The purpose of this congregation shall be to serve its members and to spread the Kingdom of God by preaching the Word of God, by Administration of the Sacraments, and by the religious instruction of youth and adults, according to the confessional standards of the Lutheran Church (Article III), and to foster Christian fellowship and charity.
This congregation acknowledges and accepts all the canonical books of the Old and New Testaments as the revealed Word of God, verbally inspired, and acknowledges and accepts all the confessional writing of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, contained in the Book of Concord of the year 1580, to be the true and genuine exposition of the doctrines of the Bible. These confessional writings are:
- The Three Ecumenical Creeds (Apostles’, Nicene, and Athanasian)
- The Unaltered Augsburg Confession
- The Apology of the Augsburg Confession
- The Smalcald Articles
- The Treatise on the Power and Primacy of the Pope
- Luther’s Large and Small Catechisms
- The Formula of Concord.
In this congregation, therefore, no doctrine shall be taught or tolerated which is at variance with these symbols of the Evangelical Lutheran Church.
*The two sections above are taken directly from the constitution of Messiah Evangelical Lutheran Church, and are both the foundation upon which this congregation was build and upon which we continue to grow.
Here are some of the key points of the Biblical faith that we adhere to regarding the following topics:
Everything that the Lutheran Church believes comes form the Bible. The Bible is the written Word of God, and has been handed down to us in order to point us to the truth that we are saved from our sin and eternal death only by the life, death, and resurrection of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. We believe that the Bible is completely reliable and without error in its teaching about God and His amazing love for us. (Acts 24:14, 2 Timothy 3:16-17, et.al.)
There is only one true God who exists in three separate but equal persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirt. (Matthew 28:19, Ephesians 4:4-6, 2 Corinthians 13:14, et.al.)
To quote the confessions of our church:
“I believe that I cannot by my own reason or strength believe in Jesus Christ, my Lord, or come to Him; but the Holy Spirit has called me by the Gospel, enlightened me with His gifts, sanctified and kept me in the true faith.” (Small Catechism, Apostles’ Creed, Article 3)
We believe that faith is not a choice, or a work, but instead, a gift graciously given to us by the Holy Spirit that we my believe in Jesus Christ, and thereby receive life and salvation through His work and choice in our stead. (1 Corinthians 2:14, Ephesians 2:8-9, 1 Corinthians 12:3, et al.)
Since there is nothing we can do to earn salvation, we do not do good works in order to be saved, but instead, they are done out of praise for our God and love for our neighbour. As Jesus taught, the keeping of the law (that is, the doing of good works) is all about love for others – love for God and love for our neighbour. (Matthew 22:34-40, Ephesians 2:8-10, et al.)
Since we believe that we are saved solely by the work of the Holy Spirit, and through no work or choice of our own, we acknowledge that we are saved by God’s grace alone. Only by His suffering and death in the person of Jesus Christ, are we cleansed and made holy, and only by His sending of the Holy Spirit to plants faith in our heats can we even believe this. As Saint Paul says in his letter to the Ephesians:
“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” – Ephesians 2:8-10 (ESV)
Should you have any questions on what’s been written above, or on any other topic related to the Bible and the Christian faith, please call the pastor and he’d be happy to talk to you more on the subject. If you’re interested in hearing more, please join us for worship on Sunday mornings at 10:30.