Salem Evangelical Free Church
Fargo, North Dakota
C O N S T I T U T I O N
ARTICLE I - Name
The name of this congregation shall be Salem Evangelical Free Church, Fargo, North Dakota
ARTICLE II - Declaration Of Faith And Purpose
"We acknowledge Jesus Christ to be our Savior and Lord, and we accept the Holy Bible as the guide for our Christian faith and life. We accept our privilege and duty to assemble ourselves together for public worship, common edification, spiritual help, encouragement, admonition, partaking of communion, and with the gifts and means the Lord has given us to strive together for the spreading of the gospel for the salvation of sinners at home and abroad."
"We are agreed to uphold the gospel and to obey it, and to conduct the affairs of this congregation in an orderly way, and to live together in brotherly love, trusting in our Heavenly Father, Who so loved this world that He gave His only begotten Son that we might be saved; and in Jesus Christ, Who has purchased us with His blood; and in the Holy Ghost, Who is our Comforter and Leader."
ARTICLE III - Confession Of Faith
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.
ARTICLE IV - Membership
Any person who confesses belief in the Lord Jesus Christ, has the assurance of salvation and who purposes to live in accordance with his confession, may become a member of this organization, hereafter referred to as the church. The procedure for membership shall be as outlined in the bylaws.
ARTICLE V - Government
The church government is the congregational form. The church congregation, under Christ, is the final authority in all matters. The offices and their duties shall be as outlined in the bylaws.
ARTICLE VI - Property Rights and Dissolution
In case of dissolution of the church organization, the property shall be assigned to the Northern Plains District Association of the Evangelical Free Church of America. The church shall be considered dissolved if so decided by the congregation or when the church has not held an annual meeting for three years or when less than six (6) members remain. If division occurs in the church, the name and all property are retained by those adhering to this constitution.
ARTICLE VII - Affiliation
This church shall be affiliated with the Northern Plains District Association and its parent organization, the Evangelical Free Church of America and its branches. This congregation shall be encouraged to send delegates to district and national conferences, support Evangelical Free Church home and foreign missions and unite in any mutual efforts for the furtherance of the Gospel of Christ.
ARTICLE VIII - Amendment of Constitution
An intent to change the constitution must be announced at a congregational meeting. A written notice will be sent to each member one month prior to the next congregational meeting. The quorum for any constitutional meeting shall be fifty (50) percent of the total membership. Any change may be adopted by a minimum of three-fourths majority of the members present at such a meeting.