The Bible...Is written that we might believe in Jesus Christ as our personal Savior and Lord. It speaks powerfully to the forgiveness of sins which is found in Him alone. It teaches what it means to live a life of love toward God and others, as well as a life of integrity and purpose concerning God's design for each of us. It was written by men as they were directed by God's Holy Spirit, and so it is timeless truth without error or contradiction.
John 20:31; Psalm 139:17-18; II Timothy 3:14-17.
God...Has revealed Himself as three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. All three Persons participated in the creation of the world.
It is the Father, the First Person of the Triune God, Who continues to care and provide for people. Lutheran Christians say, "All this He does only out of fatherly, divine goodness and mercy." It is also the Father's passion that all people would be saved from sin through Jesus Christ, His Son.
Genesis 1:1-2, 26-27; Psalm 19:1; John 1:1-3, 14; 3:16; II Peter 3:9.
Sin...Is the condition of all people that separates them from God. Sin entered into the world through the disobedience of the first man and woman. It continues today as disobedience toward God, discord and dysfunction among people, and personal pain, distress, and death. No matter how hard a person tries or how good that person lives, there is no escape from sin apart from the redemption of Jesus Christ. Sin always results in eternal death and separation from God. Therefore, every person has an essential need for the Savior.
Genesis 3:1-15; Psalm 51:1-5; Acts 2:36-38; Romans 3:23.
Jesus Christ...Is God the Son, the Second Person of the Triune God. He is eternally true God. In His birth and death He was also true man, but without sin. By His death on the cross, He took upon Himself the punishment for sin that was due all people. By His Easter Resurrection He gained the victory over sin and death that is shared with all who believe in Him. At His Second Coming, all history will have its completion in Him.
Matthew 1:20-23; John 1:1-2, 14; Acts 4:12; Romans 6:23; Philippians 2:5-11.
The Holy Spirit...Is the Third Person of the Triune God. He is the One Who builds faith, hope, and love into the lives of people as they hear God's Word and come to know Jesus Christ in a profound, personal way. The Holy Spirit convicts people of their sin. He assures people that their sins are forgiven. He gathers people into the Church. He gives gifts to empower people for Christian witness and service. As people continue to hear, read, study, trust, and obey God's Word, He brings them to spiritual maturity.
John 14:16-17; Romans 10:9-17; John 16:8; Colossians 1:13-14; Acts 2:38-42; Acts 1:8; I Corinthians 12:1, 4-7; Hebrews 5:11-6:1.
The Church...Is the community of all who have come to faith in Jesus Christ as their personal Savior and Lord. It is more than one local congregation or individual denomination. It is the object of God's eternal, unconditional love. God has given the Church two great grace gifts to continue its growth: Baptism and The Lord’s Supper. In both, God's Spirit is present, along with visible elements, to bring forgiveness of sins and strengthening of faith.
Matthew 16:15-18; Ephesians 2:19-22; 5:25-27; Matthew 28:16-20; I Corinthians 11:23-26.
Baptism …This sacred act fulfills a gracious promise God made to do a remarkable thing in the lives of those coming to Him through the water of baptism. Since this is an act of God, not a mere profession of faith, adults as well as children benefit from this physical demonstration of the grace of God. Little ones are brought to faith through this covenant with God as with circumcision in Old Testament times. Adults confirm their faith and receive God’s many benefits in this washing of regeneration. Scriptures speak of no age limits nor specify any particular mode of baptism. We receive the blessings of baptism that God promises to deliver when water is applied with any mode, in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Because we are baptized into Christ, and not any particular denomination, we do not re-baptize anyone properly baptized with water in the name of God.
Matthew 28:19; Acts 2:38-39; Luke 18:15-17; Romans 6:3-5.
Lord’s Supper…This is the second sacred act we believe God performs as people receive the promise Jesus made to all His disciples the night He was betrayed. After He celebrated the Passover, Jesus took bread and wine, blessed it and gave it to His disciples, calling it His very own body and blood. He commanded them to repeat this often.
As we set aside the bread and wine in our services, repeating the promise of Christ, we believe Jesus keeps His promise and comes to be present in the bread and wine, entering the recipients with divine power to renew faith, forgive sin and provide spiritual power needed to live out the new life in Christ.
Matthew 26:26-28; 1 Corinthians 11:27-29; I Corinthians 10:16; Acts 2:42
Christians...Are called to live for Jesus Christ, seeking to love, serve, and honor Him with their lives. Their devotion is expressed in basic commitments of faithfulness to Him, His Word, His Church, and His work. These commitments are both a privilege and expression of the purpose which God has for all Christians. Christians understand that they are "saved to serve."
Matthew 22:37-39; 25:14-30; Ephesians 2:8-10; 4:11-16.
Forgiveness of Sins...Is the gift and promise of God through Christ that the separation of God and people has been bridged by the Savior. To be sure, Christians are not perfect, but they are forgiven. There is comfort and joy in knowing this gift is extended for all to receive by true faith. This gift distinguishes the Christian faith from those religions or philosophies that emphasize the works and obligations of people to somehow please God.
Psalm 103:8-13; II Corinthians 5:17-21; Romans 8:31-39; Luke 18:9-14.
Eternal Life...Means death is no longer something to be feared. Rather, all those who trust in Jesus will live in joy with Him in heaven for eternity. Death is simply a doorway to that place which He has prepared and purchased for all believers through His own death and Resurrection victory!
John 11:25-26; 14:1-6; I Corinthians 15:54-56; Revelation 21:4-5.
Salvation …Is reconnection with God, the Maker, through the person and work of Jesus Christ, His Son. God sent his only begotten Son into the world to offer all people the one way to God, and then He died on a cross and rose from the grave to become the way for all people. Whoever believes this gracious promise from God and receives His Son as Savior, also receives the gift of forgiveness of all moral failure, begins to experience immediate eternal life now, and receives God’s promise of entrance into life with Him after the grave. This right standing before God is received as a free gift from God and cannot be earned.
Mark 16:16; Ephesians 2:8-9; 1 Peter 2:24; 2 Corinthians 5:21
Prayer…This is a precious gift of confident communication with God. All who pray in Jesus’ name are assured their prayers are heard and answered according to God’s good and gracious will. He always answers all such prayers in His own way and in His time.
Therefore the daily use of prayer is combined with daily reading of God’s word, to create and enable a dynamic daily experience of God’s presence.
Matthew 7:7-8; John 14:13-14; Philippians 4:6; 1 John 5:14