What we believe
At St. Matthew’s our Christian faith is rooted in the good news of God in Jesus Christ. We call this the Gospel. The Gospel is the story of Jesus Christ, told, interpreted and celebrated in all its significance at the center of our faith and worship. It is normative for our lives as Christians.
We confess the Triune God — Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We proclaim Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. In our preaching and teaching we trust the Gospel as the power of God for the salvation of all who believe.
The Bible is where we find the Gospel (although the Bible contains much more than the Gospel), and we cannot know the Gospel without it. It is where we go to learn and discern the Gospel. Lutherans, in the tradition of the great reformer, Martin Luther, read the whole Bible through the lens of the Gospel.
Martin Luther compared the Bible that holds the Gospel to the manger that held the Christ Child. Just as what was important about the manger was that it held Christ, what’s important for Christians about the Bible is that it contains the Gospel. As he studied the Bible, Martin Luther was led to uphold three very important teachings that defined the beliefs of Christians who follow in his footsteps. These three teachings taken from the Bible are well known as Scripture alone, Grace alone and Faith alone.
“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God … ” (2 Tim. 3:16). We believe that Scripture alone is the source of all legitimate doctrine taught in the Christian Church. We further believe that the denial of any doctrine or teaching of Scripture undermines the confidence of salvation.
“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God lest anyone should boast” (Ephesians 2; 8-9) Grace refers to a love that is undeserved and unmerited in any way. It describes God’s great love for us which caused Him to plan and accomplish our salvation by sending Jesus, the Christ, to live and die in our place.
Man is saved by faith alone, because faith is the only means by which a person takes hold of and possesses the perfect righteousness of Christ. Further, man is justified by faith but this faith is not a work of ours, but a gift of God. Works play no part whatsoever in our justification. True good works are fruits of faith, but they do not save.
You can learn more about the Bible, start a program of Bible reading or study, and get a daily Bible reading from the website of our denomination, the Evangelical Church in America (ELCA) by following this link:
The Lutheran The official publication of the ELCA.
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