Beliefs

Beliefs
What We Believe

The truths of God’s Word are changeless and eternal.  The reformation of the 16th century merely uncovered and restored the truths of the Bible to the people; therefore, true Lutheranism is to teach nothing more or nothing less than that which is taught in the Holy Scripture. Unfortunately, while the name Lutheran has remained the same since the time of the Reformation, and many identify themselves with that name, not every “Lutheran” carries the banner of truth originally identified with that name.

Recognizing the priceless truths that God has revealed in His Word, we therefore, out of gratitude, set forth His truths in brief fashion below.

The Bible
  • We believe and teach that every word of the Bible is the divinely inspired Word of God (2 Tim. 3:16 & I Cor. 2:13), and therefore is absolutely true and without error (John 17:17)
  • It interprets itself (2 Pet. 1:20-21 & Matt. 1:21)
  • It alone reveals divine truth (Luke 16:29-31)
  • It especially and clearly reveals the way of salvation in Jesus Christ (2 Tim. 3:15 & John 20:31)
Triune God
  • We believe and teach that God is Triune – that is, one God (Deut. 6:4), three Persons: Father, Son and Holy Ghost (Matt.28.19)
  • These three Persons are equal in all things and to ignore one is to disavow all (John 5:23)
  • He is Creator (Gen. 1:1), Redeemer (Gal. 3:13), and Sanctifier (I Cor. 6:11)
Man’s Fall
  • We believe and teach that man was made by God by a special creative act on the sixth day of creation.
  • He was given an immortal soul, endowed with perfect holiness and created for eternal life (Gen. 1:26-27, 2:7)
  • However, he fell into sin, became estranged from God, totally corrupt, and subject to death (Gen. 2:16-17, 3:1-19 & Rom. 5:12
  • Now in his natural sinful state he cannot, by any power of his own, reestablish right relations with God (I Cor. 2:14 and Eph. 2:1).
God’s Law
  • We believe and teach that God’s Law demands perfection of heart, thought, word and action (Leviticus 19:2 & Matt. 5:48).
  • It condemns all who transgress it (Gal. 3:10) and cannot save sinners (Gal. 2:16, 3:11).
  • Its chief function since the Fall is to lead man to the knowledge of his sinful condition (Rom. 3:20)
Sin
  • We believe and teach that every human being is a sinner at conception (Ps. 51:5)
  • Every thought, word and action contrary to God’s Law is sin (I John 3:4)
  • Every failure to do what God’s Law demands is sin (James 4:17)
The Gospel
  • We believe and teach that the Gospel is the special revelation of what the loving and merciful God has done through Christ Jesus – and still does for the salvation of sinful mankind (John 3:16 & I John 4:9-10)
  • It offers and gives to all sinners the forgiveness of sins and the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus (Rom. 3:21-22, 2 Cor. 5:19,21 & I John 2:1-2)
  • It is God’s power to save sinners (Rom. 1:16)
The Savior
  • We believe and teach that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and equal to the Father in every respect (John 5:23, 10:30, 14:9)
  • He is also the Son of the virgin Mary (Is. 7:14 & Matt. 1:18-25) and was made Man in order that he, the God Man, might redeem the world (John 1:14, Gal. 4:4-5, Phil. 2:7-8)
  • He in His Person ever remains God and Man (Matt. 25:31)
  • He satisfied the demands of the Law for all mankind by keeping God’s Commandments in our place (Gal. 4:4-5 & Luke 2:51)
  • He took the punishment for our sins by suffering and dying in our place on the cross (Gal. 3:13 & I Pet. 2:24)
  • He rose bodily from the dead and lives today (Matt. 28:6, Rom. 4:25, John 14:19)
  • He will come visibly for the second and last time at the world’s end to judge the living and the dead (Acts 1:11, 10:42)
Justification
  • We believe and teach that God through Jesus Christ, as revealed in both the Old Testament Messianic prophecies and in the New Testament fulfillment thereof, reconciled the world to Himself (Gen. 22:18, Gal. 3:16, Num. 21.8-9, 2 Cor. 5:19, John 3:14-15, Is 53:5-8, Acts 8:26-35)
  • This reconciliation is ever built on the once-for-all suffering and death of Jesus Christ (John 19:30 and I Tim. 2:5-6)
  • God has therefore, for Christ’s sake, declared mankind free from the debt and guilt of sin (2 Cor. 5:19, Rom. 5:18-19)
  • This truth of universal justification is offered and given to all (Mark 16:15)
  • It is only received by God-given faith (Rom. 3:22-24, 28 & Eph. 2:8)
  • This teaching of justification by God’s grace alone, for the sake of Christ alone, received by faith alone, is the most important teaching of Scriptures.
Repentance
  • We believe and teach that genuine repentance, in the narrow sense, is acknowledgement of sin and sincere regret and sorrow for it. (Ps. 32:5a & Mark 14:72)
  • Genuine repentance in the wide sense includes both the acknowledgement of sin and sincere regret and sorrow for it, as well as the trustful reliance of faith in Christ for the forgiveness of sins (Matt. 4:17)
  • Without such genuine repentance, no one can hope to be saved (Luke 13:3)
  • Every truly repentant sinner is assured of God’s forgiveness in Christ (Luke 18:13-14, Ps32:5a)
Faith
  • We believe and teach that faith is a repentant sinner’s acceptance of Jesus Christ as his only Savior with reliance on His merits for forgiveness of sins and salvation (Acts 10:43, Eph. 1:7)
  • Such faith is not a personal achievement or an act of human merit (Eph. 2:8) but entirely a work of the Holy Spirit (I Cor. 12:3b)
  • He who endures in this faith to the end will be saved (Matt. 24:13 & I Pet. 1:5)
Conversion
  • We believe and teach that conversion is a spiritual change and rebirth of man and not a mere changing of habits (2 Cor. 5:17, John 3:3,5, Matt. 27:44 & Luke 23:39-43)
  • It is brought about by the power of God working through the Gospel of Christ (Rom 1:16)
  • In the moment of one’s acceptance of Jesus Christ as his Savior, worked by the power of God, conversion takes place (Acts 16:30-34 & John 3:36)
Sanctification
  • We believe and teach that conversion brings about a renewed heart that is alive in Christ and shows itself in godly living (Eph. 2:10 & John 15:5)
  • All true Christians are and must be, active in good works (James 2:17-18, 20, 26, Gal.5:6b)
  • Though the good works of a Christian are necessary, they are not necessary for salvation (Eph. 2:8)
  • A child of God cannot willfully continue to sin (I John 3:9)
  • Though sanctification is progressive spiritual growth, perfection therein will not be attained until the Christian enters eternal life (Phil. 3:12-14 & Rom. 7:21-25)
The Church
  • We believe and teach that there is an invisible Christian Church (Luke 17:20-21), made up of all and only true believers in Jesus Christ (Eph. 2:19)
  • This Church is one (I Cor. 12:13 & Rom. 12:5)
  • Jesus Christ is its only Head (Eph. 5:23)
  • It may be found wherever the Gospel of Christ is in use (Is. 55:10-11)
  • It will endure forever (Matt. 16:18)
  • We believe and also teach that there is a visible Christian Church (Matt. 13:47-50), mainly composed of congregations (I Cor. 1:2 & Rev. 1:11)
  • Within these Christian congregation there is to be found both believers and hypocrites (Matt. 13:47-50, 22:2-14)
  • These congregations are orthodox (teaching in line with all the scriptures), or heterodox (persistently teaching differently from Scripture in one or more ways) (Matt. 28.20 & I Tim 6:3)
  • Every Christian, as his duty, is to search for and unite only with an orthodox congregation (I John 8:31-32 and Rom. 16:17
  • Religious fellowship with a heterodox congregation is to be avoided (Rom. 16:17)
Holy Baptism
  • We believe and teach that baptism is divinely instituted (Matt. 28:19)
  • It is a washing of regeneration (Titus 3:5)
  • It is intended for all ages (Matt. 28:19 & Acts 2:38-39)
  • It is administered by the application of water connected with God’s Word (Acts 8:36-38)
  • Through it, God in His grace offers, gives, and seals the forgiveness of sins and with it, eternal life and salvation (Acts 2:38, 22:16, Titus 3:5-7, I Pet. 3:21a & Mark 16:16a)
The Lord’s Supper
  • We believe and teach that the Lord’s Supper is divinely instituted (Matt. 26:26-28, Mark 14:22-24, Luke 22:19-20, & I Cor. 11:23-25)
  • At the eating and drinking, the true body and blood of Jesus Christ are really present in and with the bread and wine (Matt. 26:26,28, Mark 14:22,24, Luke 22:19-20, I Cor. 11:24,25,27)
  • In partaking thereof all communicants receive both the bread and wine as well as the body and blood of Christ (I Cor. 11:23-25,27)
  • Only true believers receive the blessings given in this Sacrament: reassurance of forgiveness of sins (Matt. 26:28) which strengthens the Christian’s faith, and which empowers him to live a more godly life
  • It is possible for a communicant to partake unworthily and be guilty of misusing the body and blood of Christ (I Cor. 11:27,29)
  • Therefore, this Sacrament is to be only given to those who are properly instructed in God’s Word (I Cor. 11:29), to those who are able to examine themselves (I Cor. 11:28), to those who have removed offense if such was given (Matt 5:23-24), and to those who are one in faith on the basis of God’s Word (I Cor. 1:10 & Rom. 16:17)
Death and Life
  • We believe and teach that death is threefold: spiritual (Eph. 2:1), temporal (Gen. 3:9, 5:3-5) and eternal (Rom. 6:23a, John 3:36b & Luke 16:22b-23)
  • At the time of temporal death, the body is separated from the soul (Eccl. 12:7) and the soul of the believer enters into eternal life with Christ in heaven (Luke 23:43 & Phil. 1:23)
  • The soul of the unbeliever enters eternal death in hell (Luke 16:19-23)
  • The bodies of all the dead shall be resurrected on the Last Day (John 5:28,29a)
  • All still living as well as the resurrected dead shall be publicly judged by Christ (2 Cor. 5:10, Acts 10:42b & Matt. 25:31-33)
  • All true believers in Christ, with glorified bodies united with their souls, will be received into he glories of heaven (Matt. 25:34, John 14:2-3, I Cor. 15:51-54 and Phil. 3:20-21)
  • All unbelievers, according to both body and soul, will be condemned to everlasting punishment in hell (Matt. 25:41, 46a)
    Related Issues
Creeds
  • We believe and teach that a creed is simply a statement of what one believes (Matt. 16:13-16 & John 6:67-69)
  • Every professing Christian has a creed whether he admits it or not (John 20:25)
  • A creed, in conformity with Biblical teaching, is not an addition to the Bible, but rather a necessary emphasis of the truth against those who misuse the Bible to support their false teachings (Matt. 4:5-7 & Rev. 22:18-19)
  • That by its creed a Christian congregation is to identify its adherence to Biblical teaching.