Saturday, June 25, 2011

What we Confess

Mount Zion Lutheran Church
The Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod
5714 Solano Ave
Richmond CA 94805
(510) 233-2299

Rev. Richard M. Gaub, Interim Pastor

We believe in the Triune God, one God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

We believe in God, the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth.  We believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into hell. The third day he rose again from the dead. He ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty. From thence he will come to judge the living and the dead. We believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Christian Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting.

We believe what Scripture declares about the Law and the Gospel

The Law reveals we are condemned sinners before a righteous God. We confess our failure to live a God pleasing life by keeping His commandments. Joyfully, the Gospel reveals God’s unmerited favor for sinners. Through Jesus Christ our Saviour, all our sins are forgiven and we are given peace with God and eternal life.

We believe in Salvation through Jesus Christ alone.

Because we are born corrupted by sin we cannot save ourselves. Through Jesus Christ’s sacrificial death on our behalf the Father declares us righteous in His sight. Through the Holy Spirit working faith in our hearts, we believe this good news, and through Christ’s bodily resurrection from the dead we too shall rise to eternal life.

We believe in the Holy Scriptures

The Bible is the inerrant Word of God. Through the prophets and apostles, inspired by the Holy Spirit, and chiefly through Jesus Christ Himself, Scripture records the word that gives life.

We believe in the Holy Sacraments

God’s Word promises that a visible sign of God’s good favor and the benefits of Christ’s sacrificial death are offered in the sacraments.  Through water and the word, the Sacrament of Baptism creates faith, forgives sin, and makes us new in Christ (Titus 3:5-6). Through Jesus Christ’s true body and blood in the bread and win, the Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper bestows forgiveness of sin and strengthens faith. It confesses Christ’s death and the unity of the church. Holy Communion is distributed to the baptized who have been formally admitted into altar fellowship.

The church is given the power to forgive the sins of penitent sinners and to retain the sins of the impenitent. When the called ministers of Christ deal with Christians by His divine command, either excluding or absolving, this is as if Christ, our dear Lord, dealt with us Himself (see John 20:22-23 and the Small Catechism).  For the sake of troubled consciences the pastor offers private confession/absolution.

We believe the Divine Service

We gather around Word and Sacraments because our gracious Lord promises to work repentance and faith through these His gifts. We respond in thanksgiving and by serving our neighbor. The Divine Service is not what we do for God, but His service to us received by faith. The liturgies we use date back to the earliest Christians and are thoroughly Scriptural.