What We Believe

ELCA

Advent is a congregation in the Northern-Texas Northern Louisiana (NT-NL) Mission Area (Synod) of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA).

Click Here to learn more about ELCA Lutheran Christianity.

Click Here to learn more about the NT-NL Mission Area.

Overview of what we believe and practice:

1. We are Biblical –  meaning that the Bible reveals God to the world “Despite the diversity of viewpoints and the complexity of the many narratives contained in the Scriptures, Lutheran Christians believe that the story of God’s steadfast love and mercy in Jesus is the heart and center of what the Scriptures have to say.” (from:  www.elca.org/Faith/ELCA-Teaching/Scripture-Creeds-Confessions).  The Bible is 

2. We are Trinitarian – meaning we believe in One God revealed through the Father, Jesus & Holy Spirit.  Our belief is expressed through the Creeds of the Church:  the Apostles’, Nicene and Athanasian Creeds

3.  We are Sacramental – meaning we follow the commands of Jesus to make disciples through Baptism and to remember the gift of his Real Presence in Communion (a.k.a Lord’s Supper, Eucharist).  By these means of grace, God provides forgiveness of sins, eternal life and salvation.

4.  We are Liturgical – meaning that (1) our worship is interactive following a Biblical pattern where we GATHER, HEAR and respond to God’s promises and commands, RECEIVE the Sacraments, and are SENT into the world to serve, forgive, and be vessels God’s compassion and mercy; and (2) the Church Year is guided by the life of Jesus (reflected by the seasons of Advent, Christmas, Epiphany, Lent, Easter, and Pentecost).

5.  We are Disciples – meaning that as followers of Jesus, the journey of faith is life-long and that the First Story of Faith (The Bible) is authoritative  for our daily individual and communal living.  Central teachings are:  The Bible (Old and New Testaments), The Ten Commandments, Baptism, Communion, The Lord”s Prayer, Apostles’ Creed.  As disciples, what we learn shapes our attitudes and actions in our daily living and service in the world.

6.  In a nutshell, we are Sola in our beliefs – meaning:

Sola Christus:  Lutherans believe that salvation was made possible 100% by the work of Jesus Christ.  This gives rise to the Lutheran phrase “Christ alone!”. 

Sola Gratia:  Lutherans believe that we are saved by God’s mercy and forgiveness and not by works of righteousness to atone for our past or even by a personal action of deciding to follow Jesus.  Rather, the work is entirely God’s.  This gives rise to the Lutheran phrase of “Grace alone!”.

Sola Fide:  Lutherans do believe that trust in Jesus is necessary for salvation.  However, we understand that such trust is the work of God the Holy Spirit working through the Scriptures and the Sacraments to create such faith. We understand that simple trust in the promises of God in Jesus Christ are sufficient to secure an individual’s salvation.   This gives rise to the Lutheran phrase of “Faith Alone!”

Sola Scriptura:  Lutherans take their beliefs from the Holy Scriptures.  Lutherans of the ELCA continue to believe the Bible to be the inspired and authoritative Word of God that shapes faith and life.  This give rise to the Lutheran phrase of “Scripture Alone!”