From New Life’s earliest days as a small group of believers meeting in a home to our current location on Highway 20, the mission of New Life Church has always been to Make Disciples – to tell people the great news that Jesus Christ died for their sins, and rose again! We will continue to empower and equip the body of Christ to develop new ways to share the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ with the people in our communities who don’t know the real peace, love, and joy that a relationship with Jesus Christ can bring.
New Life Evangelical Free Church is part of an association of autonomous churches called the Evangelical Free Churches of America who agree that we are stronger together than we are apart.
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 head. We are a small part (a local church) of a larger whole – The body of Christ (The true church).
A fundamental distinctive that empowers Evangelical Free churches throughout the world is the understanding that we are free on the local church level to follow the Lord as we discern His leading. At New Life Church in Watertown, South Dakota, this manifests itself in several areas:
- New Life Church is free to discern and follow the Lord’s leading on issues of doctrine and philosophies of ministry.
- New Life Church is free to discern and follow Christ’s leading regarding pastors and ministry leaders.
- New Life Church is free to discern and follow our Lord Jesus as He raises up missionaries in Watertown, The Northern Plains, The United States, and the World.
As local body of a larger whole, we believe that, as we choose to associate ourselves with other like-minded congregations throughout the world, we are better positioned to fulfill our commission to make disciples. Some of the things we are able to accomplish together in our association with other EFCA churchesare:
- Planting new churches throughout the world.
- Planting churches and reaching out to specific people groups within the United States with ministries and resources for Ethnic Communities, Women, Students, and more.
- Crisis response ministry allows individuals and churches to respond to crisis in a Biblical and holistic way.
OUR STATEMENT OF FAITH IS IDENTICAL TO THAT OF THE EVANGELICAL FREE CHURCH OF AMERICA:
1. 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.
2. 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
3. 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.
4. 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
5. 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
6. 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.
7. 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.
8. 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.
9. 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
10. 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.