A Summary of the Character and Confession we aspire to live and represent as a congregation

I.    CHARACTER

Under God’s grace, it is our desire and intent that our congregation be solidly rooted in Bible teaching, while cultivating reverent and joyful worship, active Christianity in each person’s daily life, and Christ-motivated fulfillment of God-given roles in the home, in the church and in the community.

II.    CONFESSION

Our congregation is characteristically Lutheran.  However, please note that we mean (1) Lutheran in the sense of historic Lutheranism which is Christ-centered and Biblical and (2) Lutheran without the full formalism often found in the Lutheran church.  Finally, (3) though distinctively Lutheran, we warmly welcome the presence and fellowship of those whose convictions are not entirely settled in another fellowship, who wish to examine and grow with us, and who, at the same time, desire to enjoy the blessings of a free and living church family.

We believe on the basis of Scripture that --

•    the only true God is the Triune God - Father, Son, and Holy Spirit - revealed in the Bible (Deut. 6:4;  John 10:30;  Matt. 28:19);
    
•    God has given us the Bible as His fully inspired, fully sufficient, and inerrant Word (John 10:35;  2 Tim. 3:16a) , by which He teaches us the only way of salvation (Luke 24:25-27;  John 20:31) and guides us in godly living  (2 Tim. 3:16b) ;
    
•    all people are by nature alienated from God both by the corrupted nature inherited from Adam (Gen. 3:6;  Rom. 5:12; Ps. 51:5)  and by their own sinful thoughts, words, and actions (Rom. 3:23;  Mark 7:21-23) ;
    
•    rescue from the punishment deserved for our sin and restoration to fellowship with God is not something man could work out for himself (Rom. 8:7;  1 Cor. 2:14);  it was provided as a free gift of God’s grace through the sacrifice of His own Son, Jesus Christ, who lived a perfect life under the Law of God in man’s place  (Gal. 4:4-5)  and bore the full punishment for our sin for us (John 3:17; 2 Cor 5:21; 1 Pet. 3:18) ;
    
•    though Christ died for all (1 John 2:2), the benefits of His work are held only by those who come to a personal trust in Jesus as their Savior (Eph 2:8; Rom. 5:1-2) ;
    
•    saving faith is also a gift of God, since it is the Holy Spirit who convinces the person in his heart of the need for forgiveness and leads him to put his trust in the completed word of Jesus as the only solution (1 Cor. 12:3b;  Eph 2:8-9)
    
•    the Holy Spirit works in human hearts through God-chosen “means” which include the Word of God (1 Pet. 1:23), Baptism (Romans 6:3-4;  Col. 2:12;  Gal. 3:27),  and the Lord’s supper (1 Cor. 11:23-26);  what each of these hold in common is that, in their varying ways, they bring the Gospel message of forgiveness through Christ to the individual (Rom. 1:16);
    
•    Baptism is a Sacrament through which the Holy Spirit works in the heart to bring a very personal assurance that “Jesus died for you!” (Acts 22:16); the fact of being baptized in itself does not save, since salvation is rooted in personal faith in Jesus alone; however. the Holy Spirit is at work in Baptism, even in the hearts of infants, and has the ability to work the miracle of faith in infants, no less than in adults  (Matt. 18:6);  we find no Scriptural basis for teaching an “age of accountability” prior to which children are considered innocent before God.  At the same time, none should depend on the rite of Baptism itself as the basis of his salvation, and all parents should consciously and zealously set Christ before their children from the very earliest age, desiring to be certain that they are in the faith and growing in it;
    
•    The Lord’s Supper is the Sacrament in which our Lord, in a supernatural way, gives us His very body and blood, together with the bread and fruit of the vine.  Here again the Sacrament is given as a powerful, personal assurance that Christ’s suffering and death were for us as individuals.  Communicants are admonished to examine themselves to be certain that they both sincerely repent of their sin and trust in Christ’s forgiveness, so that the Sacrament can be received beneficially rather than to their spiritual detriment (1 Cor. 11:23-29);
    
•    a gradually transformed life filled with Christ-like love and good works will be the natural fruit of faith in the Christian (John 15:5;  Rom. 6:1-2); this transformation is made possible by the Holy Spirit as He is allowed to live Jesus’ life through the Christian;  this realization that the Christian life is lived not in “my” power but by Christ’s power in and through me is the channel for real joy, freedom, power, and victory in the Christian’s life (Gal. 2:20).
    
•    A more complete elaboration of doctrine can be found in the Augsburg Confession, written in 1530 by Dr. Martin Luther as well as in Luther’s Small Catechism with Explanation

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