What We Believe
The teachings of Immanuel Lutheran Church,
We confess that the Holy Bible is Godís Word. It tells of the good news that God has sent His Son into the world as an atoning sacrifice for the sins of the world. We receive the gift of faith to believe this through Godís grace. Through Jesus ChristóHis saving work for us upon the cross, His resurrection from the dead, and His gracious promise to returnóGod bestows upon us forgiveness of our sins, rescue from death and the devil, and eternal life.
"Our sole purpose is to bring people into a
growing relationship with Jesus Christ"
Jesus Christ draws us to this place
"Immanuel" is a beautiful name for our congregation. It means "God is with us."
We are Christians. As Christians, we make our lifeís journey with the knowledge and heartfelt confession that Jesus Christ is our Savior. It is in Christ that we find life that is acceptable before the Almighty God.
We look to the cross, the symbol of the cruel and painful death that Jesus suffered on our behalf. In His death, Jesus paid for our sins ó both our rebellion against God and our inability to live in a way that is acceptable to God. An empty cross symbolizes our faith because we believe Jesus died on a cross, was buried in a tomb, then rose from the dead on the third day. The empty cross is a symbol that we, too, will rise from death and live with our Savior forever.
God is with us. We, the members of Immanuel Lutheran Church, are alive in Jesus Christ, the center of all we believe and do. Faith in Christ as our savior is the essence of our lives. He is the one who connects us to our Father in heaven.
Our faith is based on Jesus Christ
We believe that God is a god of love who has created us for a reason, giving us talents and personalities to reflect His own image. And God has a plan for us.
But our own natures tell us to please ourselves first. By nature, we rebel against God and seek to satisfy our own desires. We even desire to serve ourselves at the expense of those around us, sometimes even our family. This is what we know as "sin." Because of our sinful nature, we are unable to please God, who is holy. We cannot do enough good to outweigh the bad we think and do (or the good we donít do). We are unable to love God above all things. And the consequence of our sin is final: death.
But we believe that God is a loving god. At the right time, He sent his own Son, Jesus Christ, to pay the penalty of our sin ó to suffer and die in our place.
When Jesus died on the cross, His death paid for the sins of all people. No one deserved it, but He laid down His life out of love. The Gospel (which means "good news") is this: God gave His perfect Son to pay for the sins of all human beings for all time. This message of Godís love and His plan of salvation is shown again and again in the Bible.
Salvation comes to those who believe Jesusí death was the acceptable sacrifice for their sins ó past, present and future. Itís an exchange: He takes our sinfulness and gives us His perfection in return.
Our faith and hope ó for now and eternity ó is built on Jesus Christ.
God even gives us our faith through the work of the Holy Spirit. As the Spirit acts in our lives through the Word and the Sacraments of Holy Baptism and Holy Communion He enables us to trust in Jesus as our only Savior.
Eternal life begins for us now on earth! This means we have Godís presence and power to help when we are sad, to seek forgiveness when we have done wrong, and to add joy and meaning to life. We learn to live for Him and for others, thankful that God loves us as we are.
Yes, God is truly with us!
We are a Christian church
As Immanuel Lutheran Church we are part of the body of Christ here on earth. It is a fellowship of believers who come together here in Perryville and with believers all over the world.
Here, in the congregation, is where Godís Word is taught. The Word is found in the Bible. We teach of Christ and salvation and the way of living that is pleasing to God.
Here, in this congregation, is where the Sacraments are administered. In the Sacraments, God uses earthly means to bring about forgiveness of sins. In Baptism, God the Holy Spirit makes us His adopted sons and daughters. We are washed of our sins and given the cleanliness that Christ won for us. Through the bread and wine of Holy Communion we receive Christís body and blood and, in that, the forgiveness of our sins. And in forgiveness of sins, we also receive life and salvation.
As a congregation, a gathering of believers, we partake in fellowship with fellow Christians. In a sense, this fellowship becomes our wider family. We enjoy one anotherís company, but here we also, in love, seek to help one another. We may attend to physical needs, like assistance when emergencies or tragedies strike our personal lives. As a true fellowship, we also commit to help one another when we fall into actions or activities that are not pleasing to God.
Wherever two or three gather in His name, Jesus promises to be among us, sending us the Holy Spirit to help us live God-pleasing lives and grow stronger in our faith.
We are a Lutheran congregation
The name "Lutheran" is applied to Christians who share the historic confession of faith that Martin Luther proclaimed in the 16th century. Luther began a movement that focused the church on Jesus Christ as the Savior and the only way of salvation. Luther also refocused the church to the Bible as the only source of Godís plan for salvation.
There are three tenets of Lutheran teaching:
ē Scripture alone ó The Bible, and only the Bible, is the source of Godís plan of salvation. It is the inspired word of God and without error. Scripture is interpreted only by Scripture, not by manís interpretation
ē Grace alone ó Godís grace ó His undeserved love ó is shown in sending His only Son to suffer and die for the sins of all mankind. Grace in Christ is the way of salvation. No human being can "be good enough or do enough good" to merit salvation.
ē Faith alone ó Faith in God and Jesus Christ as the Savior is the only way to salvation. And even God does that ó by working faith in our hearts and lives through His Holy Spirit.
Lutherans speak of Law and Gospel. The Law (often summarized in the Ten Commandments, which outline how we are to act toward God and toward one another) emphasizes that humans are completely incapable of winning Godís favor. The Gospel is the way of salvation, the good news of Jesus Christ. The law condemns; the Gospel saves.
Lutherans are confessional, meaning they believe teach and confess the truths of Godís Word as they are summarized and confessed in the Book of Concord. These were compiled by Martin Luther and his followers in the mid-1500s as they summarized and defended their teachings before both civil and church authorities. Lutherans confess that "The word of God is and should remain the sole rule and norm of all doctrine" and that the Scriptures are the actual word of God.
The Lutheran Confessions are the basis, rule and norm indicating how all doctrines should be judged to be in conformity with the Word of God. They are the standard in the Lutheran Church for determining faithful Biblical teaching.
Pastors and other called workers, as well as the congregations where they serve, pledge their commitment to doctrine of the Evangelical Lutheran Church as they are set forth in the Book of Concord. Being a Lutheran is believing the truths of Godís Word as they are correctly explained and taught in the Book of Concord.
You can learn more. . .
For more information about the teachings of the Lutheran Church, please consider coming to an Adult Information Class that the pastors lead. These are offered three times per year: winter, summer and fall. You will be introduced to Lutherís Small Catechism and have many questions about the Christian faith answered.Church office: 547-8317.