The best explanation of our beliefs is very simple: we believe in Jesus.
The very first Christians all agreed on one very simple creed: Jesus is Lord. We don't all have to agree on everything at Community of Grace Lutheran Church, but we agree on that. Everything else that we believe follows from that commitment. For example:
- Because of Jesus, we believe that God loves us unconditionally. This is because he is gracious and forgiving, not because we deserve it. We don't. Christian theologians usually call this "Justification by faith through grace and not by works." We agree with that 100%, but it's awfully technical for describing a living relationship.
- We believe the Bible is a Jesus-centered book that reveals God's character, God's love, and God's plans for the world. We believe what you really think about the Bible is not revealed in what you say about it but in how you use it. We read the Bible a lot and with lots of humility, and we strive to apply its message to our lives. We believe God's Spirit draws us closer to Jesus and makes us more and more like him. Nobody's perfect, but because we love God and each other, we keep trying. Christian theologians have usually called this "sanctification." We believe this is very important, with or without a theological label.
- We believe the church is a Jesus-centered community of sinners. It's a hospital for the sick, not a museum of saints. The church is certainly not a building. Jesus said, "Wherever two or three are gathered in my name, I am there with them." Whenever we gather in Jesus' name, we are the church.
- We believe Jesus didn't only live in the past. He's alive now, and we're looking forward to his return. The Bible says the return of Jesus will bring the completion of God's new creation. Evil will be destroyed, the universe will be healed, and the people of God will enter into life without end. God speed the day!
If you are theologically inclined, you might be interested in a more complete or precise statement of our beliefs. We recommend you talk with one of our pastors who could explain all of this in a much more personal and detailed way. You might also like to know we affirm the historic creeds of the Christian church (The Apostles', Nicene, and Athanasian Creeds), and we are a Christian church in the Lutheran tradition. This means we think the historical writings of the Lutheran Reformation (such as the Augsburg Confession and the Small Catechism) helped Christians become more Jesus-centered and Biblically faithful.
Our congregation is part of a larger association of Christ-centered congregations called Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ (LCMC). We are committed to Jesus' Great Commission, where he commissioned his disciples to go and make more disciples, and Jesus' Great Commandment, where he taught his disciples to love God with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength and to love their neighbors as themselves. In fact, our mission as a congregation is drawn from these teachings of Jesus: Our mission is to be and make disciples of Jesus.
We believe God loves you, and we'd love to help you experience that truth as a disciple of Jesus Christ.