BELIEF & PRACTICE

 

BEING LUTHERAN

Our congregation accept and preach the Bible-based teachings of Martin Luther that inspired the reformation of the Christian Church in the 16th century. The teaching of Luther and the reformers can be summarized in three phrases: Grace alone, Faith alone, Scripture alone.

  • Grace Alone - God loves the people of the world, even though they are sinful, rebel against Him, and do not deserve His love. He sent Jesus, His Son, to love the unlovable and save the ungodly.

  • Faith Alone - By His suffering and death as the substitute for all people of all time, Jesus purchased and won forgiveness and eternal life for them. Those who hear this Good News and believe it have the eternal life that it offers. God creates faith in Christ and gives people forgiveness through Him.

  • Scripture Alone - The Bible is God’s inerrant and infallible Word, in which He reveals His Law and His Gospel of salvation in Jesus Christ. It is the sole rule and norm for Christian doctrine.

WHO IS JESUS?

 We believe Jesus is exactly who He said He is. Along with the ancient Church, we confess that Jesus is true God and true man in one person. He is the Son of God who was crucified and raised from the dead for the salvation of all who trust in Him.

Christ is not Jesus’s last name, but identifies Him as the Messiah (Christ is the Greek translation of Messiah), the fulfillment of the Old Testament promises that God saves His people.

This fulfillment and salvation happened in history in real time and in a real place (first century AD in Israel) through a flesh-and-blood person named Jesus.

The Bible is the true and trustworthy Word of God that records God’s love for the world through His Son Jesus. The miracles recorded in the Gospels and the teachings of Jesus are true and accurate.

Jesus physically died on a cross and physically rose from the dead in three days. He physically ascended into heaven, and the Church awaits His second coming when He will judge all people.

Those who trust in Jesus as their Savior will rise to eternal life in heaven. Those who deny Jesus and live in their sin will be cast out of His presence to hell.

HOLY COMMUNION

What is the Sacrament of the Altar? It is the true body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ under the bread and wine, instituted by Christ Himself for the Christians to eat and drink. --Martin Luther

Holy Communion is called that precisely because it is made holy by God Himself. While many are tempted to make Communion what they want it to be or what they can rationalize it to be, the Lutheran Church historically in faith pays close attention to the exact Sacred Words of our Lord concerning Holy Communion. 

The Word is very clear. Jesus Himself is recorded three times as saying, ‘…[Jesus] gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take, eat; this IS my body.”….“Drink of it, all of you,  for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. Matthew 26:26-29

 

Not only is it Christ's body and blood, it is also as Jesus says "for the forgiveness of sins.” People doubt this, and so the Apostle Paul further explains, The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ? 1 Corinthians 10:16-17 (ESV) So this meal, which Jesus called the New Covenant, is a sacred meal, set apart by God Himself, and serves Himself, for the assurance of the forgiveness of sins. Even more than that, we receive into ourselves the very body and blood of Jesus physically "in, with and under" the bread and wine. It is physical and we believe that God cannot get any closer than into our stomachs. This is called by Lutherans the "Real Presence." Historically the Christian church for the first 1500 years after Jesus, all believed Jesus was physically received in this sacrament. 

According to Scripture, Holy Communion should be celebrated by those who are: 

  • United in a common faith - 1 Corinthians 10:16-17, 21-22

  • Repentant of sins - 1 Corinthians 5:11, Matthew 18:17-18

  • Able to examine their lives - 1 Corinthians 11:27-29

  • Believe they receive Jesus' true body and blood - Luke 22:19-22

HOLY BAPTISM

What is Baptism?  Baptism is not just plain water, but it is water included in God's command and combined with God's Word. --Martin Luther

Baptism, like Holy Communion is a sacred act, set apart by God's command [Matthew 28:18].  The Lutheran Church has historically held in high regard all the Words of the Sacred Scriptures concerning baptism. Those who say, baptism is a symbolic act that should be done in a certain way, have taken God's grace-filled New Covenant and have turned it into prescribed law, like the Pharisees in our Lord's day.  

We believe and teach that babies and children should be baptized as soon after birth as possible. For adults, who can come to faith through hearing the Word, we usually baptize after they have been instructed in the Christian faith.

GENERAL RESOURCES

LCMS RESOURCES

LUTHERAN CONFESSIONS

WHAT DOES SYNOD MEAN?

The word “Synod” in The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod comes from Greek words that mean “walking together.” The term has rich meaning in our church body because congregations voluntarily choose to belong to the Synod.

 

Though diverse in their service, our congregations hold to a shared confession of Jesus Christ as taught in Holy Scripture and the Lutheran Confessions.

THE WORD

The Lutheran Church Missouri Synod, as well as Faith Lutheran Church,  is a bible based church body. We believe the divine, inerrant inspired Word of God covers the 39 canonized books of the Old Testament and the 27 books of the New Testament. That is 66 books in all.  The Apostle Timothy in 2 Timothy 3:16 writes, "All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work."  We believe all scripture is spoken by God and is without errors.  Therefore all of our doctrines and belief come from those sacred pages.  All of what we believe and teach is in our Lutheran Confessions which is found in the pages of Scripture.  Though Modern translations of the Bible can vary, the overwhelming Greek texts speak with definitive clarity

CONFESSION

What is Confession?  Confession has two parts.  First that we confess our sins and second that we receive absolution, this forgiveness, from the pastor as from God Himself, not doubting, but firmly believing that by it our sins are forgiven before God in heaven.  --Martin Luther

Drawn from God’s Word, the Lutheran Confessions are a true and binding exposition of Holy Scripture and serve as authoritative texts for all pastors, congregations and other rostered church workers of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod.

Lutheran congregations are confessional. Our congregations believe the Lutheran Confessions are a correct interpretation and presentation of biblical doctrine.

Contained in The Book of Concord: The Confessions of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, these statements of belief were transcribed and shared broadly by church leaders during the 16th century.

Luther’s Small Catechism contains essential summaries of our beliefs, while the Augsburg Confession gives more detail about what Lutherans believe.

What is the Office of the Keys?  The office of the Keys is that special authority which Christ has given to His church on earth to forgive the sins of repentant sinners, but to withhold forgiveness from the unrepentant as long as they do not repent.

--Martin Luther

"Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.”    And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.   If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you withhold forgiveness from any, it is withheld.” John 20:21-23

When the called pastor of God speaks the words of absolution, they are not his words or his forgiveness, but rather Christ's Words, in the stead and by the command of God.  This assurance and forgiveness is not found in many churches.  Come to Faith, you will never be the same.