Hope Lutheran Church is a community of Jesus followers committed to becoming people of HOPE who carry the love of Jesus into our community, loving and serving God and all people. Below you will find a brief introduction to what we believe at Hope. If you're not sure about some of these things...that's okay. Jesus invited people from all walks of life to follow Him and caused them to grow as they began their journey with Him. We want to invite you to join us as we seek to more deeply understand who God is, what He has done for us, and become the people of HOPE he has called us to be!
The Faith We Confess
For over 2,000 years, Christians have used "creeds" as short, simple ways to summarize what we believe about God and the hope we have in him. These creeds are drawn from what we learn about God from the Scriptures. The Apostles' Creed is one of the oldest creeds we confess and it is the most concise:
"I believe in God, the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth.
And in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried. He descended into hell. The third day He rose again from the dead. He ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty. From thence He will come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Christian Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen."
One God - Three Persons
“The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.” - 2 Corinthians 13:14
“[There is] one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.” - Ephesians 4:6
We believe in one God who exists in three persons (the Trinity): God the Father, God the Son (Jesus), and God the Holy Spirit. While this is the greatest mystery of the Christian faith, the witness of the Scriptures testify to the truth that we have one God in three persons.
God the Father
“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” - Genesis 1:1
At the beginning of time, God took great joy and pleasure in creating the universe, our planet and everything in it (Genesis 1:1-2:25). He took even greater joy and pleasure in creating human beings in His own image by forming and fashioning them out of the dry ground (Genesis 1:26). The very existence of humankind is rooted in the amazing truth that God has made us in His own image. This means that our identity and purpose are rooted in who He is.
God the Son - Jesus
"And the angel said to [Mary], 'Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.'" - Luke 1:30-33
Throughout the New Testament, Jesus is referred to as "Jesus Christ". The word "Christ" is a translation of the Hebrew word "Messiah" which means "anointed one". This tells us that God appointed Jesus for a special purpose: to redeem humankind from their sins.
Jesus is unique because, while He is 100% God, He became 100% man in order to redeem human kind from sin and death. God sent Jesus to the world in order to teach truth, to live a perfect life, and to die the once-for-all death we deserved as a sacrifice of atonement for our sins (Hebrews 9:11-28). Jesus' resurrection changed human history forever and He made the promise to those who follow Him that he would give them eternal life. The message of Jesus, His life, death, resurrection, and promised return is known as the Gospel ("Good News").
As we read the Scriptures and learn about the ministry of Jesus, we are amazed by His profound teachings, His perfect commitment to honoring God the Father, and how selflessly He loved all people from all walks of life. At Hope Lutheran Church, we strive to emulate Jesus by being people of Hope. This means that we are intentional about being people of Truth and Love as we live our lives each and every day for the sake of Gospel and for all people.
God the Holy Spirit
"When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance." - Acts 2:1-4
The Holy Spirit is present with us. He creates faith inside us, causing us to trust in God, moving us to repent of our sins, and live a life dedicated to His service and glorifying his name. The Holy Spirit moves us to bear the "Fruit of the Spirit" as Paul describes them in Galatians 5:22-23. The Holy Spirit also equips us with the "Gifts of the Spirit" as Paul describes them in 1 Corinthians 12:1-13.
"And Peter said to them, 'Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.'" - Acts 2:38-39
Baptism is a washing, a sacred act commanded by Jesus himself (Matthew 28:19). It is God's gift to us by which he welcomes us into His family as His adopted children. God extends his grace to us in lots of different ways when we obey the command of Jesus to baptize. First, the baptized person begins a brand new relationship with God. Then, they receive the forgiveness of sins and, finally, they are blessed with the gifts of the Holy Spirit. In Baptism, we see God at work in human lives.
The focus of Baptism is God's grace, not faith. Baptism is given to us in God's name, it isn't something we give to ourselves. It's not the sign of our response to God, but, instead, the sign and seal of what God has done for us through the person and work of Jesus Christ. By the power and work of the Holy Spirit, we are constantly learning to live out our baptism in everything we think, say, and do.
Baptism is rooted in the Scriptures. When God's Word of promise of salvation is spoken at baptism, the ordinary water used becomes one of the ways God delivers his amazing grace to sinners. In Baptism, God takes something completely ordinary and mundane and uses it do do something completely extraordinary: He calls each one of us to be His people and He invites us into His family to live under His eternal promises.
Baptism isn't a "one-and-done" kind of thing. Instead, Baptism is a "new life has begun" reality. Baptism is our daily call from God to live out the faith He has given to us.
"For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, 'This is my body, which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.' In the same way also he took the cup, after supper, saying, 'This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.'" - 1 Corinthians 11:23-25
The Lord's Supper is effective. This means that it does something. This seems strange to most of us. We understand how we do something - we take the bread and break it and the cup and drink it - but it's hard for us to see God doing anything. It's important for us to understand that when we come to altar to receive the Lord's Supper, we aren't coming in order to learn something with just our minds. Instead, when we come to the altar, we come to meet God.
God and people meet at the altar and something amazing happens: we touch eternity. In the Lord's Supper, God delivers love, forgiveness, and acceptance, and we receive those wonderful gifts. God acts and we adore. When we pray, we go to God. But in the Lord's Supper, God comes down to us. In other words, we aren't learning something or remembering something. We're actually doing something...we're meeting with God Himself.
In this sacred meal, Jesus says, "This is my body. This cup is the New Covenant in my blood." These are the promises God delivers to you. As we receive the body and blood of Jesus in, with, and under the bread and the wine, we discover that He is able to do for us all the things that his disciples found He could do for them. He delivers His forgiveness and He renews us. He teaches us what His will is and what we should do...and He makes us strong to do it. He heals the wounds and he comforts us through the sorrows we have in life. In the Lord's Supper, Jesus brings us back to our heavenly Father and gives us our place again in our Father's house.
"All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work." - 2 Timothy 3:16-17
The Bible is God's Word and as such, it is completely trustworthy. It is a collection of books and letters that tells the story of creation, humankind's fall into sin, the promise and fulfillment of redemption in the person and work of Jesus, and the future recreation of the world at the end of time.
the Bible is made up of two sections, or, "testaments", the Old and New testaments. The Old Testament points us to Jesus and the New Testament points from Jesus to the fulfillment of all things at the end of time.
Everything we believe, teach, and confess at Hope Lutheran Church finds its root in what we find in the Bible.
The "Church" isn't a building or even a worship service. The "Church" is made up of God's people. God's people gather regularly in worship to respond to the amazing gifts He has given to us with praise, to be renewed in the forgiveness He provides, to hear His Word proclaimed to us, to pray for one another and for our city, county, state, and country, and to receive the body and blood of Jesus broken and shed for us in the Lord's Supper.
Hope also gathers together in small groups called "LifeGroups" so that we can build and grow in our relationships with one another as we grow as people of Hope who carry the Hope of Jesus into our community and world. As we do things things as the "Church", we are active participants in the coming Kingdom of God.
Our Church Body
Hope Lutheran Church is a member of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod. This means that, at Hope Lutheran Church, you will find a group of people united in professing the Scriptural truth that we are saved by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone, to God's glory alone (Ephesians 2:8-10). At Hope, we practice and uphold the ancient truths of the faith and we express those truths in both traditional and modern ways as we seek to impact the lives of those around us with the life-changing Hope of Jesus. Hope Lutheran Church is made up of people who come from all kinds of different faith backgrounds including those who are new to the faith, and those who are still trying to figure it all out. No matter who you are and no matter what your background might be, you can find a place to belong at Hope Lutheran Church.