What Lutheran's Believe
Faith congregation, a member of the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod, believes that the Bible, composed of sixty‐six books, is the infallible Word of God, fully inspired and without error in the original manuscripts, written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, and that it is the supreme authority in all matters of faith and conduct. We believe in the Holy Trinity; that there is one God eternally existing in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We believe in the deity of our Lord Jesus Christ, in His virgin birth, in His sinless life, in His miracles, His victorious and atoning sacrifice through His shed blood, in His bodily resurrection, and in His ascension to the right hand of the Father. We believe and look to the hope of the personal, glorious, and bodily return of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
We believe that God alone created the heavens and the earth, and all life living therein. We believe God created man in His own image and placed him as steward, to care for and manage the earth, and to populate its lands. We believe that while human beings were created in the image of God, through the deception of Satan and the subsequent Fall of Adam, all of humanity is now condemned as a result of their sinful nature; through their thoughts, words, and actions, some the result of personal choice and others due to human nature. We therefore have need to be saved from the condemnation to which our sinful life leads.
We believe that for the salvation of lost and sinful humanity, regeneration by the Holy Spirit is absolutely essential. Salvation is God’s free gift given to us through God’s grace. We can never make up for our sin by self-improvement or good works, nor can we live a life fully without sin. In his lifetime, Jesus, fully God and fully human, taught us how we are to live in relationship with God and with each other. As the culmination of His life, Jesus took upon Himself the penalty of death that we had deserved, and died in our place as our representative. By Jesus Christ's sacrifice on the cross as God’s offer of forgiveness and redemption can we have an assurance of salvation and be saved from sin’s penalty. We believe that those who repent of their sins and trust in Jesus Christ by faith as their personal Lord and Savior are saved from condemnation. Believers are regenerated by the Holy Spirit and are declared righteous before God. Through His mercy, we become new creations preserved by the grace and power of God. We also believe that those thus saved need no mediation other than Jesus Christ and can come directly to God through Jesus Christ.
We believe that after Jesus’ death, He came back to life, demonstrating His power over death. We are taught in the Bible that all who receive this good news and believe it are declared by God to be in a right relationship with Him, are forgiven all their sins, and are promised everlasting life and fellowship with God.
In regard to Holy Communion, Lutherans believe that the body and blood of Christ are truly present in and with the bread and wine when we receive the Lord’s Supper. We do not believe that the bread and wine somehow mystically changes into Christ’s body and blood, nor do we believe that the elements merely represent Christ’s body and blood. Rather, we embrace the words of Jesus when He said, “Take, eat, this is my body”, and “Take, eat, this is my blood”. When we receive the bread and wine, we believe we are also receiving the body and blood of Christ, because He said so. Baptized and repentant believers in Jesus who agree with our understanding of Holy Communion are welcome to join us at the Lord’s Table.
We believe in the universal church, a living spiritual body of which Christ is the head and all regenerated persons are members by the baptizing work of the Holy Spirit of God. We believe that we are called to go and make disciples of all nations, and to do the works which God has prepared for us to do. We believe that a Christian should live for the glory of God, the enjoyment of God, and the love and well-being of others. We believe in the bodily resurrection of the just and the unjust for final judgment ⎯the everlasting joy of the just, and the everlasting conscious punishment of the lost, separated from God. We believe in the final and full consummation of the Kingdom of God in the New Creation ⎯the New Heavens and New Earth, the home of righteousness where all sin and its effects are forever removed. We believe that God will make all things new again.