What We Believe

zion-booksWe are Christian
• We believe, teach and confess Jesus Christ and Him crucified for the salvation of all people (1 Corinthians 1:22-24). It is only by virtue of Jesus’ life, suffering, and death on the cross that we have full forgiveness for all our sins. With that forgiveness the Lord of Life promises us eternal life with Himself in the life of the world to come because of Jesus’ resurrection from the dead and ascension to the right hand of the Father (1 Corinthians 15:20-23).
• We believe that the One eternal God is Three Persons: the Father, Who created and sustains all things (Genesis 1:1); the Son, Who though He is true God, took on a human body, born of the Virgin Mary, so that He might work for us forgiveness of sins and salvation (John 1:14); and the Holy Spirit, Who works to bring us to Christ and sustains us in that saving faith unto life everlasting (Romans 8:26).
• We believe that the Bible is God’s own Word, which He has spoken through human writers and in all its parts speaks absolute truth (2 Peter 1:21).
• We believe that all people are born with a sinful nature, on account of which we constantly rebel against God and His holy will. This sinfulness in us prompts us to hurt one another and separates us from God (Romans 6:23).
• We believe that there really is a heaven and hell, and after death all people will exist in one or the other forever. Those who reject Jesus Christ in this life will live in the torments of hell, forever separated from the love of God; those who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and His work on His cross for our salvation will live eternally with God in the life of the world to come.
• We believe that God has a plan to end the world, at which time He will judge everyone, both the living and the dead. He will lead the faithful into the New Creation, which will be creation restored to as it was before the Fall into sin, and the faithless will be cast away from Him forever (Matthew 25:31-46).

We are Lutheran
The Lutheran Church started in the early 1500s when Rev. Dr. Martin Luther began writing and teaching against certain errors that existed in the established church of his time in order to reform those errors.

Through his study of Holy Scripture, Luther helped the Christian Church rediscover the truth that our Lord and God is loving and that He offers forgiveness and life everlasting as a free gift because of the life and work of Jesus Christ. On the basis of what Almighty God says in His Word, Luther taught that people–no matter how hard they try–cannot earn God’s forgiveness or a place in heaven. It is a gift that people receive through faith in Jesus Christ (Ephesians 2:8-9).

Lutherans often refer to the ‘solas’ (Latin for ‘alone’) as a summary of the faith that gives certain hope. We teach that the Christian comes to faith alone by grace alone, through Scripture alone, and that this is the work of Christ alone:

• Faith alone: Jesus provided for our forgiveness and life; those who hear this promise and believe it have what it offers. People don’t “get” faith on their own; God gives it as He gives us His promises. (Acts 16:31; Romans 10:17)
• Grace alone: God the Father loves the world, though we do not deserve His love. He sent His Son to love the unloveable and save the ungodly (1 Timothy 2:3-4; Romans 5:8).
• Scripture alone: The Bible is the only source of truth that shows God’s will and the only basis for faith. The Holy Scriptures are the place where God has promised to always speak to His people (2 Timothy 3:16).
• Christ alone: All of God the Father’s good and gracious gifts come to us through the work of Christ alone. We cannot earn them, or make God give them to us (1 Timothy 2:5-6).

Those who believed and followed these teachings from Scripture were called “Lutherans” by the established church, and the name stuck (even though they called themselves “Evangelicals”). Throughout the history of our congregation we have not wavered from these beliefs and teachings and we remain true and proud Lutherans to this day.

We are Evangelical
The term “Evangelical” comes to us from the Greek New Testament and means “good news.” The Lutheran Church is evangelical because we believe, teach and confess the good news that we have salvation by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone, as taught in Holy Scripture. This Gospel message (gospel also means “good news”) is the central teaching of the Lutheran Church.

We are Universal
The Lutheran Church is part of the one, holy, Christian and apostolic Church confessed in the Apostles’ Creed and taught in Holy Scripture (Ephesians 4:4-6). As Christians, we are part of the one holy, universal Church that includes Christian believers of all times and places. There are 9 million Lutherans in the United States alone, and over 61 million world wide, found on every continent (even Antarctica, on occasion!).