With the universal Christian Church, The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, which includes the Shepherd of the Valley congregation, boldly professes the following:
THE BIBLE is the inerrant Word of God and is our sole source for faith and life;
THE DEITY is described in the Bible as the one, true God who has revealed Himself as God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (the Triune God).
MANKIND was created by God to be holy and to have eternal life. However, by his free will, he chose to break his communion with God and brought sin and death into this world. We teach that man cannot, by his own efforts, free himself from this state of death.
THE LAW OF GOD teaches us what He desires and underlines our basic sinfulness. Man is unable to fulfill this Law; thus, he needs to be redeemed.
THE GOSPEL message tells us that despite our sin, God has loved us and sent His Son to pay the price of our sin and to set us free from its penalty. This was the ministry of Jesus Christ.
THE SAVIOR is the only begotten Son of our heavenly Father. He is our Lord and if we believe in Him, we will be forgiven and receive eternal life.
JUSTIFICATION is the act of God that declares us just through the merit of Jesus. Faith in Jesus makes us just before the laws of God because Jesus has fulfilled them, perfectly, for us. “Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and you shall be saved” (Acts 16:31).
THE CHURCH consists not of pastors or priests, but of believers. The congregation is Christ’s Church in that place. This Church has the authority to preach, teach, baptize and celebrate the Lord’s Supper. Only those they call can be their pastors.
BAPTISM for the New Covenant does what circumcision did for the Old. It is divinely instituted, is joined to water and the Word, and offers and seals life eternal. We accept all Baptism that use water and the words “in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit”, no matter how the water is applied. Only one baptism is required for this holy sacrament to be instituted by God.
THE LORD’S SUPPER is also called the Sacrament of the Altar. We teach that “in, under, and with the bread and wine are the true body and blood of Christ.” How this occurs, we leave to God.
The “is” in “This is My body/blood” does not mean “represents” as taught by Protestants, or “changed” as advanced by Catholics.
ETERNAL LIFE is the gift of faith in our Savior. It flows from the Easter Sunday resurrection from the death of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Lutherans do not feel comfortable being called Protestants. Martin Luther was a Roman Catholic who felt that the Church had turned away from its basic beliefs. He saw that the Church had elevated both tradition and the decrees of the Popes to the same level of authority with the Bible. Therefore, he began to reform the Church back to what it originally believed before this change was made.
Leaders like Calvin and Knox openly protested against the Church of Rome and anything that they termed “Catholic”. Therefore they changed anything and everything that reminded them of Rome: music, liturgy, vestments, art, communion, etc.
Today, Roman Catholics believe Lutherans are Protestants, while the Protestants think the Lutherans are too Catholic. Actually, we see ourselves as in step with the early Christians.
For fuller explanations of our beliefs and practices you can see the page entitled “Beliefs and Practices” on the LCMS website.