Our Beliefs

What kind of church is Our Saviour’s?

A Christian one!

We believe that Jesus Christ, true God and true man, was crucified for our sins and rose on the third day for our justification (Romans 4:25). Only through believing in Jesus for the forgiveness of your sins may one be saved and enter eternal life (John 14:6).

In agreement with Christ, we hold that both the Old Testament (Matthew 5:18) and the New Testament (John 17:14, 17, 20) are God’s inspired (breathed forth), inerrant (true in all its parts), and infallible (never to fail) Word. We believe that the old creeds (the Apostles’, Nicene, and Athanasian creeds) which summarize the person and work of the one true God who is the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are true summaries of God’s Word.

What kind of Christian church is Our Saviour’s?

A Lutheran one!

We believe that the Augsburg Confession and Luther’s Small Catechism are true summaries of the teachings of God’s Word. 

We believe that God speaks words of Law and words of Gospel throughout the Scriptures. His Law both reveals God’s holy will for us and reveals our sin. His Gospel forgives our sins and reveals what God has done for us through His Son Jesus Christ. When we are comfortable in our sin we need God’s law to convict us. When we are sorry for our sin we need God’s Gospel to forgive us.

We believe that God uses means to do His gracious work in our lives, and His means of grace are: 1) His Gospel Word of forgiveness on account of Jesus Christ; 2) the sacraments of Baptism and Holy Communion (through which that same Gospel Word of forgiveness is active).

We believe that it is possible to overemphasize doctrine to the detriment of actually living out the life for which the truth has set us free. Equally dangerous is the temptation to overemphasize spiritual life and diminish the right teachings of the truth which set us free in the first place. Doctrine and life go hand in hand in a positive tension that must be kept in balance.

What kind of Lutheran church is Our Saviour’s?

A Free Lutheran one!

Our Saviour’s is affiliated with the Association of Free Lutheran Congregations (https://www.aflc.org/). We are a theologically conservative Lutheran body that is organized with a bottom-up structure. The AFLC is not a synod, but a free association of free congregations. 

The word “Free” has a dual meaning: spiritually free and congregationally free. We are spiritually free because Christ has freed the Church, His body and bride, from sin, death, and the devil through faith in Him. Our congregational polity (church governance) is free from control by a majority of congregations over a minority and from binding decisions of denominational leaders.

We do not despise authority, rather we submit to the authority of the Word and Spirit of God. This congregational freedom is beautiful because it results from our spiritual freedom. It is also risky because our judgment is tainted by sin on this side of eternity. By freely associating with like-minded congregations we are trusting the Spirit of God and His Word to admonish and comfort us as we navigate our freedom. 

We believe that the Fundamental Principles of the AFLC are true summaries of the nature and work of the congregation in this world. We support the joint works of Free Lutheran congregations such as our Bible School and Seminary (https://aflbs.edu/); World and Home Missions, Ambassador Publications, and many other joint works mentioned at www.aflc.org.

Why does Our Saviour’s baptize babies?

We baptize even our infants because Scripture teaches that baptism is not a work of man but rather it is God working (Colossians 2:11-12) through His Word (Ephesians 5:25-26) to wash away our sins (Acts 22:16). Since all have sinned (Romans 3:23) and it is not within our human powers to save ourselves (Romans 3:11, 1 Corinthians 2:14), God must do the saving. This He does through His Word as it is attached to the waters of baptism (1 Peter 3:21) and to the bread and cup of holy communion (Matthew 26:26-28).

Baptism is for infants because they are by nature sinful (Psalm 51:5) and therefore in need of being saved. Jesus exhorts us to let the little children come to Him (Matthew 19:14), and no age restriction is given in Scripture regarding baptism. On the contrary, baptism replaces infant circumcision (Colossians 2), it was commanded for new believers and their children (Acts 2:38-39), and it was administered for entire households (Acts 16:15, Acts 18:8). Contrary to our reason, the Word of God reveals that even infants can believe (Psalm 22:9). Baptized infants, like people of all ages, must be taught to live in daily repentance and faith.

Since baptism and communion are Gospel and not Law (see second paragraph under "A Lutheran one" above), they are for the comfort of sorry sinners. Anyone who claims to be a Christian because he is baptized and yet lives comfortably in unrepentant sin is mixing up Law and Gospel. Baptism has nothing to say to a secure sinner. But if you confess you’re a sinner and desire forgiveness, your baptism becomes a tremendous comfort to you—you are forgiven and washed clean by the cleansing Word of God!
 

 
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