Here are some basic explanations to help you understand why we do what we do.
The Bible is God’s Word to us. Primarily, it is where He reveals how we are saved – by His grace through His supplied faith in Jesus, the Savior of the world. Yet it also contains God’s will for our lives, Who God is, and what He has done for us. The Bible is where God promises to communicate with us. Most of our worship service – songs, lessons, responses, and messages – are based on the Bible.
Confession of Sins and Absolution
We admit that we haven’t been perfect through confession. We sin in our thoughts, words, and actions. Because of this we cannot ever be good enough to earn heaven. What we need, then, is a declaration of forgiveness, or His absolution. We need to be made right with God through Jesus. Because He died on the cross He won for us that needed forgiveness.
Apostles’ Creed, Nicene Creed, and Luther’s Catechism
It is natural for believers to declare what they believe. The Apostle’s Creed (ca 125 AD), summarizes the Apostle’s teachings while the Nicene Creed (ca 325 AD) gives a more in-depth teaching of the Christian faith. These are public declarations of what the Bible and Hope teaches and what a Christian believes. Luther’s Catechism was written by Martin Luther for family training. It is included in the Book of Concord as an authoritative statement of what Lutherans believe.
God has promised to hear us whenever we pray. Praying is talking to God. We call upon His almighty power to help us in any and every need. The Lord’s Prayer is the prayer Jesus taught His disciples when they asked Him to “teach us how to pray.” It remains a model prayer.
The Sacraments: Baptism and The Lord’s Supper
To develop a loving relationship with us sinners the Lord has chosen to use certain means, or tools, to reach our hearts. God uses His holy Word and Baptism to create faith and develop His relationship with all His children. The water isn’t special, but the power of Baptism lies in God’s promises and what He has declared Baptism to be. In addition, God also has a special tool to develop a deeper relationship with His children who have had the opportunity to mature in their faith. This tool is the Lord’s Supper. It is not the wine or bread that is special but the power of the Lord’s Supper lies in Jesus’ declaration of His body and blood in the bread and wine.