What We Believe

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What We Believe and Teach

Living up to the title “What We Believe and Teach” seems almost too great a task for a single webpage. After all, we believe in God who reveals himself to us in the Bible as the all-powerful, all-knowing, present everywhere, and eternal God whose thoughts and ways are completely beyond our human understanding. We teach what he teaches us in his Word, and his teachings impact every area of life. Nevertheless, for as amazing and beyond understanding our God is, he is also the God of love, the God who comes close to his people, the God who saves. All the teachings of the Bible, all the beliefs we hold to, center around the key message of God’s love: why we needed God to save us, and how he has saved us.

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Our Problem

We all have a problem. You might look at your life, the lives of your loved ones, and the state of the world and think, “We’ve got plenty of problems, not just one.” But all the trouble and hardship in the world ultimately comes down to one problem we all share: sin.

Sin is everything that goes against God. Sin shows itself in our actions, our words, and even our thoughts. Sin has thoroughly corrupted each of us for our entire lives. Sin has consequences, and not only in this life. The final consequence of sin is death, including eternal death, the eternal separation from God’s love in hell.

Sin and death are not what God wants for us. When he created the world, everything was perfect. But the first man and woman that God created chose to disobey God and instead listen to the devil’s lies. We’ve all followed in our parents footsteps since. We may recognize our problem, and we may even try to solve it on our own. But no matter how much we try to balance our bad with good, or compare ourselves to others, or work our way up some kind of ladder to heaven, we can never be completely perfect, completely free from sin on our own.

The LORD looks down from heaven on all the children of Adam to see if there is anyone who understands, anyone who seeks God. Every one of them has turned away. Altogether they have become rotten. There is no one who does good. There is not even one. Psalm 14:2,3
"So then, be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect." Matthew 5:48
Because all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God... Romans 3:23
For the wages of sin is death... Romans 6:23a

We need to be free from sin in order to live in God’s presence. God wants us to be with him, and he knows that we are helpless on our own. Which is why as soon as sin entered the world, God made a promise. He was going to solve our problem.

God’s Solution

God solved our problem by sending in his own Son to be our Savior from sin. Through a miracle of the Holy Spirit, God the Son became fully human and was born of the Virgin Mary. God told Mary to name the baby Jesus, a name that means “The Lord saves.” Jesus, as both true God and true Man, was able to be exactly the Savior we needed.

Jesus lived a completely perfect life. He never once sinned in thought, word, or action. He always lived exactly according to what God’s law requires. Jesus’ perfect life was lived for us. His death was also for us. Even though he was perfect, Jesus faced death in our place. Jesus was put to death by crucifixion, a particularly painful and shameful method of execution. Yet even that pain and shame could not compare to the other death Jesus faced in our place. While on the cross, Jesus also suffered the punishment of hell that each of us deserves for our sin. He was completely separated from the love of God, even though he had lived a perfect life.

Why? So that we would never have to face eternal death ourselves. Instead, in Jesus we have eternal life through the gift of faith. There’s nothing we need to do or could do to earn eternal life; Jesus has done it all. He wiped away our sins on the cross, and his perfect life is credited to us. When we believe in Jesus as our Savior, God looks at us and sees his own perfect children.

For God so loved the world that he gave his only-begotten Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish, but have eternal life. John 3:16
God made him, who did not know sin, to become sin for us, so that we might become the righteousness of God in him. 1 Corinthians 5:21
For the wages of sin is death, but the undeserved gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:23
Indeed, it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. Ephesians 2:8,9

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Jesus comes to us in the Bible and invites us to find rest in him. He urges us to pay attention to his Word and listen to his voice. There is always more to learn from Scripture, certainly more than can be summed up here. We invite you to join us for worship and Bible study to learn more about God’s love for you.

Our pastors are happy to answer any questions you may have about God’s Word; feel free to get in touch. You may also find the resources linked below to be helpful in answering questions related to specific topics.

WELS—What We Believe

Brief summaries of what the Bible says about a selection of common topics.

WELS—This We Believe

More detailed explanations and summaries of Biblical teaching on a similar selection of topics.

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