How We Worship?
 

The worship services at Our Savior Lutheran Church are called "Divine Service," which means "Service of God."  This can be taken two ways.  The way worship is usually understood to mean "we serve God."  However, there is another, more important meaning.  "Service of God" can also mean "God's Service," as in God serving his people.  Our Savior Lutheran Church believes this is the primary purpose of worship: to be served by God.  That certainly sounds presumptuous, expecting our God to serve us.  Yet it is what God desires to do.  As Jesus says, "The Son of Man came not to be served but to serve" (Matthew 20:28).  He then demonstrated this by suffering shame and dying a criminal's death on a cross, so that we would be saved from our sin.  Jesus' humility did not end at the cross, but He continues to condescend to us out of His love, constantly playing the part of the servant.  After all, He does not need our service, but we most certainly need His.  As our Lutheran Confessions say, "God wants Himself to be known, He wants Himself to be worshiped, so that we receive benefits from Him and receive them because of His mercy, not because of our merits.  This is the richest consolation in all afflictions." Apology of the Augsburg Confession, Article IV.60.  So Jesus gathers us in the Divine Service so that we receive His gifts, and then we respond with prayer, praise, and thanksgiving.


The Liturgy
 

Our Savior Lutheran Church uses the historic liturgy, an order of service that the Christian Church has been using for over 1,600 years and that has roots that are over 2,000 years old.  We are not looking to do something new, cutting edge, or fancy.  We seek to join with the rest of the Holy Christian Church throughout all time and space, singing the words they sang, confessing the faith they confessed, and having their Lord Jesus Christ as our Lord Jesus Christ.


Baptism
 

"Baptism is not just plain water, but it is the water included in God's command and combined with God's Word."  As Jesus says in Matthew 28:19, "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit."

Baptism "works forgiveness of sins, rescues form death and the devil, and gives eternal salvation to all who believe this, as the words and promises of God declare."  As Jesus says in Mark 16:16, "Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned."  And as St. Peter writes in 1 Peter 3:21, "Baptism now saves you."

It is not the water that does these great things, "but the word of God in and with the water does these things, along with the faith which trusts this word of God in the water.  For without God's word the water is plain water and no Baptism.  But with the word of God it is a Baptism, that is, a life-giving water, rich in grace, and a washing of the new birth in the Holy Spirit.  St. Paul writes in Titus 3:5-8, "He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.  This is a trustworthy saying."

Quotes are from Scripture and The Small Catechism.  For a further explanation of what Our Savior Lutheran Church believes concerning Baptism, see The Small CatechismThe Large Catechism, and The Augsburg Confession concerning Baptism in the Book of Concord.  More Scripture references are available there as well.


Confession and Absolution
 

"Confession has two parts.  First, that we confess our sins, and second, that we receive absolution, that is, forgiveness, from the pastor as from God Himself, not doubting, but firmly believing that by it our sins are forgiven before God in heaven."  As Jesus says in John 20:22-23 when He breathed on his disciples, "Receive the Holy Spirit.  If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven."

Therefore our church believes "that when the called ministers of Christ deal with us by His divine command, in particular when they exclude openly unrepentant sinners from the Christian congregation and absolve those who repent of their sins and want to do better, this is just as valid and certain, even in heaven, as if Christ our dear Lord dealt with us Himself."

Our Savior Lutheran Church continues the practice of individual Confession and Absolution for two reasons.  First, so that troubled consciences may be comforted by the forgiveness of specific, troubling sins.  Second, so that an individual may ask questions in a conversational manner with their pastor in order to receive the Gospel in their specific circumstance.   Individual forgiveness and Gospel application cannot be done while preaching or teaching to many people therefore they offered individually.  Members are not required to practice this, rather individual Confession and Absolution is offered as a gift of Christ for those who desire to receive it as a gift of Christ.

Quotes are from Scripture and The Small Catechism.  For a further explanation of what Our Savior Lutheran Church believes concerning Baptism, see The Small Catechism and The Augsburg Confession concerning Confession and Absolution in the Book of Concord.  More Scripture references are available there as well.


The Lord's Supper
 

The Lord's Supper "is the true body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ under the bread and wine, instituted by Christ Himself for us Christians to eat and to drink."  As Jesus says in Matthew, Mark, and Luke, and as St. Paul records in 1 Corinthians, "Our Lord Jesus Christ, on the night when He was betrayed, took bread, and when He had given thanks, He broke it and gave it to the disciples and said, 'Take, eat; this is My body, which is given for you.  This do in remembrance of Me.'  In the same way also He took the cup after supper, and when He had given thanks, He gave it to them, saying, 'Drink of it all of you; this cup is the new testament in My blood, which is shed for you for the forgiveness of sins.  This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.'"

In the Lord's Supper the words "given and shed for you for the forgiveness of sins" "show us that in the Sacrament forgiveness of sins, life, and salvation are given us through these words.  For where there is forgiveness of sins, there is also life and salvation... Whoever believes these words has exactly what they say: 'forgiveness of sins.'"

Quotes are from Scripture and The Small Catechism.  For a further explanation of what Our Savior Lutheran Church believes concerning Baptism, see The Small CatechismThe Large Catechism, and The Augsburg Confession concerning Baptism in the Book of Concord.  More Scripture references are available there as well.


Quotes from the Apology of the Augsburg Confession taken from McCain, Paul Timothy, Concordia - The Lutheran Confessions : A Reader's Edition of the Book of Concord, (St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 2005).  Quotes from The Small Catechism taken from Luther's Small Catechism with Explanation, (St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 2008).