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What is the EFC?

WHAT IS THE EFC?

The Evangelical Free Church of Malaysia (EFCM) is an association of more than ten churches joined together by common purposes, principles, and practices and are mutually committed to the same Statement of Faith. 


WHAT CHARACTERISES THE EFC?

The EFC is “evangelical”. It was the 16th century Reformer, Martin Luther, who first said that good evangelicals place their entire hope on the Gospel of Jesus Christ. In Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, “evangelical” is defined as “any school of Protestants which holds that the essence of the gospel consists mainly in its doctrine of man’s sinful condition and need of salvation, the revelation of God’s grace in Christ, the necessity of spiritual renovation, and participation in the experience of redemption through faith.” A more comprehensive definition are the articles of our Statement of Faith. Of course, these are not unique to the EFC. Many denominations actually hold to the same beliefs (with slight variations on articles 7, 10, 11). It is our affirmation of these articles which defines us as “evangelical”.


The EFC is “free”. Originally, this meant “free from the government controlled state Church”. Today that freedom is expressed in being “free from ecclesiastical control”. This means each Church is independent and, therefore, autonomous. While we have a national body (the EFCM), it does not exercise authority over the local Church. It serves as a coordinating body to unite the local Churches in mutual activities beyond the scope and ability of the individual Church. “Free” also expresses “the liberty of the individual believer” to adhere to aspects of the faith which does not affect one’s salvation (“things indifferent”). That liberty, however, must not be an excuse for licence on the one hand or legalism on the other.

The EFC is Reformed and pietistic in its heritage. And that heritage teaches us the value of both the rational and the relational dimensions of our faith. It teaches us the need for a clear head when it comes to doctrine and the need for a warm heart when it comes to devotion. A solid Biblical understanding of our faith must be combined with a dynamic, vital relationship with our Lord. 


The EFC is inclusive. We believe passionately that “The EFC is for all believers, but believers only”. By “believers” we mean all those who have placed their personal trust in Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord. Fellowship and membership in the local Church is, therefore, based solely on personal faith in Jesus Christ alone as Saviour and Lord. A person is not excluded because he is not confirmed, or not baptised, or does not see eye-to-eye on every point of doctrine. 


The EFC is congregational in government. While acknowledging that the congregational form of government is not always the most efficient or effective, we believe that it is the best expression of the biblical emphasis on the “priesthood of all believers” and the analogy of the body of Christ as an every member ministry. As such, it is never top-heavy, nor does ministry depend upon just a few people. Rather, every believer is expected to contribute to the life of the Church. The EFC believes that the congregational form of government gives the fullest opportunity for the expression of that New Testament picture of the Church. 


The EFC is “ecumenical” in spirit. We passionately believe in the unity of all believers and are willing to join with other Christians of like precious faith to accomplish the great commission of our Lord. While we feel it is important to preserve our distinctives, we believe there is also strength in diversity. 



Subpages (1): History of Faith EFC
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