Welcome to Good Shepherd Lutheran Church and School
“Helping People Know, Love and Follow Jesus, the Good Shepherd,
to Grow His Flock”
Thanks for taking the time to learn a little more about what we believe. We believe that when God calls someone, He calls them into a community of people called church. We are glad to be a part of what God is doing in the world that He loves.
GOOD SHEPHERD IS A CHRISTIAN CHURCH. We believe and teach the three historic statements of the Christian faith: the Apostles, Nicene, and Athanasian creeds. They clarify that God is Triune: three equal yet distinct persons that are one deity – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We believe and teach that Jesus Christ is God the Son from all eternity who took on human nature in His birth at Bethlehem, and that human beings are saved solely by faith in Him, His perfect life and atoning death for sin.
GOOD SHEPHERD IS A LUTHERAN CHURCH. We are proud to be a part of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod – funny name, great theology. As a member congregation in the LCMS, we work in concert with about 5000 other congregations and over 2 million people to share the love of God in Jesus Christ. By the way, Synod actually means “walking together,” and Missouri is where the church first organized, that’s the reason behind the name. We emphasize the three great truths of the Reformation:BY GRACE ALONE. We are forgiven and saved solely as a result of God’s undeserved love, for the sake of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection for us. There is nothing human beings can or must do to contribute to their salvation.
THROUGH FAITH ALONE. All that Jesus did to restore us to a right relationship with God is ours personally through faith in Jesus. The Holy Spirit creates and confirms in us this faith and trust in Jesus solely through the Gospel, in Scripture and in the Sacraments.
ON THE BASIS OF SCRIPTURE ALONE. Christian truth and life are established solely by the 66 books of the Bible, God’s revelation, inspired by the Holy Spirit and without error. The Bible is not just a word for the church, it is God’s Word. The Bible doesn’t contain everything we want to know, but it does contain everything that we need to know about God and His plan for us.
GOOD SHEPHERD IS AN EVANGELICAL CHURCH. That word “evangelical” means that we are all about the Gospel – the “good news” that God’s love, forgiveness, and everlasting life are His free gift to sinners for the sake of Jesus Christ. The Gospel shapes our message, our mission, and the character of our life together in Christ’s Church.
GOOD SHEPHERD IS A CONFESSIONAL CHURCH. Because they are a correct presentation of God’s Word, we consistently and without compromise teach the doctrines set forth in the catechism and confessions of the Lutheran Church as found in the Book of Concord.
SACRAMENTS. This is a carry-over from a Latin word that means, “holy things.” We use this word to describe Baptism and Communion. Through these, God the Holy Spirit works faith in us and gives us forgiveness.
BAPTISM. As Lutherans, we believe that baptism bestows faith. We point to Bible verses like 1 Peter 3:21, “Baptism now saves you … by the resurrection of Jesus Christ.” When asked about the confidence we can have in faith, we can point to baptism and say that God claimed us as His own. The necessary parts of baptism are water, administered to a person by a believer, usually a pastor, with God’s words, “In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” See also Matthew 28:18-20.
HOLY COMMUNION. We use three key words when we explain what happens at Communion. Those words are, “In, with and under.” Jesus Christ gives us His body and blood in, with and under the bread and wine. The body and blood are in, meaning that it is there. They are with, meaning you get all four things together. And they are under, meaning that you can’t see it, but understand it by faith. God has given us this meal in order that we might receive the gift of forgiveness. We focus special attention on 1 Corinthians 11:17-34, where the apostle Paul is giving instruction about the Lord’s Supper, another term for Communion. He explains that we should be of one mind and that we should examine ourselves, our beliefs and our sins before communing. To that end, we request that people not receive Communion until, through proper instruction, they understand what is happening in this special meal.