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Saint John is a member congregation of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS), the second largest Lutheran church body in North America. The word “synod” means “walking together,” and as a member of the LCMS, Saint John walks together in ministry partnership with more than 6,000 congregations across the United States and over twenty-five Lutheran church bodies around the world. Organized in 1847 in Perry County, Missouri, by 12 pastors representing 15 congregations, today’s LCMS remains committed to “vigorously make known the love of Christ by word and deed within our churches, communities, and the world” (LCMS Mission Statement). As a member of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, the congregation of Saint John believes, teaches and confesses to be true the fact that people are brought into an eternal relationship with God by grace alone, through faith alone, and this truth is based upon Scripture alone.

Grace Alone:  God loves the people of the world, even though we are sinful and do not desire His love. He sent Jesus, His Son, to love the unlovable and save the ungodly.

Faith Alone:  By His suffering and death as the substitute for all people of all time, Jesus purchased and won forgiveness and eternal life. Those who hear this good news and believe it have the eternal life it offers. God creates faith in Christ and gives people forgiveness through Him.

Scripture Alone:  The Bible is God's true and trustworthy word. It alone is the standard and guide for Christian teaching and practice.1. The entire Bible, which points to Jesus as the Savior, is the inspired and errorless Word of God.  It is God's message of love and hope for all people.

 

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2. There is only one true God, who exists in three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

3. God is the creator of everything that exists.

4. Adam and Eve, our first parents, were originally created by God pure and holy.  They lived according to God's will, doing what was pleasing to Him.

5. Adam and Eve went against God's will and brought sin into the world.  Since that time, all people have been conceived and born in sin.

6. Sin is living outside of relationship with God, not living according to God's will, and thus transgressing His holy will in thought, word and deed.

7. People cannot restore themselves by their good works or restore themselves to a right relationship with God.

8. God sent His Son, Jesus, into the world. He is both true God and true man.  He lived to fulfill God's law for us, died on the cross to pay the penalty our sins deserved, and rose from the dead so that we might have eternal life.  He ascended into heaven, where He now sits at the right hand of the Father to intercede for us.

9. Because of Jesus' death on the cross, God declares a person just (righteous) and forgiven.  This happens not because of human effort, but because the justification won by Jesus is applied to the person who believes in Jesus as Savior.

10 Faith in Jesus is a gift of God, given by the power of the Holy Spirit; thus all the glory belongs to God.

11. The means of grace are the Word of God, Holy Baptism and Holy Communion.  By these means, the merits of Jesus' perfect life and atoning death are personally conveyed to all who believe in Jesus as their Savior.

12. Jesus will come again to take all believers to Himself.  On the final day, all the dead will be raised and bodily transformed.  Those who are still alive will be bodily transformed.  After this the final judgment will take place.  Unbelievers will go into eternal damnation, and believers into eternal life.

13. The true Christian church is made up of all believers of all times who believe in the Triune God and in Jesus Christ as their only Savior.

14. God wants Christians to join with other believers in churches which correctly teach God's Word and administer Holy Baptism and Holy Communion according to the teachings of Scripture.

15. Christians are called to tell others that the only way of salvation is Jesus Christ and by faith in Him, and to show their faith by acts of love.

 

(Much of this summary is from “What Lutherans Believe,” copyright Int'l LLL, used by permission.  For much more information and answers to frequently asked questions, see www.lcms.org or contact St. John the Baptist Lutheran Church.)

 

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