What’s In Our Name?
Resurrection Evangelical Lutheran Church
We believe that the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead is the single, most important event in all of history.
After being innocently put to death on a cross, Jesus rose from the dead in power and glory on Easter Sunday, proving that he was the Son of God. Jesus “was declared with power to be the Son of God by his resurrection from the dead” (Romans 1:4).Jesus’ resurrection guarantees that, by his sufferings and death, all of our sins are forgiven and that we stand justified [declared not guilty] before God the Father. “He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification” (Romans 4:25).The resurrection of Christ also assures us that he will raise us from the dead to everlasting life with him in heaven. “Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive”
(1 Corinthians 15:20-22).For the Christian, every Sunday’s worship is a “little Easter” as we consider the blessings that are ours because Jesus Christ has risen from the dead. Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! Alleluia!
The word “evangelical” means “gospel-preaching.” “Gospel” means “good news.” An evangelical church is a church that preaches the good news of Jesus Christ. The greatest news any sinner can hear is the gospel: Jesus Christ, through his life, death, and resurrection, has won forgiveness for all sinners and offers life and salvation to all as a free gift of love and grace. We are an evangelical, gospel-preaching church that exists to share that good news with everyone. We can’t keep that good news to ourselves. Jesus told his disciples, “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation” (Mark 16:15). We’re also reminded of the effect that good news has on us: “He died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again”
(2 Corinthians 5:15).That’s why we include the word “evangelical” in our name–to remind us of the blessings we have through the gospel and the privilege we have as messengers of the gospel.
Almost 500 years ago, the church of the Middle Ages had begun to lose sight of this evangelical, gospel-focused message and mission. A Roman Catholic priest named Martin Luther started a movement to bring the church back to its biblical, Christ-centered roots. The core teachings of that movement, now known as the Reformation, can be summarized in three statements. God has saved us by grace alone. This means that salvation is solely a gift of God’s undeserved love, and is not based on anything good in us, or anything good that we could do for God. “So too, at the present time there is a remnant chosen by grace. And if by grace, then it is no longer by works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace” (Romans 11:5-6). Nothing we do can add to our salvation or make us more acceptable in God’s eyes. All the credit for our salvation belongs to God alone. God has saved us through faith alone. This means that our salvation is not the result of our thinking or choosing, but something that God does for us by faith which he works in us. “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9). Even the faith by which we believe God’s promise is a gift of God’s grace! God’s saving message is revealed in Scripture alone. This means that the Bible, and not the decisions or traditions of human authorities, is the only reliable source of knowledge about God. “Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ” (Romans 10:17). The Bible is the sole authority for faith and life. We are committed to our Lutheran heritage, so we always remember to whom that heritage points us: our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. We are proud of our Lutheran heritage, which is centered in God’s grace, in the faith God works in us, and in God’s word. To God alone be the glory!
Finally, we are a church, a group of people who share a common faith in Jesus Christ. As believers, we also share in the spiritual blessings of being in Christ, as (Ephesians 1:13-14) says, “And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.” We invite you to join us!