"I am the resurrection and the life.
He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live.
And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die."
What We Believe
According to Holy Scripture, and in the unity
of the one holy Christian and apostlic Church, we believe, teach, and confess
||The one and only true God is the Triune
God -Father, Son, and Holy Spirit - as revealed by Jesus Christ, the only-begotten
Son of the Father, and His prophets, apostles, and evangelists in the Holy
Scriptures (Mt. 28:20).
||Every human being is conceived and
born dead to God, is entirely predisposed to sin, is without inherent fear,
love, or trust in God and is lacking in the ability or will to turn toward
God, is entirely turned against God and is therefore under the sentence
of eternal death and damnation (Eph. 2:1-10; Ps. 51:5).
||Jesus Christ is true God, eternally
begotten of the Father, and at the same time true man, born of the Virgin
Mary, and is the only Savior from sin and the only Mediator between God
and humanity (Jn. 1:1-3,14; 1 Tim. 2:5; 1 Jn. 5:20; Acts 4:12) -
who, by his perfect life and sacrificial
death on the cross, has won the entire forgiveness of sins and eternal
life for every human being, from the beginning to the end of the world
(Rom. 3:21-26; Gal. 4:4-5; 2 Cor. 5:21; 1 Jn. 2:2);
who rose bodily from the dead on the third day
(1 Cor. 15:3-5); and
who now reigns at the right hand of God as Lord
over all (Eph. 4:10-12).
||We are justified, or declared not
guilty, in the sight of God and rescued from sin, death, and damnation
not by our works but solely by God's undeserved kindness, His grace given
as a free gift through faith in Jesus Christ, whose perfect life and sacrificial
death as "the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world" fully atone
for our sins (Rom. 3:21-28; Eph. 2:8; John 1:29).
||The blessings and benefits of Jesus'
saving death and resurrection, namely the forgiveness of sins, eternal
life, and salvation, are offered, delivered, and applied to us by means
of the Gospel in all its forms (the preached and written Word, Baptism,
Absolution, Lord's Supper), through which the Holy Spirit works faith in
Christ. To this end Christ has instituted the Office of the Ministry and
sends pastors to preach and administer the holy sacraments in His stead
and name (Jn. 6:63; 16:12-15; Lk. 24:47; Mt. 28:19; Jn. 20:21-23; 1 Cor.
||Good works, prayer, and holiness of
life are the fruit of faith in Christ, not the cause of faith or salvation
(Jn. 15:5; Heb. 11:16).
||The Holy Church is present wherever
believers are gathered about Jesus Christ and His gifts, that is, wherever
the Gospel of Jesus Christ is purely preached and taught, and Holy Baptism,
Holy Absolution, Holy Communion are administered according to Christ's
mandate and institution, even though unbelievers or hypocrites may also
be numbered among those gathered (Mt. 18:20; Acts 2:42; Mt. 13:47-48).
||Holy Baptism, which is water applied
in the Name of the Triune God according to Jesus' mandate and promise,
works rebirth and renewal, delivers and applies the forgiveness of sins,
joins the baptized to Jesus' death and resurrection, and grants eternal
life and salvation to all who believe the promise of salvation attached
to Baptism (Mt 28:19-20; Jn. 3:5; Titus 3:5; Eph. 5:25-26; Rom. 6:4; Col.
2:11-12; 1 Peter 3:21).
||Holy Absolution, which is the forgiveness
of sins spoken by the Pastor to a penitent sinner in Jesus' name, actually
offers, delivers, and applies the forgiveness of sins to the repentant
person with the full authority of the crucified, risen, and reigning Christ
(Mt. 16:19; 18:18; Jn. 20:21-23). The word of forgiveness in Holy Absolution
is to be heard as Christ our dear Lord speaking to us Himself (Luke 10:16).
||Holy Communion, or the Lord's Supper,
is the true body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ given under bread and
wine, for Christians to eat and drink, instituted by Jesus Christ Himself,
for the forgiveness of their sins (Mt 26:26-29; 1 Cor. 11:23-26).
||The Christian life is one of continual
repentance and faith, from which flow good works as the fruit of faith
(Mt. 12:33; Lk. 24:47).
||Our Lord Jesus Christ will appear
visibly on the Last Day to raise the bodies of all the dead, to condemn
those who reject Him in unbelief together with the devil and his demons
to hell and eternal punishment, and to give eternal life to all who trust
in Him for forgiveness, life, and salvation (Rev. 1:7; Mt. 25:31-46; Jn.
||Holy Scripture, or the Holy Bible,
is the written Word of God, is the very "breath of God" and so is without
factual error and is the only source and final authority and judge of all
teaching, practice, and life. Holy Scripture preaches the saving death
and resurrection of Jesus Christ for the repentance and faith of the sinner
(2 Tim. 3:16; 2 Pet. 1:22; Luke 24:47).
||The Word of God is a two-fold word
- the Law, which reveals our sin and seeks and kills the sinner, and the
Gospel, which announces, offers, delivers, and applies the forgiveness
of sins through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, creates faith
in Him, and gives new life and identity to the believer in Christ (Rom.
1:16; 3:21-22; Gal. 2:19-20).