We are Lutheran and part of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod. If you're not sure what that means, you can learn a lot more at: www.lcms.org
In short, we are Christian. We believe in One, True God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We believe the Father created us and all things. Jesus (Son) came to earth, lived a perfect life, died on the cross and rose again so that all who believe in Him are forgiven and are going to heaven. We believe in the Holy Spirit who works and continues to grow our faith in God. Through the Holy Spirit we are able to believe and trust in all that God promises.
What are the Sacraments?
A sacrament is 1. A Sacred Act. 2. Given by God. 3. Has a visible means. 4. Combined with God's Word. With the Result: Forgiveness of Sins. Baptism is a Sacrament. It is a Sacred Act, given by God, it has a visible means (water) that is combined with God's Word and it washes away our sin. Communion is a Sacrament. It is a Sacred Act, given by God, it has a visible means (bread and wine) that is combined with God's Word and it gives us forgiveness. Confession and Absolution of sins is close, but it is not a sacrament because it does not have a visible means. It is a Sacred Act, given by God, no visible means, but it is combined with God's Word and it gives forgiveness of sins.
What does the Trinity mean?
The Athanasian Creed is a great reference. There is one God in three persons, and three persons in one God. In the Bible, God refers to Himself as being three persons (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit), but there is only one God. Who is God, the one, true God? He is the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
What are the Scriptures?
Bible means "book". It is the Word of God. We use it to learn about God. He tells us who He is and what He has done. It is the one dependable guide for living, the one authority for Christian ministry and worship, the final standard for our knowledge of God and His salvation in Jesus. In it are the Old and New Testaments. The Old Testament has 39 books and the New Testament has 27 books. Facts: Totals 66 books, originally written in Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek. 36 writers, over a time period of 1,600 years and it is translated today in more than 1,500 languages.
What is Eternal Salvation?
Everyone has two options, either eternal life with God (heaven). Or eterntal death away from God (hell). Eternal life with God, it will be the Garden of Eden restored again (Genesis 1-2). We will be with God, in His presence, there will be no more death, sorrow, pain or suffering. Hell on the other hand, is eternal death, "where their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched" Mark 9:48. TV shows and movies have us think heaven is going to be boring and lame, while hell is where the party is and people can do whatever they want. The Bible tells us something much different. Hell is forever torture and torment, and there is no escape, it's an unquenchable fire. So how do we make sure we go to heaven and not hell? First, we can't do anything to earn eternal life with God. We have rebelled against God (Genesis 3). God has given us the 10 commandements and we have not and do not obey them completely. We call this rebellion, sin. We are sinners. The first step towards receiving eternal life with God and His forgiveness for our sin is by recognizing, we are sinners. We don't always do, 100% of the time, what God tells us to do, therefore we have sinned, we are sinners. But God doesn't leave us alone as sinners, He sees our rebellion and how we cannot perfectly obey Him 100% of the time, and He gives us a Savior. He comes as a man (Jesus), and He completely obeys all of God's commands. Out of His love for all people, He took our place and received God's anger and judgment for our sin. He paid the price for our sin by dieing on the cross. And yet, Jesus does not stay dead, He raises from the dead (resurrection) on the third day (Easter). Through Jesus's resurrection, He proves that He has defeated death, and sin, even the power of the devil. Because Jesus paid our price of sin, and He defeated death, the Bible tells us, all who believe or trust that He did this, will have eternal life (John 3:16). Because of Jesus, we have forgiveness, that is, God does not see our sin and have anger and wrath towards us, He sees our sin and the payment (sacrifice) Jesus made and says, you're forgiven! You are perfect because Jesus was perfect, you have eternal life! What a gift! It's free, and the work is done, we simply trust that Jesus did it.
What is Church?
The Greek word for church is "ecclesia" it means, "called out ones." Church is a place to gather with other believers in Jesus. But our sole purpose is not just to gather and worship/thank/praise God. God gives us all a job to do. Jesus tells us the greatest command is, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself" (Matthew 22:37-39). As the "called out ones" we know who God is and what He has done through Jesus, we are now to go out and share this message with all people. At church, we are reminded of what God tells us (His promises) and what it means to be His followers, but we are also encouraged to go out and share His Word, share His promises with the people we see day in and day out.
What is God's relationship with humans? Why does God do all of this for us? Why does God even care about us?
Because we are His creation! When God made humans, He made us in His image (Genesis 1:27). Isaiah 49:14-16 says, "But Zion said, 'The Lord has forsaken me, the Lord has forgotten me.' 'Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has born? Though she may forget, I will not forget you! See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are ever before me.'" Being God's creation, we belong to God. We are His, just as a child belongs to a mother. The mother has tremendous love for her child, willing to do anything to keep it safe. But sometimes moms don't have that strong love or are not willing to do anything for their child, however, God is perfect. He loves all people, because all people are His creation. He's willing to do anything to save His creation and He does it through Jesus. The Bible tells us God is a jealous God, He wants all people to be with Him, but some people choose to reject Him. They choose to not believe in Him. So either, people believe (trust) in Jesus as their Savior through His death and resurrection on the cross and they have eternal life. Or they don't believe (trust) in Jesus and they have eternal death.
"This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus." - Romans 3:22-24
"For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him." - John 3:16-17
"You, Lord, are forgiving and good, abounding in love to all who call to you." Psalm 86:5
"On hearing this, Jesus said to them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” - Mark 2:17