Vision and Values

Lutheran Church of St. John Vision and Values

Grace Overflowing - Bringing faith to life through God’s unchanging Word

At the Lutheran Church of St. John,

Grace flows to us in joy-filled worship as the Word of God is proclaimed.

Grace flows through us as we grow together sharing the Gospel of Jesus.

Grace flows from us as we reach out with the love of Jesus.

Grace - Our congregation has always had a strong emphasis on the grace that flows from the cross and that we receive in the Sacraments.  It is also reflective of our Lutheran heritage and the emphasis on grace in our theology.  Grace reminds us that who we are and what we do begins not with us, but with God.  It also serves as a reminder that all, regardless of status, are included in God’s kingdom.  Therefore, we rejoice in worship and grow together based on the grace revealed to us in His Word and forgiveness.

Overflowing - God blesses us in ways that are extravagant and overwhelming.  In John, Jesus reminds us “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly” (John 10:10).  That abundance overflows and creates in us an attitude of thanks in response to what God has done.  It also implies that we are blessed by God to be a blessing to others.  When something overflows, it touches those things around it.  Likewise, when we overflow with God’s grace, we will touch and influence those around us.

Bringing Faith to Life - This adds direction to God’s grace in us.  It begins to move us toward our other two values.  God’s Grace drives us into relationships where we compassionately share the Gospel of Jesus.  We reach out to the community with the love of Jesus.  When grace overflows, it means we love those around us and we reach out to those who don’t yet know that grace.  The movement of grace to life makes the grace of God more than just an abstract idea, but a practical, relevant part of our everyday lives.

“The grace of our Lord overflowed for me with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus”  1 Timothy 1:14

What we Believe:  The Lutheran Church of St. John shares with the Christian church around the world the common belief that God came into our broken world in the person of Jesus Christ.  Through the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross God gives us the free gift of the forgiveness of sins and calls us to be His children.  Being a part of the Lutheran tradition we emphasize that this forgiveness of God is given to us by grace, through faith (Ephesians 2:8-10) and revealed to us in the Bible.  The Lutheran Church of St. John is a member of The Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod

What We Believe About . . .

God:  There is only one true God.  In the Old Testament, He has revealed Himself as “The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob,” and, “The Lord God almighty,” and other various titles.  With the advent of God’s Son, Jesus, being born into the world, God has revealed Himself to us as God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19), or the “Triune God.”  The true God is One God and yet has revealed Himself in three distinct persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, also known as the “Trinity.” 

Creation: This Triune God has created all that exists and continues to sustain His creation (Genesis 1 & 2).  He has personally created every person on earth (Psalm 139:13-16).  He loves His creation and desires to live in relationship with the people He has created.

Sin: Unfortunately, though God created all things “good,” our world was subjected to decay and death because of sin (Romans 6:23).  The “Fall into Sin” happened near the beginning of the world, when Adam and Eve disobeyed God (Genesis 3).  This sin is passed on to every generation (Romans 5:12).  Sin causes not only physical death in the world, but also brings the consequence of God’s eternal punishment.

Jesus: The only answer to the problem of sin is God’s gift of His only Son, Jesus, the Christ (John 1:14, 29).  Jesus lived a perfect sinless life, the life we ought to live but can’t because of our sin (2 Corinthians 5:18-21).  Jesus then took the punishment of our sin upon Himself as He died on the cross outside the city walls of Jerusalem (Luke 23:22-43).  Jesus rose to life again (resurrection) on the third day in victory over sin and death (1 Corinthians 15:51-58).  Those who believe and are baptized into Christ are forgiven all their sins and share in Christ’s victory over sin and death (Romans 6:4-5).

The Holy Spirit:God saves us through the death and resurrection of Jesus, the Christ.  However, it is the person of the Holy Spirit who brings us the gifts of salvation and life in the name of Jesus (1 Corinthians 12:3; John 14:26).  The Holy Spirit gives us these gifts through the preaching of the Gospel and the administration of the Sacraments; the outpouring of the Holy Spirit happened on Pentecost (Acts 2).

 

The Bible: The Bible is God’s Holy Word given to us through prophets, apostles, and evangelists.  The Bible tells us everything God wants us to know about Him and the Way of Salvation and Christian life (2 Timothy 3:15-17).  However, it does not tell us everything there is to know about God; no book could do that (John 21:25).  We believe God’s Word is inspired and inerrant and is not to be subjected to human opinion or private interpretation (2 Peter 1:20-21). 

Baptism: Baptism was instituted by Jesus Christ (Matthew 28:18-20).  Baptism brings forgiveness and the gift of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38-39).  By the working of God’s Holy Spirit, baptism connects us to Christ and saves us from sin and eternal death (Romans 6:1-4; 1 Peter 3:18-22)

Repentance: As God’s children, we are called to live a life of repentance and faith.  Repentance involves contrition (sorrow over sin), confession (admitting our sin), and turning again to Christ for forgiveness and strength to live a new life (Romans 6:1-4; Ephesians 4:17-32)

Communion: Holy Communion, also called the Lord’s Supper, the Eucharist, and the Breaking of Bread, was instituted by Jesus, the Christ, the night before He died on the cross .  In this Holy Supper the Lord Jesus gives us His body and blood, given and shed for us on the cross, in and under bread and wine (Matthew 26:26-30).  This Holy Communion is for repentant believers, and bestows upon them renewed forgiveness of sins, spiritual comfort and peace, and strength to live a new life.

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