Our conscience and nature serve to make us curious and send us searching for God. Since God is so much greater than man, He must ultimately tell us about Himself if we are to understand Him at all. This is what He does in the Bible. (I Corinthians 2:9-10 222) (II Timothy 3:15 289) (John 20:30-31 155) (Isaiah 42:8 784)
GOD is a spirit. (John 4:24 128) There is only one God, but this God reveals Himself to man as Father, (I Corinthians 8:4-6 227) Son, (John 20:28 155) and Holy Spirit (Acts 5:1-4 163) For this reason we speak of Him as being Triune - Three in One. Each person of the Trinity is equal, each is eternal, each is God. To remove anyone of the persons from the Trinity gives a false picture of God. (II Corinthians 13:13 249) (Matthew 28:19 45) (Matthew 3:16-17 4) (John 5:23 130) (Genesis 1:26 2)
MAN is the crown of God's creation. He is an unique creature having both a body and an immortal soul. (Matthew 10:28 14) (Ecclesiastes 12:7 733) He was created in the image of God. (Genesis 1:26 2) He was perfect and holy, without sin. (Colossians 3:9-10 273) (Ephesians 4:23-24 262) Man lost his holiness when sin entered into the world. (Romans 5:12 207) The result of this can be clearly seen in the way that mankind lives. (Galatians 5:19-21 256) (I John 1:8 324)
SIN is every thought, word, or deed contrary to God's Law. (I John 3:4 326) (James 4:17 313) (I Corinthians 8:9-13 227) (James 2:10 312) Every man is a sinner by birth - original sin - since he inherits guilt from his parents. (Romans 5:12 207) (Ephesians 2:3 259) Man is lead to sin by his own desires, the devil, and the world. (James 1:13-14 311) (Matthew 15:19 22) (I Peter 5:8 319) The end result of sin is death. (Romans 6:23 208) All sin is forgivable except the sin against the Holy Spirit. (Matthew 12:31-32 17)
SALVATION is given to man not because of what he does but because of what God has already done for us in Christ. (John 3:16 127) (Romans 5:6-10 206) (Ephesians 2:8-9 260) (I Peter 1:18-19 316)
THE HOLY SPIRIT revealed Himself in a special way on Pentecost. (Acts 2 159) He is the third person of the Trinity (Matthew 28:19 45) and is true God (Acts 5:3-4 163) The work of the Holy Spirit is to put us right with God and to help us lead God pleasing lives. (I Corinthians 12:3 231) (I Corinthians 6:11 225) We call this sanctification. He uses certain tools or 'means of grace' to carry out His work among us. (John 14:26 146) (Romans 10:13-17 213) (John 3:5 126) (Titus 3:5 292) He changes us from unbelievers to children of God (I Peter 2:9-10 317) He gives all Christians rich blessings (Galatians 5:22-23 256) and also gives special gifts to Christians individually to help them carry out their Christians ministry to one another. (I Corinthians 12:4-11 231) (I Corinthians 12:29-30 232) The use of these gifts must not be abused. (I Corinthians 14:40 235)
THE HOLY CHRISTIAN CHURCH is an invisible body made up of all who possess faith in Jesus as their personal Saviour. All such people will be saved. (Ephesians 4:3-6 261) (II Timothy 2:19 289) (II Corinthians 13:5 249) We also use the world Church to describe a local congregation, a house of worship, a denomination. These things are a part of the visible church - all people who profess faith in Christ. All in the visible church are not necessarily saved since some may be hypocrites. (Matthew 13:47-48 20) An individual knows what he sincerely feels in his own heart and he expresses this in the way that he lives. (Romans 10:10 213) (John 8:47 137) (Matthew 5:16 6) (John 1:41-42 125) (I Corinthians 11:26 231) Since hypocrites can cleverly pretend to be Christians (II Timothy 3:5 289) and we cannot see into their hearts,it is dangerous and even wrong to judge others. (Matthew 7:1-5 9) The visible church is divided into three main groups: Catholic (Greek & Roman) Reformed (United, Anglican, Baptist, etc.) and Lutheran (Lutheran Church-Canada, Evangelical Lutheran Church In Canada) The true church is the one which teaches God's Word in its truth and administers the sacraments in the way they were instituted by Christ. An individual Christian should choose his church home by comparing its teachings with what the Bible says.
PRAYER is an act of worship in which we come to God to speak to Him. We ask and thank Him for both earthly and spiritual blessings. (Matthew 7:7 9) (Philippians 4:6 269) Prayer is to be addressed to the Triune God in the name of Jesus. (John 14:13-14 146) (Isaiah 63:16 811) We are to pray in faith and not doubt. (Mark 11:24 65) (James 1:6-8 310) When we pray for physical or earthly gifts we pray 'If you want' or 'If it be Thy will' (Matthew 8:2 10) We are to pray for all people (I Timothy 2:1-2 283) even those who are not our friends (Matthew 5:44 7) We should pray constantly (I Thessalonians 5:17 278) We are to be careful that we do not just mouth words. (Matthew 6:7 8) Jesus gave us an example of what we should pray for as He taught us the Lord's Prayer. (Matthew 6:9-13 8) (Luke 11:2-4 97)
THE LORD'S SUPPER or Holy Communion was instituted by Christ on the night before His death. (Matthew 26:26-30 40) (Mark 14:22-26 70) (Luke 22:14-20 116) (I Corinthians 11:23-32 231) We receive bread and wine when we go to communion, but along with it we truly receive Christ's body and blood. (I Corinthians 10:15-16 229) We speak of this as 'the Real Presence' of Christ in the sacrament. We receive forgiveness of sins, strength for our life and the opportunity to proclaim publicly that we believe Jesus died and rose for us. It is important to prepare ourselves for this blessed meal.
CREATION was performed by the Trinity. God spoke and the world and all living things were made. (Hebrews 11:3 305) (John 1:1-3, 14 123) (Colossians 1:15-16 271) (Genesis 1 & 2 1)
THE ANGELS are a part of God's creation. They are invisible creatures. They were all created to be servants of God and man, but some sinned and now actively work against God's purposes. (Hebrews 1:14 296) (Acts 12:6-11 175) (II Peter 2:4 322) (Jude 6 332) (I Peter 5:8 319) (I John 3:8 326)
THE LAW OF GOD is summarized for us in the Ten Commandments. (Exodus 20 87) (Deuteronomy 5 196) It was first written in the hearts of man as a conscience. (Romans 2:14-15 203) (Romans 5:14 207) Jesus summarized the Law by saying we are to love God above all things and our neighbour as ourselves. (Matthew 22:37-39 33) (Romans 13:10 216) The Law is concerned with more than just outward acts. (Matthew 5:27-28 6) (I John 3:15 327) It serves a number of uses in the life of man. It keeps him within certain bounds as a curb (I Timothy 1:9 282) It shows him his sin as a mirror. (Romans 3:20 205) It gives a Christian person a pattern or rule for his life. (Romans 7:5-6 209) It is important not to mix up the moral law of the Ten Commandments with the Ceremonial Law or Political Law of the Hebrew people. (Colossians 2:16-17 272)
JESUS CHRIST was sent into this world to be our Saviour. (Matthew 1:21-25 2) (Acts 4:12 162) He is true God and true man. (John 5:18 130) (I John 2:22-23 326) (Romans 1:3-4 202) (I Timothy 3:16 284) (Galatians 4:4-5 254) (Hebrews 2:14-17 297) He was born in a very special way, the son of a virgin. (Luke 1:34-35 77) and thus, was not born in sin as we are. He passed through this life without ever committing a sin. (II Corinthians 5:21 242) (I Peter 2:22 317) While on earth He humbled Himself and chose not to use His divine power (State of Humiliation) but once His task of gaining salvation for man was complete, He was again exalted by God (State of Exaltation) with the glory that was always His. (Philippians 2:5-11 266) Three days after His death He rose from the grave and showed Himself to people. (I Corinthians 15:3-8 235) (I Corinthians 15:12-19 235) 40 days after His resurrection He returned to heaven. (Acts 1:1-11 158) Christ came the first time to save mankind, (Luke 19:10 11)but He also filled the office of prophet as He told us about God (Hebrews 1:1-2 295), the office of priest as He makes sacrifice for our sins and prays for us, (Hebrews 7:26-28 301) (I John 2:1-2 325) and the office of King as he comes again. (Matthew 25:31-32 38) Our response to His love for us should be a life of love and service to Him. (II Corinthians 5:15 242)
OFFICE OF THE KEYS is the special power that Christ has given to His church on earth. Its purpose is to build up and strengthen the church He has established. It is exercised when the Word is preached, the sacraments administered and sins are forgiven or retained. (Matthew 16:16-19 24) (Matthew 28:18-20 45) (John 20:22-23 154) Knowing our sinfulness we ought to confess it to God (I John 1:8-10 324) Within a Christian congregation a pastor is called to publicly perform the functions of the Office of the Keys. (Acts 20:28 189) It is, however, the responsibility of the individual Christian to confront his erring brother. (Matthew 18:15-17 26) If he refused to hear and repent of his sin he is to be excluded from the Christian congregation. (I Corinthians 5:1. 9-13 224) (Galatians 6:1 256) This act of excommunication is always to be carried out in love with the sincere hope that the one in the wrong will see his sin and ask forgiveness.
A SACRAMENT is a sacred act that 1) has been instituted by God, 2) has a visible means connected with God's Word, 3) offers the forgiveness of sins. There are two sacraments in the Lutheran Church - Baptism and the Lord's Supper.
BAPTISM was commanded by Christ Himself. (Matthew 28:19 45) (Mark 16:15-16 74) The word 'baptize' means to wash with water. (Mark 7:3-4 57) All people are to be baptized, young and old alike. (John 3:3-7 126) (Acts 2:38-39 160) (Colossians 2:11-12 272) (Mark 10:13-16 63) (Acts 16:15 182) (Acts 16:33 182) The benefits of baptism are forgiveness of sins, gift of the Holy Spirit, and salvation. (Acts 22:16 191) (I Peter 3:21 318) (Titus 3:5 292) (Galatians 3:26-27 253) Sponsors are to be witnesses of the act, they are to pray for the child, and assist in the Christian training of the child. Anyone who refuses baptism, refuses what it offers. (Luke 7:29-30 89)