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What We Believe, Teach and Confess

MESSIAH LUTHERAN CHURCH

MESSIAH LUTHERAN CHURCH

Lebanon, Illinois

"If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth,

 and the truth shall make you free" John 8:31-32.

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Office of the Ministry

In order that we may receive the gift of faith in Jesus Christ, God instituted the office of preaching the Gospel and giving out His Sacraments (Ephesians 4:11-12; 1 Corinthians 4:1; Matthew 28:16-20; Acts 2:42). Through these instruments—or means—of preaching the Gospel (Luke 24:47), baptizing with water (Acts 2:38—39), pronouncing forgiveness (John 20:22—23), and eating and drinking Christ's body and blood (Matthew 26:26-28), the Holy Spirit "works faith, when and where it pleases God (John 3:8), in those who hear the good news" (Augsburg Confession, V 2).

Good Works

 Lutherans also teach that this faith in Jesus Christ will naturally produce the good fruits of good works in the Christian life, "for we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them" (Ephesians 2:10). Our good works cannot earn God's favor, because He already gives us His forgiveness and favor in Jesus Christ. As new creations (2 Corinthians 5:17) Christians do the good works that God commands in His Word, such as trusting Him, calling upon Him in prayer, hearing His Word, and all works that "are summed up in this word: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.'" (Romans 13:9).    Continue