Join us this Sunday @ 10:00 a.m.
12775 Northland Drive, Big Rapids
        

REDEEMER     LUTHERAN

ONE REDEEMER. REDEMPTION FOR ALL.

What's A Lutheran?

A SUMMARY OF LUTHERAN TEACHINGS

Below is an overview of what we believe, teach, and practice. (You may read through a fuller Statement of our Beliefs). Because we can only know about God and his will for us through the Bible, the Bible teaches us who God is and what his will for us is. Therefore, the Bible provides all of our teachings.

We understand that this summary may not answer every question you may have. If you have any specific questions about what we believe and teach, please feel free to contact our Pastor; he is more than happy to share the Bible's teachings with you and answer any questions. He also offers Bible Information Classes for those interested in learning more about what Redeemer Lutheran believes and teaches.


The Bible and Lutherans teach that the Bible is the true word of God. It is inspired by the Holy Spirit. This means that God breathed into the writers the exact thoughts and words they were to write. As a result, every statement in the Bible is the truth. One part of the Bible explains another part. It is the supreme source of truth for Christian beliefs and living. We are to read and study it diligently. It clearly teaches all we need to know in order to obtain our eternal salvation.

  • 2 Timothy 3:16:  All Scripture is God breathed and is useful for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, and for training in righteousness.
  • 2 Peter 1:20-21:  Since we know this above all else:  No prophecy of Scripture comes about by someone’s own interpretation. In fact, no prophecy ever came by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were being carried along by the Holy Spirit.
  • John 5:39:  [Jesus said] "You search the Scriptures, because you think you have eternal life in them.  They testify about me!"
  • 2 Timothy 1:13:  Hold fast to the testimony of sound words that you heard from me, with faith and love in Christ Jesus.
  • Psalm 119:105,160:  Your words are a lamp for my feet, and a light for my path... The sum of your word is truth.  All your righteous judgment is eternal.
  • Proverbs 30:5:  Every word of God has been refined.  He is a shield to those who take refuge in him.
  • Psalm 12:6:  The words of the Lord are pure words, like silver refined in a furnace on the ground, purified seven times.

The Bible teaches that God is the Creator and Ruler of the universe. He is eternal, which means God has been from forever and will exist until forever. In the Bible, God describes himself as the Triune God--God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit; and yet one God.  He is the God of perfect justice and perfect love.
  • Genesis 1:1:  In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.
  • Genesis 1:26-27:  God said, "Let us make man in our image, according to our likeness, and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the sky, and over the livestock, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that crawls on the earth.."  God created man in his own image.  In the image of God he created him.  Male and female he created them.
  • Deuteronomy 6:4:  Hear, O Israel!  The Lord is our God.  The Lord is one!
  • Psalm 90:2:  Before the mountains were born, before you gave birth to the earth and the world, from eternity to eternity you are God.
  • Matthew 28:19:  "Therefore go and gather disciples from all nations by baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit."
  • 1 Peter 1:1-2:  To the elect... who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, by the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to be obedient and to be sprinkled with the blood of Jesus Christ:  Grace and peace be multiplied to you.
  • 2 Corinthians 13:14:  The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.

The Bible teaches that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. Jesus lived a sinless human life and offered himself as the perfect sacrifice for the sins of all people by dying on a cross. He arose from the dead on the third day. He ascended to heaven’s glory and will return again at the end of time as judge and to take his people with him to heaven.
  • Matthew 1:22-23:  All this happened to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet: “Look, the virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son.  And they will name him Immanuel," which means "God with us".
  • Mark 16:16:  Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
  • Isaiah 9:6:  For to us a child is born.  To us a son is given.  The authority to rule will rest on his shoulders.  He will be named:  Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
  • John 1:1-5:  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  He was with God in the beginning.  Through him everytthing was made, and without him not one thing was made that has been made.  In him was life, and that life was the light of mankind. The light is shining in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
  • Hebrews 4:14-15:  Therefore, since we have a great high priest, who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us continue to hold on to our confession.  For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are, yet was without sin.
  • 1 Corinthians 15:3-4:  For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures..."
  • Romans 1:3-4:  This gospel is about his Son, who in the flesh was born a descendant of David, who in the spirit of holiness was declared to be God's powerful Son by his resurrection from the dead -- Jesus Christ our Lord.
  • Acts 1:9-11:  After he said these things, he was taken up while they were watching, and a cloud took him out of their sight. They were looking intently up into the sky as he was went away.  Suddenly two men in white clothes stood beside them. The said, “Men of Galilee, why are you standing here looking up into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.”
  • Titus 2:13:  ...while we wait for the blessed hope, that is, the glorious appearance of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ.


The Bible teaches that the Holy Spirit is the third person of the Triune God. He calls us to faith and strengthens us in that faith through the Gospel.  He accomplishes this through the “means of grace." (A "means" is a tool.) The Holy Spirit uses the Gospel in Word and Sacraments to pour God's love into our hearts.
  • 2 Corinthians 13:14:  The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.
  • 1 Corinthians 12:3:  Therefore I am informing you that no one speaking by God's Spirit says, "A curse be upon Jesus," and no one can say, "Jesus is Lord," except by the Holy Spirit.
  • 1 Corinthians 2:14:  However, an unspiritual person does not accept the truths taught by God's Spirit, because they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually evaluated.
  • Ephesians 1:13:  In him, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and in him, when you also believed, you were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit...
  • 2 Corinthians 3:17:  Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
  • John 14:16-17: "I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever.  He is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive because it does not see him or know him.  You know him, because he stays with you and will be in you."
  • Acts 1:8:  "But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."
  • 1 Corinthians 2:12:  What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we might know the blessings freely given to us by God.
  • Galatians 5:25:  If we live by the spirit, let us also walk in step with it.

The Bible teaches that all people are conceived in sin (original sin) and born dead in sin. It means our thoughts, words, and actions are tainted by sin. Apart from Christ, we are dead in sin and condemned to hell. Faith in Jesus' saving work makes believers a new creation.
  • Genesis 1:27:  God created the man in his own image.  In the image of God he created him.  Male and female he created them.
  • Psalm 51:5:  Certainly I was guilty when I was born.  I was sinful when my mother conceived me.
  • Ephesians 2:1-2:  You were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked when you followed the ways of this present world.  You were following the ruler of the domain of the air, the spirit now at work in the people who disobey.
  • Isaiah 53:6:  We all have gone astray like sheep.  Each of us has turned to his own way, but the Lord has charged all our guilt to him.
  • Romans 3:23:  Because all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God...
  • Romans 6:23:  For the wages of sin is death, but the undeserved gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
  • Isaiah 59:1-2:  Listen to me!  The Lord's arm is not too short to save, and his ear is not too deaf to hear. No, it is your guilt that has separated you from your God, and your sins have hidden God's face from you, so that he does not hear.

The Bible and Lutherans teach that God wrote his law in people's hearts at creation. The human conscience bears witness to that law. The knowledge of the law was blurred in people's hearts by sin. God repeated his law in the Ten Commandments. God's law demands obedience in our thoughts, speech, and actions. It condemns all who sin. Therefore no one can be saved by keeping the law. God's law serves to show us our sins, to warn us of God's anger against sin, and to guide us in our Christian life.
  • Deuteronomy 10:4:  [The Lord] wrote on the tablets the same writing as on the first tablets, the Ten Commandments that the Lord had spoken to you on the mountain from the middle of the fire, on the day of the assembly.  Then the Lord gave them to me.
  • Matthew 5:48: "So then, be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect."
  • John 1:17:  For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
  • Romans 7:7:  What will we say, then?  Is the law sin?  Absolutely not!  On the contrary, I would not have recognized sin except through the law. For example, I would not have known about coveting if the law had not said, “You shall not covet."
  • Romans 3:22-23:  The righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all and over all who believe.  In fact, there is no difference, because all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God...
  • Romans 3:20:  For this reason, no one will be declared righteous in his sight by works of the law, for through the law we become aware of sin.
  • James 2:10:  In fact, whoever keeps the whole law but stumbles in one point has become guilty of breaking all of it.
  • Psalm 119:9:  How can a young man keep his path pure?  By guarding it with your words.

The Bible and Lutherans teach the gospel. The message of the gospel is the good news that a loving God sent Jesus Christ to take away the sins of all people. This gospel freely offers to all sinners the righteousness that is found in Jesus. God offers and gives eternal life and salvation to all those who believe in the gospel promises.
  • John 1:17:  For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
  • Romans 1:16:  For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes -- to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
  • John 3:16:  For God so loved the world that he gave his only-begotten Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish, but have eternal life.
  • Colossians 2:13:  Even when you were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ by forgiving us all our trespasses.
  • Luke 2:10-11: But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid.  For behold, I bring you good news of great joy, which will be for all people.  Today in the town of David, a Savior was born to you.  He is the Christ the Lord."
  • Ezekiel 33:11:  Say to them, "As I live, declares the Lord God, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that the wicked turn from their way and live. Turn back, turn back from your evil ways, for why should you die, O house of Israel?"

The Bible and Lutherans teach that salvation is God’s free gift to us by God’s grace, received by faith. We can never make up for our sin by self-improvement or good works. Only in Jesus Christ as God’s offer of forgiveness can anyone be saved for eternity from sin’s penalty.
  • Romans 6:23:  For the wages of sin is death, but the undeserved gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
  • Ephesians 2:8-9:  Indeed, it is by grace you have been saved, through faith -- and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God -- not by works, so that no one can boast.
  • John 14:6:  Jesus said to him, “I am the Way and the Truth and the Life.  No one comes to the Father, except through me."
  • John 1:12:  But to all who did receive him, to those who believe in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.
  • Romans 3:23-24:  Because all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.
  • Titus 3:5:  He saved us -- not by righteous works that we did ourselves, but because of his mercy.  He saved us through the washing of rebirth and the renewal by the Holy Spirit...
  • Galatians 3:26:  In fact, you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.
  • Romans 5:1:  Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.

The Bible and Lutherans teach that baptism is a holy act. It is instituted by God. Using water and God’s Word it offers and gives the forgiveness of sins, spiritual life, and eternal salvation. Jesus commands and places no age-limit on baptism. It means baptism is for all people-- young and old, including children. Infants also are sinful and therefore need the spiritual rebirth brought about through baptism.
  • Matthew 28:18-19:  Jesus approached and spoke to them saying, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and gather disciples from all nations by baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit..."
  • Psalm 51:5:  Certainly I was guilty when I was born.  I was sinful when my mother conceived me.
  • John 3:5-6:  Jesus answered, “Amen, Amen, I tell you:  Unless someone is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God!  Whatever is born of the flesh is flesh.  Whatever is born of the Spirit is spirit."
  • Titus 3:5:  [God] saved us -- not by righteous works that we did ourselves, but because of his mercy.  He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit...
  • Mark 10:14:  When Jesus saw this, he was indignant.  He said, “Let the little children come to me!  Do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these."
  • Acts 22:16: "Now what are you waiting for?  Get up, be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on his name."
  • Acts 2:38-39:  Peter answered 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 your children and for all who are far away, as many as the Lord our God will call.”

The Bible and Lutherans teach that Holy Communion is a holy act instituted by Christ. Together with bread and wine we receive Jesus’ true body and blood. In this special meal Jesus gives the forgiveness of sins, strengthens our faith, and gives eternal salvation to all who believe. Only people who repent of their sins and receive proper instruction in the Christian faith should be admitted to this sacrament.
  • Matthew 26:26-28:  While they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed it and broke it, and gave it to his disciples.  He said, “Take, eat, this is my body.”  Then he took the cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it all of you, for this is my blood of the new testament, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins."
  • 1 Corinthians 10:16-17:  The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a communion of the blood of Christ?  The bread that we break, is it not a communion of the body of Christ?  Because there is one bread, we, who are many, are one body, for we all partake of the one bread.
  • 1 Corinthians 11:27-28:  Therefore whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the Lord's body and blood.  Instead, let a person examine himself and after doing so, let him eat of the bread and drink from the cup.
  • 1 Corinthins 11:23-25:  For I received from the Lord what I also delivered on to you:  The Lord Jesus, on the night 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, after the meal, he also took the cup, saying, "This cup is the new testament in my blood.  Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me."