The Bible – The Bible, including both Old and New Testaments as originally given, is the verbally and plenarily inspired Word of God and is free from error in the whole and in the part, and is therefore the final authoritative guide for faith and conduct.
God – There is one God eternally existent in three distinct persons in one divine essence, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
The Human Race – God created Adam and Eve in His image to live in fellowship with Him. They fell into sin through the temptation of Satan and thereby lost fellowship with God. Through their disobedience the entire human race became totally depraved, that is, self-centered sinners who oppose God, and who by nature are unable to trust, fear or love Him. They are subject to the devil, and are condemned to death under the eternal wrath of God.
Jesus Christ – Jesus Christ, God’s Eternal Son, is the image of the invisible God. In order to accomplish our redemption he became fully human, being conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. Jesus Christ, who is true God and true man, by His perfect obedience and substitutionary death on the cross, has purchased our redemption. He arose from the dead for our justification in the body in which He was crucified. He ascended into heaven, where He is now seated at the right hand of God, the Father, as our interceding High Priest. He will come a second time personally, bodily and visibly to gather the believers to Himself and to establish His millennial kingdom. He will judge the living and the dead and make an eternal separation between believers and unbelievers. His kingdom will never end.
The Holy Spirit – The Holy Spirit is a divine person eternally one with the Father and with the Son. Through the Word of God He convicts people of sin, persuades them to confess their sinfulness to God and calls them to faith through the Gospel. He regenerates, sanctifies, and preserves believers in the one true faith. He comforts, guides, equips, directs, and empowers the church to fulfill the great commission.
Salvation – The knowledge and benefit of Christ’s redemption from sin is brought to the human race through God’s means of grace, namely, God’s Holy Word and the Sacraments.
Through the Word of the Law God brings sinners to know their lost condition and to repent. Through the Word of the Gospel He brings sinners to believe in Jesus Christ, have their sins forgiven, become righteous in God’s sight and have eternal life. This occurs as the Holy Spirit awakens them to see their sin, convicts them of the guilt of their sin, and calls them to repent and believe, inviting and enabling them to accept God’s grace in Christ. Those who believe are instantly forgiven and credited with Christ’s righteousness. They are then empowered through God’s Word and the ZHoly Spirit to live as children of God.
Through the Sacrament of Baptism God offers the benefits of Christ’s redemption to all people and graciously bestows the washing of regeneration and newness of life to all who believe. God calls the baptized person to live in daily repentance, that is, in sorrow for sin, in turning from sin, and in personal faith in the forgiveness of sin obtained by Christ. Those who do not continue to live in God’s grace need to be brought once again to repentance and faith through the Law and Gospel.
Because the sinfulness of human nature passes on from generation to generation and the promise of God’s grace includes little children, we baptize infants, who become members of Christ’s believing church through baptism. These children need to come to know that they are sinners with a sinful nature that opposes God. Through the word of the Holy Spirit, they need to confess their sinfulness and yield to God; and possess for themselves forgiveness of their sin through Jesus Christ, as they are led from the faith received in infant baptism into a clear and personal faith in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. Being assured of their salvation, they need to rely solely on the finished work of Christ and the power of the Gospel to live as children of God.
In the Sacrament of Holy Communion Christ gives to the communicants His body and blood in, with, and under the bread and wine. He declares the forgiveness of sin to all believers, and strengthens their faith.
The Church Universal – The Church Universal consists of all those who truly believe on Jesus Christ as Savior. The local congregation is an assembly of believers in a certain locality among whom the Gospel is purely taught and the Sacraments are rightly administered. The confessing membership of the local congregation shall include only those who have been baptized into “the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,” confess personal faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, maintain a good reputation on the community and accept the constitution of the Church of the Lutheran Brethren. It cannot, however, be avoided that hypocrites might be mixed in the congregation; that is, those whose unbelief is not evident to the congregation.
Church Governance – The Church of the Lutheran Brethren practices the congregational form of church governance and the autonomy of the local congregation. The office of pastor and elder is to be filled by men only. The synodical administration has an advisory function as it relates to the congregation, and an administrative function as it relates tot he cooperative efforts of the congregations.
Lutheran Confessions – The Lutheran Confessions are a summary of Bible doctrines. We adhere to the following confessional writings: The Apostles’ Creed, Nicene and Athanasian Creeds, unaltered Augsburg Confession, and Luther’s Small Catechism.
For more information concerning the Church of the Lutheran Brethren, please visit www.clba.org.