..is the community of all who have come to faith in Jesus Christ as their personal Savior and Lord. It is more than one local congregation or individual denomination. It is the object of God's eternal, unconditional love. God has given the Church two great grace gifts to continue its growth: baptism and Holy Communion. In both, God's Spirit is present, along with visible elements, to bring forgiveness of sins and strengthening of faith.
Matthew 16:15-18; Ephesians 2:19-22; 5:25-27; Matthew 28:16-20;
I Corinthians 11:23-26
are called to live for Jesus Christ, seeking to love, serve, and honor Him with their lives. Their devotion is expressed in basic commitments of faithfulness to Him, His Word, His Church, and His work. These commitments are both a privilege and expression of the purpose which God has for all Christians. Christians understand that they are "saved to serve."
Matthew 22:37-39; 25:14-30; Ephesians 2:8-10; 4:11-16
For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
For God sent not his Son into the world to condem the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
..is the condition of all people that separates them from God. Sin entered into the world through the disobedience of the first man and woman. It continues today as disobedience toward God, discord and dysfunction among people, and personal pain, distress, and death. No matter how hard a person tries or how good that person lives, there is no escape from sin apart from the redemption of Jesus Christ. Sin always results in eternal death and separation from God. Therefore, every person has an essential need for the Savior. Genesis 3:1-15; Psalm 51:15; Acts 2:36-38; Romans 3:23
..revealed Himself as three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. All three Persons participated in the creation of the world. It is the Father, the First Person of the Triune God, Who continues to care and provide for people. Lutheran Christians say, "All this He does only out of fatherly, divine goodness and mercy." It is also the Father's passion that all people would be saved from sin through Jesus Christ, His Son.
Genesis 1:1-2, 26-27; Psalm 19:1; John 1:1-3, 14; 3:16; II Peter 3:9
Jesus Christ......is God the Son, the Second Person of the Triune God. He is eternally true God. In His birth and death He was also true man, but without sin. By His death on the cross, He took upon Himself the punishment for sin that was due all people. By His Easter Resurrection He gained the victory over sin and death that is shared with all who believe in Him. At His Second Coming, all history will have its completion in Him.
Matthew 1:20-23; John 1:1-2, 14; Acts 4:12; Romans 6:23; Philippians 2:5-11
The Holy Spirit...is the Third Person of the Triune God. He is the One Who builds faith, hope, and love into the lives of people as they hear God's Word and come to know Jesus Christ in a profound, personal way. The Holy Spirit convicts people of their sin. He assures people that their sins are forgiven. He gathers people into the Church. He gives gifts to empower people for Christian witness and service. As people continue to hear, read, study, trust, and obey God’s Word, He brings them to spiritual maturity.
John 14:16-17; Romans 10:9-17; John 16:8; Colossians 1:13-14; Acts 2:38-42;
I Corinthians 12:4-7; Hebrews 5:11-6:1
John 20:31; Psalm 139:17-18; II Timothy 3:14-17