What We Believe
Here is some information to let you know about our church family at Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church.
As you read through what we believe, it is with great joy that we invite you to be a part of our church family as well! For Jesus Christ loves you and even now reaches out to you by the power of His Holy Spirit!
A Church Founded in the Word of God
The church is one of the greatest gifts God gives to his people.It is where the people of God come together as a community to live together, to serve together, to worship together, to be spiritually fed together, and to care for and love one another. We confess that God our Father loves us very much: how wonderful it is that he loves us through our fellow Christians in the church!
This love that our Heavenly Father has for us is the cornerstone of who we are at Beautiful Savior. And the way His love manifests itself to the church is through the power of His Word. Because of that, the church’s foundation is the Word of God. It is our strength, our hope, our salvation, and even our purpose: to lift up those within Beautiful Savior with the power of God’s Word, and then also to spread his Word to our community, as God has called us to do.
But what do we mean when we say that we are founded in “God’s Word”? What exactly does that mean? What IS “God’s Word”?
The answer to that question is the answer that we at Beautiful Savior love to tell!
God’s Word is Jesus Christ
First and foremost, God’s Word is Jesus Christ. That is to say, when we speak of God’s Word, we cannot properly do so unless we have as God’s Word the Word Incarnate, or the Word made flesh: Jesus Christ. Jesus is the way in which God has used his Word to forgive our sins, to conquer Satan and death, and to bring us into a relationship with God our Father.
Jesus is at the center of how we define God’s Word; and so Jesus is the foundation of all senses of God’s Word. Not only was he God’s Word incarnate, but he spoke God’s Word. Through his speaking Jesus healed, forgave, and saved. Jesus is God’s Word in action!
Jesus is the focal point of the Holy Scriptures, collected together in the Bible, and so is the center of God’s written Word as well. Not only does the Bible point to Jesus, but it also receives its power and authority from him: we believe in the Bible because of the testimony of Jesus.
So we can see, Jesus is not only one way we see God’s Word, but is the one way on which all others are contingent. He is the subject of the Word, the authority on which it stands, and the power by which it acts. When we say that God works our salvation through the power of his Word, we remember that God works our salvation through Jesus Christ.
God’s Word Comes to Us Through Preaching and Teaching
We have already said how Jesus not only was God’s Word, but also spoke God’s Word, and by the power of that spoken Word God redeemed his people. But is there a way in which the spoken Word of God works among us even today? There is, and it happens through the preaching and teaching of God’s Word.
Jesus gave the power and authority to preach God’s Word to his church. Because of this, when we hear God’s Word preached by those called by his church, then it is as though Jesus speaks God’s Word himself. In this way, Jesus is not only the subject of God’s Word preached, but is the authority by which God’s Word is preached. As preaching has its authority in Christ, so God’s Word preached is also a way God acts in the world: God’s Word preached is a way in which God redeem, forgives, and makes promises to his people.
Preaching is the way that God has established for his Word to come to his people in the church. In this, preaching is where God and man meet, for preaching is the way in which we come into contact with God’s Word, and thus where we come into contact with Christ. The purpose of preaching can be seen in this: Christ gives us as the church the power to preach God’s Word because it brings Christ into contact with his people.
Because of this, we at Beautiful Savior meet for worship on Sunday mornings, in order to meet with God and be fed by Him. We also meet during the week to be taught about God’s Word during regular Bible Studies. The benefits of our Lord’s proclamations abound!
God’s Word Comes to Us Through the Scriptures
Once we see that Jesus is God’s Word, then we can properly understand how there is a sense in which the Bible, receiving its authority from Jesus, acts as God’s Word as well. The Bible is a witness of how God has worked in history for the salvation of his people, and how he has done this through his Word incarnate, Jesus Christ. Along with this, the Bible itself contains God’s Word.
Also, as the Bible has been given its authority by Christ, so too it is the foundation for God’s Word as it is preached. God’s Word preached is “normed” by God’s Word as found in the Bible; that is to say, the foundation for preaching should be in the Bible, and preaching should never go against what Jesus has pointed to as authoritative in Scripture.
God’s Word: Not Just a Lot of Talk
In conclusion, God’s Word is not fully understood as some words which we simply read or hear. They are so much more then that. When we see God’s Word as Jesus Christ, and when we see God’s Word in its other senses coming to us with Jesus as its subject, authority, and power, then we can see that God’s Word is the way God works in the world. Once we see this, it can help us understand how God’s Word is working in our everyday lives as God’s people in his church.
We can receive God’s Word through the sacraments, and know that as they have at their center God’s Word as Jesus Christ, then they have his authority and power with them, and so see that they work our forgiveness and the giving of God’s Spirit.
We can hear God’s Words of absolution, given to us at worship, pronounced by the preacher, and know that these words too have at their center Jesus Christ; and because of his authority, this Word works to make us righteous.
And when we see Jesus Christ as God’s Word, then we also are free to tell others of God’s love for them. As God uses us as his instruments, through the power of his Holy Spirit, through us God’s Word brings Christ’s kingdom to others. So too, with Jesus as its focal point, this is God’s Word in action, reaching out to work his election, forgiveness, and salvation.
All this is the great wonder, power, and majesty that is God’s Word as we confess it: as the Son of God, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
This is what we believe, and what we are all about, here at Beautiful Savior! It is our joy to invite you to be part of our church family, based in God’s Word, as well! For Jesus Christ loves you very much, and even now reaches out to you by the power of His Holy Spirit! Won’t you come and visit us?
Pastor A.J. Neugebauer
If you need more information about what we believe as a congregation of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod, please go to the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod website.
And if you have any questions, please contact us! For we love to tell the story of Jesus and His love!