- We believe in the one true God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (“baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit”).
- We believe that Jesus Christ, true God and true man, lived a perfect life and died for the sins of the world (“the Word became flesh and dwelt among us”).
- We believe that all people are born sinful, and that only the love of God shown to us in the Son, Jesus Christ, provides the salvation all need (“all we like sheep have gone astray…but the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all”).
- We believe that one is saved by the work of God alone, with no human work or cooperation being part of one’s salvation (“for by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast”).
- We believe that the Old and New Testaments of the Bible are the inspired Word of God, without error – powerful, clear, and giving all we need to be saved (“Sanctify them by Your truth, Your Word is truth”).
- We believe that God gave us Holy Baptism, the washing of water with the Word, for the forgiveness of sins (“He who believes and is baptized shall be saved”).
- We believe that God gave us the Lord’s Supper, earthly things (bread and wine) connected with God’s Word (powerful and true), and therefore being also the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ (Jesus said, “This is My Body, …this is My Blood…”).
(Written by Pastor Thomas L. Rank).
- “We also believe, and therefore speak.”—II Cor. 4:13.
- We believe—that the Bible is God’s verbally inspired word, without error in all its parts and words, thoroughly trustworthy, and therefore the only source and rule of doctrine, faith, and life.—II Tim. 3:16; I Cor. 2: 13; John 10,35. Our scriptural slogan, therefore, must ever be: “It is written.”
- We believe, on the basis of the Scriptures, that there is but one true God, the Triune God, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost—three distinct persons of one and the same divine essence.—Col. 2: 9; Matt. 28: 19.
- We believe—that God in the beginning created all things “good,” and man, the crown of His creation, in His own image, and therefore perfectly holy.—Gen. 1:27.
- We believe—that man through his fall lost the image of God, and now by nature is spiritually dead, and an enemy of God.—Gen. 2:17; Rom. 8: 7.
- We believe—since fallen man would not and could not come back to God, that God in His boundless mercy came to man in the person of His only-begotten Son, Who became man in our stead, fulfilling for us the Law, paying our sin-debt; and thus, reconciling the whole world unto God, earning forgiveness of sins for, and opening heaven to, all sinners.—II Cor. 5:19.
- We believe—that it is God alone, Who through Word and Sacrament, creates faith in the spiritually dead heart of man, and through or by this faith, not on account of or in view of this faith, justifies and saves the individual sinner.—Rom. 10:17; Rom. 3:28. Since it is alone by the word of God that faith is created and sustained, it follows of itself that we believe that Christian education, from the cradle to the grave, in home, church, and school, is education in the truest sense of the word. — Matt. 28:20; John 8:31-32.
- We further believe—that natural man cannot but oppose and resist this blessed work of conversion, in no wise contributing even the very least of his own to his conversion, be it a bit better conduct, cessation of willful resistance, etc. No, the work of conversion is the work of the almighty and all-merciful God alone! Only then does God get the glory due to Him alone. Only then can the troubled sinner find true comfort. — I Cor. 2, 14; Phil. 2:13; Eph. 1:19; Titus 3:5-8.
- We also believe—that what God in time does for His elect, that He has determined to do from eternity, moved only by His mercy and the most holy merits of His Son.—Eph. 1: 3-7; Rom. 8: 28-30.
- We believe—that there is only one holy Christian church on earth; namely, the sum total of all who in their hearts trust solely in the merits of their Savior, despite false teachings that may be taught by their church, and even confessed at times by their own lips.—Eph. 2:19-20; Acts 5:14.
- We believe—that through all such Christians, no matter in which Christian church they find themselves, are our brothers in faith at heart, nevertheless we dare not, much as we often would like to, extend to them the hand of brotherhood and outwardly worship with them. So to do would be disloyalty to God’s clear commands, dishonesty towards erring churches, aye even lack of love to our fellow-believers there.—Gal. 5:9; Rom. 16:17.
- We believe—that all who die as Christians will, upon leaving the Church Militant, enter into the Church Triumphant, eternal life; whereas those who die despising the merits of God’s Son will enter into eternal death.—Matt. 25:46.
- We also believe—that the Lutheran Confessions give correct expression to the doctrines of Scripture. Therefore, we subscribe unreservedly to all the Confessions of the Lutheran Church, not only in so far as, but because they are in accordance with Scripture.
“GOD’S WORD AND LUTHER’S DOCTRINE PURE
SHALL TO ETERNITY ENDURE!”*
“Earnestly contend for the faith once delivered to the saints.”—Jude 4
(Printed in the Scarville and Center Lutheran Churches’ 25th Anniversary folders, 1944.)
*By this statement we do not mean that we follow doctrines invented by Martin Luther, rather we hold to Luther’s correct understanding of God’s Word, which centers on the work of Jesus Christ, our Savior from sin and eternal death.