Statements of Faith
As Lutherans, we believe as the Bible teaches us. Therefore, all of our teaching and doctrine is taken directly and precisely from God’s Word. Below are summaries of what we believe about spiritual topics that are essential to our lives as Christians:
God -- We believe in the one true God as revealed to us in Holy Scriptures as Father, Son and Holy Spirit. He is the Triune God: One God in three persons. He created, redeemed and sanctified us.
The Father -- We believe that God the Father, in love, created the universe and all that exists, from nothing by His Word. In love He sustains His creation and desires a personal relationship with all people.
The Son -- We believe that because of His love for us, God became a human being, Jesus Christ. Being fully divine and fully human, He lived the perfect life of a servant, and in His death on the cross Jesus suffered the punishment we deserve for our sin. In His death and because of His bodily resurrection, Jesus won for us victory over death and the power of the devil. Only through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ can we experience the forgiveness of our sins and be made acceptable to God and gain eternal life in heaven.
The Holy Spirit -- We believe that God the Holy Spirit works in the lives of people and brings them to faith in Jesus Christ. Every Christian is filled with the presence of the Holy Spirit who empowers us to be a witness of Jesus Christ to others, to follow God’s commands, and to do the work of the Church.
The Bible -- We believe that the Bible is the living Word of God, divinely inspired by God, without error, and therefore the only source of true teaching and final standard by which Christians are to live. In the pages of the sixty-six books of the Old and New Testaments, God reveals His character and will, our own sinful nature and need for a Savior, and His offer of forgiveness and eternal life in His Son, Jesus Christ.
Sin -- We believe that sin separates us from God. Sin is our rebellion against God and is what we do in thought, work and deed, that is contrary to His will. We are born sinful, are naturally self-centered, and therefore, in daily need of forgiveness.
Grace -- We believe that we enter into a relationship with God, not by anything we do, but solely by what God has done for us through Jesus Christ. Knowing that we are sinners, we trust completely on God's grace, which is His unearned merit and favor, to save us from condemnation and to give us eternal life and a home with Him.
Faith -- We believe that our primary call from God is to believe in Jesus Christ as our Savior from sin and, thus, be saved eternally. Faith is a gift from God that enables us to know and accept as true what the Bible says of God and rely in Him with firm confidence for our needs in life here and now, and our salvation through Jesus Christ.
Good Works -- We engage in actions of love and mercy as a demonstration of God's love within us. We do this, not to win God's approval or salvation, but because we are thankful for the gift of eternal life, which we have already received as a free gift in Jesus Christ.
Holy Baptism -- We believe as the Bible clearly teaches that in the Sacrament of Holy Baptism, God gives to us the blessings of Jesus Christ; which are faith, forgiveness, and eternal life. We baptize infants, children, and adults in obedience to Christ’s command, to forgive the sins of the person being baptized, and to give the gift of the Holy Spirit. God adopts us as His own children through His promises in Baptism.
Holy Communion -- We believe as the Bible clearly teaches that in The Sacrament of Holy Communion, Jesus is truly and really present in a supernatural way “in, with, and under” the bread and the wine. We participate in the Lord’s Supper in obedience to Christ’s command, to remember what Jesus did for us on the cross, and to receive the forgiveness of our sins and the strengthening of our faith.
Prayer -- We believe that because Jesus Christ died for our sins, we have the privilege of praying directly to God as part of a growing and continuing relationship with Him. Prayer is our opportunity to thank and praise God, to seek His help in times of trouble and need, and to determine His way and will for our lives. Since prayer is a two-way communication in which we listen to God, as well as speak to Him, regular reading of the Bible is an integral part of daily prayer.
The Church -- We believe that The Church is not just the physical structure where we meet, or a social organization to which we belong. Rather, The Church consists of all those who believe in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Therefore, The Church is the body of believers in Christ throughout the world. God empowers those in the Church with various gifts for the purpose of serving Him and others.
The Return of Jesus -- We believe that Jesus Christ, as He promised, is coming back to earth at a time known only to God. He is coming to judge the living and the dead and to fulfill His promise to give all believers eternal life.
Heaven -- We believe that at the time of death the soul of the believer is at once received into the presence of Christ and that, at the Last Day, the believer will live with Christ, in body and soul, in eternal joy and glory.
Marriage, Gender, and Sexuality -- We believe that God wonderfully and immutably creates each person as male or female. These two distinct, complementary genders together, reflect the image and nature of God. (Gen 1:26-27.) Rejection of one's biological sex is a rejection of the image of God within that person.
We believe that the term "marriage" has only one meaning: the uniting of one man and one woman in a single, exclusive union, as delineated in Scripture. (Gen 2:18-25, Matt 19:4-6.) We believe that God intends sexual intimacy to occur only between a man and a woman who are married to each other. (1 Cor. 6:18; 7:2-5; Heb. 13:4.) We believe that God has commanded that no intimate sexual activity be engaged in outside of a marriage between a man and a woman.
We believe that any form of sexual immorality (including adultery, fornication, homosexual behavior, bisexual conduct, bestiality, incest, and use of pornography) is sinful and offensive to God. (Matt 15:1820; 1 Cor 6:9-10.)
We believe that in order to preserve the function and integrity of Mount Olive Lutheran Church as the local Body of Christ, and to provide a biblical role model to Mount Olive members and the community, it is imperative that all persons employed by Mount Olive in any capacity, those who serve as volunteers, and members, agree to and abide by this Statement on Marriage, Gender, and Sexuality. (Matt 5:16; Phil 2:1416; 1 Thess 5:22.)
We believe that God offers redemption and restoration to all who confess and forsake their sin, seeking His mercy and forgiveness through Jesus Christ. (Acts 3:19-21; Rom 10:9-10; 1 Cor 6:9-11.)
We believe that every person must be afforded compassion, love, kindness, respect, and dignity. (Mark 12:28-31; Luke 6:31.) Hateful and harassing behavior or attitudes directed toward any individual are to be repudiated and are not in accord with Scripture nor the doctrines of Mount Olive Lutheran Church.