At the EFCA One conference, during one of the plenary sessions we corporately confessed the EFCA Statement of Faith, which was followed by a time of corporate prayer.
This was grounded in the notion of lex orandi, lex credendi, which means “the law of praying [is] the law of believing.” The heart of this expression refers to the relationship between worship and belief, belief evidenced in what we pray, the heart of worship.
In this service we broke up into groups of 3-5 people. We corporately confessed each Article of the Statement of Faith, which was followed by a time spent in prayer focusing on that Article. I have included this below.
We did this in 20 minutes, taking two minutes for each Article. Confessing each Article took about 30 seconds and we prayed for 1 ½ minutes. The two items focused upon in prayer were thanksgiving and petition/intercession. Due to the limited time, I encouraged people to pray brief prayers. I also guided them by informing them that not all will pray on each Article, but that everyone will pray.
Corporately confessing our Statement of Faith accompanied by prayer was a deeply rich and meaningful time of affirming truth in the context of worship.
EFCA Statement of Faith
- 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.
- Thank God for who He is, what he has done, what he is doing, and what he will do.
- Might we rest in His sovereign power, and have a sense of our role in his gracious purpose to make all things new for His 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.
- Thank the Lord that He is there and He is not silent.
- Might we believe, obey and trust God and His Word.
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.
- Thank the Lord that through Christ we have been rescued, reconciled and renewed.
- Might we look at others as fellow image-bearers and be assured the only hope is in the gospel of 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.
- Thank the Lord for the heavenly intercessory ministry of Christ on our behalf.
- Might we engage in intercessory prayer for others.
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.
- Thank the Lord that Jesus Christ is our representative and substitute, the perfect, all-sufficient sacrifice for our sins.
- Might we recommit to the truth that Jesus’ atoning death is 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.
- Thank the Lord for the Holy Spirit’s ministry of regeneration, union with Christ and adoption.
- Might we grow in 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.
- Thank the Lord for the truth of justification and becoming part of the church with Jesus as the Head and we are the body.
- Might we proclaim and manifest the gospel.
- 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.
- Thank God that He who began a good work will complete it.
- Might we love God supremely and others sacrificially, be delivered from the evil one, and make disciples among all people, 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.
- Thank God that the crucified Lord is the conquering King and He rules and reigns.
- Might we cry Maranatha, and live with constant expectancy and a sure and certain hope that results in 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.
- Thank God for His end-time verdict and plan realized in a new heaven and new earth to the praise of His glorious grace.
- Might we worship God for His grace and mercy in granting eternal life, and might we sense the weight of eternal conscious punishment and our call to be ambassadors.