St. John Lutheran Church is a congregation of the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod (LCMS) that has been gathered by Jesus Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit. We are gathered around His saving gifts of His Holy Word and Sacraments. The center of our life together is the Divine Service. As we gather for each service we come into the presence of Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. By hearing and receiving His Word, we are assured that by His death on the cross and resurrection from the dead, we are given forgiveness and new life in His name.
We joyfully hold to the teachings of the Scriptures as they are confessed in the Small Catechism of Martin Luther, the Augsburg Confession, and the entire Book of Concord of 1580.
Lutherans teach that God is triune, one God in three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Lutherans teach that God made us and all that exists. He continues to preserve us and provide all that human beings need for this body and life. Originally created with pure holiness and perfect righteousness, through an act of disobedience our original parents lost this marvelous gift. Ever since, human beings live in a condition of imperfection, with a broken relationship with God and fractured relationships with each other. Each person carries within a powerful self-centeredness that displaces God from a central place in one's life, and has the potential to destroy the good that could be done.
Lutherans teach that God has revealed His Law for us in the Ten Commandments. The Law condemns all who transgress these Commandments. The Law cannot save sinners, but leads us to the knowledge of sin and an awareness of our need to repent (i.e., to change our minds and our ways).
Lutherans teach that every thought, word, and deed contrary to God's Law is sin; that every human being is a sinner from birth; that all evil in the world is the consequence of our sinning; and that all sin calls forth God's wrath and judgment.
Lutherans teach that repentance is acknowledgment of and sincere regret for sin, a willingness to make amends, and a trustful appeal to God for forgiveness through the Lord Jesus Christ.
Lutherans teach that Jesus Christ is the Son of God sent to redeem the world from sin. This Jesus is both God and man in one person. He kept God's law in our place, he took on our guilt and paid our debt to God. This Good News is the heart and center of our lives and of our teaching.
Lutherans teach that faith is the penitent sinners' trust of the heart that relies entirely on Jesus Christ as Savior from sin. Faith assumes knowledge that God exists, agreement that what God says in the Bible is right and true, and trust that believes all that Jesus has done. He has done for me.
Lutherans teach that the Bible in all its words is the Word of God, the only revelation of God's truth on earth. The Bible is the unerring source of all Christian teachings, life and morals.
Lutherans teach that worship is not something that we do in order to please God, but what God does for us so that we may be forgiven and strengthened in our walk of faith. God does not need our worship, but we need his gifts of forgiveness. We come to the church to hear and receive God's Word of Law and Gospel in preaching and teaching. We also come to be participants in the sacraments through which God works His grace and forgiveness so that we are reassured and strengthened of His love for us. In response to this grace and mercy we give thanks, pray and praise God for all of His gifts given to us, but all of this is done according to what He has first given to us.
Lutherans teach that God's grace and good will is offered to sinners not only in the Word of God, but also through the Sacraments. In the Sacraments, the Word is added to a physical element and offered to a person as a gift from God.
Lutherans teach that Baptism is a divine washing of regeneration, intended for young and old alike. God offers grace through Baptism, which is not our sacrifice or decision, but God's gift to all people.
THE LORD'S SUPPER:
Lutherans teach that the Lord's Supper, also called Holy Communion or The Holy Eucharist (Fellowship), is the true body and blood of Christ offered in the bread and wine connected with God's Word and given to us for the forgiveness of sins and the strengthening of our faith and Christian life.
Lutherans teach that absolution (or spoken forgiveness) is to be proclaimed both publicly in the preaching, teaching and worship service and privately or individually to those who are being terrorized by sin and guilt. This forgiveness is spoken by the pastor who is the representative of Christ and who has been called to announce Christ's forgiveness to those who are repentant of their sins. He does this both in private or in the public worship service. The church was given the power to forgive sins by Christ (John 20) who died and rose and commanded that the church forgive the sins of those who repent. Individual Absolution is not commanded, but encouraged and done in a private and confidential manner in order to reassure one that they are truly forgiven by the shed blood of Christ.
DEATH & ETERNITY:
Lutherans teach that death is the final penalty for sin, but that through the death and resurrection of Christ, death for the believer becomes a doorway to eternal life. Lutherans teach that there will be a resurrection to eternal life for those who believe in Jesus, and a resurrection to eternal death to such as reject Christ as Savior.
The Lutheran Church accepts the three major Creeds: The Apostles', The Nicene, and The Athanasian. These Creeds summarize the truths of the Bible and give adequate witness to the Christian faith.
Lutherans teach that God offers His grace to each believer to help them grow in grace, faith, hope, and love. The Holy Spirit works within each believer to form their words and deeds to be more God-pleasing. Love, understood as sincere caring and sacrifice, is the central characteristic of the Christian life. It leads to forgiveness, and good deeds toward all people, friend and foe alike.
"In grateful response to God’s grace and empowered by the Holy Spirit through Word and Sacraments, the mission of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod is vigorously to make known the love of Christ by word and deed within our churches, communities and the world."
Today, the LCMS has more than 2.3 million baptized members in some 6,200 congregations and more than 9,000 pastors. Two seminaries and 10 colleges and universities operate under the auspices of the LCMS, and its congregations operate the largest Protestant parochial school system in America. The church broadcasts the saving message of Jesus Christ over KFUO Radio, and it has relationships and active mission work in nearly 90 countries around the world.
The teaching of Martin Luther and the reformers can be summarized in three phrases:
"Grace alone, Faith alone, Scripture alone."
Please visit the Main LCMS Website for more details on our Mission, our Practices, our Faith, and how to Study and Serve.