Based upon Scripture, Rooted in Theology
Good Shepherd believes the Bible is God’s holy, inspired, and inerrant Word. We believe God’s Word is alive and active, applicable for every area of life. We encourage believers to read the Bible daily and allow the Holy Spirit to transform hearts and minds to become more like Christ.
We believe salvation comes “by grace through faith” in Jesus Christ (Ephesians 2:8), and that the Holy Spirit indwells all believers and gives spiritual gifts for edifying the body of Christ, the Church (Romans 12:3-10). True disciples of Jesus are created when God reaches down to sinners and causes them to become born again (I Peter 1:3). This saving faith occurs when God brings grace to the sinner, when he or she yields to the work of the Holy Spirit, and then confesses that Jesus is Lord and that God raised Christ from the dead (Romans 10:9-10).
We hold to the three ancient creeds of the Christian church – the Apostles Creed, the Nicene Creed, and the Athanasian Creed. These creeds have anchored the historic Christian Church throughout the centuries and continue to instruct us today.
We accept Luther’s Small Catechism and the Unaltered Augsburg Confession as a true expressions of the Christian faith and accurate explanations of the teachings of Scripture. We practice both adult and infant baptism and believe in the “true presence” of Jesus Christ in the Lord’s Supper.
Good Shepherd is affiliated with the Association of Free Lutheran Congregations (AFLC), a church body consisting of 275 churches across the U.S., committed to solid Bible teaching, the inerrancy of Scripture, preaching the good news of Jesus Christ, and the basics of Lutheran doctrine. The AFLC, headquartered in Minneapolis, MN, includes a two-year Bible college (Free Lutheran Bible College) and a four-year seminary program (Free Lutheran Seminary).
The creeds and confessions below summarize the Christian faith and outline the core teachings of Lutheran theology.
I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth.
And in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord; who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead and buried. He descended into hell; The third day He rose again from the dead; He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from there He shall come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit; the holy Christian Church, the communion of saints; the forgiveness of sins; the resurrection of the body; and the life everlasting. Amen.
I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth and of all things visible and invisible.
And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of His Father before all worlds, God of God, Light of Light, Very God of Very God, Begotten, not made, Being of one substance with the Father, by Whom all things were made; Who for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the Virgin Mary and was made man; and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate. He suffered and was buried; and the third day He rose again according to the Scriptures; and ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father; and He shall come again with glory to judge both the living and the dead; Whose kingdom shall have no end.
And I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord and Giver of life; Who proceeds from the Father and the Son, Who with the Father and the Son together is worshiped and glorified, Who spoke by the prophets. And I believe one holy Christian and Apostolic Church. I acknowledge one Baptism for the remission of sins, and I look for the resurrection of the dead and life of the world to come.
Whoever will be saved shall, above all else, hold the catholic faith. Which faith, except it be kept whole and undefiled, without doubt, one will perish eternally. And the true Christian faith is this, that we worship one God in Trinity and Trinity in Unity, neither confusing the Persons nor dividing the substance.
For there is one Person of the Father, another of the Son, and another of the Holy Spirit. But the Godhead of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit is all one; the glory equal, the majesty coeternal.
Such as the Father is, such is the Son, and such is the Holy Spirit. The Father uncreated, the Son uncreated, and the Holy Spirit uncreated. The Father infinite, the son infinite, and the Holy Spirit infinite. The Father eternal, the Son eternal, and the Holy Spirit eternal. And yet there are not three eternals, but one eternal; just as there are not three uncreated, nor three infinites, but one uncreated and one infinite.
Likewise the Father is almighty, the Son is almighty, and the Holy Spirit is almighty. And yet there are not three almighties, but one almighty. So the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God. And yet there are not three gods, but one God. Likewise the Father is Lord, the Son is Lord, and the Holy Spirit is Lord. And yet there are not three lords, but one Lord.
For as we are compelled by the Christian truth to acknowledge every Person by Himself to be both God and Lord, so we are forbidden by the true Christian faith to say that there are three gods or three lords.
The Father is made of none, neither created nor begotten. The Son is of the Father alone, not made nor created but begotten. The Holy Spirit is of the Father and of the Son, neither made nor created nor begotten but proceeding. So there is one Father, not three fathers, one Son, not three sons, one Holy Spirit, not three holy spirits.
And in this Trinity none is before or after another; none is greater or less than another; but all three Persons are coeternal together and coequal, so that in all things, as said before, the Unity in Trinity and the Trinity in Unity is to be worshiped. Whoever will be saved is compelled thus to think of the Holy Trinity.
Furthermore it is necessary for everlasting salvation that one also believe faithfully the incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ. For the right faith is that we believe and confess that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is God and Man; God of the substance of the Father, begotten before the worlds; and Man of the substance of His mother, born in the world; perfect God and perfect Man, of a rational soul and human flesh subsisting. Equal to the Father as touching His Godhead and inferior to the Father as touching His manhood. Who, although He is God and Man, yet He is not two but one Christ; One not by changing of the Godhead into flesh, but by taking the manhood into God; One indeed, not by confusion of substance, but by oneness of person. For just as the rational soul and flesh is one man, so God and Man is one Christ; Who suffered for our salvation, descended into hell, rose again the third day from the dead. He ascended into heaven, He is seated at the right hand of the Father, God almighty, from there He shall come to judge the living and the dead. At whose coming all will rise again with their bodies and will give an account of their own works. And they that have done good will enter into life everlasting; and they that have done evil into everlasting fire. This is the catholic faith; whoever does not faithfully and firmly believe this cannot be saved.
Written to be used as a resource for parents to teach their children the Christian faith, the Small Catechism continues to serve as a faithful and helpful guide in sumarizing the Christian faith for us today.