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Contact Us

  • Phone: (830) 625-9191
  • Email: 
  • Mailing Address: 181 S. Santa Clara St., New Braunfels, TX 78130

 

 

What We Believe & Teach

Welcome to St. Paul Lutheran!

 

There are lots of ways to sum up the core convictions that we believe and teach as Lutheran Christians.  Here’s one way we like to say it:

  1. God is God…and you and I are not.  In a culture that often wants you to believe that you are the center of the universe and that “it’s all about you,” we believe and teach that life is all about Jesus.
  2. God’s word speaks to us as both judgment AND mercy, judgment on our sin and mercy for sinners in Jesus Christ.  Jesus will take you just as you are at the start of the day, and by the end of the day he will change you with his living word speaking to you…his Holy Spirit directly at work on you through his word. Life is not about my self-esteem or yours…it’s about living by the word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.  The unique shorthand Lutherans use for this is to say that God’s word speak to us as law and gospel.  Because we are sooo accustomed to systems of merit and getting what we deserve, this truth often takes a looong time to sink in on us.  Perhaps words from the famous theologian, Clint Eastwood, help make it clear: “Deserving has got nothing to do with it.” 
  3. God’s word reveals the truth that we are simultaneously sinners and saints. Each one of us is the good, the bad, and the ugly all rolled into one.  Check out what the namesake of our congregation says about this in Romans 7.21-25
  4. We are put in a right relationship with God only by grace through faith in Jesus Christ…and we are called to live this out.  It’s all right there in Ephesians 2.8-10.  The church words for this truth are justification (to be put in right relationship with God) and vocation (our calling to live that relationship out among our neighbors).
  5. We believe in the priesthood of all believers.  We don’t need a bridge, an intermediary between us and God, we already have this in Jesus Christ. Further, every believer is a bridge from God to people.
  6. It’s about relationship not “religion”.  We believe the church is the congregation in living relationship with God and with people.  Focusing on institutional religion often brings out the sinner in us (see “sinners & saints” above) and gets us off of our mission of making disciples.

Another way that many of us have confessed what we believe and teach has been around for 500 years.  The words below have stood the test of time and many of us find deep, durable help in knowing them by heart.  They are part of our “field guide for daily life” which Luther wrote for the family to use at home and congregations to use when they gather, The Small Catechism.

We believe in God, the father almighty. We believe that God has created us and all that exists, that he has given us and still preserves our body and soul, eyes and ears, reason and all our senses, together with food and clothing, home and family, and all our property. Every day he provides abundantly for all the needs of our life. He protects us from all danger and guards and keeps us from every evil. He does this purely out of fatherly and divine goodness and mercy, though we do not deserve it. Therefore we ought to thank, praise, serve, and obey him. This is most certainly true!

We believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord. We believe that Jesus Christ — true God, begotten of the Father from eternity, and also true man, born of the Virgin Mary — is our Lord. He has redeemed us,  lost and condemned creatures, and has freed us from sin, death, and the power of the devil, not with silver and gold, but with his holy and precious blood and his innocent suffering and death. He has done all this in order that we might be his own, live under him in his kingdom, and serve him in everlasting righteousness, innocence, and blessedness, even as he is risen from the dead and lives and reigns for all eternity. This is most certainly true!

We believe in the Holy Spirit. We believe that we cannot by our own reason or strength believe in Jesus Christ our Lord or come to him; but the Holy Spirit has called us through the Gospel, enlightened us with his gifts, and sanctified and preserved us in the true faith. In the same way, he calls, gathers, enlightens, and sanctifies the whole Christian church on earth, and preserves it in unity with Jesus Christ in the one true faith. In this Christian church, he daily forgives abundantly all our sins and the sins of all believers. At the last day, he will raise us and all the dead and will grant everlasting life to all who believe in Christ. This is most certainly true!