Bethlehem Lutheran Church of Ferrin, Illinois is a congregation of the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod (LCMS) and is committed to the doctrine of the Lutheran Church as presented in The Book of Concord. We are a congregation that is biblical, evangelical, confessional, sacramental, and liturgical.
We Are Biblical
The Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are the source of our faith and life. The Only True and Living God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit has given us His Word. The Bible is the pure, clear fountain of truth for our congregation and the whole world. God uses His Word to call us together and gives us new life to live in faith toward Him and fervent love toward one another. We are committed to receiving all that our Lord Jesus Christ has taught us in His Word and to living by faith alone in Him and His promises.
We Are Evangelical
“Evangel” means Good News. In English, it is the word Gospel. To be evangelical is to be focused on the Gospel, or Good News, that God for the sake of Christ’s death and resurrection forgives undeserving sinners. He gives us free forgiveness and eternal salvation through faith in Christ. Right and wrong, the law of God, love for the neighbor and good works are all important parts of Christian life. However, we cannot earn God’s favor by what we do. Everything we do is tainted by sin. Only the Gospel creates faith and grants salvation to sinners. This is why we focus on the Gospel. We also need God’s Law. It shows us our sin and our need for a Savior. It also shows us, who are freely forgiven of all our sins for Christ’s sake, what pleases our gracious God.
We Are Confessional
Having received the Word of God, we gladly confess it in our congregation and our community. We subscribe to the Book of Concord, the Confessions of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, teaching the same doctrine God has given to us in His Word. We are dedicated to the task of making new disciples through teaching and Holy Baptism both in our community and around the world so that all might confess that Jesus is Lord to the glory of God the Father.
We Are Sacramental
In the Bible we learn of the means God uses to communicate and deliver the forgiveness and new life that Christ won for sinners on His Cross. These means are the Word and Sacraments. The Word of God is living and active, making what it says come into being, from the creation of the world to the redemption of sinners. God’s spoken and written Word creates faith by delivering the word of absolution, or forgiveness. God gives us Baptism. It is water combined with God’s Word. By God’s gracious power, Baptism washes away our sins, gives us the Holy Spirit, unites us with the Triune God, gives us new and eternal life, delivers us from Satan’s power, and rescues us from eternal damnation. God gives us the Lord’s Supper. The bread that we eat and the wine that we drink are not just reminders of Christ’s body and blood and the forgiveness of sins. They are Christ’s body and blood. This sacrament gives us forgiveness of sins, life, and salvation. Through the Word and Sacraments, the Holy Spirit creates and sustains faith, by which sinners receive forgiveness and eternal life. We marvel and rejoice to be so blessed by God.
We Are Liturgical
Our worship is liturgical, meaning we follow orders of service from a hymnal, sing parts of the order and many hymns, confess the Creeds, pray the Lord’s Prayer, and celebrate the Sacraments, all for the sake of proclaiming Christ. The form or order of our services follows the pattern that has been established throughout the Church over the past 2,000 years, with roots going back to ancient Israel. We call these forms Liturgies, and we use them because they deliver the truth of God’s Law and Gospel the best. We are not bound to the forms as a law, but rather gladly choose to follow in the footsteps of the Church, for the sake of delivering forgiveness to sinners.