What We Believe
OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD
There is one true God (Deuteronomy 6:4), who has revealed himself in three persons, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19).
We all fail to be what God created us and commands us to be: perfect (Matthew 5:48). We are all broken and sinful from the moment we are conceived (Psalm 51:5). God rightly demands absolute perfection because he is himself perfect. He is in no way responsible for our imperfections. We are.
THE SAVIOR OF THE WORLD
We are unable to fix our own brokenness. God must and he does in Jesus and through his Spirit. In his great mercy God sent his one and only Son Jesus into the world to be “the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). Jesus is the world's perfect Savior from all sin and death (John 3:16), a perfect and complete substitute (Isaiah 53:4-6; 2 Corinthians 5:21). Only Jesus can be this perfect substitute because he is both fully God (Colossians 2:9; Hebrews 1:3) and fully human (Hebrews 2:14-18).
Jesus lovingly sacrificed himself on a cross for the sins of the world (John 1:29) and rose from the dead with a glorified body on Easter morning to announce his complete victory over all things. Jesus’ resurrection is divine proof that the sins of the world have been completely forgiven (Romans 4:25). Through Jesus, the entire world has been declared “innocent” by God (1 Corinthians 5:18-21).
Jesus loves all people with no strings attached, unconditionally (Matthew 20:28; Romans 5:8), because “God is love” (1 John 4:7-10). Since God’s love is unconditional, we can always rely on it; his love never fails. The truth is, God loves and forgives you, whether you believe it or not. Believe it!
God “wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:4). Everyone who puts their trust in Jesus freely receives God’s forgiveness and eternal life (John 3:16,36). They become children of God through faith (John 1:12-13). Only those who stubbornly refuse to put their trust in Jesus fail to receive what he so freely offers (Matthew 23:37).
OUR FAITH IN JESUS
We are not saved because of our faith; we are saved by faith (Ephesians 2:8-9). Faith is simple, child-like trust in the freely-given promises of God in Christ Jesus. Through his many unconditional promises and divine power God inspires us to trust him (Romans 4:20-21). We can take no credit for our Christian faith (1 Corinthians 1:30-31).
The Holy Spirit creates and preserves saving faith (trust) in our hearts through the hearing of God’s Word and using the sacraments of Holy Baptism and Holy Communion (Romans 10:17).
In Holy Baptism God makes a commitment to us. He promises and gives the forgiveness of sins and eternal life (Acts 2:38-39; Titus 3:5-7; 1 Peter 3:21). All who believe the promises of God given in Baptism will be saved (Mark 16:16). We baptize infants because they need these promises as well. They are sinful from birth and sometimes die in infancy as a result (Psalm 51:5; Romans 5:12). Baptism gives eternal life.
In Holy Communion Jesus gives us his true body and blood under the bread and wine for the certain forgiveness of sins (Matthew 26:26-28). Jesus instructs us to share this holy supper with those who are properly prepared to receive its benefits (1 Corinthians 11:27-29) and who are united in Christian faith with us (1 Corinthians 10:14-22).
OUR CHRISTIAN LIVES
All Christians who act smugly, as if they are better than others, are sinning. Christians are called to live as humble servants to him (Luke 17:10) and others (Philippians 2:1-4). Christians don’t produce good works to earn something from God. We do them because that’s what Christians naturally do. In the same way that a good vine produces good fruit (John 15:1-8), Christians naturally produce the “fruit of the Spirit” (Galatians 5:22-25).
Jesus will return on the Last Day and judge all people. “Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned” (Mark 16:16).