How We’re Different
Here at Grace, we are striving to be a light to Lamar for the pure Gospel of Jesus Christ.
By Pure Gospel we mean:
Jesus Christ has lived, died, been buried, has risen from the grave and has ascended into heaven. Yet, not only that, even more, Jesus did all those things for you to save you and give you the forgiveness of sins.
By Gospel we do not mean:
We do not mean that God is waiting on you to choose him, come forward at an altar call or make a decision for Christ. While this is often falsely portrayed as the Gospel it is not correct according to the Bible.
The Truth of the Pure Gospel Presented in Holy Scripture:
Jesus says in John 15:16 “You did not choose me, but I chose you…”
Jesus Christ is not waiting for you to choose Him or make a decision for Christ. He is busy working to bring you to Himself by the work and power of His Holy Spirit effected in us by the preached Word and by the power of the same Word and Spirit given in the Lord’s Supper and the water of Baptism.
God gives us the gift of believing and places faith in our hearts by His living Word and he does this work through real means, like the water of baptism, bread and wine, real words that come from the mouth of a real person and real words printed on a real page in a real Bible.
How Salvation Works According to the Bible:
in Hebrews 4 the Bible tells us that God’s Word is “living and powerful.” In Isaiah 55 we learn that God’s Word accomplishes the purpose for which it is sent.
When a person hears God’s Word through real means (like preaching) it works on that person by the Holy Spirit. The Word goes into the ear and gives the gift of faith to the hearer. This is how a person is “saved.” This is why a sinful person (Rom. 3) would make a good confession (Rom. 10). It is all God’s work, and 0% the work of a person’s choices or decisions or action of any kind. That’s why the apostle Paul wrote in Ephesians 2 and said:
“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” (ESV).
If salvation is done by a choice or decision, then one person could boast saying “I did this but you didn’t.” However, the Scripture shows clearly that salvation is 100% the work of God so that no person can say, I did this and you did not.
When people think about church they often think that church people think they are better than everyone else.
At Grace we get together for church on Sunday not because we think we are better than anyone else, but precisely because we know we are not. We are regular people that need Jesus’ love, grace and forgiveness.
Why do we call ourselves Lutheran?
Many people are nervous about a church that would have the name of a man Martin Luther out on their sign. Here is the amazing thing, our church is called a Lutheran Church not becuase we worship Martin Luther but because we understand the Bible much like Martin Luther did.
Have you ever noticed that there are so many churches? Even more strange, they all say they believe and teach the Bible. Yet few of them, if any, can agree. Some say, “well I guess the Bible is just a book no one can agree on, there are just to many ways to interpret it.”
This shows the true question in our world today is not “does your church teach the Bible?” But is rather, “How does your church understand the Bible?”
This is a good reason to have a man’s name as a part of your church. Calling the church Lutheran shows that we agree with the teachings of Martin Luther. At least a person can tell how we understand the Bible before they even walk in the front door.
In fact, it can be understood as tricky to call your church by a generic name like “Christian” or “Baptist.” These names tell no one anything about whose teachings might be taught inside the doors. Every church follows that teachings of person or group of people and how they understood or understand the Bible.
Christian Churches, Churches of Christ and Disciples of Christ follow Alexander Campbell and Barton W. Stone the leaders of the Restoration Movement.
Baptist ideas come from people like Urlich Zwingli a Swedish Reformer.
Reformed Churches or Presbyterian Churches follow the teaching of a man named John Calvin.
The list goes on….
Why don’t these groups and others make it clear to people who don’t know religious history who it is they understand the Bible according to?
At Grace Lutheran Church in Lamar we strive to let people know what we believe before hand so that they aren’t being tricked or pressured into memebership. Sadly, people often join churches with no idea what is being taught inside the doors. Then years later after they have many relationships they find out they don’t believe like the people they have been communing with for years. At Grace we try to avoid those sort of church growth tactics.