What We Believe
- This congregation confesses the Triune God- God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.
- We teach in agreement with the decree of the Council of Nicaea, that there is one divine essence, which is called and which is truly God, and that there are three person in this one divine essence, equal in power and alike eternal: God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit. All three are one divine essence, eternal, without division, without end, of infinite power, wisdom, and goodness, one creator and preserver for all things visible and invisible. The word "person" is to be understood as the Church Fathers employed the term in this connection, not as a part or a property of another but as that which exists of itself.
- This congregation confesses Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and the Gospel as the power of God for salvation of all who believe.
- Jesus Christ is the Word of God incarnate, through whom everything was made and through whose life, death, and resurrection God fashions a new creation.
- The proclamation of God's message as both Law and Gospel is the Word of God, revealing judgment and mercy through word and deed, beginning with the Word in creation, continuing in the history of Israel and centering in all its fullness in the person and work of Jesus Christ.
- Our church teaches that since the fall of Adam and Eve all humans are born according to the course of nature are conceived and born in sin. That is, all people are full of evil lust and inclinations from their mothers' womb and are unable by nature to have true fear of God and true faith in God. Moreover, this inborn sickness and hereditary sin is truly sin and condemns to the eternal wrath of God all those who are not born again through Baptism and the Holy Spirit.
- Our church teaches that God the Son became man, born of the virgin Mary, and that the two natures, divine and human are so inseparably united in one person that there is one Christ, true God and true man, who was truly born, suffered, was crucified, died, and was buried in order to be a sacrifice not only for original sin but also for all other sins and to propitiate God's wrath. The same Christ also descended into hell, truly rose from the dead on the third day, ascended into heaven, and sits on the right hand of God, that He may eternally rule and have dominion over all creatures, that through the Holy Spirit He may sanctify, purify, strengthen, and comfort all who believe in Him, that He may bestow on them life and every grace and blessing, and that He may protect and defend them against the devil and against sin. The same Lord Christ will return openly to judge the living and the dead.
- Our church also teaches that we cannot obtain forgiveness of sin and righteousness before God by our own merits, works, or satisfactions, but that 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, as Paul says in Romans 3:21-26 and 4:5.
- The canonical Scriptures of the Old and New Testments are the written Word of God. Inspired by God's Spirit speaking through their authors, they record and announce God's revelation centering in Jesus Christ. Through them God's Spirit speaks to us to create and sustain Christian faith and fellowship for service in the world.
- This congegation accepts the canonical Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, as the inspired Word of God and the authoritative source and norm of its proclamation, faith and life.
Accepted Confessions of Faith
- This congregation accepts the Apostles' Creed, Nicene Creed, and Athanasian Creed as true declarations of the faith of this congregation.
- This congregation accepts the Unaltered Augsburg Confession as a true witness to the Gospel, acknowledging as one with it in faith and doctrine all churches that likewise accept the teachings of the Unaltered Augsburg Confession.
- This congregation accepts the other confessional writing in the Book of Concord, namely, the Apology of the Augsburg Confession, the Smalcald Articles and the Treatise, the Small Catechism, The Large Catechism, and the Formula of Concord, as further valid interpretations of the faith of the Church.
- The Church exists both as an inclusive fellowship and as a local congregation gathered for worship and Christian service. Congregations find their fulfillment in the universal community of the Church and the universal Church exists in and through congregations.
- The Church is a people created by God in Christ, empowered by the Holy Spirit, called and sent to bear witness to God's creative, redeeming, and sanctifying activity in the world.
- We teach that the sacraments were instituted not only to be signs by which people might be identified outwardly as Christans but, that they are signs of testimonies of God's will toward us for the purpose of awakening and strengthening our faith. For this reason they require faith, and they are rightly used when they are received in faith and for the purpose of strengthening faith.
- Baptism is not merely water, but it is water used according to God's command and connected with God's Word. As recorded in Matthew 28:19, our Lord Christ, said, "Go, therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
- We teach that Baptism effects forgiveness of sins, delivers from death and the devil and grants eternal salvation to all who believe, as the Word and promise of God declare.
- We teach that children, too, should be baptized, for in Baptism they are committed to God and become acceptable to Him.
- We teach communion was instituted by Christ Himself, it is the true body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, under the bread and wine, given to us Chrisians to eat and to drink.
- The evangelists Matthew, Mark, and Luke, and also 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. Do this 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 covenant in my blood, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me."
- We teach that in the words "for you" and "for the forgiveness of sins" are the benefits of communion. By these words the forgiveness of sin, life, and salvation are given to us in the sacrament, for where there is forgiveness of sins, there are also life and salvation.
- We teach that the eating and drinking do not in themselves produce the great effects of communion (namely forgiveness of sins, life and salvation), but the words "for you" and "for the forgivness of sins." These words, when accompanied by the bodily eating and drinking, are the chief thing in the sacrament, and he who believes these words has what they say and declare: the forgiveness of sins.
Who may join in communion at Greenford Lutheran?
- We teach that fasting and bodily preparation are a good external discipline but not a requirement for receiving communion. The person who is truly worthy and well prepared to receive communion is the one who believes the words: "for you" and "for the forgiveness of sins."
- Therefore we welcome to the table all who believe that in receiving the bread and wine, they receive the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ "in, with, and under" those elements. And by receiving the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ they receive the forgiveness of sins.
- The term given to such a practice of inviting all baptized believers to communion is known as "Open Communion." Greenford Lutheran practices "Open Communion," so you do not need to be a member of our church or Lutheran to commune at Greenford, simply a baptized believer in Christ.