Thank you for visiting the website of Concordia Lutheran Church in Greenwood Indiana. Concordia Lutheran is an Evangelical (Gospel-proclaiming), Bible-believing, confessional and liturgical Lutheran church. We are a member of the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod (LCMS).

Concordia Lutheran celebrates the saving Word of God that makes us all “wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus” (2 Tim. 3:15) and rejoices in the gifts of grace God gives to His people in worship. We invite you to receive these gifts in the Divine Service as we share our faith with one another and the world around us.

We welcome you to join us at worship on Sunday at 9 AM, and Sunday School at 10:30 AM. We are pleased to use the liturgy and hymnody found in The Lutheran Service Book. We use Divine Service 1, 3 and 4 on a rotating basis. The Lord’s Supper is joyfully celebrated at every Sunday service at Concordia.

Introduction

The teaching of every church can be grouped under two headings: source and content. The source of teaching is the church’s authority, what voice is heard in the church. The content of a church’s teaching is what it believes, teaches and confesses. This introduction will briefly discuss the source and content of Lutheran teaching.

Source

The only voice that is heard in the church is the voice of the Holy Trinity.  This voice is heard in the writings of God’s chosen instruments, the prophets and apostles, therefore the only source of the church’s teaching is the Holy Scriptures, the prophetic and apostolic Word of the Lord. As King David prayed, “Your Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.” [Psalm 119:105] This teaching of the unique authority of the Scriptures is called “Sola Scriptura, Scripture Alone.”

The Scriptures are inspired. “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God.” [1 Timothy 3:16] The Scriptures are inerrant (without error). “The Scriptures cannot be broken.” [St John 10:35] The Scripture are infallible (unable to err). “It is impossible for God to lie.” [Hebrews 6:18] Most importantly, the Scriptures contain the promise of the Gospel, that is, the promise of the forgiveness of sins. The Gospel is the “means of grace,” that is, it is the only instrument that the Holy Spirit uses to create and sustain saving faith. “I am not ashamed of the Gospel, for it is the power of God unto salvation to all who believe.” [Romans 1:16, see also St John 17:17,20; Acts 11:16; Romans 10:17; 1 Corinthians 1:21] 

Under the Scriptures sit the symbols of the church: the Creeds and Confessions. In these symbols the church rightly confesses the teaching of the Scriptures. The Creeds and Confessions are not a source of teaching, rather they faithfully confess the Scriptures and reject those errors that are contradicted by the Scriptures. The Confessions of the church are contained in the Book of Concord (published 1580).

Content

The chief content of the church’s teaching is the Gospel, which is the promise of the forgiveness of sins won for all sinners through Jesus’ death on the cross. The prophets (the Old Testament) and the apostle’s (the New Testament) all testify of the salvation that comes through faith in Christ. “To Him [Jesus] all the prophets give witness, that through His name who ever believes in Him shall receive remission of sins.” [Acts 10:43] St Paul says, “For I determined to know nothing among you save Christ crucified.” [1 Corinthians 2:2] So the Lutheran church has always taught and confessed that the chief article of the Christian faith is justification by grace alone through faith alone.

While we teach “the whole council of God” from the Bible, God always speaks to us in terms of law and Gospel in the Scriptures.  God speaks to us in the Law (what we are to do to be holy before God, and what we fail to do) and the Gospel (what God has done for us in Jesus to save us). Both the word of Law and the word of Gospel are heard in the church. We do not reduce the teaching of the Scriptures, but delight to hear all of the Lord’s words. As the Lord spoke before His ascension to the right hand of God, “teach them to obey everything that I have commanded you, and lo, I am with you always to the end of the age.” [St Matthew 28:20] It is our hearing and keeping (treasuring) of the Lord’s Word that marks us as His people. Again, as the Lord taught, “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.” [St John 10:27]

Summary

The following statement is a brief summary of the Articles of the faith.

God- The only true God is one in essence, three in persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. [Genesis 1:1; Deuteronomy 6:4; St Matthew 28:19-21]

Creation- God created all things out of nothing in six days. [Genesis 1,2]

Man and Original Sin- Mankind was created perfect in the image and likeness of God. This means that Adam and Eve had perfect fear, love and trust in God alone. [Genesis 1:26,27] But this image and likeness was lost in the fall, when Adam and Eve disobeyed God’s command and ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. [Genesis 3] From this point onward, every person is born in sin [Psalm 51:5], that is without fear, love and trust in God, and is guilty before God [Romans 3:9-18]. This inherited sin is called “original sin.” The punishment for this sin is death and damnation [Romans 3:23; 5:12].

Jesus, the Son of God- For us and for our salvation, the Son of God took on man’s nature in the womb of the virgin Mary, and became man. [St John 1:14] His name is Jesus. [St Matthew 1:21] Jesus is God, coequal with the Father and the Holy Spirit. [St John 1:1; 20:28] Jesus has two natures: divine and human, which are forever united in the one person. He was truly born, suffered, was crucified and buried that He might be a sacrifice for all sin and reconcile us to the Father. [See Romans 4:25; St John 1:29; Isaiah 53:6; Romans 3:23-25] On the third day He was resurrected from the dead, and, after appearing to His disciples, ascended in to heaven where He sits at the right Hand of God. [1 Corinthians 15:3-6; St Mark 16:19] Jesus is the only Savior of mankind. [St John 14:6; Acts 4:12]

Justification- We cannot obtain forgiveness of sin and righteousness before God by our own strength, merits, or works, but we receive forgiveness of sin and become righteous before God by grace, for Christ’s sake, through faith, when we believe that Christ suffered for us and that for His sake our sin is forgiven and righteousness and eternal life are given to us. For God will regard and reckon this faith as righteousness. [Romans 3:21-26; 4:5; 5:1; Genesis 15:6; 2 Corinthians 5:19]

The Means of Grace- That we may obtain such faith, the Lord has instituted the office of the ministry, that is, provided the Gospel and the sacraments (Baptism and the Lord’s Supper). Through these, as through means, He gives the Holy Spirit, who works faith, when and where He pleases, in those who hear the Gospel. [St John 3:5-8; 17:17-20; 1 Corinthians 1:21; Acts 11:14; Romans 10:17]

Good Works- Faith is a living, busy, active, mighty thing, so that it is impossible for faith not to be constantly doing what is good. So good works are necessary, not for salvation, but because God has commanded them. [1 Corinthians 9:9; Acts 5:29; St John 15:12; 1 John 4:11]

The Church- The church consists of holy believers and “sheep who hear the voice of the Good Shepherd.” [St John 10:3] Said another way, the church is the assembly of saints in which the Gospel is taught purely and the sacraments are administered rightly. [Ephesians 4:4,5; 1 Timothy 3:15]

Baptism- Baptism is the work of the Lord Jesus [Ephesians 5:25,26] in which He gives the forgiveness of sins, rebirth, and salvation. [St Mark 16:16; St John 3:5; Acts 2:38,39; 22:16; Roman 6:3,4; Titus 3:5; 1 Peter 3:21] In baptism He puts His name on us, graciously making us His children. [St Matthew 28:19; Galatians 3:26,27]  Following the Lord’s Word, we baptize infants. [St Matthew 28:19, ‘all the nations’; Acts 2:39, ‘and to your children’]

The Lord’s Supper- In the Lord’s Supper (or Holy Communion, or the Sacrament of the Altar) the Lord Jesus Himself serves us His true Body and Blood in the bread and wine for the forgiveness of our sins. [St Matthew 26:26-28; St Mark 14:22-24; St Luke 22:19,20; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26] We practice close communion, the teaching that unity in doctrine is necessary before unity in communion.

Confession and Absolution- The Lord Jesus has given His church on earth the unique authority to bind or loose sins. [St Matthew 16:19; 18:18; St John 20:22,23] The Absolution is the loosing and forgiving of sins. We practice both public and private absolution. [See 2 Samuel 12:14]

Repentance- Repentance consists of two parts: (1) sorrow over our sin and (2) faith in the promise of forgiveness. [St Matthew 11:28; St Mark 1:15; Colossians 2:11,12; Psalm 119:28; 1 Samuel 2:6] Repentance is not a choice or decision of man, but a gift granted by God. [1 Corinthians 2:14; Ephesians 2:8,9; Acts 11:18; Lamentations 5:21; Psalm 80]

The Second Coming of Christ- Jesus will suddenly come again to the earth, call all the death forth (the resurrection) and judge the quick and the dead. [1 Corinthians 15; St John 14:1-4; St Mark 13:32; St Matthew 24; 2 Peter 3:10] All false notions of an earthly kingdom (called millennialism) are rejected. [St John 18:36]

The Six Chief Parts

In 1527 Dr Martin Luther wrote the small catechism, a basic summary of the most important teachings in the Bible.  These are divided into six chief parts, and these make up the central teachings of the Lutheran Church.

The chief parts are:

  1. The Ten Commandments
  2. The Apostle’s Creed
  3. The Lord’s Prayer
  4. Baptism
  5. Confession and Absolution
  6. The Lord’s Supper

The following are the biblical texts (and creed) that are contained in the Small Catechism.

The Ten Commandments
  1. You shall have no other gods.
  2. You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God.
  3. Remember the sabbath to keep it holy.
  4. Honor your father and your mother.
  5. You shall not murder.
  6. You shall not commit adultery.
  7. You shall not steal.
  8. You shall not bear false witness.
  9. You shall not covet your neighbor’s house.
  10. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his manservant, or maidservant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.
The Apostles' Creed

I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth.

And in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Plate,
was crucified, died and was buried.
He descended into hell.
The third day He rose again from the dead.
He ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty.
From thence He will come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy Christian church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting. Amen.

The Lord's Prayer

Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be Thy name,
Thy kingdom come,
Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread;
and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever and ever. Amen.

Confession & Absolution

“The Lord Jesus breathed on His disciples and said, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven'” [St John 20:22-23].

The Lord's Supper

The holy Evangelists Matthew, Mark, Luke and St. Paul write: Our Lord Jesus Christ, on the night when He was betrayed, took bread, and when He had given thanks, He broke it and gave it to the disciples and said: “Take, eat; this is My body, which is given for you. This do in remembrance of Me.” In the same way also he took the cup after supper, and when He had given thanks, He gave it to them, saying, “Drink of it, all of you; this cup is the new testament in My blood, which is shed for you for the forgiveness of sins. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.” [This is a compilation of the accounts of the Lord’s Supper from St Matthew 26:26-28; St Mark 14:22-24; St Luke 22:19-20; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26]

The Lutheran Confessions—The Book of Concord

The Lutheran Church subscribes unconditionally to the 1580 Book of Concord as “a true and unadulterated statement and exposition of the Word of God.”  The Book of Concord consists of ten documents.

  1. The Apostles Creed  (3rd Century)
  2. The Nicene Creed  (325 AD)
  3. The Athanasian Creed
  4. The Augsburg Confession (Philip Melanchthon, 1530)
  5. The Apology (Defense) of the Augsburg Confession (Philip Melanchthon, 1531)
  6. The Small Catechism  (Martin Luther, 1529)
  7. The Large Catechism  (Martin Luther, 1529)
  8. The Smalcald Articles (Martin Luther, 1537)
  9. The Treatise on the Power and the Primacy of the Pope (Philip Melanchthon, 1537)
  10. The Formula of Concord  (1577)

The entire Book of Concord can be viewed online here.

(The “Beliefs” section is used by permission from the Website of Hope Lutheran Church in Aurora, Colorado – where Rev. Brian Flamme and Rev. Bryan Wolfmueller serve).

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