Saturday February 24, 2018
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What We Believe


We Believe...1671-logo-Lo-Res-LCMS-Symbol

God does exist.  He personally cares for and about His creation and is actively involved with it.

The Bible is the story of God’s involvement in His creation as Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  It shows His devoted love to us and provides a perfect guidebook for living in His world.

Sin is not only the bad we do but the good we fail to do.  Sin separates us from a perfect God now and forever.

Jesus is God showing Himself to us in love.  Jesus came to be the perfectly obedient Son of God, to do what you and I can’t, as well as take the blame and punishment for our sin so that we do not have to before our Father in heaven.  Through Jesus you and I are forgiven in God’s eyes.

Grace is God’s undeserved love coming to you and me.  It is the open door to Him and the only way to have a relationship with God.

Faith is the hand —     our hand —     that reaches out and accepts the free gift of God’s grace and forgiveness in Jesus.  It’s the only way to grow closer in our relationship with God and receive His eternal gifts of forgiveness and healing.

Heaven and hell are real places. You and I are eternal creations of God.  Death is a beginning, not the end.

The Church is not the buildings where people worship but the people Jesus came to save.  As such, the Church is alive and exists to teach of and live God’s love in Christ, making devoted followers of Him and  serving people like Jesus did.

Jesus is coming again to bring His people home to heaven.  While Jesus wants you and me and all who believe in Him to respond to His love by doing good works and being a blessing to those around us as we grow as Christians, faith in Him is the only requirement for entry.

Through His Holy Spirit, God lives in and through us now, showing us our sin, helping us trust in God’s forgiveness through Jesus and giving us a new way to live daily in new life, hope and service to others.

Evil still exists in the world.   God can bring good even out of evil events and He promises victory over evil to those who trust in Him.

 

What We Believe—Details with Bible References (The Teachings of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod)
 

With this being October, the birthday of the Lutheran Reformation, it always surprises me how many Lutherans have no idea what it means to be a "Lutheran." This may or may not sound like it makes much difference, but it does - and at a level whichwould get Martin to roll over in his grave. Why? You have to understand the original context of the Reformation.

 
God 

The Bible teaches that God is a “Holy Trinity”; that is, the one true God (Deut. 6:4; 1 Cor. 8:4) is the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost, three distinct persons, but of one and the same divine essence, equal in power, equal in eternity, equal in majesty, because each person possesses the one divine essence entire (Col. 2:9, Matt. 28:19). The Triune God is the God who is gracious to man (John 3:16-18; 1 Cor. 12:3).


holy-trinity
 
The Bible
The Bible differs from all other books in the world in that it is the Word of God. It is the Word of God because the holy men of God who wrote the Scriptures wrote only that which the Holy Spirit communicated to them by inspiration (2 Tim. 3:16; 2 Pet. 1:21).  As the Word of God, it contains no errors or contradictions (John 10:35).  The Holy Scriptures are given by God to the Christian Church for the foundation of faith (Eph. 2:20) and are the sole source from which all doctrines proclaimed in the Christian Church must be.
 
Man and Sin
God created man in His own image (Gen. 1:26, 27; Eph. 4:24; Col. 3:10), in true knowledge of God and in true righteousness and holiness and endowed with a truly scientific knowledge of nature (Gen. 2:19-23). Sin came into the world by the fall of the first man, Adam (Gen. 3). By this Fall not only he himself, but also his offspring have lost their original knowledge, righteousness, and holiness, and thus all men are sinners already by birth, dead in sins, inclined to all evil, and subject to the punishment of God (Rom. 5:12, 18; Eph. 2:1-3). We teach also that men are unable, through any efforts of their own or by the aid of “culture and science,” to reconcile themselves to God and thus conquer death and damnation.
 
Redemption
We teach that in the fullness of time the eternal Son of God was made man by assuming, from the Virgin Mary through the operation of the Holy Ghost, a human nature like unto ours, yet without sin, and receiving it unto His divine person. Jesus Christ is therefore “true God, begotten of the Father from eternity, and also true man, born of the Virgin Mary,” true God and true man in one undivided and indivisible person. The purpose of this miraculous incarnation of the Son of God was that He might become the Mediator between God and men, both fulfilling the divine Law and suffering and dying in the place of mankind. In this manner God reconciled the whole sinful world unto Himself (Gal. 4:4, 5; 3:13; 2 Cor. 5:18, 19).
 
Faith in Jesus Christ

Since God has reconciled the whole world unto Himself through the substitutionary life and death of His Son and has commanded that the reconciliation effected by Christ be proclaimed to men in the Gospel, to the end that they may believe it (2 Cor. 5:18, 19; Rom. 1:5), therefore faith in Christ is the only way for men to obtain personal reconciliation with God, that is, forgiveness of sins, as both the Old and the New Testament Scriptures testify (Acts 10:43; John 3:16-18, 36).  

 
Good Works
Before God only those works are good which are done for the glory of God and the good of man, according to the rule of divine Law.  Such works, however, no one performs unless they first believe that God has forgiven their sins and has given them eternal life by grace, for Christ’s sake, without any works of their own (John 15:4, 5).  Because of this we deny that works must be placed in the fore, and “faith in dogmas”—meaning the Gospel of Christ crucified for the sins of the world—must be relegated to the rear.  Good works never precede faith, but always come as a result of faith in the Gospel.  The only means by which we Christians can become rich in good works (and God would have us to be rich in good works [Titus 2:14]) is always to remember the grace of God that we have in Christ (Rom. 12:1; 2 Cor. 8:9) and not under the compulsion of the Law or, as beneficial as they may be socially, through simple human motives.
 
Means of Grace
God offers to people the spiritual blessings purchased by Christ—the forgiveness of sins and connected blessings—only through the external means of grace ordained by Him.   These means of grace are the Word of the Gospel (in every form) and the Sacraments of Holy Baptism and of the Lord’s Supper. The Word of the Gospel promises and works the grace of God, works faith and thus makes us new people, and gives the Holy Spirit (Acts 20:24; Rom. 10:17; 1 Pet. 1:23; Gal. 3:2). Baptism, too, is applied for the remission of sins and is therefore a washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38; 22:16; Titus 3:5). In the same way the goal of the Lord’s Supper is the “gifting” and sealing of the forgiveness of sins (Luke 22:19, 20; Matt. 26:28) and God’s “New Covenant” to us in Christ (1 Cor. 11:23; Jer. 31:31-34). It is the calling and duty of the Christian Church to go into the whole world with the preaching of the Gospel and the administration of the Sacraments (Matt. 28:19, 20; Mark 16:15, 16).In the same way the goal of the Lord’s Supper is the “gifting” and sealing of the forgiveness of sins (Luke 22:19, 20; Matt. 26:28) and God’s “New Covenant” to us in Christ (1 Cor. 11:23; Jer. 31:31-34). It is the calling and duty of the Christian Church to go into the whole world with the preaching of the Gospel and the administration of the Sacraments (Matt. 28:19, 20; Mark 16:15, 16).
 
Worship

Worship is God speaking to us and us responding to Him. God speaks to each one of us in His Word when it is read and applied to our lives (Psa. 119:105).  We hear, understand and acknowledge our sinfulness before Him - the Law (Psa. 51).  But we are encouraged by the message of God’s forgiveness in Christ - the Gospel (Acts 13:38; Col. 1:13-14).  When we share the Lord’s Supper in worship we receive God’s forgiveness in a means we can touch and taste, expressing Jesus' deepest desire to be an eternal part of our lives and have us be an eternal part of His life.

 
Because of God’s love to us, we respond with gratitude, love and adoration (Luke 7:47; Psa. 96).  As we worship, we not only sing and speak about God as we celebrate who he is and what he has accomplished for us (Psa. 86).  We sing and speak to God as we adore him and express our love and the commitment of our lives to him (Eph. 5:1-2; Rom. 12:1).  Worship is our time to set before the Lord all that we are so that he may use us to accomplish his purposes (Matt. 7:11).  It is a place where we experience community; where we are encouraged by the fellowship of other believers (Heb. 10:25).
 
Millenium

The Bible does not teach a literal thousand year reign of Christ towards the end of the world (Millenium) or that a “rapture” of believers out of the world prior to the end times or that a re-establishment of the nation of Israel and the conversion of the Jewish nation will usher in the end time. Consequently, Lutherans are “Amillenialists” (the commonly held Christian view until the late 1800’s) who believe the kingdom of Christ on earth will remain under the cross until the end of the


If you want a (significantly) more detailed explanation of what we believe, we would invite you to explore the hyperlinks listed below.

The Beliefs of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod

The Three Ecumenical or Universal Creeds

The Augsburg Confession

The Defense of the Augsburg Confession

The Large Catechism

The Small Catechism

The Smalcald Articles

The Epitome of the Formula of Concord

The Solid Declaration of the Formula of Concord

Christ our Savior Lutheran Church and the LCMS....

...accept the Scriptures as the inspired and inerrant Word of God. We subscribe unconditionally to all the symbolical books of the Evangelical Lutheran Church as a true and unadulterated statement and exposition of the Word of God. Because the Confessions are drawn from the Word of God we regard their doctrinal content as a true and binding exposition of Holy Scripture. They are authoritative for all pastors, congregations and other rostered church workers of The Lutheran Church Missouri Synod.

 The entire sum and substance of our faith is recorded in a book called ”The Book of Concord” and is otherwise known as the ”Lutheran Confessions.”The entire Book of Concord may be downloaded in PDF Format (2MB file). These texts are in the public domain and may be copied and distributed freely. The source of these translations is Triglot Concordia: The Symbolical Books of the Evangelical Lutheran Church (St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921).

 

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Worship - Sundays at 9:30 am Bible Class - Sundays at 8:30 am

Christ Our Savior Lutheran Church, 301 Carter Road, Defiance, Oh, 43512,

Pastor Lee Genter Phone 419.782.6688