If you haven’t heard of E-Free, it stands for Evangelical Free Church of Bloomington-Normal. The church began in 1967, we have been at our present location since 1972, and completed our new expansion in 2007. We are affiliated with the Evangelical Free Church of America – a denomination of over 1,700 churches around the world.
The term Evangelical refers to our commitment to the Gospel, and to the authority of the Bible as the only safe and sufficient guide for faith and practice. The term Free refers to the autonomy that local churches have in the denomination. That is, each church in the denomination is free to govern themselves.
Evangelical Free Church of America is an association of interdependent churches united around
these theological convictions:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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’s Doctrine Page.
For an in-depth examination of the above doctrinal statements, check out the Back to the Basics message series.
Centrality of the Bible: Hebrews 4:12, 2 Timothy 3:16-17, James 1:22-25
- The Bible will be central in all of our ministries.
Great-Commission-driven: Acts 1:8, Matthew 28:18-20
- The great commission will be reflected in our ministries, budget, personnel, and our priorities.
Worship is a lifestyle: Romans 12:1-2, Matthew 22:37-40
- Our worship will glorify God and engage our heart, mind, and emotions leading to loving obedience to God.
Small group community is a “life-line” for spiritual growth: Hebrews 10:24-25, Acts 2:42-47
- Small-groups facilitate spiritual growth and formation, and are foundational to the mission of this church.
Cultural relevance: 1 Corinthians 9:19-23,
- The message of Christ is counter-cultural, yet our lives in Him can never be fully separated from the cultural in which we live. Therefore our mission must be carried out within our culture.
Ministry is best accomplished through healthy teams: Romans 12:3-8, 1 Corinthians 12
- Working as a team leads to spiritual growth, encouragement and accountability.
Grace-Oriented Ministry: Romans 2:1-4, 3:23-24
- We will reflect God’s grace in our lives and ministry by loving, accepting and serving others to create environments of grace that foster forgiveness and authenticity in our relationships.
Ministry to marginalized people: Lev. 19:10, Proverbs 31:8-9, Acts 2:45, Matthew 25
- Every crisis is an opportunity for ministry. We recognize that it will require sacrifice as we seek to meet the needs of others.
Passion for lost people: Genesis 12:2, Luke 15, 19:10
- Like Jesus we will be passionate about seeking and saving the lost. We desire this to be done relationally and holistically (meeting physical, emotional, and spiritual needs).
Intimacy with God: John 15
- Intimacy with God happens through actively following Christ by renewing our spirit, minds, and bodies.
For an in-depth examination of the above Core Values, check out the Rules of the Road message series