About Lutheran Worship
"Loving those who don’t know Jesus and growing those who do."
Our Lutheran church family is composed of many people from many different backgrounds, all of whom enrich our life together. Most visitors, however, do express an interest in knowing what the Lutheran Church believes and how we are both similar to and different from other churches. If you have been wondering, this brief explanation is for you!
Many of our visitors are not Lutheran, and we think that’s wonderful! Questions are always welcome. If you would like to learn more on Lutheranism, or if you have specific questions, we would love to hear from you-please visit our contact page. Please phone the church office to make an appointment with one of the pastors.
We cooperate in ecumenical ministries with all denominations and faith-based Christian agencies who confess the Triune God, Lutheran and non-Lutheran. We are governed by a Board of Trustees composed of our members who are men and women elected by the congregation. All are welcome to our ministries here, you do not need to be a member to worship or be involved in the life of the church.
What we believe about…
God is the creator of the universe and continues to be intimately involved with his creation, sustaining it from day to day. People (including you and me!) are not here by accident but by God’s design. The one God has shown Himself to his creation as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (what Christians call the “Trinity”). Christmas is a celebration of the Son’s coming to earth and being born as a man. In his life, Jesus Christ demonstrated to us a life of obedience to God and revealed to us what the unseen God is really like. On the cross, He freely gave his life for us. Easter celebrates his resurrection from the dead; Jesus Christ is alive forever and reigns as Lord of all creation!
The Holy Bible
The Holy Bible is foundational to the Christian, including Lutheran, faith. Through the books that make up the Holy Bible, God has spoken and continues to speak to us today. In its pages, Christians can discover who God is, what He expects from his people, what He has accomplished on our behalf, and what He has promised for our future. As the primary and authoritative witness to the Christian and Lutheran faith, the Holy Bible is the standard by which we evaluate all doctrine.
Sin and Forgiveness
Sin describes the condition of humankind: alienated from God and destined for death. Sin entered the world when people chose to live life in their own way rather than by God’s direction. It affects every area of our lives, including our relationships with other people and even with nature; and nothing we do can mend our broken relationship with God. Good News! What we could not do for ourselves, Jesus Christ has done for us. When God’s Son died on the cross, Jesus broke the power of sin and death. Now God freely offers us the gift of forgiveness and the possibility of a restored relationship with Him. Lutheranism considers this free gift grace, meaning we do not deserve God’s love and forgiveness nor can we earn these gifts. Christians simply trust God to give what He has promised and Lutherans understand this free gift. Grace is one of several important tenants of the Lutheran faith, learn more below!
Lutherans believe that Christian life is not a series of dos and don’ts but rather a response to God’s love. In our families, on the job, in service to others, and in prayer, our lives reflect our love and our gratitude to God. Christian life does not end with death! God gives us the gift of everlasting life in his Kingdom! Meanwhile, God calls all who believe in Jesus to be a part of his family on earth, the Church. Within Christian congregations of many denominations, God’s people experience mutual support and fellowship.
Like most Protestants, Lutherans accept two sacraments- Baptism and Holy Communion. In Baptism, God makes the baptized person a member of his family and bestows on him/her the gift of the Holy Spirit. Lutherans baptize all ages, infant to adult, and most Lutheran congregations baptize by pouring a small amount of water upon the head. In Holy Communion, in the tangible forms of bread and wine, Jesus’ real presence is there to offer us God’s forgiveness and renewed strength for daily living.
The three solae (from Latin, sola, lit. “alone”) of the Protestant Reformation are a foundational set of principles held by Lutheran theologians and clergy to be central to our doctrine of salvation.
Each sola represents a key belief in the Lutheran and Reformed traditions in distinction to the teaching of the Roman Catholic Church.
The Three Principles of the Reformation are:
- Sola Scriptura – only scripture
- Sola Gratia – only grace
- Sola Fides – only faith
Sola Scriptura is held by Lutherans and Reformed theologies and is the idea principle that scripture must govern over church traditions and interpretations which are themselves held to be subject to scripture. All church traditions, creeds, and teachings must be cohesion with the teachings of scripture as the divinely inspired Word of God.
Sola Gratia excludes a person’s merit as part of them achieving salvation. Sola gratia is the teaching that salvation comes by divine grace, an unmerited favor. This means that salvation is an unearned gift from God.
Sola Fides asserts that good works are not a means or requisite for salvation. Sola fide is the teaching that justification, being declared just by God, is received by faith alone. In Lutheranism, we believe that this salvation is without any part of the individual. Good works are thus seen to be evidence of being saved in the faith, an outward appearance of God’s work in our lives.
History of Martin Luther
Luther rejected several teachings and practices of the Roman Catholic Church; in particular, he disputed the view on indulgences. Luther brought to light the issues through academic discussion of the practice and efficacy of indulgences through his 1517 Ninety-five Theses.
Luther taught that salvation and eternal life are not earned by a person’s good deeds but are received only as the free gift of God’s grace through the believer’s faith in Jesus Christ as redeemer from sin. His theology challenged the authority and office of the pope by teaching that the Holy Bible is the only source of divinely revealed knowledge. Those who identify with these, and all of Luther’s wider teachings, are called Lutherans.
Luther’s translation of the Holy Bible into the German vernacular, from the Latin Vulgate, made the Holy Bible more accessible to the lay individual. This had a tremendous effect on the church, globally. Luther’s translation of the Holy Bible fostered the development of a standard version of the German language, principles to the methods of translation, and influenced the writing of the Tyndale Bible, the original English translation.
Martin Luther’s work is still celebrated today through what Lutheran’s call Reformation. Each year, La Casa de Cristo Lutheran Church brings to memory the historic events of Luther’s life and is joined by people worldwide in appreciation for the freedom of worship this movement brought to Christendom worldwide.