What We Believe

Brief Statement of Beliefs

As Lutherans, we believe...

+ in the mystery of the Triune God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, to use the traditional language; God expressed as a 'community', an  active agent in the creating, redeeming, and sanctifying of all.

+ that Jesus Christ is Lord and Savior, and that it is our mission to share his Good News of salvation to all people.

+ that the Bible is the inspired Word of God and the source and norm for Christian living (2 Timothy 3:16-17).

+ that the Church is 'The Body of Christ', a community of baptized disciples called by God to proclaim God's Word, to share in the sacraments of Baptism and Holy Communion, and to serve those in need.

+ that as human beings we are in need of forgiveness that comes only through the grace of God.

+ that "Christ has died, Christ is risen, and Christ will come again!"


We are not an easy-answer church. We will not tell you how to vote, nor will we tell you what position you should take regarding cultural issues. We live not according to a formula of "do's" and "don'ts". Instead, we live in the freedom of Christian love, community, and responsibility. All are welcome to worship, learn, and enjoy fellowship with us! To learn more about our beliefs, please continue reading the information below. You can also learn more about us at the website of our denomination, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA): www.elca.org. 

 

What is a 'Lutheran'?

Our name 'Lutheran' comes from the German monk, priest, and professor, Martin Luther (1483-1546). Luther was instrumental in beginning the Protestant Reformation of the institutional church almost 500 years ago. During Luther's time, the Roman Catholic Church was the dominant, institutional church in western Europe. The Roman Catholic Church governed all aspects of one's faith. Luther questioned the teachings of the church in his day, insisting that we are saved by God's grace, not by our works or goodness. We still hold to his belief that we are sinners saved by grace. To embrace the name 'Lutheran' means we are Christians committed to following Jesus, proclaiming the good news of God's gracious love for all, and being actively involved in renewal and reform of the institutions in both church and society.

 

Salvation

As Lutherans, we proclaim the reality of God's grace. We celebrate God coming to us and saving us through Jesus Christ (John 1: 1-5; John 3:16-17). We love how the Holy Spirit opens the words of Scripture to us, liberating us (example: Acts 8: 26-39). We get excited when our faith is active in love. And we enjoy bringing hope to a despairing world.

The cornerstone of the Lutheran expression of the Christian faith is the belief that salvation only comes through the grace of God (Ephesians 2:8). The words 'saved' and 'salvation' in the New Testament are translated from the Greek root word 'soteria'. 'Soteria' can refer to both bodily health and well-being of spiritual life. The Biblical understanding of 'salvation', then, is one of spiritual healing that grabs ahold of us in this life and carries us on into 'Eternal Life', 'larger life', 'Heaven'--to only name a few of many descriptions for the mystery that awaits us at the close of our earthly lives. We proclaim that all people are sinners and that a person is saved only by the grace of God as we encounter it through Jesus Christ.

Lutherans are a collection of 'everyday' people from all walks of life who gather to worship, study, play and grow together in the name of Jesus Christ. For it is Jesus who gladly receives us as sinners and lovingly transforms us into saints (Romans 3: 21-26).

 

The Church as the 'Body of Christ'

We believe that the 'Church' is the Body of Christ on earth. Jesus of Nazareth is no longer on earth in human form. However, by saying that the Church is the Body of Christ, we believe that the presence of Jesus as the resurrected and ascended Christ continues on to this day. One of the means by which humans encounter the presence of the risen Christ is through those baptized "disciples" (life-long learners/leaders/servants) who gather together in community to hear God's Word and to participate in the Sacraments. Lutherans lift up two Sacraments: the waters of Baptism and the bread & wine of Holy Communion. The Church--with a big 'C'--is not a building, nor is it any particular institutional structure.

We believe that the Church was given by God through the Holy Spirit. During the Jewish festival of Pentecost nearly 2,000 years ago, 120 of Jesus' followers received the Holy Spirit while they were gathered together. On this occassion, they were given power to proclaim God's Good News for humankind in many different languages (Acts 2:1-21). This same Spirit continues to lead and nuture the Church, in all of its forms and in all of its congregations worldwide. St. John Lutheran Church--Hubbells Corner is one of a multitude of places where the Body of Christ gathers for worship, fellowship, and compassionate service, as we try to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit as best we can.

 

The Church in Three Expressions

We recognize that the Church is present in more than in the gathering of a single congregation. The Body of Christ is revealed through all who gather together to profess Jesus Christ as their savior and who live to share the good news of God's grace. St. John--Hubbells, as with every congregation, is out on the 'front-line'. We are a mission outpost, going forth into our local community to share Christ with all we meet.