What we Believe

God: We believe in one God; an eternal Being who is almighty, all-loving, and all-good. God exists in three persons: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Since the three divine persons are co-equal, co-eternal, and share the same divine essence, there is only one God. We describe this mystery of God’s being by using the phrase, the Holy Trinity.

Humanity: We believe that God created humans out of love and for fellowship with God and each another. But because of sin, our inborn inclination to love and serve ourselves rather than God and our neighbor, all humans find themselves estranged from the intimate relationship with God that we were created to enjoy. This inclination shows its presence in the committing of sins: things we think, say, and do against God’s Word and against our neighbor.

Jesus Christ: We believe that God the Son became a human being through the work of the Holy Spirit in the womb of the virgin Mary. Jesus of Nazareth, the God-man, lived the life of perfect obedience and love towards the Father and all other humans which we can never attain to because of our sin. By his death on the cross, Jesus offered himself to the Father as a perfect sacrifice that took away the guilt and penalty of human sin and reconciled us to the Father. He rose to life again on the third day, having defeated the powers of sin and death, and having restored the broken relationship between ourselves and God.

Grace: We believe that salvation (the forgiveness of sin, adoption as God’s children, and eternal life which begins now and reaches its fullness in the life to come) is a free gift of God’s grace and favor - not something we can ever earn or attain to on our own. God bestows this gift on everyone who places their trust or faith in Jesus Christ, believing that his death and resurrection was the payment for their sins. We call the good news of what Christ has done for us the Gospel.

The New Life: We believe that the Holy Spirit is given by the Father and Son as a gift to live in each person who comes to faith in Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit gives us new birth, enables us to live lives of love and obedience toward God, as well as to love and serve our neighbor. The Holy Spirit grows us in our lives of faith.

The Means of Grace: To sustain and grow us in this new life, God has provided his Word and Sacraments as means by which his grace continues to come to us and grow us as his children.

Through the Word of God, the Holy Spirit constantly reminds us of God’s love and grace, teaches us about God and what he has done for us, shows us how to love God and our neighbor, and gives us the strength needed to continue in our life of faith.

Confession (whether done privately, in the presence of the minister, or at the beginning of worship) is when we admit to God where we have failed to obey him in our lives, and we receive his forgiveness. In individual confession with the minister, or in corporate confession at the beginning of worship, we hear the promise of God’s forgiveness through Jesus Christ spoken to us by the minister.

Baptism is a washing with water and the Word of God, which Jesus instructed us to perform. It is administered to the children of believers, who receive the gift of the Holy Spirit and are enabled to come to faith when they are old enough to understand. It is also given to adult believers who were not previously baptized, but have come to believe in Jesus Christ as their Savior. Baptism is administered only once, and in the name of the Holy Trinity.

Holy Communion, which is celebrated every Sunday, is the meal which Jesus instructed us to participate in until he returns. In this meal, Jesus Christ gives us his body and blood under the forms of bread and wine, just as he declares in the Gospel. This sacrament brings us the forgiveness of sin, the strengthening of our faith, the assurance of God’s promises to us, and all else we need in order to grow spiritually.

Confirmation is a rite normally received after two years of learning the Word of God, about the Sacraments, and about the living the Christian life. During Confirmation, believers who were baptized as infants speak for themselves the promises which were made for them by their parents and godparents. After this, the minister lays his hands on the head of each person, praying that the Holy Spirit will continue to grow them in faith toward God and love of neighbor.

Worship: Worship in the Lutheran church follows the order of the western catholic mass, with an emphasis on God’s free gift of Grace to us through Jesus Christ. In the mass we confess our failings to God and hear the promise of forgiveness; we praise God by our singing; we hear readings from the Word of God which the minister helps us understand by means of the sermon; we profess our faith using the historic creeds, and we pray for the church, the world, and ourselves. At the Holy Communion, also known as the Eucharist (the giving of thanks), we praise and thank God for what he has done for humanity through Jesus’ life death, and resurrection. We then receive Christ’s Body and Blood by means of the bread and wine, before being sent out into the world to live out our faith in our day to day lives.

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