What We Believe
Doctrinal Statement of Faith – Church of the Lutheran Brethren
1. The Bible, including both the Old and New Testaments as originally given, is verbally and plenarily inspired and free from error in the whole and in the part, and is therefore the final and authoritative guide for faith and conduct.
2. There is one God eternally existent in three distinct persons in one divine essence, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
3. God the Father has revealed Himself to us as the Creator of the world and its preserver, to Whom the entire creation and all creatures are subject.
4. Jesus Christ, the Eternal Son, is the image of the invisible God. To accomplish our redemption, He took upon Himself the form of man, being conceived of the Holy Ghost and born of the Virgin Mary. By His perfect obedience and substitutionary death on the cross, He has purchased our redemption. He arose from the dead “for our justification” in the body in which He was crucified. He ascended into heaven, where He is now seated at the right hand of God, the Father, as our interceding High Priest. He will come a second time personally, bodily and visibly to gather the believers unto Himself, and to establish His millennial kingdom. Finally, He will judge the living and the dead and make an eternal separation between believers and unbelievers.
5. The Holy Spirit is a divine person eternally one with the Father and with the Son. His ministry is to call, to regenerate repentant sinners, to sanctify believers and to preserve them in the one true faith. He guides and comforts the children of God, directs and empowers the Church in fulfillment of the great commission, and “convicts the world of sin and of righteousness and of judgment.”
6. Man was originally created in the image and after the likeness of God to live in His fellowship. He fell into sin through the temptation of Satan and thereby lost fellowship with God, became totally depraved and is under the wrath of God.
7. The knowledge and benefit of Christ’s redemption from sin is brought to man through the means of grace, namely the Word and the sacraments. Through the Word, both the law and the gospel, God convicts of sin and bestows His grace in Christ unto the forgiveness of sin to all who repent and believe. We believe that all who have reached the age of accountability must have a conscious experience of sin and saving grace. In the Sacrament of Baptism, God offers the benefits of Christ’s redemption to all men and graciously bestows the washing of regeneration and the newness of life to every believer. Because of the total depravity of human nature, and because the promise of God also includes little children, infants are to be baptized. In the Sacrament of Holy Communion, Christ gives to the communicants His body and His blood, declares the forgiveness of sins to all believers and strengthens their faith.
8. The Church Universal consists of all those who truly believe on Jesus Christ as Savior. The local congregation is the communion of saints or true believers “in which the gospel is rightly taught and the sacraments are rightly administered.” Therefore, it follows that the membership of the local congregation shall comprise only those who by life and testimony show that they are living in fellowship with Jesus Christ.
9. The Lutheran confessions are a summary of biblical doctrines. We adhere to the following confessional writings: The Apostolic Creed, Nicene and Athanasian Creeds, Augsburg Confession and Luther’s Small Catechism.