The Objectives of our Christian Ministry

To maintain and enrich the faith of our membership and friends by providing them with a variety of opportunities (congregational and personal) to continue their spiritual growth through the Means of Grace (2 Peter 3:18)

To equip and train our membership and friends through God’s Word to be faithful stewards of all that He has given us for service in His Kingdom. (2 Tim 3:16-17)

To reach out as a congregation into our community and throughout the world through our words, actions, and offerings with the Good News of Jesus Christ, God’s only-begotten Son. (Mark 16:15; Mathew 28:9-10)

To provide and atmosphere of brotherly Christian love and encouragement through all of our organizations and activities for the edification of our membership and friends. (John 13:34-35; Acts 2:24,44; Hebrews 10:24-25)

To develop Grace Lutheran Church into an indigenous congregation of Northwest Arkansas. (Acts 1:8; 1 Corinthians 9:19-23)

To establish Grace Lutheran Church as the WELLS flagship congregation in Northwest Arkansas


On The Basis of God’s Word, We Believe, Teach, and Confess

That the Bible is the totally inspired and error-free Word of God. (2Tim 3:15-17)

That the Bible is the only source and standard of faith and life for the Christian. (Jn 10:35)

That God created this world and our first parents to be perfect and Holy. (Gen 1:31; Lev 19:2)

That, because of sin, we have all failed to live up to God’s holy standards; consequently, we deserve to be punished eternally. (Rom 3:23; Rom 6:23)

That the only way for anyone to be saved from the terrible consequences of our sins is through faith in Christ our Savior. (Acts 16:31; Rom 10:17)

That faith is God the Holy Spirit’s work – not something we personally accomplish. (1 Cor 12:3)

That we are saved by God’s grace (His undeserved love), and that no one can earn his or her way into God’s favor by doing good deeds. (Eph 2:8-10)

That, in response to God’s love for us, Christians will want to live God-pleasing lives and seek to serve God and to do His will. (1 Cor 10:31)

That whoever trusts in Jesus Christ as their Savior from sin will not die eternally, but will have everlasting life. (Jn 3:16)

What Has Happened To Our Christian Faith?


         Evangelical writer Eric Metaxas recently observed  that “if Americans took a theology exam, their only hope of passing would be if God graded on a huge curve.”   He’s right.  When it comes to knowing both the content of the Bible and the doctrinal foundations of the Christian faith, American Christians – in general – are very deficient….. some are even heretics!

        That’s a bold, and clearly critical statement to make.   Yet it’s backed up by a survey of 3000 people done a few years ago by LifeWay Research, commissioned by Ligonier Ministries.   The results showed that although Americans still overwhelmingly identify themselves as “Christian,” a large percentage embraces ancient heresies condemned by every major Christian denomination.   What’s being denied are not minor points of doctrine, but the core truths that define our Christian faith! 

         Let’s start with something positive.   Seven out of ten respondents affirmed their faith in the doctrine of the Trinity—that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are three Persons but one God.   Six in ten agreed that Jesus is both human and divine.   But….that’s where their Biblical orthodoxy and consistency stopped. 

         Even though the Bible teaches that Jesus is eternally God, uncreated, and equal in every respect to the Father and the Holy Spirit….more than half of those who confessed their faith in Christ went on to indicate that Jesus is “the first and greatest Being created by God.”    That means they actually embrace the false beliefs of an ancient heresy known as Arianism, which the Council of Nicaea condemned in 325 A.D. and the Council of Constantinople again rejected in 381A.D.   Those two councils expressed what Scripture actually teaches about Christ through the words of the Nicene Creed.

         The survey shows that many American Christians either don’t understand or don’t care what the Bible’s doctrine (teaching) about the true God is.   And the heresy doesn’t stop with the doctrine of the Triune God. 

         The responses to plenty of other survey questions were equally wrong.   Seventy percent of participants  – spanning various age, socioeconomic and racial back-grounds—agreed that there’s only one true God.    Yet sixty-four percent also said God accepts the worship of all religions, including those that believe in multiple gods.

            Two-thirds admitted that everyone sins a little bit, but insisted that most people are generally good by nature and that God will let people into heaven based on their goodness – although that clearly contradicts Scripture (“All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” [Romans 3:23] and “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?”[Jeremiah 17:9]).   Seventy-four percent said the “smallest sins” don’t warrant eternal damnation, in contrast to what we learn in James 2:10: “Whoever keeps the whole law but stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.”

            Here’s another head-scratcher:   60 percent indicated that “everyone eventually goes to heaven,” but half of those surveyed also checked the box that said “only those who believe in Jesus will be saved.”   So either these folks are saying everyone will eventually believe in Jesus, or they had their eyes closed when they took the survey.

            It’s one thing, I suppose, for Americans in general to lack basic theological knowledge. After all, many of the 70 percent of the country who still call themselves Christians don’t take their faith that seriously, while the rest are either members of religious cult groups, or they have no faith in any god.   But what about conservative, evangelical Christians?  Surely they would give much better answers !    That’s what the folks at LifeWay assumed too.   So, they conducted a second survey among those who identified themselves as “evangelical Christians.”   They used the following criteria as a “filter,” surveying only those persons who saw the Bible as the highest authority, who said personal evangelism is important, and who indicated that faith in Jesus’ sinless life, death and resurrection is the only way of salvation.   Everyone expected this group to perform considerably better than most Americans. No one expected them to perform worse. 

            However… in ten evangelicals—more than the population at large—incorrectly said that Jesus was the first Being God created….which is the ancient heresy of Arianism (recently “resurrected” by the Jehovah’s Witness cult).   Fifty-six percent agreed that “the Holy Spirit is a divine force, but is not a personal Being equal to the Father and the Son” (that’s a heresy of modern liberalism).

            What’s more, the Evangelicals surveyed indicated that they believed that “only those who trust in Jesus Christ alone as their Savior receive God’s free gift of eternal salvation.”   Yet nearly half agreed that “God accepts the worship of all religions including Christianity, Judaism, and Islam.   However, those positions are contradictory!

            Two-thirds of evangelicals surveyed—again, that was higher than Americans in general—said heaven is a place where all people will ultimately be reunited with their loved ones.   The most striking thing is how many of these folks evidently see no contradiction whatsoever between their “casual universalism” (the false belief that everybody goes to heaven) and the Christian confession that salvation comes through faith in Christ alone.

            Perhaps the wording of the survey confused some of the participants.  That’s possible, I suppose.  But these stunningly bad responses could also be the result of two out of five evangelicals believing that “worshiping alone or with family is a valid replacement for regularly attending church.”  Then there’s the sad fact that fewer and fewer congregations still teach even the basic doctrines of our Christian faith, let alone dig deeply into the Word of God  from which these doctrines come.   Instead, the “non-denominational churches” (generally a way of saying “non-doctrinal”) and “mega-churches” which dominate today’s church scene thrive on a mostly social, much more than a Scripture-based, ministry.   In fact, what nearly all of them offer is NOT Scriptural substance, but – according to former Newsday religion reporter Kenneth Briggs – a “Bible-less,” “alternative version of Christianity.”   In these churches he says Scripture is typically regarded as more of a “museum exhibit, hallowed as an heirloom treasure,” but it not necessarily to be listened to and followed in a person’s daily life of faith.   It’s just not “essential” for them.

            LifeWay’s survey simply confirms what other religious surveys also have found –  like one taken in 2011 by the Barna group for the American Bible Society.   It found – among other things – that less than half the country could name the first five books of the Old Testament, and a similar number thought John the Baptist was one of Jesus’s twelve disciples!   What’s more, two-thirds of Americans believe there are few, if any, absolute principles to direct human behavior – including the 10 Commandments (which most Christians don’t know by heart…..or care to know). 

            The Barna survey went on to indicate that one in five “Christians” today denies Jesus’ physical resurrection, and believes – instead – that Jesus was Himself a sinner.  Less than half of today’s Christians believe in a real Devil.  And while nearly three-fourths of all Americans believe in hell, hardly any believe that it could be their destination, but is just the eternal residence of the world’s worst people.

            University of Wisconsin historian Thomas Reeves says that “contemporary religious blandness” is the cause of much of this ignorance.  “Modern Christianity in America is, in large part, innocuous,” he wrote. “It tends to be easy, upbeat, convenient, and compatible. It does not require self-sacrifice, discipline, humility, an other-worldly outlook, a zeal for souls, a fear as well as love of God. There is little guilt and no punishment, and the promised payoff in heaven is virtually certain no matter what a person believes or how he behaves.”    Former Secretary of Education William Bennett concluded that “We have become the kind of society that civilized countries used to send missionaries to.” 

            Why is there so much ignorance about the Bible?   Most likely, it comes from a lack of Bible reading.  How often do you read your Bible?   Half of all Americans never read the Bible at all.  The majority of Christians who do read the Bible read it only once or twice a week, at best.   Recent surveys have shown that only 18% of all Christians read God’s Word every day.   Another 18% read the Bible between three and six days a week.   37% read it once or twice a week, and 23% say they do not read the Bible at all.  Is this because many people don’t own a Bible?  Hardly.    93% of Americans (including non-Christians) own at least one Bible, and most own more than one.   What a sad commentary on American Christians!

            On the other hand…..A recent Tyndale House study of randomly selected adult Americans revealed: 90% of frequent Bible readers say they feel at peace all or most of the time, compared to only 58% who read the Bible less than once a month.    81% of frequent Bible readers feel content most of the time, and 69% are extremely satisfied with their lives.  Only 15% of regular Bible readers  indicated that they ever worry about being accepted, or anything else, compared to 28% of infrequent readers.  92% of frequent Bible readers have a clear purpose and meaning in life compared to only 69% of infrequent Bible readers.

            About now you could be wondering, “does this really matter?”    So what if someone flunks “Christianity 101″……Isn’t it enough simply to believe in Jesus to go to heaven?    Isn’t the rest of this nit-picking?

            Not at all.  It does matter !!!!    The true Christian faith, based on Scripture alone (not public or individual opinion), is built on the profession that the only true God is the Triune God of the Bible….the One God Who is three, distinct but equal Persons:  the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit (see the Athanasian Creed)…..and that eternal salvation is found only through faith in the incarnation, sinless life, substitutionary death, and bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ for us not in man’s good works (Ephesians 2:8-9).   This is the truth that Jesus says “sets you free” (John 8:32).   Everything else is not the truth….and it cannot save you.   Consequently, embracing the “close-but-no-cigar” “feel-good” lies of today’s many false so-called “Christian” teachers doesn’t benefit anyone.   Instead, it  enslaves, endangers and can eternally damn souls to hell ! 

            That’s why it has to be your priority and mine — as God enables us — to continually seek and embrace only God’s truth from His Word – ALL of it — rather than to settle for what our sinful natures and our society (plus today’s growing number of popular, but false churches) endorse as “acceptable” religion.   We need to know our Bibles much better than most of us do!

            Christ taught that to keep the first and the greatest commandment meant that we will love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, and mind (Matthew 22:37-40).   He also taught us that only if we hold to everything that He taught are we really His disciples (John 8:31 and Matthew 28:20).   That means all of us – starting today – need to hear and heed ALL of God’s Word in worship faithfully, in Bible study consistently, and in our devotions daily.   

            The results of this survey are startling, disturbing and embarrassing.   I pray that it will serve as a “kick in the pants” for all of us to re-familiarize ourselves with all the teachings of our Christian faith, and to Biblically evaluate the church we’re attending or watching (and, if your church is not faithfully teaching ALL of God’s Word, then please find a truly Biblically faithful church that does!….In fact, we invite you to study and grow in ALL God’s truths with our church!).   Each of us also ought to review the history of the Christian Church – particularly the way God safeguarded His truth over the centuries as His Church faithfully fought against heresies in the past.   That history is relevant, because today, it’s our duty “to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints” (Jude 4). 

            As you faithfully commit to, confess, and contend for the full truth of ALL God’s Word, be encouraged by these inspired and inspiring words of the Apostle Paul in II Timothy 4:1-5:   “I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, Who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom:  preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching.   For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions,  and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.   As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.”

A Lutheran-Christian’s Commitment to All God’s Word….

And Why It Matters To Us And To The LORD


Years ago I made a vow before God and the people of my home congregation and church body.   It was the same vow that every other Christian who is a Lutheran also took when they were confirmed.   I was young, and – looking back honestly – I didn’t fully appreciate the significance and seriousness of what I was promising on that day.   I do now, however.


The vow I made to the LORD reaffirmed a pledge to Him that my parents and sponsors made on my behalf the day I was baptized.


The day I was confirmed, I publicly committed myself – on oath – not simply to being faithful to what my church taught (after all….churches, their pastors and people, and even family members can be wrong;   it happens!), I committed myself to remaining faithful to every teaching (doctrine) of God’s Word.  I had learned these doctrines while studying God’s Word as a youth at the feet of my faithful Christian parents, teachers and pastors.


That day I promised God I was willing “to suffer all – even death – rather than fall away from,” or forsake, all the teachings of His Word as our Lutheran Church faithfully confesses them.


Since that day years ago many things have happened in my life and in this world.   I’ve grown older.  I’ve graduated from school.   I’ve held various jobs.   I’ve married and raised a family.  I’ve gained, and lost, and buried friends and family.  I haven’t seen everything in life, but I’ve seen enough.  And I believe that I’ve earned the right to make a few observations on life and on matters of faith.


Like David in Psalm 37:25, I can confidently say that I have never known the LORD to forsake me – in spite of the fact that I’ve often failed, forgotten and forsaken Him.    More than once I’ve tried to depart from His truths, tempted to lay aside my oath to Him in order to follow other ways and thoughts than God’s.  Yet He was always forgiving and faithful to me.   He kept me from straying.


I’ve also come to realize both from time spent regularly in God’s Word carefully comparing what I was taught to what Scripture says, as well as evaluating what other people and churches believe and teach today that those doctrines to which I committed myself under oath continue to be true and correct…..and so they remain worthy of my continued commitment and absolute faithfulness.


These truths of Scripture (which some churches and their people today minimize or reject) include the following teachings that are fundamental to our Christian faith:


…..That there is only one true God (Deuteronomy 6:4), Who has revealed Himself to us in His Word as the Triune God….3 persons in 1 God….the Father, Son and Holy Spirit (II Corinthians 13:14;   Numbers 6:24).    He alone created everything – me and you, included – out of nothing in six, normal 24 hour days (Exodus 20:8-11; Genesis 1;  John 1:3;   Matthew 19:4).     Consequently all the other “gods” of every other religious movement are false gods (Isaiah 42:8) that cannot save anyone.    Anyone who goes to heaven is saved only by faith in this one, true God  (Acts 4:12;  John 14:6).


…..That every person  (except for Jesus…Hebrews 4:15) is conceived and born as a sinner who is worthy only of God’s wrath – not His favor (Psalm 51:5;   Romans 6:23;    Romans 3:23).

…..That if you are I are going to be saved from sin, it will happen not because we are good, obedient, or better than most people.   Unless we are inherently and functionally perfect  (Matthew 5:48; Revelation 21:27)…..which, as a sinner, is impossible for any of us to do….we deserve to be doomed to eternal death in hell (Matthew 25:41-46).  And we surely can’t be saved through our good works (Ephesians 2:8-9).


…..That you and I are saved from sin and hell by God’s gracious choice to send Himself in the person of Jesus Christ to be our own and the world’s Savior from sin (John 3:16;   II Corinthians 5:21;  Philippians 2:6-11).   Jesus lived – for our benefit and that of everyone else – the perfect life God’s Law demands of us all, but which we fail miserably to achieve…even on our Spiritually best days (Isaiah 64:6).    Christ also satisfied God’s anger against all our sinfulness by being rejected and suffering God’s damnation in our place through His sacrificial, substitutionary sufferings and death on the cross.   Then He defeated physical and eternal death for you and me through His bodily resurrection, which assures us that we will one day rise perfected from our graves, just as Jesus did (I Corinthians 15:20, 42-44;   Philippians 3:21) to enjoy everlasting life in heaven (Matthew 25:34-40;  Revelation 21:22-27).


The preceding are the core truths of our Christian faith.   God refers to this in His Word as “the Gospel,” or “good news” of free salvation through faith in Christ Jesus, our God and Savior (Ephesians 2:8-9).   Only through faith in Jesus can anyone be saved eternally (Acts 4:12; I Timothy 2:3-6).    Not every church that calls itself Christian teaches this…..although a number of Christian churches do – ours, included.


Now, if this basic Gospel message was all that Scripture taught,

 I probably could comfortably be a part of a number of different churches.


If the Gospel and maybe a few other “basic” doctrines of Scripture were all that God wanted us to believe and practice, then based on our personal considerations, we could choose to be part of any church that adheres to these “basics” of the Christian faith.  For example…..I could comfortably choose a church based on whether or not my family or friends attend it…..or whether it is full of people my age who share my interests…..or if it has certain programs and activities that you or I want or like….or if it offers a style of worship and a particular type of music that we prefer….or if it is physically close to our homes…..or if the pastor is a dynamic speaker, or possesses other interesting and attractive qualities…..


If only the basic teachings of the Christian faith mattered, I could let my feelings and personal interests determine which church I attend.  And there’d be nothing wrong with where I worshiped….as long as those churches held to those basic truths.   The less-doctrine-is-better message of many of today’s independent, non-denominational, and other churches is popular, making them both attractive to the general public, and much easier to join.   But that doesn’t make them faithful to God and His Word, which is full of His teachings/doctrine.


What God teaches in His Word — and what I pledged myself on oath to many years ago — is that every truth of Scripture truly matters to God….and so they all should matter to all of us.


Our holding to all of these truths of God’s Word is what

distinguishes and separates our church from other churches. 


That’s why these doctrines that we know are true should matter so much to us that we can’t go just “anywhere” to church…..that we cannot support any ministry that calls itself Christian….that we cannot fellowship in worship, study, work and prayer with others simply because they call themselves Christian, or because we know and like them as people….because our feelings, our friendships, and any other social and personal factors must always be subordinate to everything that God says and teaches in His Word…not just to the “basics.”  (Matthew 28:19;  John 8:31-32;   Romans 16:17-18;  2 John 10).

Focusing for a moment on the “doctrine” of God’s Word…… we correctly believe that the Bible is the verbally (every word) inspired (Holy-Spirit given; 2 Timothy 3:16;   2 Peter 1:21;   John 14:26; 1 Corinthians 2:12,13), inerrant (John 17:17; John 10:35) and infallible (2 Peter 1:19-20) Word of God (1 Thessalonians 2:13).    We were taught that it is through the Word that God the Holy Spirit creates  and sustains faith (Romans 10:17; John 20:31), as well as that through it He makes the Sacraments (Baptism and the Lord’s Supper) efficacious.  Consequently, no one has the right to either add to or diminish God’s Word (Deuteronomy 4:2;   Revelation 22:18,19), nor can anyone alter or distort it (Jeremiah 14:14;  2 Peter 3:14,16).   Yet many churches have done that, and continue to compromise God’s Word.  Some speak of the Bible as merely “containing” God’s message, rather than that it is all God’s Word from cover to cover.   Others, more subtly, talk about their acceptance of all of the Bible as God’s Word, but then they teach only limited portions of it as being “fundamental” while “agreeing to disagree” on the understanding/interpretation of the rest.   When I vowed to be faithful to God’s Word, that meant being faithful to ALL of it, always.


Something else that God talks about in His Word – and wants us to believe and practice faithfully – has to do with His gift of Baptism.   It is not merely an outward ceremony someone goes through to show that he/she is repentant and wants to follow Jesus (which, unfortunately, is what most churches in our community wrongly believe).   The human role in Baptism is literally “the tip of the iceberg” – that is, very small by comparison to what God does through Baptism.   And what does God do in Baptism?   He gives us the Holy Spirit creating or strengthening faith in us (Titus 3:5,6; Acts 2:38).   He also washes our sins away, covering us with Christ’s righteousness and saves us (Galatians 3:26-27;   I Peter 3:21; Mark 16:16;  Romans 6:3,4).    Sadly, many churches refuse to baptize little children.   They don’t believe it’s necessary because they falsely teach that children are innocent before God until they reach an “age of accountability” (which sounds appealing, but it’s taught nowhere in Scripture).    These same churches teach that young children can’t believe in God.   They maintain that faith can arrive only later in life when those individuals consciously choose God for themselves (something we cannot do on our own…only the Holy Spirit can work this!)   In contrast to the lie that children can’t actually believe, it’s Jesus Who says that little children – babies, even – can believe in Him (Matthew 18:1-6 and Luke 18:15-17;   Luke 1:41-44;   II Timothy 3:15).    God’s Word also teaches that all children – babies included – are sinful from the moment of their conception (Psalm 51:5;  Ephesians 2:1-3;  Ezekiel 18:4; Romans 3:23;  Romans 8:7) and so they are also in need of God’s grace and need to have faith in Christ to be saved (Hebrews 11:6).   How can faith be developed in little children?   Through God’s Word, particularly as it works in Baptism (I Peter 3:21;   John 3:5,6;   Acts 2:38-39).  And so we baptize children in our church because God wants them baptized so that they can believe and be saved (I Peter 3:21).   I baptized my children and grandchildren and God washed their sins away and gave them faith in Him.   However, false teaching churches do not baptize children;   in fact, they reject infant baptism.    What’s more, they incorrectly teach that baptism is merely an outward profession of ones faith in Christ (and not a special gift through which God invisibly works to provide great Spiritual blessings).   Being faithful to all of God’s Word and the vow we made to Him keeps us from being able to support those churches by being a part of their ministries, no matter how sincere and well-intentioned they might be.


God also wants us to fully embrace what He teaches us in His Word about the Lord’s Supper, including believing that the “real presence” (the true body and blood) of Christ occurs in, with and under the bread and wine that we receive (Matthew 26:26-29;    I Corinthians 10:16;  I Corinthians 11:29).   He wants us to enjoy through the Lord’s Supper all the Spiritual blessings He provides when we properly receive that sacred meal.  Through proper reception of the Lord’s Supper we receive forgiveness of sins (Matthew 26:28), the assurance of salvation (Ephesians 1:7; Romans 5:9), a strengthened faith (Romans 10:17), contact with Christ (I Corinthians 10:16), and united fellowship with like-minded believers (I Corinthians 11:26; I Corinthians 10:17).   Church bodies that teach that the bread and wine in the Lord’s Supper merely symbolize Jesus, and that this meal is only a memorial to Him are actually sinning (I Corinthians 11:26.27) and depriving their members of the blessings that they otherwise might receive through a faithful understanding of this Sacrament.   When we publicly took our confirmation oaths, among other things it meant that we were ready to properly and gratefully receive the Lord’s Supper with all its blessings.  Sadly, many don’t.


And, speaking of important teachings in God’s Word, let’s consider the way we became and have remained believers.   We became Christians not at all because of our thinking or choosing/deciding for God (which is such a common false teaching), but solely because God the Holy Spirit worked the desire for God, as well as genuine faith and repentance in our hearts (Romans 9:15-16;   1 Corinthians 12:3;   2 Timothy 1:9;   1 Corinthians 6:11;   Ephesians 2:4-5;   Philippians 2:13).   God chose us before the world was even created to believe in Him (Ephesians 1:4;   2 Thessalonians 2:13)  and the Holy Spirit created the faith that exists in our hearts.   God – alone  –  gets all the credit and glory for our becoming Christians!    And so – given the vow each of us took to be faithful to what His Word teaches – how could we ever be a part of a church body that deprives God of His glory by falsely trying to teach that we have contributed to our conversion and continued faith?


There are more doctrines we could consider in this document, but here’s my point:   If God teaches it in His Word, whatever the doctrine is, it’s important and it should be faithfully believed, taught and practiced by all Christians…but particularly by us.    Churches that only teach the “basics” and which encourage people to “agree to disagree” on matters of doctrine, simply aren’t faithful, and God says they should be avoided……if we intend to remain faithful to Him (Romans 16:17-18).  It’s as simple – and as challenging – as that.


On the day I was confirmed as a Lutheran Christian, I made a vow to God to only become a faithful and supporting member of a church that teaches correctly and adheres completely to every doctrine of His Word.  That meant I couldn’t become a member of a church that teaches and holds to only a few, basic doctrines of Scripture while leaving the rest as “optional” at best, and unimportant at worst.


If we’re all going to remain faithful to the baptism/confirmation oath that we took before God, and if we’re going to be part of church that correctly and completely teaches His Word, then that means your church choices and mine are going to be very limited.   But, thank God, there are congregations of which you and I can be a part.   One of them is our church, Grace Lutheran Church in Lowell, AR.


Our church isn’t a perfect church by any stretch of the imagination. There is room – and need – for improvement in how we serve and worship God, as well as in how we study His Word and encourage one another Spiritually.   Our church members aren’t perfect either, by any stretch of the imagination, nor is this pastor.  But by God’s grace we are forgiven and as He enables us we have remained faithful to His Word….all of His Word.


In spite of our many weaknesses, what our church teaches and is committed to are the comprehensive truths and expectations that are found in God’s Word – the same truths to which we, under oath to God, totally committed ourselves when were baptized and confirmed.   At that time you and I promised God that we would endure any and everything….no matter what (“suffer all”)….rather than ever forsake those truths or depart from our total commitment to them.  So, will we really do that…keep our vow to Him and remain true to all His Word?


After all, neither we nor anyone else ever can have the right to change what God’s Word teaches to attract others or to serve our sinful selves.   Instead, God-enabling and blessing our shared efforts, you and I will together to make this ministry that God has entrusted to us better, stronger and even more faithful to His Word and His work today and for the future.  We need you to be part of this effort, through your regular prayers, consistent participation, and with your faithful, forgiving and encouraging support.

You can help your church grow, too, by personally inviting and bringing to worship, study and fellowship other people you know (friends, relatives, associates, and even strangers) who are searching for real truth from God’s Word.   Their search can end at our church.


Here people we bring into our congregation can receive the same substantial instruction and faithful encouragement from God’s Word that we once received during our personal confirmation instruction.   Here they can publicly commit themselves to all the same truths of the Bible to which we once committed ourselves, and to which we ought to remain committed throughout our lives.  Here they can be participants in a Christian ministry that has plenty of room to improve, but which remains fully faithful to all that God teaches us in His Word.


It isn’t easy to make and to keep an oath to God like the confirmation and baptism vows that you and I made.    But, God the Holy Spirit can enable us to do so, so that we keep faithfully our promises to God and to all of His word.  That is always the right, God-pleasing thing to do.


I thank the only true God – the Father, Son and Holy Spirit — for bringing you and me to faith in Him, and for keeping us in this one, true saving Christian faith.   I also thank God for teaching each of us His full Word (not just the basics), and for keeping us all faithful to everything He’s given us in His Scriptures.   Finally, in spite of all the personal and outside challenges to depart from it, I thank the LORD for enabling you and me to remain loyal to the oath we took to Him so long ago when we were confirmed in our faith.    May He keep us all fully faithful to Him, and keep us steadfast in all of His Word….now and always.


 – Pastor Chuck Huebner