What We Believe, Teach and Confess (Part 1)
With the whole Christian Church, Immanuel and Trinity teach and respond to the love of the Triune God: the Father, creator of all things visible and invisible; the Son, Jesus Christ, who became human to suffer and die on the cross for the sins of all human beings and to rise to life again in the ultimate victory over sin, death and Satan; and the Holy Spirit, who creates faith through God’s Word and Sacraments. Being “Lutheran,” our congregation accepts and teaches 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 four short phrases: Grace alone, Scripture alone, Faith alone, ultimately pointing us to Jesus Christ alone, who is true God, begotten of the Father from eternity, and also true man, born of the Virgin Mary and is our Lord. 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. 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. 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. Our congregations are “confessional.” That means we hold to the Lutheran Confessions as the 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 put into writing by church leaders during the 16th century. (The simplest of these is Luther’s Small Catechism, which our children are taught in catechism class (5-8 grade) and the Augsburg Confession gives more detail on what Lutherans believe.)
Our congregations are evangelical because we are about the Gospel, the “good news” of Jesus Christ. Evangelical is the Greek word for “Gospel.” Through the Gospel and the Sacraments, Jesus is present for us. In the Divine Service (worship), we are taught and fed by Our Lord Jesus. In the Divine Service, Jesus is present for His gathered guests to teach and to feed them through the Preaching of the Gospel and the administration of the Sacraments. The Divine Service is the center of the life of the church and every Christian. This is the Holy Ghost’s work in the task of sharing the good news of Jesus in our community and throughout the world. In our daily prayers we, the baptized children of God, pray for the needs of the Christian Church on earth and the whole world, that the Gospel would be preached to the ends of the earth, that all would believe, be baptized and be saved.
What We Believe, Teach and Confess (part 2)
in the Holy Trinity: Father, Son, and Holy Ghost;
that all people are in bondage to sin, death, and the devil, and are unable to make themselves right with God on their own;
that Jesus Christ is true God and true man; that He lived a perfect life for us, shed His blood for us on the cross to pay for our sins, and that He rose from the grave on the third day assuring us of our own resurrection from the dead;
that the Holy Spirit delivers Christ’s forgiveness, life, and salvation to us through the Preaching of the Gospel, Holy Baptism, Holy Absolution, and the Lord’s Supper.
that Jesus instituted the Office of the Holy Ministry to continue His forgiving presence in His gifts of Preaching and the means of grace;
that Jesus will come again on the Last Day to judge the living and the dead and to give eternal life to all who believe in Him;
that the Holy Scriptures are the inspired Word of God, that we would see and hear Jesus;
that the three ecumenical creeds (Apostles’, Athanasian, and Nicene) and the Book of Concord are a correct exposition of the Word of God.
The Means of Grace
Baptism – Lord’s Supper – Confession and Absolution – Word Of God