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We Believe
First of all, we are Christians. We follow the teachings of Jesus Christ as revealed only in the Holy Bible. We believe and confess Him as true God in the flesh. We also believe that the entire Bible teaches that the one true God has revealed Himself in three persons: The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (not three gods, but one God in three persons). All four Gospel accounts (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) record the baptism of Jesus. At the baptism of Jesus, the Son, we see the Spirit descend and the Father speaks: When all the people were baptized, it came to pass that Jesus also was baptized; and while He prayed, the heaven was opened. And the Holy Spirit descended in bodily form like a dove upon Him, and a voice came from heaven which said, "You are My beloved Son; in You I am well pleased (Luke 3:21-22). And on the mountain when Jesus revealed his glory, the Spirit overshadowed the disciples and the Father spoke: While he [St. Peter] was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them; and suddenly a voice came out of the cloud, saying, "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him! (Matthew 17:5)
Thomas said to Him, "Lord, we do not know where You are going, and how can we know the way?" Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; and from now on you know Him and have seen Him." Philip said to Him, "Lord, show us the Father, and it is sufficient for us." Jesus said to him, "Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, 'Show us the Father'? Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works (John 14:5-10).
 
Second: We are Lutherans . The Lutheran church derives its name from Martin Luther (1483-1546), an Augustinian Roman Catholic monk who posted a document called the “95 Theses” on the Cathedral doors on October 31, 1517. This controversial challenge of 95 statements to the Roman Catholic Church, sparked the Reformation. A great debate began over certain viewpoints on the teaching and practices of the Roman Catholic Church and the papacy. The documents which present what Lutherans believe, teach and confess were assembled and published in 1580 in The Book of Concord . All those who followed Luther's movement were labeled “Lutherans”, just like followers of Christ are called “Christians”. For more than 400 years, these documents have served as a statement of the Christian faith as Lutherans confess it.
The very first documents included in The Book of Concord are the three ancient Church creeds compiled during the early years of the Christian faith to fight against false views of the Bible teachings -- the Apostles' Creed (ca. third century A.D.), the Nicene Creed (fourth century), and the Athanasian Creed (fifth and sixth centuries). In addition, the Book of Concord includes Luther's Small and Large Catechisms (1529), the Augsburg Confession (1530), and four other 16th century statements, including the Formula of Concord.
Luther and the other writers of these “confessions” did not want to bring new teachings into the Church, but saw the need to bring the Church back to the basics of the Bible alone. We therefore consider ourselves to be “Catholic” (universal) and “evangelical.” Evangelical means “spreaders of good news.” The “good news” is that Jesus Christ, by His death on the cross, is Savior, and by His resurrection from the dead, is Lord of life. Standing firmly in the tradition of the trinitarian and Christ- centered Creeds (beliefs) of the 4th and 5th centuries, we believe that sinners are justified (declared right) with the Creator God by grace alone ( sola gratia ), through faith alone ( sola fide ), on the basis of Scripture alone ( sola scriptura ). These three great "Reformation solas " form a handy outline of what Lutherans believe, teach, and confess.
 
GRACE ALONE:
We believe that the Bible (God's holy Word) teaches us that we can not merit God's favor by being a “nice person” doing “good works”, making personal sacrifices, or by a general belief in “God.” The Bible tells us that every human being born into this world has a natural desire to break God's law in moral and ethical ways. We call this “sin”. The Bible tells us: As it is written: There is none righteous, no, not one; There is no one who understands; There is none who seeks after God. They have all turned aside; They have together become unprofitable; There is none who does good, no, not one… for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:10-12, 23). Since we are all sinners, we can not please God enough to get into heaven on our own. That means we need something or someone outside besides us to gain God's favor.
St. Paul tells us in his letter to the Ephesian Church that: For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them (Ephesians 2:8-10).
The Apostle Paul teaches that we can only be “saved” by God's gift of grace (“grace” means we don't deserve it, but we get it anyway). To be “saved” means all the evil, bad, or simple little things we do to break God's law and dishonor God's holy name, are forgiven by God and He allows us to have access to His throne in our prayers and He promises to bring us into eternal Paradise of heaven. That way, we have no right to get arrogant or self-righteous about our life, but we have to give all the credit to God for doing it for us. Once we become a believer in Jesus Christ, we have the power of God's Holy Spirit in us to do “good works” in God's eyes. These good works do not win us favor with God, but they are the result of receiving such a precious gift by grace and responding to that gift by performing acts of love, kindness, generosity and such to bring honor and glory to our God. That is why we were created by Him in the first place!
 
FAITH ALONE
How is this “salvation” possible? It is not what you do for God, but what He does for us. God, the Father sent the Son to become flesh, live a perfect and “sinless” life according to all the divine law, and offer His physical body as a pure sacrifice for our sins. That means God, Himself, in the flesh, died to pay the price of our punishment and rebellion against Him. The Apostle, St. John, says in his writings: For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God (Gospel of John.3:16-18).
When you break the law, you deserve the punishment for that rebellious act, no matter how small it seems. It is the same with God, except, God's standard is much higher and the punishment is eternal. It does not seem fair to us, but we are not God and we are not totally pure, and holy either. The Bible says, if we are sinful, we are spiritually “dead”. Being spiritually dead also means we are enslaved to our sin, a slave to the devil, and in danger of eternal death. In order to receive salvation, we must be brought back to life, spiritually speaking. St. Paul writes to the Ephesian Christians:And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others. But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 2:1-7). Also in the letter of St. Paul to the Roman church it says: Because the carnal mind is hostile against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God (Romans 8:7-8).
Once we have been revived from the deadness of sin, we are alive in Jesus Christ by the life giving power of God's Holy Spirit. That new life in us is what the Bible calls the “new creation” in Christ: Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new (2Corinthians 5:17). Jesus calls this event a spiritual rebirth. When one of the Jewish leaders asked Jesus about His teachings Jesus responded: "…Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God ." Nicodemus said to Him, "How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born?" Jesus answered, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God . "That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit (John 3:6-8).
Once that miracle takes place, God grants us a trust (faith) in Him, His work of salvation, and His promises in the Word to believe all that He does for us, to us, and will do into eternity. The power to believe is God's gift to us to enable us to live the Christian life. We can take no credit for it, or boast about our decision to follow God. It is all by His grace and love for us.
SCRIPTURE ALONE
We also believe and confess that the Holy Bible, in the Old and New Testaments, are the very Word of God. The Old Testament, or Covenant, begins with the creation account and mankind's fall into sin. Then we journey through history to see God focus on one man (Abraham), then one people (Hebrews) to form one nation ( Israel ). The whole Old Testament gives the story of God's salvation, His protection, and judgment concerning this tiny nation in the midst of many pagan societies.
Even though the Christian Bible is made up of sixty-six books written by many authors, the message over the several thousands years is one and the same. We consider the Bible to be the history of God's presence among us to bring His salvation work to us. God “inspired” men (God breathed”) through the ages to write down His words, using their personalities and abilities, to make sure the entire world knows and understands who He is, how He reveals Himself, how He wants us to act, and how He is able to save us.
The Bible, itself, warns us about adding to, or taking away any part of the writings in this book. You shall not add to the word which I command you, nor take from it, that you may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you(Deuteronomy 4:2). Every word of God is pure; He is a shield to those who put their trust in Him. Do not add to His words, Lest He rebuke you, and you be found a liar(Proverbs 30:5-6). For I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book; and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life, from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book (Revelation 22:18-19).
Every Christian church and denomination has its own traditions, cultural habits, and particular teachings about the Christian life. But, when these teachings or traditions become more important than God Word, they step over the line and become, what we may call, “legalistic”. That means the man-man rules or traditions are emphasized above what the Bible actually permits or teaches about. That is the problem Jesus had with the Jewish leaders of His day and He called them “hypocrites”.

God promises to work through His divine Word to bring about