Statement of Faith
We believe, teach and confess as true: the Christian Faith which was once delivered unto the saints, revealed in the Old and New Testaments of the Holy Bible, and expressed in the three ecumenical symbols: the Apostolic, the Nicene, the Athanasian Creeds; and the Lutheran Confessions contained in the Book of Concord.
All ritual and polity of the Church are to be governed according to the immovable truths of the above mentioned Confessions, namely, that the Holy Word of God (both the Old and New Testaments) shall be the sole authority of truth in the light of which all doctrine in this Church shall be examined and determined.
The principal calling (duty) of this Church shall be the propagation of the true Christian Faith, which shall manifest itself in the faithful administration of God’s true Means of Grace through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ: His Word and Sacraments (Holy Baptism and Holy Communion).
The Word of God
We believe that the Bible is inerrant: the full revelation of God’s will to mankind for salvation, in and of Christ, as well as life and conduct lived in Christ.
All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness; That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.
2 Timothy 3:16-17
Apostle Paul’s personal testimony: “I am crucified with Christ never the less I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.”
This church acknowledges the Christian Faith which is founded on the Word of God as contained in the complete canon of scripture: the 66 books of the Old and New Testament. We uphold the three Ecumenical Creeds of the Christian church (the Apostolic, the Nicene, and the Athanasian), the unaltered Augsburg Confession, and Luther’s small Catechism. This church believes that the confessions, though not inerrant, are trustworthy witnesses for measuring our teachings.
Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.
2 Peter 1:20-21
We believe in the triune God: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, God eternally existent, in three distinct persons of one divine essence.
For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.
For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.
We believe when Adam fell, we all fell. Original sin afflicts the whole human race. Everyone born since the fall is born with a depraved sin nature.
…the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth…
The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness:
We believe there are two Sacraments: Baptism and the Lord’s Supper; and they are a means of grace. With the water, and in and under the bread and wine, the Lord is always present.
Baptism is a covenant which on God’s side is strong and on our side helpless. When we are baptized in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit we are joined unto the church which is Christ’s body. The promise of God is sure: as we abide in His grace, He keeps us and strengthens us all our life. He gives new strength every day as we walk by faith in this covenant.
We baptize infants, and believe one baptism with water is sufficient, with water and the word, by sprinkling, pouring or immersion.
And they brought young children to him, that he should touch them: and his disciples rebuked those that brought them. But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein. And he took them up in his arms, put his hands upon them, and blessed them.
Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.
Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
The Lord’s Supper is the Body and Blood of the Lord, given and shed for us to eat and to drink.
For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come.
1 Corinthians 11:23-26
We practice open communion, inviting visiting members of the Body of Christ to share this feast of love and grace with us.
That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ. And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.
1 John 1:3-4
And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers…And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart.
Acts 2:42 & 46
Salvation is a gift from God imputed unto us by grace through faith.
For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.
… The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report? So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
Redemption is the work of God in Christ, redeeming us in and through Jesus Christ, who was born to die that we may live and lives that we may live eternally.
For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again. Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more. Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.. And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God. For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
2 Corinthians 5:14-21
Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
1 John 4:10
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace.
Conversion, as Jesus taught it, is to become helpless, like a little child. Jesus said, “Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:3). Peter was instructed by the Lord, “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren” (Luke 22:31-32)
Regeneration is the work of the Holy Spirit renewing his people by his mercy and grace in Christ.
Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour.
New birth is the personal experience of grace and mercy to a sinner. We have not saved and cannot save or keep ourselves. Nor will our experiences- as great as they feel- be a foundation to trust in. Consider the case of the man born blind: “…one thing I know, that, whereas I was blind, now I see.” (John 9:26) “…Dost thou believe on the Son of God? He answered and said, Who is he, Lord, that I might believe on him? And Jesus said unto him, Thou hast both seen him, and it is he that talketh with thee. And he said, Lord, I believe. And he worshipped him.”
That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit. Nicodemus answered and said unto him, How can these things be? Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things? Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness. If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things? And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven. And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you. Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God. Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently: Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth forever. For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away. But the word of the Lord endureth forever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.
1 Peter 1:18-25
The Gospel is good news: glad tidings that the day of the Lord is now. Repent and believe the Gospel! In the broad sense, the Gospel is repentance and forgiveness, judgment and mercy.
And said [Jesus] unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behooved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And ye are witnesses of these things.
Paul’s words in Ephesus to the elders of the church teach the broad sense of the Gospel. Without the knowledge of sin and its consequence, there is no recognized need for grace.
And how I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have showed you, and have taught you publicly, and from house to house, Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.
In the focused sense, the Gospel is God’s love in Christ Jesus and nothing else. This message is for God’s people who walk in truth, yet ever mindful of their weakness. The same message is for those who tremble, “I’m lost and I can’t see past the mountain of sin and unbelief.” We echo John the Baptist: “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.” We proclaim the Blood of Jesus the only remedy for sin’s stains. The name of Jesus is the only name that saves.
Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins: Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature.
Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; And having an high priest over the house of God; Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.
Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth, And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.
Jesus came to the world and said “The Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10), also “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly” (John 10:10b). As Jesus was, while in this world, so should we be, proclaiming the everlasting Gospel, which brings to all who believe “… righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost” (Romans 14:17). Apostle John wrote: “He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.” (1 John 5:12-13)
Jesus sends us to edify the church and bear His message of grace and truth to a lost and dying world.
Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you. And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost: Whosoever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whosoever sins ye retain, they are retained.”