A Lutheran is a Christian who believes and confesses the teachings of the Bible as explained by Martin Luther and other theologians during the early 16th century. These theologians sought to correct errors which were being taught by the Christian church during this era, with the hope of having a more biblical, Christ-centered, and unified church. The foundations of their teachings stemmed from a few guiding principles. A Lutheran believes in…
The Bible is God’s inerrant and infallible Word, in which He reveals both His Law (His commands and expectations) and His Gospel (His gift of salvation in Jesus Christ). The Bible is the sole rule for Christian teaching and practice.
God loves the people of the world, even though they are sinful, rebel against Him and do not deserve His love. However, because of His love, God sent Jesus His Son to love the unlovable and save the ungodly. The word “grace” simply refers to the undeserved gift that God gives to sinful, rebellious people, the free gift of love, forgiveness, and salvation that comes through Jesus’ death on the cross and His resurrection.
By His suffering and death as our substitute, Jesus purchased and won forgiveness, salvation, and eternal life for us. Those who hear this Good News and believe it have this forgiveness, salvation, and eternal life. By making this claim, a Lutheran is saying that these things are not matters of performance or about “being a good person.” Rather, forgiveness, salvation, and eternal life are simply matters of faith.
Fundamentally, there are only two kinds of religions in the world. The one kind of religion looks to what we do or don’t do as a way to earn God’s favor, forgiveness, and eternal life. This kind of religion essentially says, “If I am a good person, if I pray enough, if I submit enough, if I am sincere enough, if I follow the right path, if I do enough good things, then God will love me, be pleased with me, and give me good things.”
The second kind of religion recognizes that we are sinful people, and that we will never be able to do enough good to earn God’s favor. For how can a perfect, holy, sinless God be in fellowship with flawed people? And yet, as stated above, Christianity states that God loved His creation so much that He sent His Son, Jesus, to live a perfect life, to die an undeserved death, and to rise from the dead. In this way, Jesus did what we could not do ourselves, and He became our substitute, the one and only mediator between God and us. This is what is meant when a Christian says that Jesus is the only way to forgiveness, salvation, and eternal life with God.
Faith comes by "Means”:
The Lutheran Church believes that faith in Jesus doesn’t just come “out of thin air.” Rather God tells us about His love and Jesus’ forgiveness through “means of grace.” These means include 1) God’s Word, the Bible, and 2) the sacraments.
Lutherans believe that God provides His grace through two sacraments: baptism and communion. The word “sacrament” is defined as something that is 1) instituted by Jesus during His ministry, 2) has a physical component to them, and 3) carries God’s promise of forgiveness of sins.
We believe that according to Christ's command and promise, in giving Holy Communion, we are receiving the very body and blood of our Savior, Jesus, through faith in Him - He is really present, in, with and under the elements of bread and wine.
The Spirit implores us to examine ourselves in the understanding of what it means to partake of this gift, lest we take it to our harm. If you are baptized and believe these convictions you are invited to commune with us! If you have questions about your participation, please speak with our Pastor.
Children are welcome to come forward to receive a blessing by our Pastor. In helping you prepare for Communion, there are prayers for you to use on the inside cover of the burgandy hymnals, and a review of the truths we believer on page 326, "The Sacrament of the Altar."
For those with health concerns, gluten-free wafers are available. Please take the lid off yourself and take a wafer as the container comes to you. Also, cups of non-alcoholic wine are offered in the center of the communion tray.
While communion is being celebrated and your brothers and sisters are coming and going from the altar, take a moment to pray for them and their families. Even if you don't know them by name, lift them up to the LORD God. Then, following worship, make it a point to introduce yourself to those you don't know and learn their names.
The following is a prayer suggestion you might use in preparation for coming to His Table: Heavenly Father, in the name of Jesus, my Savior, You clamined me in Your Kingdom through the promises You made to me in baptism. Make me ready to receive the body and blood of Jesus for the forgiveness of my sins, the empowerment of the Holy Spirit who lives in me, and the assurance of my place in Your eternity! What grateful heart I pray - amen!
What is the Missouri Synod?
The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod traces its origins to 750 Saxon immigrants who came to Missouri in 1839 seeking freedom from religious persecution in Germany and originally settled in the St. Louis area. The first official meeting of the synod was held in Chicago from April 25 to May 6, 1847. The twelve original congregations included about 3,000 persons. One hundred years later, in 1947, the Synod officially changed its name to The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod.
Today, the LCMS has more than 2.3 million baptized members in some 6,200 congregations and more than 9,000 pastors. Two seminaries and 10 colleges and universities operate under the auspices of the LCMS, and its congregations operate the largest Protestant parochial school system in America. The church broadcasts the saving message of Jesus Christ over KFUO Radio, and it has relationships and active mission work in nearly 90 countries around the world. In the last five years, the LCMS has awarded more than $35 million through more than 900 domestic and international grants for emergency response and disaster response. Today, the LCMS is in full doctrinal fellowship with 33 other confessional Lutheran church bodies worldwide