We are glad that you want to learn what we believe!
The best way to learn what we believe is to come to St. Paul for worship, meet with the pastor to go through the Scriptures and basic teachings (catechesis), and receive the gifts of God. If you would like some thought provoking answers prepared to a host of questions and topics, click here.
Worship is often thought of as “the stuff we do for God.” But think for a moment, what does God need from us? We on the other hand, need everything from God! Jesus said, “the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many (Mt 20:28).” Therefore, when we gather together to hear His Word and receive the gifts He has promised to give, we do not presume to do anything for God as though He needs us to make Him worthy. Rather, in fear, love, and trust in God, we gather so the He may serve us according to His promises that He may make us worthy of eternal life with Him through His Son, our Lord, Jesus Christ.
The gifts of God given through His Divine Service all deliver Jesus Christ to the sinner for the forgiveness of sins, life everlasting, and eternal salvation. The Word is spoken and creates faith as that same Word creates all things. That Word is Jesus Christ, who took on human flesh – yet remained God. The whole Bible – or Holy Scriptures – is the Word of God, breathed by His Holy Spirit, is true, and without error. This is why we only preach Christ and Him crucified, not moralistic stories, not social gospel, not prosperity preaching, nor anything else. The Word of God is rightly understood as either Law (commands and demands which we cannot fulfill and therefore, show us our sins as in a mirror, curb our sinful desire to act contrary to God’s will, and guide us in the paths of His righteousness) or Gospel (the promises of God fulfilled in the good news of Jesus life, death, and resurrection for the forgiveness of your sins).
We are made worthy to become the children of God by the free and gracious gift of Holy Baptism. There is only one Baptism, which washes, cleans, and regenerates us by giving us a second birth of water and Spirit, and thus, Baptism now saves us. This gift of Baptism, along with teaching, is what makes one a disciple of Jesus – a Christian. Since this gift of promise is for all – including children – we give to all everything that He has given us to give. Because God’s Word is abundantly clear, we do not teach nor agree with the un-Biblical error that Baptism is only a symbol or sign. We pray that those misguided Christians may learn of the truth, repent of their sin, and return from the man-made falsehood.
Absolution is the free gift of God’s forgiveness spoken to repentant sinners. This gift of God is given through the human voice from the men whom are given the Office of the Keys. These men are pastors – meaning ‘shepherds’ – who are mediately trained, examined, called, and ordained before the church by the church for service in the church. They stand in the stead and by the command of our Lord, Jesus Christ, to speak His Words of Law to the unrepentant sinner – binding them in their sin – and Gospel to the repentant sinner – releasing them from their sin.
We joyfully celebrate the Lord’s Supper with all the children of God who have been Baptized into the Triune name, have been taught the faith, repent of their sins, regularly attend a faithful church, and continue to walk with our congregation in harmony and concord. The Lord’s Supper is the foretaste of the everlasting wedding feast of the Lamb and His Bride, the Church, where Jesus really, truly, actually gives His physical body for food and His physical blood for drink. Since Jesus was clear, and His Apostles and other disciples continued to teach according to the promise of Jesus’ words, we do not teach nor can we agree with the un-Biblical errors of human reasons that the Lord’s Supper is a metaphor, only a symbolic meal, the transforming of one substance into another so that the bread and wine are no longer there, only a spiritual eating and drinking, or other such falsehoods. We pray that those misguided Christians may learn of the truth, repent of their sin, and return from the man-made falsehood.
This is but the tip of the iceberg which is the faith which we have received from those faithful saints of old which we boldly, confidently, and joyfully proclaim the eternal truths now and forever more!