What We Believe

 

What is the Lutheran Church?


The Lutheran Church is not a denomination, but a group of denominations that want to call themselves Lutheran because they agree, to a greater or lesser extent, that the expressions of belief written by Martin Luther and others over 400 years ago speak the truth about who God is and what He has done for us in Jesus Christ. The writings are contained in the Book of Concord.


History


The Lutheran Church gets its name from Martin Luther. Luther was a monk, a pastor and a professor at the University in Wittenberg, Germany, in the 16th century. The church of his day had taught him he had to earn God's favor in order to be saved and go to heaven. Luther found in his study of the Bible that God makes us right by giving us His righteousness and not by demanding that we come to Him with our own righteousness or good works. On all Saints Eve (we know it as Halloween), in 1517, Luther nailed 95 theses, or propositions for debate, on that subject on the Castle Church door in Wittenberg. History has recognized that event as the beginning of the Protestant Reformation.


Beliefs


You might be a Lutheran if:

. . . you believe you are made right with God through faith in Jesus Christ as your Savior, and not by anything you do.
. . . you believe the Bible is the inspired Word of God and completely true.
. . . you believe that God comes to us in His Word and in the Sacraments.
. . . you believe that God saves us, including infants, through baptism.
. . . you believe God gives us the body and blood of Jesus in the bread and wine of communion for the forgiveness of sins.
. . . you believe we are saved:
  • by grace alone.
  • through faith alone.
  • in Christ alone.
  • as revealed in the Scriptures alone. (The four solas of the Christian faith)
Another way of saying it: The Central Teaching of the Lutheran Church is Justification by Grace through faith. "Salvation is not from ourselves, it is the gift of God -- not by works, so that no one can boast" (Ephesians 2:8-9). I did not choose God; He chose me, as He calls me and everyone who hears His Word.

Education


The Lutheran church is a teaching church. Our church body has the largest Protestant denominational school system in the country. We operate ten colleges and universities in the Concordia University system. Most Lutheran churches, including ours, have Sunday Schools starting for three year olds and continuing through the adult years. During the summer we offer a one-week Vacation Bible School. We prepare fifth graders and above to take part in the Lord's Supper. We have a confirmation program for 8th and 9th graders, to prepare them to take part in the life and ministry of the church. We support and encourage the Religious Emblem program for the Scouts who meet here and for other interested Scouts. We also offer small groups from time to time that meet through the week for Bible study and for fellowship.


Service


Lutherans believe that faith in action is an important part of the Christian life. We help feed the homeless at the VOA shelter in Woodbridge at least twice during the year. We have our own food ministry. We support ACTS, a local community social services agency. We offer our facilities to two Girl Scout troops and for two weekly AA meetings. We support CareNet, a crisis pregnancy center and Lutherans for Life.


Concordia's "Core Values"


Concordia Lutheran Church shapes its life and ministry on the following beliefs and values:
  • Jesus Christ is Lord of the church and the world (Ephesians 1:22-23)
  • God's grace redeems sinners and gives life through Christ (Romans 3:24)
  • The Bible is without error (John 10:35, 2 Timothy 3:16-17)
  • Baptism and Communion are God's gifts that bring forgiveness and build community (Titus 3:5, Ephesians 5:26, Matthew 26:28, 1 Corinthians 10:16-17)
  • Prayer links us with the true God who hears and answers (John 14:13-14)

Our Mission Statement


Concordia Seeks the lost And Feeds the bread of life to Everyone. Concordia is a SAFE place.

We see ourselves as A CONGREGATION OF MISSIONARIES.


The Meaning of the LCMS Logo Cross


The LCMS logo is three crosses in one. It declares that "we worship one God in Trinity and Trinity in Unity." The open arms point upward toward God in prayer and openly receive God's grace. The lower arms point down, as if open to embrace the world with God's love. The 12 individual parts of the logo cross remind us of the 12 tribes of Israel and the 12 apostles. The four arms appear to be in motion, as we urgently tell the world what God's love in Jesus Christ means to us and, uniquely, as Missouri Synod Lutherans.