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 devine 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 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 reallm 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 by 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 - Isreal'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 it's 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, equipes, 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 only known 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.
ADOPTED BY THE CONFERENCE ON JUNE 26, 2008.
A Living Legacy
Historical Background of the Evangelical Free Church of America
The Evangelical Free Church of America began in the Scandinavian countries of Sweden, Norway, and Denmark. Its religious and philosophical roots are firmly planted on the foundational principles of two major historical events. The first was the 16th century Protestant Reformation, which changed the religious climate all across Europe. The Church had strayed far from a biblically based foundation. A return to biblical roots was desperately needed. Three revolutionary principles of the Reformation laid the foundation for spiritual renewal and formed the basis for the "free church" movement during the next 250 years. -Sola Scriptura (only the Scriptures) the Scriptures, not the institutional Church, are the primary authority by which humanity must live and against which truth and error must be judged. -Sola Gratia (only by grace) Salvation is by grace alone; it is the free and unmerited gift of God to the sinful human world. -Sola Fides (only by faith) The gift of salvation and the benefits of being in God's eternal family come through personal faith in Christ as Savior, not by any personal good works. The second major historical event was the mid-19th century grass-roots movement across Europe to break away from established, state-controlled churches, which were in many cases simply arms of government. The state church was controlling and spiritually dead. The grass-roots movement returned chuchgoers to a faith founded on the Scriptures. This resulted in foundational principles of the church: -Church membership of "believers only." -A scriptural basis for theological belief and personal lifestyle. -Local church autonomy, the right of self-government. -The ordinances of baptism and Communion were only for those who confessed faith in Christ. -Active involvement of lay people in the work of the church. -Missionary activity to reach people who need to know the Good News of the gospel.
As revivals swept through Scandinavia in the late 1800's, many were converted. Emigrants came to America and settled in communities desiring not only church fellowship, but also local autonomy.
The Swedish group had its formal beginnings in 1884 at a conference in Boone, Iowa The same year two Norwegian-Danish groups organized: the first in Boston, Massachusetts and the second in Tacoma, Washington. The Swedish and Norwegian-Danish groups developed into formal associations by the early 1900's. In 1950, the two groups merged 275 churches to form the Evangelical Free Church of America.
From these humble beginnings flourished a fellowship of almost 1,300 churches, who are currently enjoying worship across America.
Throughout our history, there have been many men and women who have been God's instruments to provide leadership and direction to our growing ministry.