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What We Believe

Creeds

Grace

  • We believe that salvation is a gift of God found only in the sacrificial work of Jesus Christ. GRACE is God's Riches at Christ's Expense.
  • There is nothing that we can do to contribute to salvation.
  • Salvation is ours when we receive Christ as our Savior and trust that Jesus' death and resurrection broke the grip of Satan, earned for us the forgiveness of our sins, and guaranteed that heaven is in our future.
  • Our commitment to grace, as our primary doctrine, has its roots in the Reformation and Martin Luther. Luther lived at a time when the Roman Catholic Church obscured God's grace by teaching that salvation was acquired through good works, faithfulness to the church, and even through financial contributions. Martin Luther's rediscovery of grace returned to average people the opportunity to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ apart from allegiance to the church (Ephesians 2:8-10). It is our belief that the history and heritage of the Lutheran Church shows that God has uniquely equipped it to fulfill its redemptive purpose -- to communicate the message of God's grace in a manner that is contextually relevant.

The Bible

  • The Bible is God's Word communicated through 40 different writers over a 1,600 year period.
  • Because its origin is divine and not human, it is without error or contradiction.
  • It is life giving. It communicates the Gospel of Jesus Christ that we might believe and be saved. (John 20:31)
  • It teaches what is true and shows us what is wrong with our lives. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
  • It is relevant and applicable for our lives today and must be taught in a way that makes a difference, invites people to salvation, encourages with hope, and provides guidance for our Christian walk.

Confessions of the Lutheran Church

  • We believe and teach that the doctrinal writings of the Lutheran Church, as contained in the Book of Concord, are true and correct expositions of the Word of God.

The Power of God

  • The Spirit of God is alive in each believer.
  • He empowers us with spiritual gifts to use for the building up of the Body of Christ and the advancement of his Kingdom.
  • God responds in power to the prayers of his people offered in faith and in the name of Jesus.
  • We believe that God pours out his Spirit of Power according to his will, timing, and purpose.
  • While our congregation has not experienced the outpouring of God's Spirit in a "signs and wonders" form of ministry, we continually ask him to use us as he wills.

Worship

We view worship as a two-way experience:

(1) In worship God communicates to us his love and forgiveness in Jesus Christ.

  • We hear God's Word when it is read and applied to our lives.
  • We acknowledge our sinfulness and are encouraged by the message of forgiveness.
  • When we share the Lord's Supper in worship we receive God's forgiveness, we express the oneness of our faith community (communion), and we remember the death and resurrection of Jesus.
  • Because worship is a place where the Gospel is communicated to us, it is a place where seekers come to faith.
(2) In worship we respond to God with gratitude, love and adoration.
  • In worship we sing and speak about God as we celebrate who he is and what he has accomplished for us.
  • In worship we sing and speak to God as we adore him and express our love and the commitment of our lives to him.
  • Worship is our time to set before the Lord all that we are so that he may use us to accomplish his purposes.
  • Worship is a place where we experience community; where we are encouraged by the fellowship of other believers.

The Sacraments

We emphasize the active use of the Lord's Supper and Baptism. Baptism literally means "washing" and refers to the washing away of our sins. We believe that "all nations" (Matthew 28:18-20) includes children and infants as well as adults. The benefits of baptism include being adopted into the family of God and the power and presence of the Holy Spirit in one's life. In the Lord's Supper, the Body and Blood of Jesus is truly present in the Bread and Wine. When we receive the Lord's Supper we remember what Jesus did for us, receive forgiveness of sins and the strengthening of faith, proclaim Jesus' death, and express our unity. We commune on the 2nd, 4th, and 5th Sundays of each month.

The End Times

  • Lutherans are "Amillennialists," different from the current popular "millennial" views of the end times. ("Amillennialism" was the common Christian view of the end times until the late 1800's.)
  • We agree with all Christians that Jesus will come again at the end of time; that his return is imminent and motivates us to be aggressive in outreach.
  • We agree with all Christians that the Bible points to many signs of Jesus' imminent return. We believe that no one can predict when his return will occur, only God the Father knows.
  • We do not believe that the Bible teaches a literal 1,000 year reign of Christ. The millennial reign of Jesus began when he rose from the dead and ascended into heaven. His millennial reign continues forever. (Ephesians 1:19-23)
  • We believe that the tribulation of the Christian church began when Jesus ascended into heaven and will continue until his return. The tribulation will significantly intensify in the time period immediately prior to Jesus' second coming. The Church is simultaneously living in the tribulation and under the authority and power of Jesus' millennial reign.
  • We believe that the rapture will take place when Jesus comes at the end of time. (1 Thessalonians 4:15-18) We do not teach a "pre, mid or post tribulation rapture." (Properly understood, one could say that amillenialists are post-trib.)
  • We believe in a God who will accomplish his plan and purpose at the end of time regardless of the various views of the Body of Christ.
  • We believe that the Church's time and energy is best spent on Kingdom work and the growth of our individual lives of faith rather than on the uncertainties of end time prophecies.

    Join us for the next "Mount Olive's Vision and Values" class to learn more. Check the Calendar page for dates and times. Contact the church office for more information.