Greg Strand is EFCA executive director of theology and credentialing, and he serves on the Board of Ministerial Standing as well as the Spiritual Heritage Committee. He and his family are members of Northfield (Minnesota) EFC.
I am often asked what the EFCA believes about the ordinances of baptism and the Lord’s Supper. What we affirm biblically/doctrinally is addressed in our Statement of Faith.
We believe that one is saved by faith in Christ alone, by grace alone through faith alone. There is no salvific efficacy in the ordinances. However, when participated in/by faith, these ordinances are the God-ordained means of spiritual growth and edification. In this sense although they are not “the means of salvation,” they are considered “means of grace.” Like the preaching of the Word, corporate worship, prayer and our fellowship with other Christians, these ordinances are means God uses to strengthen us in our faith, i.e. through participating in/by faith, believers are confirmed and nourished in the faith.
Here is a summary of the EFCA position on the ordinances, baptism and the Lord’s Supper, highlighting/summarizing what we affirm and what we deny, which comes from Evangelical Convictions: A Theological Exposition of the Statement of Faith of the Evangelical Free Church of America (pp. 181-182):
To summarize our understanding of the ordinances, our Statement affirms:
Our Statement denies that:
1. either baptism in water or participating in the Lord's Supper is the instrumental cause of regeneration;
2. the grace of God is automatically and effectually conveyed through the administration of the ordinances themselves.
In addition, our Statement does not prescribe the "time" or "mode" of baptism (allowing for both credo- and paedobaptist practices) nor does it define the precise manner in which Christ is present in the Lord's Supper (allowing for a variety of historic Evangelical views).