Beliefs matter. They matter to each of us. And we believe they matter a lot to God.
Here's a snapshot of what SPW believes. We're committed to honoring God's truth and keep asking what it looks like to live it out today.
It all starts here. While religions try to find their way to God, the reality is that God has already made His way to us. He reveals Himself to us in three Persons: The Father is the Creator; The Son, Jesus, is the Savior; The Holy Spirit is the Counselor. God is crazy serious about love, justice, and family. And He's relentless in His pursuit of us.
(Genesis 1:26; Deuteronomy 6:4; Isaiah 45:5-6; John 14:24-26; John 16:7-11; 2 Corinthians 13:14)
His story is truly the greatest story ever told. He is Friend; He is Savior; He is Lord; and He is the foundation for the church. A Jewish man lived love like no one before Him, and He died a sinless sacrifice. All for us. Jesus is the head of the church, resurrected from the dead, reigning in Heaven, and returning soon to settle all things here on earth. For now, He spends His time praying for us in the throne room of Heaven.
(Matthew 28:1-10; John 1:1-4, 14; Romans 5:8; Romans 8:34; 1 Corinthians 15:12-23; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Colossians 1:15-20; Hebrews 7:25)
God appointed, we'd even say anointed, about 40 different people to write the Bible over a 1,500 year period. Because of that some say it's unreliable and man-made. We see it as God-breathed and a good picture of what God wants us to know about Him. We believe this Word is true, both the Old Testament and the New Testament. At SPW, we study the Scriptures so we can know the Author and His words better.
(Psalm 19:7-11; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:20-21)
Jesus always chooses us before we can choose Him. Baptism is a significant part of His choosing. God desires to place His claim on us, and does so when water and the Word are brought together. For many baptism is a symbol of dedicating a life to Jesus. We believe it's even greater than that: it's a spiritual action by God Himself to bring us into His Kingdom. We baptize people of all ages to offer them the promises of God.
(Matthew 28:19; Mark 16:16; Luke 18:15-17; John 3:5; Acts 2:37-39; Romans 6:4; Galatians 3:27; 1 Peter 3:21; Titus 3:5-7)
One of the final acts Jesus did was celebrate the Last Supper with His disciples. Crazy thing is, it was more like the 'First Supper'. He promised we would feast together in Heaven one day, but until then we should celebrate this supper often in remembrance of Him. So we do this weekly at SPW and believe that Jesus joins us spiritually in the act. It's a family meal that unifies us in love, in belief, and in hope for the return of Christ.
(Matthew 26:26-29; Mark 14:22-25; Luke 22:14-20; 1 Corinthians 11:23-25; 1 John 1:7; Rom.5:9; 1 Peter 1:18-19; Rev.1:5)
Jesus demonstrated a lifestyle of prayer. Sometimes it was a group prayer meeting, but much of the time it appears Jesus would spend one-on-one time with God. The purpose is to know God more and live out His will on earth. Prayer connects us straight to the heart of God - for both hearing His heart and sharing ours.
(Psalm 4:1; Matthew 6:5-15; Romans 8:26; Philippians 4:6; 1 Thessalonians 5:17; 1 John 5:14-15)
It's all about family. God's family. We believe we are to be an inclusive family that follows God's Word, God's law, and God's love. No doubt many have had a bad church experience in their lives, but Jesus is still the head of the church, and it's His desire - and ours - that every soul be in His church. SPW is one expression of God's family, and we're committed to doing life together so that we can bring more people to know Him.
(Matthew 16:18; Matthew 18:20; Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 2:42; Romans 10:17; Hebrews 10:24-25)
St. Paul Westport is a part of the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod (LCMS). The LCMS is a Lutheran denomination that goes back nearly 200 years, with roots much deeper than even that. It's a collection of over 6,000 churches that partner together for missions, Christian schools, and Church workers so that the Gospel of Jesus would reach the ends of the earth. While we're a completely autonomous church, we still love and honor our denomination.