ActiveChristianity.africa by Brunstad Christian Church explains how God’s Word invites and helps us to live 100% according to God’s will, so we no longer need to fall in sin, but can come to a life of victory over sin.
What we believe
Our faith in God’s Word has made us who we are and formed what we believe. God’s Word is very clear when it says that a normal Christian life should be a life of victory over sin, and we believe it! This is absolutely possible by the power of the Holy Spirit. Just listen to what Paul writes to the Romans: “Sin will have no power over you, because you aren’t under Law but under grace. So what? Should we sin because we aren’t under Law but under grace? Absolutely not!” Romans 6:14-15 (CEB).
In other words, it is fully possible to come to a life where we have victory over sinning—and living in sin is completely unnecessary! We can become true disciples of Jesus Christ who have done everything He said we should do to become His disciples, and can now follow Him on a new and living way to eternal life. Is this true? Thousands of people among us can answer with a clear: YES! Not only do we believe it, but we also experience it personally through the help of the Holy Spirit.
We believe in the Almighty God, in His Son Jesus Christ and in the Holy Spirit. We believe that the Bible is the Word of God and the only basis of our faith. The forgiveness of sins, baptism and the Lord’s Supper (Holy Communion) are the fundamental elements of our faith. According to God’s Word, you should “prove by the way you live that you have repented of your sins and turned to God” after you have received the forgiveness of sins. (Matthew 3:8, NLT; Acts 26:20.)
Jesus was a man like us
We believe that Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit, that He was born of the virgin Mary, and that He rose from the dead on the third day, as it says in the Bible. The Bible also teaches that Jesus Christ was a man like us, born “of the family of David”.
In Hebrews 4:15 (ERV) it says, “Jesus, our high priest, is able to understand our weaknesses. When Jesus lived on earth, he was tempted in every way. He was tempted in the same ways we are tempted, but he never sinned.” Understanding that Jesus denied to sin when He was tempted, gives us faith in complete victory over the sin in our own lives.
Victory over conscious sin
Jesus overcame sin in every temptation through the power of the Holy Spirit, He never gave in when He was tempted. (Hebrews 4:15-16.) Therefore, we believe that when we also are tempted to do what is wrong in God’s eyes, we can get power to deny ourselves and to overcome, so we don’t sin when we are tempted. (Romans 6:1-2.) We believe in victory over everything that we know is sin, and in spiritual growth and development in all that is good, just as the Bible tells us.
After being converted and receiving the forgiveness of sins, the Bible tells us there is a way to go as disciples in Jesus’ footsteps. By being obedient to the Holy Spirit, we are led on this way, leading to us being changed and getting godly nature. (2 Peter 1:4.) The Bible calls this process sanctification.
The church—the body of Christ
We believe that the spiritual fellowship that grows up between those who live as God’s Word tells us, is the church, also called the body of Christ, with Christ as the head. All those who live their lives “crucified with Christ” belong to Him and are a part of this body—no matter which time or place, race, background, culture or tradition. (1 Corinthians 12:27; Ephesians 4:15-16.)
Baptism and the Lord’s Supper
We practice baptism of believers, that is, adult baptism. Baptism is “the promise made to God from a good conscience.” 1 Peter 3:21 (GNB). Baptism doesn’t take away sin, but by being baptised we testify before God and people that we want to live a new life. We enter a covenant, an agreement, with God that from now on we no longer want to live according to our own will, but we want to live for Him and do His will.
The Lord’s Supper (Holy Communion)
The Lord’s Supper or Holy Communion is a gathering where we think about our life and remember the great work of salvation that Jesus did for us, and the work that He wants to do in us.
The Lord’s Supper is also a time of confession. We confess that we share in the same death as Jesus’ in our daily lives; death over the sin that lives in our human nature. By sharing one bread we testify that we are all members of one and the same body.
“On the night when the Lord Jesus was handed over to be killed, he took bread and gave thanks for it. Then he broke the bread and said, “This is my body; it is for you. Do this to remember me.” In the same way, after they ate, Jesus took the cup. He said, “This cup is the new agreement that is sealed with the blood of my death. When you drink this, do it to remember me.” Every time you eat this bread and drink this cup you are telling others about the Lord’s death until he comes.” 1 Corinthians 11:23-26 (NCV).
“When we give thanks for the cup we use in the Lord's Supper, don't we share in the blood of Christ? When we break the communion bread, don't we share in the body of Christ? By eating from one loaf of bread, we show that even though we are many, we are one body.” 1 Corinthians 10:16-17 (FBV).
About Brunstad Christian Church
For more detailed information about Brunstad Christian Church, visit the official website bcc.no - For more detailed information about Brunstad Christian Church in Africa, visit the official website bcc.africa
Johan Oscar Smith was born in Norway in 1871 and is considered the founder of Brunstad Christian Church (BCC). While carefully studying the Bible, it became clear to him that the first Christians were gripped of a love for Christ and faith in a life of transformation. This inspired Johan Oscar Smith so that, two thousand years after Jesus’ death, he found the same faith that was in the beginning.
Johan O. Smith was converted at the age of 26. From the time Smith began receiving these revelations from God, he began talking with people. He felt that it was absolutely necessary for him to share with others what God taught him. His efforts did not give immediate results; in the religious groups in Norway at the time, there were many popular preachers who gathered far more people than the teaching about “Christ revealed in the flesh” did. Johan O. Smith was not interested in holding back the truth in order to draw many people, or in putting on a great show to draw attention to himself. “God longs for people who will live before His face. There are already many who live before people,” he wrote to his brother in 1909.
By 1910 between 50 and 60 people in Eastern and Southern Norway had joined him. This was the start of Brunstad Christian Church (BCC). Through Johan O. Smith’s travels in the navy, his teachings took root in many places along Norway’s coast. Today there are BCC fellowships in about 20 locations throughout Norway.
Out in the wide world
During the 1930s Brunstad Christian Church was established in Denmark and Sweden, and by the 1950s BCC’s message had spread to most countries in Europe. Since the mid-1960s, there have been established BCC fellowships throughout Canada and the United States.
Brunstad Christian Church came to Latin America, Asia and Australasia in the 1970s and to several countries in Africa from the 1970s onwards.
As early as the 1970s BCC had a good relationship with underground Christians in many Eastern European countries, but the circumstances made missionary trips there difficult. After the fall of Communism in the early 1990s, however, mission work in Eastern Europe increased and BCC now has fellowships in many countries in this area.
BCC today has fellowships in more than 65 countries on all continents.
A personal connection with the Head
“I have not gathered people to myself, but to Christ who is the Head of the church.” Johan O. Smith said this on his 70th birthday, and that still applies to Brunstad Christian Church.
Johan O. Smith realised early on that belonging to a religious organisation doesn’t necessarily mean that a person is saved.
With the Bible as his foundation, he therefore taught that the church is the Body of Christ, where all the members themselves must have a connection with the Head—Jesus Christ—to be saved. When each individual has a personal relationship with the Head, they also have unity—fellowship—with each other.
Through all these years, our leaders have never tried to build anything around themselves, but God has given Brunstad Christian Church growth.
Pillars of the church
Johan O. Smith
Johan O. Smith (1871-1943) founded the evangelical fellowship now known as Brunstad Christian Church (BCC). He had a very great longing for God and for the truth. Because of this, God was able to give him revelation into many things. Over the course of his life, J. O. Smith wrote many letters, articles and books to share these revelations with the rest of the world.
Aksel Smith (1880-1919) was one of the main pillars in Brunstad Christian Church during the early days, although he only lived to be 38 years old. His hunger and thirst to learn more of the riches of godliness led to a very active letter writing with his brother Johan O. Smith. The letters they wrote to one another have become a great source of inspiration and help for those wanting to live a god-fearing life. He left behind him many writings to explain and spread the gospel.
Elias Aslaksen (1888-1976) was the leader of Brunstad Christian Church from 1943 until his death in 1976. He played a very important role in spreading the gospel of victory over sin throughout Europe. He was particularly direct in word and in writing, and many people have found help and truth through his life and work.
Sigurd Bratlie (1905-1996) was the leader of Brunstad Christian Church from 1976 until his death in 1996. Through his work the gospel of victory over sin was spread to a great extent over all the continents. His writings have been a very great help to many thousands of people the world over, shining a light on the truth that is clearly written in God’s Word. He had a special ability to clearly bring out the gospel and the teachings of the apostles.
Aksel J. Smith
Aksel J. Smith (1919-1998) was a central spiritual leader in Brunstad Christian Church. He worked to spread the sound teachings of Christ. He could give great comfort and help whenever it was needed, but he could also be like a lion in the battle for righteousness and truth, full of grace and goodness. He also left behind a great many written articles.