What do we believe? Click on a heading below to see what We Believe, Teach, and Confess.
About God . . .
There is one, eternal, divine God who holds in Himself infinite wisdom, power and goodness. He has made and continues to preserve all things, both visible and invisible. We also believe that there are three Persons who are God, each of equal essence and power, revealed by the Name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Together with all who bear the name Christian, we confess this mystery of the Unity in Trinity and Trinity in Unity, not by our own reason or strength, but because this is who God has revealed himself to be.
About Evil . . .
Since the fall of Adam, all people are born with a problem which the Bible calls "sin." This sin is primarily a lack of the fear, love, and trust in God, along with a tendency toward self-serving thoughts, words and deeds. Our sin turns us away from God and against one another. Scripture teaches that this inherited sin (or, "original sin") along with the sin we do ourselves (or, "actual sin") is the root of every evil we experience and is the cause of all temporal suffering and death. Even worse, it condemns us and will bring eternal death upon all those who are not redeemed from it. Being born with sinful desires, we by nature do not want to believe this, but instead continue in our wickedness, insisting that we are not wicked at all.
About Jesus . . .
Jesus is God's answer to this problem of evil. Being the eternal Son of God, He took our human nature into himself, in order to buy it back from the realm of evil. Conceived in the womb of the Virgin Mary, by the Holy Spirit, he is a man of two natures, simultaneously true God and true man. He was born like us so that He could die like us, which he did, by crucifixion, under the Roman Governor Pontius Pilate in human history. As an acceptable sacrifice for original sin, he redeemed us also from all actual sins. In this way, triumphing over hell, he physically rose from the dead on the third day after his death, appearing to many and preaching to them the purpose of his sacrifice. Those who were witnesses to these things expected him to become an earthly king. But instead, he ascended to the throne of God in heaven where he reigns in total dominion over all things until the appointed time when he will return to judge both the living and the dead, to put an end to death and decay, and to usher in a new heaven and earth, where evil will never come.
About Salvation . . .
The forgiveness of sins and salvation from death that were WON on the cross by the death of Jesus are DELIVERED to you today through the Lord's Word! Jesus wanted to save you, so He speaks His saving Gospel of sins forgiven to you today. Before ascending into heaven, he appointed witnesses and instructed them to preach everything he had ever spoken, especially the meaning of his crucifixion, death and resurrection. By His work alone, he accomplished a total justification of all mankind before his Father, so that without need for your own strength, efforts or deeds, but for Christ's sake alone, you are freely saved from all sin, from death, and from the power of the devil. There is nothing you must do. It was simply done for you and given to you. You are received into God's favor for Christ's sake. It's a promise given, and faith believes it.
About The Holy Spirit . . .
In order that you might receive this faith, Jesus promised that the preaching of his death and resurrection (the Gospel) would deliver the gift of the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Godhead. We can't see the Spirit, but Jesus has located Him wherever the Word is preached. It is the Spirit's task through the Word to work faith in you, regenerating your dying spirit, calling, gathering and enlightening you with all Christians.
About Repentance . . .
The Christian life is characterized by daily repentance, as we confess our sin and hear the merciful forgiveness for that sin. As the Word of God is preached, the Spirit works through the Law to bring about awareness of sin and a terror in the conscience that realizes what sin is and what it deserves. But the Law is not preached alone! The Word of Gospel is preached, through which the Spirit works like a salve upon a deep wound, to comfort the conscience and bring peace and forgiveness. By both Law and Gospel, the Holy Spirit creates a living and active faith in each believer.
About Good Works . . .
Through the work of the Gospel, the Lord grows the good tree of faith--and good fruit grows on good trees. God doesn't need our good works. In fact, He's happy with us fully because Jesus has died for us. Good works are for the benefit of our neighbor, so our life in this world is lived in loving service toward them. As the Holy Spirit sanctifies the believer through the Word and sacraments, good fruits are promised to follow. We strive to love our neighbor in this way, though we never look to our works as evidence of faith, but always to Jesus!
About Church . . .
The Lord calls Christians together in His Name to hear this preaching, receive his gifts, and give Him thanks and praise. Today, we continue the practice of the early church in learning the Lord's teaching, fellowship, breaking of bread, and prayer (Acts 2:42). This Church, built on the confession of Christ-crucified, exists wherever the Word of God is preached in its truth and purity. While it is not necessary that human traditions or ceremonies be shared in common in every place, Jesus' institutions of Preaching, Holy Baptism and the Lord's Supper are to be retained in their purity in every place, for without these external gifts, the certainty of the Spirit's working is removed.
About Worship . . .
The forgiveness of all sins and cleansing of all shame for all the world was won by the death of Jesus on the cross. But the forgiveness He won on the cross is not delivered to US at the cross. We weren't there, but Jesus wants to comfort us with His salvation today. In the Lord's Service, He serves us with His Gospel, delivering the forgiveness of sins, life, and salvation to us today. While the world's religions attempt to climb toward their "gods" through their works, emotions, or reason, the Lord Jesus halts our climbing and descends to us.
In joyful response to His mercy, we respond with praise and thanksgiving, praying for the Church and the world. The Lord's Church has been given a rich tradition of liturgy and hymnody that clearly confesses the foundation of our faith: Christ crucifed for sinners. One of the greatest gifts the history of the Church has left to us is a Scripture-filled "liturgy" or "public service" that places the Lord's forgiveness at the center of all we do. As with any heritage, we receive it and make it our own, experiencing the best of modern musical growth, but only as it is fused with the best of our fathers' and grandfathers' Church.
About Baptism, The Lord's Supper, and Confession-Absolution . . .
Jesus instituted these gifts in His Word, so the Church looks to the word of Jesus for how we practice these gifts today. According to that Word, Baptism is not only water, but a promise delivering the grace of God, for all "who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death. We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his," as it is written in Romans 6. Through baptism, God places His name upon us, even little children, for salvation is not dependent upon our will or intellectual development, but only on the gifting of Jesus.
Likewise, according to Jesus' Word, the Lord's Supper is not only bread and wine, but is His true Body and Blood, delivered for the forgiveness of sins. For more on what we believe about the Lord's Supper, click here. Also, here's a couple of articles that explain the practice of closed communion: The Lord's Teaching and Straight Talk about Closed Communion.
As Jesus gave baptism and the Supper, He also sends out his apostles and pastors to speak His words of forgiveness to repentant sinners (John 20:21-23). Thus, in the Church's worship, we begin by confessing our sins to God, and then hearing Him speak His comforting and forgiving words of Gospel through the mouth of His pastors.
About Christ's Return . . .
The Last Day (Judgment Day) is when Jesus will return to judge the living and the dead. It will come suddenly and unexpectedly, but for the believer who stands with faith in Christ, he will be judged according to the holiness of Jesus. Thus, for the believer, the last day is nothing to fear. There is a diversity of teaching on the end times, thus there is great confusion. For more information on this, contact one of our pastors! Also, check out these helpful articles and links:
Lutheran's Dont Teach about the End Times: http://issuesetc.org/2014/11/14/issues-etc-24-myths-about-lutheranism-lutherans-dont-have-an-end-times-teaching-pr-bryan-wolfmueller-111414/
What's a Lutheran? . . .
"Do you guys worship Luther?!?" Nope. Lutherans are Christians who confess that we are saved by faith in Christ alone, by His grace alone, as taught in the Scriptures alone. Anything added to Jesus for salvation takes everything away from the Gospel. This was the same confession of faith even by Martin Luther in the 16th century in response to abuses within the Roman Catholic church of the day, who had stepped away from the Scriptures and added works to the cross of Jesus. Churches today who continue in that confession of faith are united as Lutherans. The Confessions of the Lutheran Church, making up The Book of Concord, are the Church's response to false teachings, thus uniting Lutherans in faithful Biblical doctrine.
What's are the Lutheran Confessions? . . .
Lutherans confess that, "The Word of God is and should remain the sole rule and norm of all doctrine," (FC SD, Rule and Norm, 9). The authority of the Scriptures is complete, certain and final. The Lutheran Confessions are simply a "basis, rule, and norm indicating how all doctrines should be judged" only because they are "in conformity with the Word of God" (FC SD, RN). The Confessions only repeat the written Word of God in response to the challenges of their day. They do not replace the Scriptures, but they point us back to the Scriptures all the more. You can read the Book of Concord online here.
About the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod . . .
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 chose 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. Our congregations believe that 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. Find out more about our Synod here.
There are many more questions that could be addressed, so we'd like to talk to you personally! If you have more questions about the faith we confess, please contact us, join us for worship, jump into one of our Bible studies, and find out more about our Lord and His gifts.