God's words and actions in creation, providence, judgement, and redemption are witnessed to by the covenant community in the scriptures of the Old and New Testament. God's word spoken in and through scriptures should be understood in the light of the birth, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth. The authority of the scriptures is founded on the truth contained in them and the voice of God speaking through them.
The Living God
We believe in the only true and living God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; who is holy love, eternal, unchangeable in being, wisdom, power, holiness, justice, goodness, and truth. The one living God who is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, the Holy Trinity, speaks through the holy scriptures, the events of nature and history, apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, teachers, but uniquely in Jesus Christ, the Word made flesh.
Christ the savior
God's mighty act of reconciling love was accomplished in Jesus Christ, the divine Son who became flesh to be the means by which the sins of the world are forgiven. Jesus Christ, being truly human and truly divine, was tempted in every respect as every person is, yet he did not sin. While fully sharing human life, Christ continued to be holy, blameless, undefiled, and thoroughly fitted to be the savior of the world, the only hope of reconciliation between God and sinful persons. Jesus Christ willingly suffered sin and death for every person. On the third day after being crucified, Christ was raised from the dead, appeared to many disciples, afterward ascended to God, and makes intercession for all persons. Through the Holy Spirit, people are able to acknowledge and repent of their sin, believe in Jesus Christ as Savior, and follow Christ as Lord. Believers experience Christ's presence and guidance, which helps them to overcome the powers of evil in ways consistent with God's nature and will.
God, in creating persons, gives them the capacity and freedom to respond to divine grace in loving obedience. Therefore, whoever will may be saved. Because of their God-given nature, persons are responsible for their choices and actions toward God, each other, and the world.
Saving faith is response to God, prompted by the Holy Spirit, wherein persons rely solely upon God's grace in Jesus Christ for salvation. Such faith includes trust in the truthfulness of God's promises in the scriptures, sorrow for sin, and determination to serve God and neighbor. Persons do not merit salvation because of faith, nor is faith a good work. Faith is a gift made possible through God's love and initiative. Yet God requires the response of faith by all who receive salvation and reconciliation. When persons repent of sin and in faith embrace God's salvation, they receive forgiveness for their sin and experience acceptance as God's children.
The church, as the covenant community of believers who are redeemed, includes all people in all ages, past, present, and future, who respond in faith to God's covenant of grace, and all who are unable to respond, for reasons known to God, but who are saved by his grace. The church in the world consists of all who respond in faith to God's saving grace and who enter into formal covenant with God and each other. The children of believers are included in this covenant community and are under the special care and instruction of the church and their parents or guardians. The church in the world never exists for herself alone, but to glorify God and work for reconciliation through Christ. Christ claims the church and gives her the word and sacraments in order to bring God's grace and judgement to persons.