The GOD of our REFORMED FAITH
Sunday’s Teaching: We have launched our CORE CONVICTIONS series. We heard “core convictions” defined as “truths imbedded by the Holy Spirit in the heart of a disciple of Jesus by which he/she understands reality and lives accordingly.”
In this initial Connect Group Study, we will broadly survey our doctrinal “core convictions” as they are stated in the Evangelical Free Church of America Statement of Faith (SOF). They are listed below. But first…
Let’s get STARTED – warm up by discussing the following:
- Generally speaking, name (preferably jot down) 3 core convictions you have (they don’t have to be spiritual or Biblical…just core truths you that you hold dear in your “heart of hearts”)
- Share your convictions with the group. Explain why these are important to you. (Did you get them from someone else, like a grandparent or coach?
- Discuss: what would life be like if we didn’t have “core convictions”?
Let’s Explore in the WORD
As a group, look at the statements below and do the following:
- Have a pen or pencil or highlighting marker ready
- Have someone READ ALOUD each statement in turn. After an article is read, have everyone take a moment and CIRCLE or HIGHLIGHT statements or phrases that YOU HAVE A QUESTION ABOUT or WOULD LIKE TO EXPLORE
- After working through the 10 articles, IDENTIFY the 3 MOST IMPORTANT questions or areas at the bottom. Jot them down…discuss why these are most important to you.
Let’s Prioritize APPLICATION
Finally…this week’s teaching centered on who the TRUE GOD really is. There are many things, even “gods” which are worshiped around the world. As you look again at Article 1, what is unique about the God we believe is truly there? Discuss your observations…then PRAY for the Lord to use this series in your life.
Make sure to check out our new church podcast Beyond the Sermon, available now at iTunes and the CCC church app, and coming soon to Google Play. Episodes 1-4 contain helpful follow-up conversations to the Core Convictions teaching series.
Click here to download the church app
The Evangelical Free Church of America SOF
Statement of Faith articles
- 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 glorious 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
THE THREE MOST IMPORTANT TO ME