What We Believe

We are Christians, first and foremost.

We believe that God is One in Three, and Three in One; Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

We believe that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world. Through his death, he has taken our punishment for sin upon his shoulders, and shares his resurrection with us, that our sin may be forgiven and that we may have eternal life.

We believe that the only way for this to be true is that Jesus Christ is fully God and fully man.

We believe that this God is revealed to us in his Holy Scriptures, Old and New Testaments, serving as our source and norm for faith and life.

We believe that Scripture speaks to us in two words: Law and Gospel.

  • The Law is God’s declaration of what we should do and what we are not able to do, at the same time.
  • The Gospel is God’s free gift of forgiveness of sins and eternal life, through the person, life, death, and resurrection of his son, Jesus Christ.

We believe with the whole Christian church that the Apostles’, Nicene, and Athanasian creeds are true declarations of our faith.

Our Belief is summarized in “The Five Solas

1. Sola Gratia (Grace alone)

Salvation is the free gift of God to man. It is given by God’s grace alone and not through any merit on the part of the Christian. The importance of this doctrine in Protestant theology was underlined by Martin Luther, in his Commentary on the Epistle to the Galatians.

2. Sola Fide (Faith alone)

We are judged righteous in the sight of God purely on the basis of our faith. The atoning sacrifice of Christ leads to righteousness being imputed to us as sinners through a legal declaration by God. This is often stated as Justification by faith alone. There is a clear distinction between Justification and Sanctification, the latter being the growth in holiness arising from the work of the Holy Spirit in the Christian.

3. Solus Christus (Christ alone)

Christ is the one Mediator between God and man and our salvation is accomplished only through His death and resurrection. In addition, every believer is a priest before God, with immediate access to him for the forgiveness of sins. This is known as the doctrine of the Priesthood of all believers. It was classically articulated by Martin Luther, but Protestants point to 1 Peter 2:9 as evidence of support for the doctrine. The doctrine is not unique to Protestantism, being also found in the Roman Catholic Church, for example, but Protestants insist that no other special form of Priesthood is necessary, as opposed to the Catholic view of a ministerial priesthood being required for the administration of the Sacraments and forgiveness of sins.

4. Sola Scriptura (Scripture alone)

Scripture alone is the only infallible source of divine revelation and the final authority for matters of faith and practice. Sola Scriptura does not mean that all truth is contained in the Bible (for example the Nicene Creed is widely accepted and recited within orthodox Christianity), but rather that all mankind needs to know for salvation is contained within its pages. Protestants typically argue that scripture is perspicuous or clear to all people regarding the essential truths of the Christian gospel of salvation. In contrast to the Roman Catholic view of a Magisterium (or teaching office) of the church, which is required to infallibly interpret scripture; Protestants argue that through the Holy Spirit, individuals can, by themselves interpret the scriptures responsibly.

5. Soli Deo Gloria (To the glory of God alone)

Every aspect of the Christian life is to be seen as giving glory to God. In essence, this summarizes the other four Soli above. It also stemmed from the reformers opposition to what they perceived as the unwarranted glorification of the Popes and other clergy.

We are also Lutherans.

Lutherans follow the teachings of the great Reformer Martin Luther. He never wanted a church named after him, but the term “Lutheran” has become a way to identify those who accept his beliefs about Scripture.

We believe that the Unaltered Augsburg Confession of 1530 and the Small Catechism are the clearest declarations of Lutheran doctrine and practice.

We believe that the rest of the Book of Concord contains further valid expositions of the Holy Scriptures.

Lutherans believe that the church exists to proclaim the person and work of Jesus Christ, to free those bound in sin and suffering, and to grant them forgiveness of sins and new life.

In that church, God has given us his works of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper as sacraments, tangible ways in which God applies the work of Christ to our lives. These are our means of grace.

We partner with congregations all around the world in Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ. In our association, we fellowship with other Lutherans, find out ways to serve the world, and proclaim the message of Jesus Christ for all to hear.

We are also members of the community of Bigfork.

We love where we live, and we want to see the flourishing of all who live in this area.

We act on this by word and deed: sharing the hope and love of Jesus Christ with our neighbors, and providing for their physical, emotional, and spiritual needs.