What we believe

We are Christians. That means we believe that we are sinners in desperate need of saving and that God has saved us by grace alone through faith alone in Jesus Christ alone. What we believe, teach, and confess comes from the Bible alone and is grounded in objective, verifiable history. 


The best way to understand what Christians believe is to attend worship and dive into the Bible with us during one of our weekly Bible Studies. Below are a few helpful summaries: the Apostles' Creed and a brief summary of our faith. The Apostles' Creed, along with the Nicene Creed and the Athanasian Creed, have served as good and faithful confessions of the Christian faith. We confess all three. The brief summary of our faith is not meant to be comprehensive. It's a simple summary that will give you a helpful foundation of what we believe. 


If you have any questions or would like to discuss any of these things, please contact us.  We'd love to talk with you!

The Apostles' Creed

I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth.


And in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried. He descended into hell. The third day He rose again from the dead. He ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty. From thence He will come to judge the living and the dead.


I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Christian church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.

a brief summary of the christian faith

The Bible

  • The Bible is different from all other books in the world in that it is the Word of God inspired by the Holy Spirit. (2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:21)
  • Since the Bible is the Word of God, it contains no errors or contradictions, including sections that deal with historical, geographical, and other non-spiritual matters. (Psalm 18:30; John 10:35)
  • The Bible was given by God to His people as the only authoritative source and rule of faith by which all teachers and teachings are to be examined and judged. (Ephesians 2:20)
  • Jesus is the heart and center of the Scripture and, therefore, the key to its true meaning. (John 5:39; 2 Timothy 3:15).
  • We distinguish between to sharp distinctions in Scripture: the Law and the Gospel. In the Law, God commands good works of thought, word, and deed and condemns and punishes sin. In the Gospel, the good news of our salvation in Jesus Christ, God gives forgiveness, faith, life, and the power to please Him with good works.


God

  • The one and only true God is the Triune God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, three distinct persons in one divine being or essence. Each person of the Trinity is equal in power, eternity, and majesty because they are each fully the divine essence. (Deuteronomy 6:4; Matthew 28:19; John 10:30). 
  • It is only through Jesus, the eternal Son of God, that man can come to God. (John 14:6; 1 John 2:23).


Creation

  • God created all that exists in six days by the power of His Word. (Genesis 1; Hebrews 11:3)


Humanity and Sin

  • God created human beings, male and female, in His own image: holy, good, and in a right relationship with Him (Genesis 1:26-27; Ephesians 4:24; Colossians 3:10)
  • Sin came into the world by the fall of the first man. (Genesis 3; Romans 5:12)
  • The choice to sin affected all of God's creation, including Adam and Eve's offspring. (Genesis 3:17; Romans 8:20-21)
  • All people are born into sin, dead in sin, inclined to evil, and deserving of eternal damnation. No one, by their own strength or reason, can come to Jesus or believe in Him. (Psalm 51:5; Romans 3:23; Romans 8:6-8; Ephesians 2:1-3)


Jesus Christ

  • Jesus is both true God from eternity and true man, becoming flesh and blood through the working of the Holy Spirit in the Virgin Mary. (Luke 1:31-35; John 1:14; Colossians 2:9)
  • Jesus was like us in every way except that He was sinless. (Hebrews 4:15)
  • The purpose of His coming was to reconcile people to God by both fulfilling the Law and suffering and dying in their place. (John 3:16; 2 Corinthians 5:18; Galatians 3:13, 4:4)


Justification

  • The only way for men to obtain personal reconciliation with God (forgiveness of sins) is through faith in Jesus Christ. Salvation, in no way whatsoever, is obtained by a person's own work or merit. (John 3:16-18; Acts 4:10-12; Acts 10:43; Ephesians 2:8-9). 
  • God, by His grace and power, turns lost and condemned sinners to faith in the Gospel, which offers forgiveness of sins and eternal salvation for the sake of Christ's death and resurrection. (Luke 24:46-47; Acts 26:18)
  • Justification by faith in Christ alone is the doctrine by which the church stands or falls. 


Good Works

  • A good work is everything that a Christian does, speaks, or thinks in faith according to the will of God, for the glory of God, and for the benefit of his or her neighbor. 
  • Good works are a result of faith in Christ. They do not precede faith and they do not exist outside of faith. (John 15:4-5; Romans 12:1-2; Hebrews 11:6)
  • Out of response to God's grace, Christians love God and one another. (Matthew 5:16; John 15:12)


Means of Grace

  • The promises of God through Jesus Christ, namely, salvation and the forgiveness of sins, come to us by way of external means of grace. These means of grace are: the Word of God in every form in which it is brought to people (Romans 10:17; Galatians 3:2; 1 Peter 1:23), Baptism (Acts 2:38; Titus 3:5-6), and the Lord's Supper (Matthew 26:26-28).


The Holy Spirit

  • Those who have faith in Christ have been given the Holy Spirit. (Ephesians 1:13-14)
  • The Holy Spirit makes us holy by bringing us to faith in Christ so that we might have the blessings of redemption and lead a godly life. He also keeps us in the faith, guides, teaches, convicts, strengthens, and renews. (John 14:26; John 16:8; Romans 8:26; 1 Corinthians 6:11; 1 Thessalonians 2:13)


The Church

  • There is only one true Christian Church: all who believe in Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of their sins. (Acts 26:18; Galatians 3:26-28)
  • The True Church is invisible until Jesus returns. (Colossians 3:3-4)
  • Individual churches are the visible communities which are made up of both believers and hypocrites. (Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43)


Heaven and Hell

  • God desires all people to be saved from eternal punishment. (1 Timothy 2:3-4; 2 Peter 3:9)
  • People are eternally condemned because of their own stubborn resistance against God. (Hosea 13:9; Matthew 23:37; Acts 7:51; Acts 13:46)
  • Jesus is coming again. When He returns, all believers will be raised to new life in body and soul. (John 10:27-28; John 14:1-3; Philippians 3:21; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17)
  • On the Last Day, all creation will be restored. There will be no more pain or death. (Isaiah 65:17-25; Romans 8:20-21; Revelation 21:4).


Pastors

  • God instructs local churches to call qualified men to serve as pastors to the visible community of believers. (Titus 1:5-9)
  • Pastors serve by teaching and applying the Word of God. (2 Timothy 4:1-2)
  • Pastors have no power or authority other than the Word of God. (1 Peter 4:11)
  • Christians are called to obey their pastor as long as he leads and speaks according to the Word of God. (Luke 10:16; Hebrews 13:17)
  • If a pastor instructs things contrary or beyond the Word of God, Christians are called to instead remain faithful to the Word of God over and above their pastor. (Matthew 23:8; Acts 5:29)


Church and State

  • God has established governments for maintaining external order and has given them coercive power for that work. (Romans 13:1-6)
  • The Church does not use such coercion; the Church shares the Word of God in love. (2 Corinthians 10:4; 1 John 3:11)
  • When governments forbid what God commands or commands what God forbids, believers remain faithful to Christ over and above the government. (Acts 4:19; Acts 5:29).


The Church

  • There is only one true Christian Church: all who believe in Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of their sins. (Acts 26:18; Galatians 3:26-28)
  • The True Church is invisible until Jesus returns. (Colossians 3:3-4)
  • Individual churches are the visible communities which are made up of both believers and hypocrites. (Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43)


These summaries were adapted from A Brief Statement of the Doctrinal Position of the Missouri Synod, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, N.D., 1932.

Links to Christ-Centered Material

Here are some links that are worth checking out. Each of these sites provide great Christ-centered material including blog posts, podcasts, and videos. Our pastor is a contributor at Christ Hold Fast. Click on the pictures above to visit the sites.

The Lutheran Church-Missouri synod

St. John's is a congregation in the Atlantic District of the Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod (LCMS). The LCMS is a denomination of churches that confesses the historic, orthodox faith, a faith built on "the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone" (Ephesians 2:20). 


If you would like to know more about the LCMS, please visit www.lcms.org

If you would like to know more about the Atlantic District of the LCMS, please visit www.ad-lcms.org.