What We Believe
With the universal Christian Church, The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod teaches and responds to the love of the Triune God:
the Father, creator of all that exists;
Jesus Christ, the Son, who became human to suffer and die for the sins of all human beings and to rise to life again in the ultimate victory over death and Satan; and
the Holy Spirit, who creates faith through God’s Word and Sacraments.
The three persons of the Trinity are coequal and coeternal, one God.
Our congregations accept and preach the Bible-based teachings of Martin Luther that inspired the reformation of the Christian Church in the 16th century. The teaching of Luther and the reformers can be summarized in three phrases: Grace alone, Faith alone, Scripture alone.
Sola Gratia-Grace Alone
God loves the people of the world, even though they are sinful, rebel against Him and do not deserve His love. He sent Jesus, His Son, to love the unlovable and save the ungodly.
Sola Fide-Faith Alone
By His suffering and death as the substitute for all people of all time, Jesus purchased and won forgiveness and eternal life for them. Those who hear this Good News and believe it have the eternal life that it offers. God creates faith in Christ and gives people forgiveness through Him.
Sola Scriptura-Scripture Alone
The Bible is God’s inerrant and infallible Word, in which He reveals His Law and His Gospel of salvation in Jesus Christ. It is the sole rule and norm for Christian doctrine.
Who is Jesus?
In a world in which information is readily available and opinions abound, this fundamental question stands above all other inquiries and considerations.
The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod believes Jesus is exactly who He said He is. Along with the ancient Church, we confess that Jesus is true God and true man in one person. He is the Son of God who was crucified and raised from the dead for the salvation of all who trust in Him.
Christ is not Jesus’s last name, but identifies Him as the Messiah (Christ is the Greek translation of Messiah), the fulfillment of the Old Testament promises that God saves His people.
This fulfillment and salvation happened in history in real time and in a real place (first century AD in Israel) through a flesh-and-blood person named Jesus.
The Bible is the true and trustworthy Word of God that records God’s love for the world through His Son Jesus. The miracles recorded in the Gospels and the teachings of Jesus are true and accurate.
Jesus physically died on a cross and physically rose from the dead in three days. He physically ascended into heaven, and the Church awaits His second coming when He will judge all people.
Those who trust in Jesus as their Savior will rise to eternal life in heaven. Those who deny Jesus and live in their sin will be cast out of His presence to hell.
We therefore reject the following:
1. That we may operate on the assumption that there may be other ways of salvation than through faith in Jesus Christ.
2. That some persons who lack faith in Christ may be considered “anonymous Christians.”
3. That there is no eternal hell for unbelievers and ungodly men.
What about Homosexuality ?
The Lord teaches us through His Word Homosexuality is a sinful distortion of His desire that one man and one woman live together in marriage as husband and wife. God categorically prohibits homosexuality. Just as His Word prohibits premarital sexual relations. It is not an unforgivable sin.
Our church, The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, unlike the ELCA (Evangelical Lutheran Church of America) has declared that homo- sexual behavior is “intrinsically sinful.”
Why does our church take this position?
We read in God’s Word the following statements about homosexuality:
“You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination. ... Do not defile yourselves by any of these things” (Lev. 18:22, 24).
“If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination...”(Lev.20:13).
“For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable pas- sions.Their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural, and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men com- mitting shameless acts with men and receiving in their own persons the due penalty for their error”(Rom.1:26–27).
“Do not be deceived; neither the immoral, nor idolators, nor adulterers, nor sexual perverts ...shall inherit the king- dom of God” (1 Cor. 6:9–10).
“...The law is not laid down for the just but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and sinners, ...immoral persons, sodomites... and whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine”(1 Tim.1:9–10).
T h r o u g h H i s Wo r d , G o d t e a c h e s u s v e r y c l e a r l y t h a t h o m o - sexuality is a sin. A person who persists in homosexual behavior stands under the condemnation of God’s Word. This is true for anyone who persists in sin without repentance.
What about Abortion?
God’s Fifth Commandment is clear,“You shall not murder.” This means, in the words of the Small Catechism, that “we should fear and love God so that we do not hurt or harm our neighbor in his body, but help and support him in every phys- i c a l n e e d .” G o d f o r b i d s u s t o t a k e t h e l i f e o f a n o t h e r p e r s o n , a n d this most certainly includes abortion.
God’s Word also says,“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart” (Jer. 1:5). Psalm 139:16 says,“Your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in Your book before one of them came to be.”
Our church’s explanation of the Small Catechism puts the matter well when it says,“The living but unborn are persons in the sight of God from the time of conception. Since abortion takes a human life,it is not a moral option except to prevent the death of another person, the mother.” The sin of willfully aborting a child, except in those very rare situations where it may be necessary to save the life of the mother, is a sinful act, totally contrary to the will of God.