We believe . . .
In the Triune God—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We believe that this God is perfect love, sharing His divine life among the three Persons.
That the Triune God is the Creator of heaven and earth. We believe that this God’s perfect love overflowed as He shared His life in creation, especially with human beings who were originally made in His image.
That human beings are sinners. We believe that in Adam’s sin our whole race rejected the life of God and now suffers the consequences of their alienation from God in a fallen world.
That Jesus Christ, who is both true God and true man in one person, died to atone for the sins of the world and was raised to life to give new life to humanity. We believe that Jesus is both the image of the invisible God (Colossians 1:15) and the new Adam (1 Corinthians 15:45). By His death and resurrection, He has suffered the consequences of human sin and begun the restoration of God’s creation.
That Baptism is God’s gracious gift by which the Holy Spirit makes a person a child of God. We believe that in Baptism the Holy Spirit incorporates a person into the death and resurrection of Jesus, giving all the gifts that Jesus earned by His suffering, death, and resurrection and opening the way to new life.
That the Lord’s Supper is the meal of God’s family, at which Jesus is truly present. We believe that the Lord’s Supper is the true Body and Blood of the Lord Jesus under the bread and wine and that in this meal we receive the benefits of the bodily suffering and death of Jesus, we are assured of His promise that we will share in His bodily resurrection on the Last Day, and we are strengthened in the renewal He has begun in us.
That Christ will return again in glory to renew and restore all things. We believe with the ancient creeds of the Church in the resurrection of the dead and the life everlasting. We believe that our ultimate destiny is to have our humanity fully restored and to participate as co-heirs with Christ in His glory (Romans 8:17).
St. Stephen is a congregation of the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. That means that we embrace the three slogans of the Lutheran Reformation: Grace Alone, Faith Alone, Scripture Alone.
Grace Alone—For Lutherans, grace is God’s compassionate disposition toward humanity. God’s grace is summarized in Romans 5, “While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Our salvation depends on God’s favor, not on anything in us.
Faith Alone—For Lutherans, faith means trust. Faith is not something we do or a decision we make. Faith is the Spirit-inspired trust that everything Jesus did, He did for us.
Scripture Alone—For Lutherans, the Bible is the only rule and norm for Christians doctrine and life. While Lutherans honor the long traditions of the Church, we recognize that the Bible alone is God’s inerrant and infallible Word.
What is a Synod? Technically, a synod is a meeting of church delegates for the purpose of discussing and deciding the affairs of the church. In the case of the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, the word synod reminds us that we are a collection of congregations who confess the Christian faith in the same way and pool our diverse talents and resources to accomplish works that we could not accomplish individually. The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod numbers over 6,000 congregations nationwide and counts 36 partner churches around the world.