Our faith centers on the saving death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The authority for that faith is the Bible, both the Old and New Testaments. The Old Testament looks to the coming of Jesus, and the New Testament recounts his Life, Death and Resurrection. The scripture promises that one day he will return in glory to establish his Kingdom forever. We believe that the Holy Scriptures contain all things necessary for a free and full life and a promised eternity. The Bible is where the basis for our teaching at St. Luke’s.
The good news of the Christian faith is that even though all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, Jesus’ death and resurrection has made it possible for us to be forgiven, saved, transformed, and restored to the glorious life intended for us. We who were separated from God can know him personally by receiving his free gift of salvation and trusting in his goodness and mercy. We are never “good enough” to earn our salvation, but we can be sure of eternal life by putting our trust in Jesus Christ.
Spirit Filled Living
The Holy Spirit is given to all who confess Jesus is Lord. He seeks to change us and make us more like Christ in every way. He develops in us godly characteristics like love, joy, patience, peace, and humility. He also empowers us to live for God and be free from sin. We are given gifts and abilities for ministry. We believe that the ministries of the Holy Spirit seen in the New Testament are good gifts that God still gives to Christians today. We believe that God still desires to pour out his life into us. We are open to all the Spirit’s gifts if they are exercised in love and humility.
Digging Deeper: Our Doctrine
We align ourselves with historic Christianity as revealed in Scripture and summarized in the three Creeds (Apostles, Nicene and Athanasian) and the Thirty-Nine Articles of Religion. We support these truths through the following beliefs:
The Holy Trinity
God is one is eternal exists and has revealed Himself to us in Scripture in three persons; Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
The Lord Jesus Christ
Our Lord Jesus Christ, God incarnate and fully human, is: born of a virgin; led a sinless life; was offered up as the atoning sacrifice for us; has risen, has ascended to the father and reigns triumphant, and now intercedes for us in heaven.
The Holy Scriptures
The books of the Old and New Testaments are trustworthy, are the true word of God and they sufficiently teach God’s will. This word Is our authority for faith, life, and the continuous renewal and reform of the Church. They are inspired, infallible, and “contain all things necessary for salvation.” The bible has been affirmed and confirmed as complete and cannot be added to or taken away from.
Justification and Sanctification
Repenting and believing sinners are (i) justified through faith alone by God’s gracious act of declaring us righteous on the ground of the reconciling death of Christ, who suffered in our place and rose again for us; and (ii) sanctified by the gracious, continuing activity of the Holy Spirit who perfects our repentance, nurtures the new life within us, transforms us into Christ’s image, and enables us to do good works in the world.
The Christian Church
The Church is the Body of Christ. Its members belong to Christ’s new humanity and are called and sent to live in the world in the power of the Spirit, worshipping God, confessing His truth, proclaiming the Good News of Christ, supporting one another in love, and giving themselves in sacrificial service to others, especially those in need. Its great mission is to make disciples of all nations and peoples.
Spiritual Gifts and Ministry
All Christians are called to exercise their God-given gifts to work, witness and suffer for Christ. We believe that the empowerment of the Holy Spirit is for today and that He blesses individual believers with gifts in order to build up the church body. The particular call of ordained ministers is to preach, teach and provide leadership and pastoral care to equip God’s people for His service and present them mature in Christ.
The Gospel Sacraments
The sacraments are outward and visible signs of inward and spiritual grace given to us. Baptism and the Lord’s Supper specifically were ordained by Christ himself as means by which we receive such grace and pledges to assure us of it.
The Return of Christ
Our Lord Jesus Christ will personally return in glory at the end of this age for the resurrection of the dead, some to life and some to condemnation, for the glorification of His Church and for the renewal of the whole Creation.
Contemporary Implications of the Gospel:
The Particularity of Jesus Christ.
While religions and philosophies of the world are not without elements of the truth, Jesus Christ alone is the full revelation of God, who through the Gospel judges and corrects all views and doctrines. All persons everywhere need to learn of Him, come to know and believe in Him, and receive forgiveness and new life in Him as there is no other name given under heaven by which we must be saved.
Church and The World
We are a Great Commandment and Great Commission church: Called to Love the Lord and others and called to take the Good News of Jesus to the World. Biblical social commandments and Christian ethical principles are foundational to the well-being of every local culture. Recognizing the call of Christians to be faithful witnesses and a challenging presence in society, we are committed to seek ways to express these commandments and principles in all spheres of life, including the public life of the nation.
Sanctity of Life
All human life is a sacred gift from God and is to be protected and defended from conception to natural death. We will uphold the sanctity of life and bring the grace and compassion of Christ to those who face the realities of previous abortion, unwanted pregnancy and end-of-life illness.
In grateful response to Christ Jesus, in whom there is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, we will extend the welcome of the church to every man, woman and child regardless of race, social or economic status, sexual history or past behavior. We will oppose prejudice in ourselves and others and recognize that all have sinned and need to repent.
Marriage, Family, & the Single Life
God has instituted marriage to be a life-long union of husband and wife, intended for their mutual joy, help and comfort; for the procreation and nurture of godly children; and for the blessing of society. Divorce is always contrary to God’s original intention, though in a fallen world it is sometimes an all-too-frequent and tragic reality. The roles of father and mother, exercised in a variety of ways, are God-given and profoundly important since they are the chief providers of moral instruction and godly living. The single life, either by call or circumstance, is honored by God. It is therefore important for unmarried persons to pursue a chaste lifestyle and should embrace and be embraced by the Christian family.
Sexuality is inherent in God’s creation of human beings in his image as male and female. All Christians are called to chastity: husbands and wives by exclusive sexual fidelity to one another, and single persons by abstinence from sexual activity. God intends and enables all people to live within these boundaries, with the help and in the fellowship of the Church