What We Believe
The Bible is God’s Word. It was written by human authors, but this was done under the divine influence of the Holy Spirit, a process called verbal inspiration.
The Bible is the source of the message of eternal salvation through Jesus Christ. It is the source of all truth for Christian beliefs and living. Being inspired by the Holy Spirit, the Bible is completely free of mistakes, errors or contradictions. (2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:20-21; 2 Timothy 1:13; Psalm 119: 105, 160; Psalm 12:6; Proverbs 30:5)
THE TRIUNE GOD
God is the Creator and Ruler of the universe. He has existed from eternity.
Though there is only one God, he is three persons – the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. These three persons are equal in power, authority and majesty. (Genesis 1:1, 26, 27; Psalm 90:2; Matthew 28:19-20; 1 Peter 1:2; 2 Corinthians 13:14)
OUR HEAVENLY FATHER
God the Father’s special work was to create the universe in which we live. He made us along with every creature, gave us our bodies and souls, as well as our gifts and abilities.
He still daily preserves us by richly and daily providing all that we need for our bodies and lives. (Genesis 1:1-2:3; Psalm 33:6-9; Job 10:10-12; Job 38:36; Psalm 36:6-7; Psalm 145:15-16)
Jesus Christ is the Son of God. He is equal with the Father in power, authority and majesty. Jesus is both God and man. He lived a sinless life and offered himself as the perfect sacrifice for the sins of all people by dying on a cross. He rose from the dead after three days and demonstrated his power and victory over sin and death.
He ascended to heaven to be beside the Father. From there he will one day return to earth to exercise judgment. Jesus lives and rules eternally as King of kings and Lord of lords. (Matthew 1:22, 23; Isaiah 9:6; John 1:1-5; John 14:10-30; Hebrews 4:14-15; 1 Corinthians 15:3-4; Romans 1:3-4; Acts 1:9-11; 1 Timothy 6: 14-15; Titus 2:13)
THE HOLY SPIRIT
The Holy Spirit is equal with the Father and the Son in power, authority and majesty. Since we cannot by our own thoughts or choices believe in Christ or come to him, the Holy Spirit calls us to faith through the good news of Jesus Christ. He makes us aware of our sin and deep need for Christ. He also draws us to Christ by working through the word of God and Baptism.
After drawing us to faith, the Holy Spirit then carries out the work of renewing us through word and sacrament – giving us power for Christian living, understanding spiritual truth, and guidance in doing what is pleasing to God. As Christians, we strive to live under his control daily. (2 Corinthians 3:17; John 16:7-13; John 14:16-17; Acts 1:8; 1 Corinthians 2:12; 1 Corinthians 3:16; Ephesians 1:13; Galatians 5:25; Ephesians 5:18)
People were originally created in the spiritual image of God and were sinless and holy. Since the fall of mankind into sin, this is no longer true. Now, all people are born sinful and are constantly inclined to sin by nature.
We are spiritually lost and dead apart from Jesus Christ. However, through faith in Christ we are new-born and are given the ability to serve God, live for his purposes and enjoy his blessings. (Genesis 1:27; Romans 5:12-21; Psalm 51:5; Ephesians 2:1-5; Luke 15; Luke 19:10; John 3:1-21; Romans 12:1-2; 2 Corinthians 9:6-15)
Salvation is God’s free gift to us. It comes to us through no effort or decision on our part. We can never make up for our sin by self-improvement or a life of goodness and kindness. God won salvation for us by loving us, sending his son Jesus Christ to live a perfect life and die a sacrificial death as our substitute.
It is through this act of Jesus that salvation became ours. Even faith is not to our credit, for there too God provides his Holy Spirit to create faith in our hearts and minds. Salvation comes to lost mankind by grace alone, through faith alone, in God’s word alone. (Romans 6:23; Ephesians 2:8-9; John 14:6; John 15:5-16, Romans 3:20-26; Acts 16:31; Romans 10:17)
OUR PURPOSE AND MEANING IN LIFE
Jesus wants us to have a full life, and a fulfilling life, as he once told his disciples: “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” (John 10:10) Apart from God, there is no true purpose to our lives. Once God has called us to faith, we live to love, serve, and obey him. In short, as Christians, our purpose is to love God foremost and to love our neighbor.
God’s children live to thank him for his acts of love and to magnify his name in the world. Our mission is to tell as many others as we can, through our loving actions and speech, that Jesus is the Savior of all people.
Paul adds in his letter to the Galatians that a Christian’s spiritual life is fulfilling and joyful: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” (Galatians 5:22; Acts 17:24-28; John 1:1-18; Psalm 148; Psalm 150; Romans 12:1-21; 2 Corinthians 5:14-21; Mark 12:28-34; Matthew 28:18:19; Acts 1:8)
THE LIFE TO COME
People were created to exist forever. We will exist eternally separated from God by sin, or eternally with God through the forgiveness and salvation won by Christ. To be eternally separated from God is eternal death (hell). To be eternally united with him in the enjoyment of all his blessings is eternal life (heaven).
Heaven and hell are real places where all mankind will exist eternally. In eternity, our bodies and souls are reunited either to suffer the pains of hell to experience eternal estrangement from God or to enjoy the eternal blessings of heaven and intimate communion with God forever. (John 3:16; John 14:17; Romans 6:23; Romans 8:17-18; Revelation 20:15; 1 Corinthians 2:7-9)
OUR CHURCH BODY
We believe that the historic, Ecumenical Creeds (The Apostles, Nicene, and Athanasian Creeds) are faithful summaries of the key teachings of Scripture. We also are a Confessional Lutheran Church body, and firmly believe the statements of faith outlined in the Book of Concord are faithful expositions of the Word of God and its teachings.