According to Holy Scripture, and in the unity of the one, holy, Christian and apostolic Church, we believe, teach, and confess that:
The one and only true God is the Triune God—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—as revealed by Jesus Christ and in the Bible. He created and sustains all things in heaven and on earth (Mt. 28:20; Gen. 1-2; Ps. 146:5-6).
Every human being is conceived and born dead to God and lacks true fear, love, or trust in God, but rather is innately hostile to God and deserving of damnation (Eph. 2:1-10; Ps. 51:5).
Jesus Christ is true God, eternally begotten of the Father, and also true man, born of the Virgin Mary, and is, by His perfect life, sacrificial death, bodily resurrection, and reign at God’s right hand, the only Savior from sin and the only Mediator between God and humanity (Jn. 1:1-3,14; 1 Tim. 2:5; 1 Jn. 5:20; Acts 4:12).
We are justified, or declared not guilty, in the sight of God and rescued from sin, death, and damnation not by our works but solely by God’s undeserved kindness given through Jesus Christ (Rom. 3:21-28; Eph. 2:8; John 1:29).
The blessings and benefits of Jesus’ saving death and resurrection—the forgiveness of sins, eternal life, and salvation—are delivered and applied to us by means of the Gospel in all its forms: the preached and written Word, Baptism, Absolution, Lord’s Supper. Through these means the Holy Spirit works faith in Christ. (Jn. 6:63; 16:12-15; Lk. 24:47; Mt. 28:19; Jn. 20:21-23; 1 Cor. 11:23-26).
Good works, prayer, and holy living are the fruit of faith in Christ, not the cause of salvation or faith. Genuine good works, pleasing to God, flow from what God commands in His Word. For faith alone can justify; works serve our neighbor and supply the proof that faith is living (Jn. 15:5; Heb. 11:16; Eph. 2:8-10).
The Holy Church is present wherever believers are gathered around Jesus Christ in His Gospel purely preached and taught and the Sacraments of Holy Baptism, Holy Absolution, Holy Communion (Mt. 18:20; Acts 2:42; Mt. 13:47-48).
Holy Baptism is water applied in the Name of the Triune God according to Jesus’ mandate and promise, and works rebirth and renewal, delivers and applies the forgiveness of sins and the very life of Jesus (Mt 28:19-20; Jn. 3:5; Titus 3:5; Rom. 6:4; 1 Peter 3:21).
Holy Absolution is the forgiveness of sins spoken by the pastor to a penitent sinner in Jesus’ name and actually delivers and applies the forgiveness of sins to the repentant person with the full authority of the crucified, risen, and reigning Christ (Mt. 16:19; 18:18; Jn. 20:21-23).
Holy Communion, or the Lord’s Supper, is the true body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ given under bread and wine, instituted by Jesus Christ Himself, for Christians to eat and drink for the forgiveness of their sins (Mt 26:26-29; 1 Cor. 11:23-26).
The Christian life is one of continual repentance and faith, from which flow good works as the fruit of faith. It is lived in faith toward God and in fervent love toward the neighbor in our God-given, daily vocations (Mt. 12:33; Lk. 24:47).
Our Lord Jesus Christ will appear visibly on the Last Day to raise the bodies of all the dead, to condemn those who reject Him in unbelief, together with the devil and his demons, to hell and eternal punishment, and to give eternal life to all who trust in Him for forgiveness, life, and salvation (Rev. 1:7; Mt. 25:31-46; Jn. 5:28-29).
Holy Scripture, or the Holy Bible, is the written Word of God, the very “breath of God,” and is without factual error. It is the only source, final authority, and judge of all teaching, practice, and life. Holy Scripture preaches the saving death and resurrection of Jesus Christ for the repentance and faith of the sinner (2 Tim. 3:16; 2 Pet. 1:22; Luke 24:47).
The Word of God is a two-fold word—the Law, which reveals our sin and seeks and kills the sinner, and the Gospel, which announces, delivers, and applies the forgiveness of sins through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, creates faith in Him, and gives new life and identity to the believer in Christ (Rom. 1:16; 3:21-22; Gal. 2:19-20).