What We Believe

What We Believe

The Faith We Confess

We believe in the one true God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. (Matt. 28:18-19John 15:262 Cor. 13:14)

We believe that all people are sinful by nature (Ps. 14:351:5Is. 64:6Rom. 3:9-18235:12James 2:101 John 1:8) and deserve God’s punishment, now and forever. (Matt. 10:28Is. 66:24Matt. 7:13Luke 16:19-31)

We believe that God sent His Son, Jesus Christ, into the world as our substitute to be sacrificed on the cross in payment for our sins. (John 1:14Matt. 1:21John 1:120:20Rom. 4:255:819John 1:29Is. 53:6Rom. 3:23-252 Cor. 5:21Gal. 3:13)

We believe that Jesus Christ is true God and true man. We believe that He won forgiveness for the whole world at the cross. We believe that He is the only Redeemer and the only Mediator between God and man. (Rom. 3:21-264:55:1Gen. 15:62 Cor. 5:19)

We believe that we are justified (declared righteous by God) solely by God's grace for Christ's sake through faith. We believe that the risen Christ now gives His forgiveness to us through the means of grace, that is, His holy Word and Sacraments. (John 3:5-817:17-201 Cor. 1:21Acts 11:14Rom. 10:17)

We believe that the Bible is the inspired Word of God, and, as such, is free from error. We believe that the Bible is the only norm and rule for faith and life. (John 17:1710:352 Peter 1:212 Tim. 3:161 Cor. 2:13)

We believe that the three ecumenical creeds (Apostles', Nicene, and Athanasian), Luther's Small and Large Catechisms, the Augsburg Confession, the Apology [defense] of the Augsburg Confession, the Smalcald Articles, the Treatise on the Power and Primacy of the Pope and the Formula of Concord (which all comprise the Book of Concord) confess the Scriptural faith.

We believe that in Holy Communion, together with the bread and wine, we receive the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins and the strengthening of faith. (Matt. 26:26-28Mark 14:22-24Luke 22:19-201 Cor. 11:23-26)

Confessional Subscription

The Lutheran Church differs from all other churches in being essentially the Church of the pure Word and unadulterated Sacraments. Not the great number of her adherents, not her organizations, not her charitable and other institutions, not her beautiful customs and liturgical forms, and so forth, but the precious truths confessed by her symbols in perfect agreement with the Holy Scriptures constitute the true beauty and rich treasures of our Church, as well as the never-failing source of her vitality and power.

Wherever the Lutheran Church ignored her symbols or rejected all or some them, there she always fell an easy prey to her enemies. But wherever she held fast to her God-given crown, esteemed and studied her Confessions, and actually made them a norm and standard of her entire life and practice, there the Lutheran Church flourished and confounded all her enemies.

Accordingly, if Lutherans truly love their Church, and desire and seek her welfare, they must be faithful to her Confessions and constantly be on their guard lest anyone rob her of her treasure.

May God be pleased, as in the past, so also in the future, to bless our Church, and graciously keep her in the true and only saving Christian faith as set forth and confessed in the Lutheran symbols, whose paramount object is to maintain the gem of Luther’s Reformation, the blessed doctrine of salvation by grace only, which most wonderfully magnifies the great glory of our God, and alone is able to impart solid comfort to poor sinners.

— Preface, Concordia Triglotta, Friedrich Bente: July 4, 1921.

Worship in Our Congregation

The Triune God serves us in the Divine Service with His Word and Sacraments

Thesis 1

We confess that worship (Gottesdienst) is our triune God's service to us, and our faithful responses always direct us back to God from whom all blessings flow.

We deny that worship is primarily a human activity, which is constituted by contrived efforts at emotion-centered adoration and praise. (Matt. 20:28Luke 22:24-27Acts 1:1-2)

What does this mean at Christ Lutheran congregation of Sioux Falls?

Thesis 2

We confess that worship flows from the Gospel. At the heart and center of all worship is Jesus Christ and His atoning sacrifice for sin. In worship, the living and saving Lord comes to give us life.

We deny that worship is based on the Law, namely, that our feelings or gifts supplement the work of Christ. (Luke 24:25-35)

What does this mean at Christ Lutheran?

Thesis 3

We confess that in the liturgy God’s Word and sacraments are proclaimed and administered. Through these means, God dispenses forgiveness, life, and salvation. (John 4:21-241 Cor. 2:6-16)

We deny that the liturgy is a mere form to produce the desired responses in worshipers.

What does this mean at Christ Lutheran?

Thesis 4

We confess that the purpose of music in the church is to bear the living voice of the Gospel. (Heb. 12:28-29)

We deny that music is present for purely aesthetic reasons or for the satisfaction of personal tastes of worshipers or worship leaders.

What does this mean at Christ Lutheran?

Thesis 5

We confess that worship is catholic (that is, universal). The gathering of God's people around Word and Sacrament reaches across cultural and social barriers to transcend both time and space.

We deny that worship is defined by the tastes and preferences of an individual or group of worshipers.

What does this mean at Christ Lutheran?

Thesis 6

We confess that the environment of worship should be theologically sound, aesthetically pleasing, and spiritually edifying.

We deny that art and architecture are neutral factors in a setting for worship. (1 Cor. 10:23-31)

What does this mean at Christ Lutheran?

Soli Deo Gloria!

Adapted from the worship theses of Concordia University–Wisconsin

Marriage Policy

The marriage policy of Christ Lutheran Church, a member congregation of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, is and always has been consistent with the Synod’s beliefs on marriage. We believe that marriage is a sacred union of one man and one woman (Gen. 2:24-25), and that God gave marriage as a picture of the relationship between Christ and His bride the Church (Eph. 5:32). The official position of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, as set forth in 1998 Res. 3-21 (“To Affirm the Sanctity of Marriage and to Reject Same-Sex Unions”), is that homosexual unions come under categorical prohibition in the Old and New Testaments (Lev. 18:222420:131 Cor. 6:9-101 Tim. 1:9-10) as contrary to the Creator’s design (Rom. 1:26-27). These positions and beliefs can be found on the LCMS website, along with other statements, papers and reports on the subject of homosexuality and same-sex civil unions and “marriage.” Our pastors will not officiate over any marriages inconsistent with these beliefs, and our church property may not be used for any marriage ceremony, reception or other activity that would be inconsistent with our beliefs and this policy.

— Bylaw adopted June 14, 2015 by the Voters’ Assembly.