About the Bible
We teach that the Holy Scriptures differ from all other books in the world in that they are the Word of God. They are the Word of God because the holy men of God who wrote the Scriptures wrote only that which the Holy Spirit communicated to them by inspiration. Since the Holy Scriptures are the Word of God, it goes without saying that they contain no errors or contradictions, but that they are in all their parts and words the infallible truth, also in those parts which treat of historical, geographical, and other secular matters.
We furthermore teach regarding the Holy Scriptures that they are given by God to the Christian Church for the foundation of faith. Hence the Holy Scriptures are the sole source from which all doctrines proclaimed in the Christian Church must be taken and therefore, too, the sole rule and norm by which all teachers and doctrines must be examined and judged. With the Confessions of our Church we teach also that the “rule of faith” according to which the Holy Scriptures are to be understood are the clear passages of the Scriptures themselves which set forth the individual doctrines.
On the basis of the Holy Scriptures we teach that the one true God is the Holy Trinity, the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. God has revealed Himself to be three distinct persons, but of one and the same divine essence. Each person in the Trinity is equal in power, equal in eternity, and equal in majesty, because each person possesses the one divine essence. We hold that all those who deny the doctrine of the Holy Trinity are outside of the Christian Church.
The Bible teaches that God the Father is the maker of heaven and earth. He called into being all material things and all spiritual things including the universe, all the angels and all living things. God the Father continues to sustain all things by His wisdom and power. The eternal Son of God took on human flesh and became a person for us. He took the name Jesus, which means, “the Lord saves” and is the Christ or Messiah predicted by the Old Testament. Jesus lived a perfect and sinless life and won the victory over sin for us by dying on a cross and rising from the dead. The Holy Spirit is also a divine person in the Holy Trinity. He is given divine names, divine attributes, and does divine work according to the Bible. The Holy Spirit brings us to faith in Christ so we have the blessings of redemption and He guides us to live a God pleasing life.
We believe that God offers the forgiveness of sins only in the Gospel, the good news that we are freed from the guilt, the punishment, and the power of sin. Therefore we are saved eternally because of Christ’s keeping the Law and His suffering and death for us. Scripture teaches that God has already declared believers to be righteous in Christ, not for the sake of their good works, but without the works of the Law. We are saved by grace, for Christ’s sake. He justifies us, that is, accounts us as righteous, when we believe, accept, and rely on, the fact that for Christ’s sake our sins are forgiven.
Saint Paul was inspired to write, “There is no difference; for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.” And Paul wrote, “Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the Law.” Through this doctrine alone Christ is given the honor due Him, namely, that through His holy life and innocent suffering and death He is our Savior. And through this doctrine alone can poor sinners have the abiding comfort that God is assuredly gracious to them.
Our Lord commands baptism in Matthew 28:19, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” God Himself is present as His name is joined to the water, with all His power and all His blessings of forgiveness, life and salvation. Baptism is for people of any age. When young children are baptized, God enters their heart, grants them faith, calls them His beloved children and opens heaven to them. However, those who receive baptism after they have been brought to faith by God through His Gospel message are also assured that they have received all the blessings God has attached to baptism. Whatever age a person is baptized, all glory goes to God for bringing the person to faith and salvation.
Our Lord instituted the Sacrament of Holy Communion with the words, “This is my body, given for you. This cup is my blood of the new testament, shed for you for the forgiveness of sins.” So the Lord’s Supper is the true body and blood of our Lord given in the bread and wine, instituted by Christ Himself for Christians to eat and drink for the strengthening of their saving faith. Therefore, as we receive this Sacrament, we receive forgiveness, life and salvation. Because the Bible teaches (in 1 Corinthians 11:27) that, “whoever eats the bread or drinks from the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner is guilty of sinning,” we believe that it is necessary to teach people about the Sacrament before offering it to them. Before we receive Holy Communion we are to consider whether we are truly sorry for our sins, whether we believe in Jesus as our Savior, and whether we believe that, along with the bread and wine, we are also truly receiving the body and blood of our Savior.
For a more detailed breakdown of all Lutheran beliefs and creeds please review the following sources.
Also, feel free to contact the pastor to make an appointment if you have specific questions that you need answered.