. . . Whatever He reveals to me I will tell you . . . Numbers 23:3
FAQs About the Faith
Here are answered questions we at our church hear most often.
The most important thing is that you join with Jesus Christ in salvation. You will not be saved simply because your name is on a church membership list. You are saved by having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ as your Savior from sin, death, and hell. You also can have that relationship simply by asking the Lord Jesus Christ for it. However, having said that truth it is important to know that the Lord would also have you belong to a local congregation where the Word of God is taught correctly and the sacraments are rightly administered. A rock in nature will not tell you your sins are forgiven. A blade of grass cannot speak to you of the assurances that baptism will give you as a forgiven and redeemed child of God. A tree will not serve you Holy Communion to strengthen your faith. But the Church meeting in a local congregation can do all of those things. Also, the local Church is not just a place to receive but also a place to give: to give Jesus Christ your praise and thanks and to bless your fellow believers with the gifts God the Holy Spirit has given you.
Why do Lutherans baptize infants?
All children are born with the problem of sin in their lives. The evidence of this problem is the fact that even little children can succumb to the "wages of sin" as the Bible calls death. And the Scriptures teach of no other way for any human being of any age to be spared eternal death than by having Jesus Christ as his or her Savior. So a child and even an infant needs Jesus Christ as Savior. Baptism is the only way which the Scriptures assure us that the relationship of faith can be established in the life of an infant. For in baptism God claims us as His own and gives us His own Name, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, to wear as our own. We believe that God is strong enough to give this gift to anyone whatever their age might be. Therefore we baptize infants as well as adults and rejoice in the assurances it can give us concerning the redeemed life of such a baptized infant.
What is the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod's position on being "born again"?
We support the doctrine of being born again. It is voiced in the Bible many times, including the words of Jesus Himself. We believe that just as a man can be born physically so too it can happen when faith enters a person's heart. He is then born again spiritually. For the natural sinful condition of men and women apart from Christ is that of spiritual death. The new life created by God the Holy Spirit with faith can easily be recognized by the term "born again" and we support it in the LC-MS
What does the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod teach regarding who can take communion?
Holy Communion can and should be given to anyone to whom the Lord Himself would give it. These blessed people include those who are baptized, are truly sorry for their sins, recognize Christ's Body and Blood as present in the gift of Holy Communion, and have the same doctrinal recognition and confession as is taught at St. Paul's. As such, St. Paul's does welcome her own members, members of our national Church Body, the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, and members of Churches with whom we are in fellowship. Our Synod recognizes that those who do not fit the above categories may be handled with Pastoral discretion and therefore we ask such folks to simply meet with the Pastor prior to receiving Communion. In general, the "rule" is that we commune those with whom we are in fellowship and allow for discretionary judgment in exceptional circumstances.
Should I confess my sins directly to a Pastor or not?
You can do that if you are truly troubled by your conscience. Sometimes we simply need to hear the voice of another believer assuring us of Christ's love. When we do that Pastor will treat your confession as confidential, which means he discloses it to no one at St. Paul's, nor his wife, nor his closest friends and relatives. It is private between you, him, and the Lord above. Because we can go directly to our Father above with our guilt and know that He freely forgives we do not demand that a Christian confess to a Pastor or to any other human being if he or she does not desire to do so. In our public worship services we have a general confession of sins voiced by all and a general pronouncement of forgiveness from the Pastor on God's behalf.