WHAT WE BELIEVE
At The Point, we understand faith can be complicated. While we don’t claim to have all the answers, here’s an overview of what we believe as The Point Church and as part of the greater Lutheran Church Missouri Synod (LCMS). As you read these, please keep in mind that believing what we believe is not a prerequisite to belonging in our community and experiencing God’s love with us.
We believe in one God, who created all things. We believe He is perfect in every way with no beginning or end, revealed to us in three persons – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (known as the Trinity, or “three in one”). We believe the nature and work of this God are correctly expressed in the three Creeds (i.e. statements of faith) of the church. Those creeds are the Apostles’ Creed, the Nicene Creed, and the Athanasian Creed.
Sin is essentially all shortcomings or failures from God's perfect design. We believe that the world is broken and all of humanity has fallen into sin. We are by nature sinful and cannot fix the mess we live in on our own. Sin separates us from God and damages our relationships with others. Not only that, but all suffering, sickness, and death are the result of the sinful condition in which we live.
We believe Jesus to be a real, historical person, both completely God and completely man. He was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. He lived a perfect life, suffered under Pontius Pilate, and was crucified on a cross.
His death both paid the price of our sin and rescued us from the the devil, sickness, and death. Jesus descended into hell and on the third day, miraculously rose from the dead. Through His death and resurrection, sin, death, and the devil have been defeated.
Jesus then ascended into heaven, where He now sits enthroned as the King of Kings, reigning over all creation. One day He will return to judge the living and the dead, ending all suffering, sickness, and death once-and-for-all!
We believe the Holy Spirit is active among us. He convicts us of our sin, moves us to seek forgiveness, and creates faith within us to call upon God and trust in His promises. He transforms our hearts, minds, and lives to desire God and God’s ways for us. His ongoing work guides us, comforts us, instructs us, and empowers us to Godly living.
We believe that no one can be saved by sheer willpower or good works - all of our good works fall short of the glory of God. Jesus willingly took our sin upon himself, suffering on our behalf and restoring us to a right relationship with God. We are saved only by grace (a beautiful, undeserved gift) alone through faith alone in Jesus Christ alone.
We believe that the Bible (both Old and New Testaments) are the inerrant Word of God, given to us by God. He is not removed from history, but worked through ordinary writers to compose this scripture. It is not primarily a moral code, a science textbook, or a specific guide for daily living (for example, it will not tell you who to marry or what job to take.)
The primary aim of the Word is to reveal God to us - His will, nature, and character, as well as His working in this creation on our behalf. While the Bible will not reveal every step or plan for our life, it does guide us to experience Him in every life stage and situation.
We believe the church is not a building, organization, or institution. It is the body of Christ, made up of the community of believers connected to Jesus, dependent upon His life, death, and resurrection as their source of life and connection with God. The church does not exist to be a private, inward focused group of people, but as an extension of God’s mission to love and redeem the world around us. In other words, we are not a self-serving country club for the righteous but instead, a community of sacrificial servants bringing healing to those who are hurting (like a hospital but without the cost.)
GIFTS OF GRACE
We believe God is abundantly gracious, forgiving us all our sin. While this grace only comes through Jesus’ death and resurrection, He gives us tangible means to experience and connect with His grace. These means are Baptism, Communion, and Confession & Absolution (forgiveness.)
We believe Baptism is no ordinary washing or public ceremony, but the means through which we are connected with Jesus and adopted as God’s children - children fully loved and forgiven by God, equipped to live new lives in faith (Romans 6:1-14, 1 Peter 3:18-22, Acts 2:37-39). Through Jesus, baptism works forgiveness of sins, rescues us from death and the devil, and gives eternal salvation to all who believe in the promises of God. This gift is for all people of all ages.
We believe communion is a meal given by Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins, the strengthening of faith, and the building up of the family of Christ until the day of His return.
He gave this meal to His disciples on the night He was betrayed, saying, “This is my body” and “This is my blood”. Because of this, we believe communion to be simultaneously both bread and wine and His body and blood. We do not fully comprehend this mystery, but we trust in His words (Matthew 26:26-29).
In 1 Corinthians 11:27-32, the Apostle Paul warns that anyone who “eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty concerning the body and blood of the Lord.” He goes on to say that unworthy reception could cause judgement, sickness, and even death.
As such, we believe only those who can answer yes to these questions should receive communion:
1) Are you baptized into the family of God?
2) Are you aware of your sinfulness and sorry for your sins?
3) Are your sins only forgiven through the death and resurrection of Jesus?
4) Do you believe Jesus will forgive you for your sin?
5) Do you perceive the body of Christ in this meal?
6) Do you intend, with God’s help, to change your sinful ways and live according to God’s ways?
Whenever we receive communion, we welcome anyone not yet confident of these six questions to come forward with their hands folded and receive a blessing from the pastor instead of communion. Pastor Adam is also willing to meet and discuss these in depth at any time.
CONFESSION & ABSOLUTION
We believe God has given His church the authority to forgive the sins of anyone on His behalf (John 20:23, James 5:15-16, 1 John 1:8-10). As such, confession and absolution is the practice of privately confessing those sins burdening one’s conscious, and once finished, hearing the promised forgiveness of Christ proclaimed over you and on your behalf.
STILL HAVE QUESTIONS?
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