What we believe …

What we believe, teach and confess at Faith Lutheran…

All Bible verses are quoted from the New Living Translation of the Bible (NLT).

THE BIBLE… was written so that we might believe in Jesus Christ as our personal Savior and Lord. It speaks powerfully to the forgiveness of sins which is found in Him alone. It teaches what it means to live a life of love toward God and others, as well as a life of integrity and purpose concerning God’s design for each of us. It was written by men as they were directed by God’s Holy Spirit, and so it is timeless truth without error or contradiction. The Bible is the sole source of our teachings and the sole basis of what we believe.

John 20:31 “But these are written so that you may continue to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing in him you will have life by the power of his name.”

2 Timothy 3:14-17 “But you must remain faithful to the things you have been taught. You know they are true, for you know you can trust those who taught you. 15 You have been taught the holy Scriptures from childhood, and they have given you the wisdom to receive the salvation that comes by trusting in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. 17 God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.”

GOD…revealed Himself as three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. All three Persons participated in the creation of the world. It is the Father, the First Person of the Triune God, Who continues to care and provide for people. Lutheran Christians say, “All this He does only out of fatherly, divine goodness and mercy.” It is also the Father’s passion that all people would be saved from sin through Jesus Christ, His Son.

Genesis 1:1-2, 26-27 “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was formless and empty, and darkness covered the deep waters. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the surface of the waters… Then God said, “Let us make human beings in our image, to be like us. They will reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, the livestock, all the wild animals on the earth, and the small animals that scurry along the ground.” So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.”

 

John 1:1-3, In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. He existed in the beginning with God. God created everything through Him, and nothing was created except through Him.

John 3:16-17 “For this is how God loved the world: He gave His one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent His Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through Him.”

JESUS CHRIST…is God the Son, the Second Person of the Triune God. He is eternally true God. In His birth and death He was also true man, but without sin. By His death on the cross, He took upon Himself the punishment for sin that was due all people. By His Easter Resurrection He gained the victory over sin and death that is shared with all who believe in Him. At His Second Coming, all history will have its completion in Him.

John 14:6 Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.”

Acts 4:12 “There is salvation in no one else! God has given no other name under heaven by which we must be saved.”

THE HOLY SPIRIT…is the Third Person of the Triune God. He is the One Who builds faith, hope, and love into the lives of people as they hear God’s Word and come to know Jesus Christ in a profound, personal way. The Holy Spirit convicts people of their sin and brings people to faith in Jesus so that their sins are forgiven. He gathers people into the Church. He gives gifts to empower people for Christian witness and service. As people continue to hear, read, study, trust, and obey God’s Word, He brings them to spiritual maturity.

John 14:16-17 “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, who will never leave you. He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. The world cannot receive him, because it isn’t looking for him and doesn’t recognize him. But you know him, because he lives with you now and later will be in you.”

Acts 2:37-39 “Peter’s words pierced their hearts, and they said to him and to the other apostles, “Brothers, what should we do?” Peter replied, “Each of you must repent of your sins and turn to God, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. Then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. This promise is to you, to your children, and to those far away—all who have been called by the Lord our God.”

Acts 1:8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

THE CHURCH…is the community of all who have come to faith in Jesus Christ as their personal Savior and Lord. It is more than one local congregation or individual denomination. It is the object of God’s eternal, unconditional love. At Immanuel, we believe that the Church is God’s tool for bringing the Good News of Jesus Christ to the world!

Matthew 28:18-20 “Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

I Corinthians 11:23-26 “For I pass on to you what I received from the Lord himself. On the night when He was betrayed, the Lord Jesus took some bread  and gave thanks to God for it. Then He broke it in pieces and said, “This is My body, which is given for you. Do this to remember Me.” In the same way, He took the cup of wine after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant between God and His people—an agreement confirmed with My blood. Do this to remember Me as often as you drink it.” For every time you eat this bread and drink this cup, you are announcing the Lord’s death until He comes again.

CHRISTIANS… people called to live for Jesus Christ, seeking to love, serve, and honor Him with their lives. Their devotion is expressed in basic commitments of faithfulness to Him, His Word, His Church, and His work. These commitments are both a privilege and expression of the purpose which God has for all Christians. At Immanuel Lutheran Church we express this in our commitment to Know Christ, Live Christ, Share Christ. (See Mission and Vision for more details on this).

Matthew 22:37-39 Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’

Ephesians 2:8-10 God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.”

Ephesians 4:11-13 “Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ. This will continue until we all come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son that we will be mature in the Lord, measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ.”

SIN…is the condition all people have that separates them from God. Sin entered into the world through the disobedience of the first man and woman. It continues today as disobedience toward God, discord and dysfunction among people, and personal pain, distress, and death. No matter how hard a person tries or how good that person lives, there is no rescue from sin apart from the redemption of Jesus Christ. Sin always results in eternal death and separation from God. Therefore, every person has an essential need for Jesus and what He accomplished by His death and resurrection.

Psalm 51:1-5 “Have mercy on me, O God, because of your unfailing love. Because of your great compassion, blot out the stain of my sins. Wash me clean from my guilt. Purify me from my sin. For I recognize my rebellion; it haunts me day and night. Against you, and you alone, have I sinned; I have done what is evil in your sight. You will be proved right in what you say, and your judgment against me is just. For I was born a sinner— yes, from the moment my mother conceived me.”

Romans 3:21-24 “But now God has shown us a way to be made right with him without keeping the requirements of the law, as was promised in the writings of Moses and the prophets long ago. We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are. For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Yet God freely and graciously declares that we are righteous. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins.”

FORGIVENESS OF SINS…is the gift and promise of God through Christ that the separation of God and people has been bridged by the Savior. To be sure, Christians are not perfect, but they are forgiven. There is comfort and joy in knowing this gift is extended for all to receive by true faith. This gift of forgiveness of sins through Jesus alone means freedom to live life now and eternally with God. This belief distinguishes the Christian faith from those religions or philosophies that emphasize that works and obligations of people to somehow please God and believing what they have done will earn them salvation.

Psalm 103:8-13 The Lord is compassionate and merciful, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love.
He will not constantly accuse us, nor remain angry forever. He does not punish us for all our sins; He does not deal harshly with us, as we deserve. For His unfailing love toward those who fear Him is as great as the height of the heavens above the earth. He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west. The Lord is like a father to his children, tender and compassionate to those who fear Him.”

2 Corinthians 5:17-21 This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! And all of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to Himself through Christ. And God has given us this task of reconciling people to Him. For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to Himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. And He gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation. So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making His appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!” For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.”

ETERNAL LIFE…means death is no longer something to be feared. Rather, all those who trust in Jesus will live in joy with Him in heaven for eternity. Death is simply a doorway to that place which He has prepared and purchased for all believers through His own death and Resurrection victory!

John 11:23-27 “Jesus told her, “Your brother will rise again.” “Yes,” Martha said, “he will rise when everyone else rises, at the last day.”  Jesus told her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying. Everyone who lives in me and believes in me will never ever die. Do you believe this, Martha?”

John 14:1-3, 6 (ESV) “Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in Me. There is more than enough room in My Father’s home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through Me.”

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