At Grace Lutheran Church
“We believe the Bible from beginning to end and the Word of God does not change! God the Father is the Creator, God the Son, Jesus Christ, is our Salvation and God the Holy Spirit is the Comforter who leads us to the Truth.”
“Teach the Truth of the Word for the glory of God.”
This is what we believe:
There is one God who exists in three persons. God – Father, Son and the Holy Spirit -has made us, saved us from sin, death and the power of the Devil, and has promised to be with us and lead us in the truth.
God the Father
We believe in the Almighty God, creator of the universe. God is all-knowing, all-powerful and loving. In His love, God sustains His creation and desires an intimate relationship with all His people. (Genesis 1:1-3; Matthew 3:16-17; 2 Corinthians 13:14; John 3:16 , 10:30 ; Ephesians 2:8-9)
God the Son
We believe Jesus is true God and true man, the only Son of God, and the Savior of the world. Because of God’s love for us, He became human. Jesus lived the life of a servant, and suffered the punishment we deserve for our sins. In His death and resurrection, He won victory over death for us. Through his life and death, we receive forgiveness of our sins and eternal life. (Romans 5:8-9; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Hebrews 2:14-15; 1 Peter 1:18 ; 2:24 ; John 16:14-15)
God the Holy Spirit
We believe that God the Holy Spirit works in people’s lives to call unbelievers to faith in Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit will empower believers to grow in faith, to perform acts of love for others, and to bring glory to the Father through the Lord Jesus Christ. (Acts 1:8; Luke 11:13; John 1:1)
The Word of God
We believe that the Holy Bible is the divinely inspired, revealed, infallible, and written Word of God. It is complete and is the only authentic and inerrant authority in all matters of life and faith. No teaching or inspiration apart from, or contrary to, the Holy Bible will be honored. (2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:20-21; John 20:30-31; 1Kings 18:21 ; 1 Corinthians 2:13 )
Our Lutheran Heritage
We subscribe to the confessional writings in the Book of Concord, namely…
- The Augsburg Confession
- The Apology
- Smalcald Articles
- The Treatise
- The Small Catechism
- The Large Catechism
- The Formula of Concord
…as the valid interpretations of Scripture and of the faith of the Church.
We confess the three historic symbols, the Apostles’, Nicene & Athanasian Creeds. The Creeds are declarations of faith. Creeds provide continuity in the Christian community through time. They are a short-hand of what the Scripture teaches.
We believe that through the sacrament of Baptism, as commanded by Jesus, God adopts us as His children. Being part of God’s eternal family is entirely His doing, not ours. All humans are born with a sinful nature; we affirm the practice of baptizing infants as well as adults. The power, promise and meaning of the Holy Spirit rests entirely on Jesus. He lived, suffered, and died as a sacrifice for the sins of the world. He rose victorious over death and the grave. In Holy Baptism, we receive all the blessings of Christ’s sacrifice. (Romans 6:4-6; Matthew 18:1-6; Acts 2:39 , 16:30 -33; Colossians 2:11-12; John 3:5)
The Lord’s Supper
As a Lutheran church, we believe that the elements of bread and wine received in the Supper are the true body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, given and shed for us for the forgiveness of sins. Our participation in the Lord’s Supper unites us in fellowship with Christ and with fellow believers. We believe that in this sacrament, God comes to love and forgives us. Through the meal, He brings us His love in a tangible way and renews us in our relationship with Him. Jesus has instructed that we celebrate this mean, and that we remember Him as we do so. (1 Corinthians 11:23-26; John 6:53-56; Acts 2:42-44)
Not every Law in Scripture is applicable to Christians. Christians are called to freedom, from both the rigors of the Law and from slavery to sin. Paul explains it this way in Romans 13:8-10:
Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law. The commandments, ‘Do not commit adultery,’ ‘Do not murder,’ ‘Do not steal,’ ‘Do not covet,’ and whatever other commandment there may be, are summed up in this one rule: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ Love does no harm to its neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.
So the Law, including the Ten Commandments, fulfills two functions for Christians. First, it orders our life together, providing guides for behavior. Second, it reminds us of our inability to meet its demands for perfection, and so drives us to Christ, for only in the cross of Christ can sinful people find forgiveness of sins and eternal life.
Law & Gospel
God speaks to us humanity in two ways. Those things he demands are called the Law. What God has done for us in Christ Jesus is called the Gospel. As Luther wrote in the Heidelberg Disputation (Theses 23-26):
The law brings the wrath of God, kills, reviles, accuses, judges, and condemns everything that is not in Christ [Romans 4:15].
Yet that wisdom is not of itself evil, nor is the law to be evaded; but without the theology of the cross man misuses the best in the worst manner.
He is not righteous who does much, but he who, without work, believes much in Christ.
The law says, “do this,” and it is never done. [The Gospel of] Grace says, “believe in this,” and everything is already done.
Our Value Before God
We are saved by God’s grace, not by anything we do. We are forgiven for all our sins through Jesus Christ. We are therefore told to confess, repent and pray for forgiveness. Our worth is determined by God’s view of us which is demonstrated in Jesus, not by our own estimation. (Genesis 1:27; John 3:16; Psalms 136,139: 13-16)
We are called to lives of Christian stewardship that places trust in God rather than in our own efforts or wealth. The Lord provides for our needs and permits us to join hands with fellow believers to support the work of the church in reaching out with the message of forgiveness, life and salvation in Christ.
We believe that our sexuality is a good gift from God. Sexual intimacy is blessed by Him when expressed according to God’s design, within the context of monogamous heterosexual marriage. Outside of that context, sexual intimacy, whether heterosexual or homosexual, is sin. All who desire to turn from sin, sexual or otherwise, can be forgiven and renewed by the grace of God in Jesus. (Genesis 2:244, Exodus 20:14; 1 Corinthians 6:19-20; Romans 1:26-32, 1 Corinthians 6:9-10.)
We believe that marriage is a divine institution and a holy union of one man and one woman entered into by mutual consent. With God’s help, they are to build a loving, life-giving, faithful relationship that will last for a lifetime. God has established the married state in the order of creation and redemption, for spouses to grow in love of one another and for the nurture, formation and education of children. It is God’s intent that procreation take place only within the context of marriage. We believe that when a marriage is true to God’s loving design it brings spiritual, physical, emotional, economic and social benefits not only to the couple and family but also to the Church and to the wider culture. Not every human being need enter the order of marriage since celibacy is also in accordance with the will of God. (Genesis 2:24; Ephesians 5:31-33; Psalm 127:3; 1 Corinthians 7:1-7)
Our Life Together
We are called to serve Christ both in our congregation and throughout the world. Christ instructs us to love our neighbor as ourselves. We encourage our congregation to be candid, free and open. We will promote freedom of speech, open meetings, broad representation, free flow of ideas and concerns, and consideration of the rights of those who may stand in the minority at one time or another. (John 13:34 ; Galatians 5:14 ; Mark 16:15 -16; Acts 2:42 -44)