We Believe, Teach, and Confess
We believe, teach, and confess that the Bible in all its words is the Word of God; that, consequently, all the facts related to it are absolutely true; that it is without error; that it interprets itself, that it is the only divine truth known on earth; that it should be diligently heard and studied; and that it will save all who faithfully believe it. References - 2 Peter 1:21; 1 Corinthians 2:13; John 5:39; Luke 11:28, Romans 10:17, 2 Timothy 3:15-16, Romans 15:4
We believe, teach, and confess that God is triune, i.e., one God in three persons, Father, Son and Holy Ghost; that these three persons are equal in all things; and that to ignore and deny one is to disavow all. He is Creator, Redeemer and Sanctifier. References - Deuteronomy 6:4; Matthew 28:19; John 5:23; 1 John 2:23; Genesis 1:1; 1 John 2:1,2; Romans 15:13.
We believe, teach, and confess that man is not the product of an alleged evolution, but was made by God through an act of direct creation; that he was given an immortal soul, endowed with perfect holiness and created for eternal life; that, however, he sinned, broke off loving communion with God, became wholly depraved and subject to death; and that in his natural state he cannot, by any powers of his own, reestablish right relations with God. References - Genesis 2:7; 1:27; chapter 3; Psalms 14:3; Romans 5:12; Isaiah 64:6; Psalms 143:2; 1 Corinthians 2:14.
We believe, teach, and confess that God's Law demands perfection of heart, thought, word, and deed; that it wholly condemns all who transgress it; that it cannot save sinners; and that its chief function since the Fall is to lead man to the knowledge of his depraved condition. References - Matthew 5:48; Leviticus 19:2; Deuteronomy 27:26; Romans 3:20.
We believe, teach, and confess that every thought, word, and deed contrary to God's Law is sin; that every human being is a sinner at conception; that all evil in the world is the consequence of man's sinning; and that sin is wholly damnable. References - 1 John 3:4; John 3:6; Genesis 8:2 1; Romans 5:12; Psalms 5:4, 51:5
We believe, teach, and confess that the Gospel is not a new or higher law, but the special revelation of that which a loving and merciful God has done through Christ, and still does, for the salvation of mankind; that it freely offers to all sinners the righteousness which is in Christ Jesus; and that it will save forever those who trustingly receive its promises. References - Ezekiel 33:11; 1 Timothy 2:4; Luke 4:18,19; John 3:16; Romans 1:16; 3:21-24.
The Savior, Jesus Christ:
We believe, teach, and confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and equal to the Father in every respect; that He is also the Son of the Virgin Mary and was made man in order that He might redeem the world; that He satisfied the demands of the divine Law for all mankind by keeping God's Commandments in our stead; that He bore the punishment of our sins by suffering and dying in our stead on the cross; that He rose bodily from the dead and lives today; and that He will come visibly for the second and last time at the world's end to judge the living and the dead. References - John 5:20,23; 10:30; 14:9; Matthew 1:18-25; 1 Peter 2:22; Galatians 3:13; 4:4,5; 1 Peter 2:24; 1 John 2:1,2; Romans 4:25; John 14:19; Acts 1: 11; 10:42.
We believe, teach, and confess that everything needed to reconcile the world to God was done when Jesus Christ gave His life on the cross; that God has for Christ's sake declared mankind free from the debt and guilt of sin; that this justification of all mankind becomes the property of the individual through faith given to him by God through His Holy Word and Sacraments. God declares men righteous - not by any merit of their own, but solely by grace, for Christ's sake, through faith. References - 2 Corinthians 5:19; Romans 5:18,19; Acts 10:43; Romans 3:22-24,28; Ephesians 2:8; Romans 10:17.
We believe, teach, and confess that repentance is acknowledgment of sin and sincere regret for it - together with a trustful appeal to God for forgiveness in Christ's name. Repentant sinners are assured of God's free and full pardon. Unrepentance leads to eternal death and damnation. References - Isaiah 55:6,7; Matthew 4:17; Mark 1:15; Luke 18:13,14; Acts 2:38; 2 Corinthians 7:10.
We believe, teach, and confess that faith is a totally free gift of God that trusts Jesus Christ as his real and only Savior and full reliance on His merits for forgiveness of sins and salvation. Such faith is not a personal achievement or an act of human merit, but a work of the Holy Spirit; that he who endures in this faith to the end will be really, fully, and eternally saved; and that without it no salvation is possible. References - John 1:12,16; Acts 10:43; Galatians 2:16; 1 Corinthians 12:3; 1 Peter 1:5; Acts 16:3 1; Romans 10:17; Matthew 24:13; John 3:3 6.
We believe, teach, and confess that conversion is not a mere changing of habits, but a change of heart, a spiritual rebirth of man; that it is brought about by the power of God working through the Word and Holy Baptism. We cannot by our own reason or strength become converted but it is the Holy Spirit that makes us to be born again. References - Joel 2:13; Ezekiel I 1: 19; Jeremiah 31:18; John 1: 12,13; Romans 10: 1 7; 1 John 5:1; John 3.
We believe, teach, and confess that holiness of life and conduct follows conversion and that it is the fruit and outcome of faith that all true Christians must be, and are, active in the Church and loving towards their neighbor. Although sin is ever present until we are dead, Christians through the work of the Holy Spirit strive to do God’s holy will. References - John 3:3; 2Corinthians 7:1; Galatians 5:6,25; 1 Thessalonians 4:3; Ephesians 2: 1 0; 1 Peter 1: 15; Romans 7:15-25; Philippians 3:12-14.