we believe

The Evangelical free church of america (EFCA) Statement of Faith

Evangelical Free Bible Church (EFBC) is a member of the association of churches known as The Evangelical Free Church of America. Member churches have the same doctrinal statement centered around the gospel. We work together for the gospel, yet are independent local churches. Learn more at efca.org.

God

1. 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

2. 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

3. 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

4. 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

5. 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

6. 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

7. 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

8. 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

9. 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

10. 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.

Our Distinctives at Evangelical Free Bible Church (EFBC)

As a local church, there are certain distinctives which fit within the framework of the EFCA doctrinal statement, and which clarify who we are, and what we believe and teach at Evangelical Free Bible Church (EFBC).

Evangelical Christians unite around the common faith, as in our Confession of Faith. There are other areas where evangelicals have varying views. In the spirit of clarity and to preserve our local church’s unity we set forth these Distinctives of our Church--Clarity for those who attend to know what will be taught, and Unity as we will encourage learning and discussion, but will not allow divisive interactions, nor contrary teaching in these areas.

Interpretation

We will teach and encourage all believers to use a ‘Normal’, Literal method of interpretation when it comes to the Bible. By normal, we mean that the Bible should be read for the normal meaning or sense, keeping in mind the words used, the grammatical syntax, the historical setting. This is opposed to an Allegorical interpretation in which the normal, literal, sense is ignored, and another meaning is assigned to a passage by the interpreter. The Normal interpretation does keep in mind that idiomatic language, and allegories are used in scripture. However, idiomatic language and allegories have one meaning, which is not up to the interpreter, but rather is determined by the grammatical and historical setting of the text. A good question for proper interpretation is, “What did this mean to the original audience?” The other distinctives we hold, flow from this Normal/Literal method of understanding God’s message found in the Bible.

Marriage

In keeping with the second statement of our Confession of Faith, we view the Bible as God’s authoritative revelation by which we judge every realm of knowledge and endeavor, including marriage. It must be believed, obeyed and trusted regarding marriage.

We believe, based on the teaching of the Scriptures in both the Old and New Testaments, that marriage is the original and foundational institution of human society, established by God as a one-flesh, covenantal union between a man and a woman that is life-long (until separated by death), exclusive (monogamous and faithful), and generative in nature (designed for bearing and rearing children), and it is to reflect the relationship between Christ and the Church. It was first instituted by God in the early chapters of Genesis, codified in the Levitical law, the Old Testament prophets compared it to a relationship between God and his people, examples of it are in the historical narratives, and, the wisdom literature discusses the unique unity of this relationship. Jesus explained the original intention and core elements of marriage, and several New Testament Epistles give explicit instructions on this union.

Security of the Believer

We believe that God’s gracious gift of salvation--coming through faith apart from any work on man’s part--cannot be lost, taken away or undone. We believe sin will hinder a believer’s fellowship with God, but will not remove him or her from God’s kingdom or family. When a believer sins, they do not need to be saved again. Rather, they need to confess their sin to God their Father who will forgive, cleanse and restore them. For those who walk away from the faith, the Bible clearly states that they were not really of those who are saved. (John 10:27-29; 1 John 1:9; 1 John 2:19)

Christ’s Return

Holding to the normal, literal interpretation leads us to a Premillennial, Pre-tribulation return of Christ for His church. The Premillennial view (vs. Amillennial and Postmillennial) holds that Revelation 20 speaks of a literal 1,000 year reign of Christ on Earth following His second coming. The Pre-tribulation view holds to the fact that the 7 year period commonly called the Tribulation is the time of God’s wrath as described in the Old Testament Prophets and in the New Testament (vs. Mid-Tribulation/Pre-wrath which view only the latter part of the 7 year period as God’s wrath). This view also believes the scriptures that tell us that the church will be kept from the wrath (vs. Post-Tribulation) (1 Thessalonians 1:10; 5:1-11)