Below are some of the most important aspects of our Christian faith and form the foundations of our beliefs. Many of our core beliefs are also summarized in the Nicene Creed, a statement of faith that dates back more than 1,500 years ago to the time of the early Church, which is often recited during Sunday worship services throughout much of Christianity. Click here to learn more about the Nicene Creed. If you have any questions regarding our beliefs, feel free to contact us and we will be happy to discuss them with you.
We believe that the Holy Bible is the one true Word of God, written by man but inspired by God. Without this belief our faith would be blind as we would not have a foundation to stand on. Without this belief anyone is essentially free to decide for themselves what constitutes the Word and will of God and what does not, making the created the judge of the creator.
The Bible is made up of the Old Testament, which is based on the Jewish Hebrew Bible, and the New Testament, which consists of the Gospel accounts of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, a book on the acts of the apostles, letters from the apostles to congregations and others in the early Church, and the Book of Revelation.
Unlike many ancient texts, the New Testament of the Bible, which contains the Gospel message of Jesus’ divinity and sacrifice for us, has the advantage of an unprecedented number of ancient copies of the original texts that survived, making it one of the most reliable ancient documents that exists.
According to the work of Bruce Metzger, considered to be one of the most renowned New Testament Scholars of the 20th Century, there are more than 5,000 ancient copies of the New Testament that have been catalogued. This number is far greater than the number two ancient text, Homer’s Iliad, which has only 650 ancient copies in existence today. This incredible authenticity of the Biblical text only reassures us that the New Testament that we hold to be the true Word of God is on solid ground, having survived the test of time as no other ancient document has come close to doing.
The Doctrine of the Holy Trinity is another one of the foundations of our faith. We believe that God exists in three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, but is one God. For many people this can be quite confusing, and some believe that Christianity is a polytheistic religion (believing in the existence of more than one god), but Christianity is actually a monotheistic religion (believing in the existence of one god). Indeed, it can be hard for the human mind to contemplate how a being can be one, yet three. But, as Jesus said, all things are possible with God.
Our belief in the Trinity is well grounded in scripture. In the Book of Genesis, in the Old Testament of the Bible, we see that God existed in the beginning and had a spirit as well:
In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and the darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. (Genesis 1:1-2)
And from the Gospel of John, in the New Testament of the Bible, we know that Jesus, also known as the Word, was with God in the beginning as well:
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. (John 1:1-3).
We also see the Trinity present at Jesus baptism in the Jordan river before he started his ministry:
And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him; and behold a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.” (Matthew 3:16-17).
In the Great Commission, the mission statement Jesus left His Church with after His resurrection, we again see the Trinity in the scriptures:
And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth have been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20)
The Holy Sacraments observed in our belief consist of Baptism and Holy Communion. Our understanding and belief in the Sacraments comes primarily from the Augsburg Confession, one of the main statements of faith in the Lutheran denomination of Christianity and one of the most important documents that came out of the Protestant Reformation. The Sacraments are defined as signs and testimonies of God’s will toward us. They have God’s command and the promise of God’s grace.
Both Baptism and Holy Communion are commanded by God, and contain signs and testimonies of God’s will through His Word. In the case of Baptism, Jesus commanded us to do this in the Great Commission, referenced in the above section on the Holy Trinity.
We believe that Baptism is not just plain water, but is is the water included in God’s command and combines with God’s word. It works forgiveness of sins, rescues from death and the devil, and gives eternal salvation to all who believe this, as the words and promises of God declare.
The word of God in and with the water does these things, along with the faith which trusts this word of God in the water. For without God’s word the water is plain water and no baptism. But with the word of God it is a baptism, that is, a life-giving water, rich in grace, and a washing of the new birth in the Holy Spirit.
Holy Communion is also commanded by God, given to us by Jesus himself during the last supper on the night when he was betrayed, the day before his crucifixion.
Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is my body.” And he took the cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, “Drink of it, all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured our for many for the forgiveness of sin. (Matthew 26:26-28)
We believe that Jesus is present in the bread and wine of Holy Communion, and through the bread and the wine, with the word of God, grants us forgiveness of sins. It is not just eating and drinking that does this, but it is the words “poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins” along with the eating and drinking that accomplishes this. Whoever believes these words has exactly what they say: “forgiveness of sins".” Like Baptism, the sacrament of Holy communion has a physical sign, with God’s word present, and is commanded by God.