Adam, human beings are sinners by nature and by choice, alienated from God, and under His wrath. Only through God's saving work in Jesus Christ can we be rescued, reconciled and renewed.

Jesus Christ

We believe that Jesus Christ is God incarnate, fully God and fully man, one Person in two natures. Jesus-Israel's promised Messiah-was conceived through the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. He lived a sinless life, was crucified under Pontius Pilate, arose bodily from the dead, ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of God the Father as our High Priest and Advocate.

The Work of Christ

We believe that Jesus Christ, as our representative and substitute, shed His blood on the cross as the perfect, all-sufficient sacrifice for our sins. His atoning death and victorious resurrection constitute the only ground for salvation.

The Holy Spirit

We believe that the Holy Spirit, in all that He does, glorifies the Lord Jesus Christ. He convicts the world of its guilt. He regenerates sinners, and in Him they are baptized into union with Christ and adopted as heirs in the family of God. He also indwells, illuminates, guides, equips and empowers believers for Christ-like living and service.

The Church

We believe that the true church comprises all who have been justified by God's grace through faith alone in Christ alone. They are united by the Holy Spirit in the body of Christ, of which He is the Head. The true church is manifest in local churches, whose membership should be composed only of believers. The Lord Jesus mandated two ordinances, baptism and the Lord's Supper, which visibly and tangibly express the gospel. Though they are not the means of salvation, when celebrated by the church in genuine faith, these ordinances confirm and nourish the believer.

Christian Living

We believe that God's justifying grace must not be separated from His sanctifying power and purpose. God commands us to love Him supremely and others sacrificially, and to live out our faith with care for one another, compassion toward the poor and justice for the oppressed. With God's Word, the Spirit's power, and fervent prayer in Christ's name, we are to combat the spiritual forces of evil. In obedience to Christ's commission, we are to make disciples among all people, always bearing witness to the gospel in word and deed.

Christ's Return

We believe in the personal, bodily and premillennial return of our Lord Jesus Christ. The coming of Christ, at a time known only to God, demands constant expectancy and, as our blessed hope, motivates the believer to godly living, sacrificial service and energetic mission.

Response and Eternal Destiny

We believe that God commands everyone everywhere to believe the gospel by turning to Him in repentance and receiving the Lord Jesus Christ. We believe that God will raise the dead bodily and judge the world, assigning the unbeliever to condemnation and eternal conscious punishment and the believer to eternal blessedness and joy with the Lord in the new heaven and the new earth, to the praise of His glorious grace. Amen.

Evangelical Free Church of America Statement of Faith. Adopted by the EFCA National Conference on June 26, 2008.

COMMUNION & BAPTISM

Once a quarter we take time during both of our morning worship services to celebrate Communion together. The Bible teaches that sharing in Communion (also called the Lord's Supper) is an opportunity to be reminded of what Jesus Christ has done for us through his sacrificial death. At E-Free Bemidji we practice something called open communion. This means that we invite anyone who has placed their faith in Jesus Christ to celebrate and remember with us in Communion.

We believe that all Christians should be baptized. We don't believe that the Bible teaches that baptism saves us from our sins or that baptism is necessary for salvation. Baptism is an act of obedience to Christ and is a public profession of faith and declaration of a Christian's identification with him. We believe that baptism by immersion best reflects the historical practice and theological meaning of baptism as taught in the New Testament.

MEMBERSHIP

We believe that it is important for Christians to identify themselves with their local church through membership. To find out more about what church membership entails, we encourage you to:

  1. Join the next scheduled Membership discussion.
  2. Meet with a pastor or church elder to discuss the membership process.
  3. Complete a membership application.