Beliefs

  • What We Believe

    Cornerstone Lutheran Church is a conservative, confessional Lutheran congregation. We believe that the three ecumenical creeds (Apostle’s, Nicene, and Athanasian), Luther’s Small Catechism, and the Augsburg Confession are correct expositions of the truths in God’s Word. We also hold that the Holy Scriptures are God-breathed and in the original autographs (manuscripts), are without error. They contain no factual errors in matters of faith, history, or science. They are a means of grace. God has appointed them to be our guide to faith and empowered them to actually grant us faith for we do not have the ability to trust in Jesus apart from these means. We believe that the local congregation, under the direction and guidance of the Holy Spirit is the correct form of Christ’s Church on earth. Therefore, we associate with like minded congregations to provide education and outreaches that would be difficult for single congregations. These include: Home and World Missions; National Bible School and Seminary; and an Association Retreat Center (ARC).

  • The Ten Commandments

    THE INTRODUCTION - I am the Lord thy God. THE FIRST COMMANDMENT - Thou shalt have no other gods before me. What does this mean? Answer: We should fear, love, and trust in God above all things. THE SECOND COMMANDMENT - Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh His name in vain. What does this mean? Answer: We should fear and love God so that we do not curse, swear, conjure, lie, or deceive by His name, but call upon Him in every time of need, and worship Him with prayer, praise, and thanksgiving. THE THIRD COMMANDMENT - Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. What does this mean? Answer: We should fear and love God so that we do not despise His Word and the preaching of the same, but deem it holy, and gladly hear and learn it. THE FOURTH COMMANDMENT - Honor thy father and thy mother, that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee. What does this mean? Answer: We should fear and love God so that we do not despise our parents and superiors, nor provoke them to anger, but honor, serve, obey, love, and esteem them. THE FIFTH COMMANDMENT - Thou shalt not kill. Answer: We should fear and love God so that we do our neighbor no bodily harm nor cause him any suffering, but help and befriend him in every need. THE SIXTH COMMANDMENT - Thou shalt not commit adultery. What does this mean? Answer: We should fear and love God so that we lead a chaste and pure life in word and deed, and that husband and wife love and honor each other. THE SEVENTH COMMANDMENT - Thou shalt not steal. What does this mean? Answer: We should fear and love God so that we do not rob our neighbor of his money or property, nor bring them into our possession by unfair dealing or fraud, but help him to improve and protect his property and living. THE EIGHTH COMMANDMENT - Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor. What does this mean? Answer: We should fear and love God so that we do not deceitfully belie, betray, backbite, nor slander our neighbor, but apologize for him, speak well of him, and put the most charitable construction on all that he does. THE NINTH COMMANDMENT - Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's house. What does this mean? Answer: We should fear and love God so that we do not seek by craftiness to gain possession of our neighbor's inheritance or home, not obtain them under pretense of a legal right, but assist and serve him in keeping the same. THE TENTH COMMANDMENT - Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his cattle, nor anything that is thy neighbor's. What does this mean? Answer: We should fear and love God so that we do not estrange or entice away our neighbor's wife, servants, or cattle, but seek to have them remain and discharge their duty to him. THE CONCLUSION - What does God declare concerning all these commandments? He says: I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate Me; and showing mercy unto thousands of them that love Me and keep My commandments. What does this mean? Answer: God threatens to punish all who transgress these commandments. We should, therefore, fear His wrath, and in no wise disobey them. But He promises grace and every blessing to all who keep them. We should, therefore, love Him, trust in Him, and gladly keep His commandments.

  • The Apostle's Creed

    I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth. And in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord; Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit; Born of the Virgin Mary; Suffered under Pontius Pilate; Was crucified, dead and buried; He descended into Hell; The third day He rose again from the dead; He ascended into heaven; And sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty; From thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit; The Holy Christian Church, the Communion of Saints; The Forgiveness of sins; The Resurrection of the body; And the life everlasting. Amen.

  • The Nicene Creed

    I believe in one God, the Father almighty, maker of heaven and earth and of all things visible and invisible. And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all ages, God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten not made, being of one substance with the Father, through Whom all things were made: Who for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven, was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the virgin Mary, and was made man: Who for us, too, was crucified under Pontius Pilate, suffered, and was buried: the third day He rose according to the Scriptures, ascended into heaven, and is seated on the right hand of the Father: He shall come again with glory to judge the living and the dead, and His kingdom shall have no end. And in the Holy Spirit, the Lord and Giver of life, Who proceeds from the Father and the Son: Who together with the Father and the Son is worshiped and glorified: Who spoke by the prophets. And I believe one holy, Christian, and apostolic Church. I acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins, and I look for the resurrection of the dead and life of the age to come. Amen.

  • The Athansian Creed

    Whoever wishes to be saved must, above all else, hold the true Christian faith. Whoever does not keep it whole and undefiled will without doubt perish for eternity. This is the true Christian faith, that we worship one God in three Persons and three Persons in one God without confusing the Persons or dividing the divine substance. For the Father is one Person, the Son is another, and the Holy Spirit is still another, but there is one Godhead of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, equal in glory and coequal in majesty. What the Father is, that is the Son and that is the Holy Spirit: the Father is uncreated, the Son is uncreated, the Holy Spirit is uncreated; the Father is unlimited, the Son is unlimited, the Holy Spirit is unlimited; the Father is eternal, the Son is eternal, the Holy Spirit is eternal; and yet They are not three Eternals but one Eternal, just as there are not Three Who are uncreated and Who are unlimited, but there is One who is uncreated and unlimited. Likewise the Father is almighty, the Son is almighty, the Holy Spirit is almighty. So the Father is God, the Son is God, the Holy Spirit is God, and yet there are not three Gods but one God. So the Father is Lord, the Son is Lord, the Holy Spirit is Lord, and yet they are not three Lords but one Lord. For just as we are compelled by Christian truth to acknowledge each Person by Himself to be God and Lord, so we are forbidden by the Christian religion to say that there are three Gods or three Lords. The Father was neither made nor created nor begotten by anybody. The Son was not made or created, but was begotten by the Father. The Holy Spirit was not made or created or begotten, but proceeds from the Father and the Son. Accordingly there is one Father and not three Fathers, one Son and not three Sons, one Holy Spirit and not three Holy Spirits. And among these three Persons none is before or after another, none is greater or less than another, but all three Persons are coequal and coeternal, and accordingly, as has been stated above, three Persons are to be worshiped in one Godhead and one God is to be worshiped in three Persons. Whoever wishes to be saved must think thus about the Trinity. It is also necessary for eternal salvation that one faithfully believe that our Lord Jesus Christ became man, for this is the right faith, that we believe and confess that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is at once God and man: He is God, begotten before the ages of the substance of the Father, and He is man, born in the world of the substance of His mother, perfect God and perfect man, with reasonable soul and human flesh, equal to the Father with respect to his Godhead and inferior to the Father with respect to His manhood. Although he is God and man, He is not two Christs but one Christ: one, that is to say, not by changing the Godhead into flesh, but by taking on the humanity into God, one, indeed, not by confusion of substance but by unity in one Person. For just as the reasonable soul and the flesh are one man, so God and man are one Christ, Who suffered for our salvation, descended into hell, rose from the dead, ascended into heaven, is seated on the right hand of the Father, whence He shall come to judge the living and the dead. At His coming all men shall rise with their bodies and give an account of their own deeds. Those who have done good will enter eternal life, and those who have done evil will go into everlasting fire. This is the true Christian faith. Unless a man believe this firmly and faithfully, he cannot be saved.

  • The Small Catechism - The Creed

    In the plain form in which the head of the family shall teach it to his household. THE FIRST ARTICLE of creation - I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth. What does this mean? Answer: I believe that God has created me and all that exists; that He has given and still preserves to me my body and soul, my eyes and ears, and all my members, my reason and all the powers of my soul, together with food and raiment, home and family, and all my property; that He daily provides abundantly for all the needs of my life, protects me from all danger, and guards and keeps me from all evil; and that He does this purely out of fatherly and divine goodness and mercy, without any merit or worthiness in me; for all of which I am in duty bound to thank, praise, serve, and obey Him. This is most certainly true. THE SECOND ARTICLE of redemption - And in Jesus Christ His only Son, our Lord; Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, Born of the Virgin Mary; Suffered under Pontius Pilate, Was crucified, dead, and buried; He descended into hell; The third day He rose again from the dead; He ascended into heaven, And sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty; From thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead. What does this mean? Answer: I believe that Jesus Christ, true God, begotten of the Father from eternity, and also true Man, born of the Virgin Mary, is my Lord; Who has redeemed me, a lost and condemned creature, bought me and freed me from all sins, from death, and from the power of the devil; not with silver and gold, but with His holy and precious blood, and with His innocent sufferings and death; in order that I 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 to all eternity. This is most certainly true. THE THIRD ARTICLE of sanctification - I believe in the Holy Spirit; the holy Christian Church, the communion of saints; The forgiveness of sins; The resurrection of the body; And the life everlasting. Amen. What does this mean? Answer: I believe that I cannot by my own reason or strength believe in Jesus Christ, my Lord, or come to Him; but the Holy Spirit has called me through the Gospel, enlightened me with his gifts, and sanctified and preserved me in the true faith; in like manner as He calls, gathers, enlightens, and sanctifies the whole Christian Church on earth, and preserves it in union with Jesus Christ in the one true faith; in which Christian Church He daily forgives abundantly all my sins, and the sins of all believers, and at the last day will raise up me and all the dead, and will grant everlasting life to me and to all who believe in Christ. This is most certainly true.

  • The small catechism - the Lord's Prayer

    In the plain form in which the head of the family shall teach it to his household. THE INTRODUCTION Our Father Who art in heaven. What does this mean? Answer: God thereby tenderly encourages us to believe that He is truly our Father, and that we are truly His children, so that we may boldly and confidently come to Him in prayer, even as beloved children come to their dear father. THE FIRST PETITION Hallowed be Thy Name. What does this mean? Answer: God's Name is indeed holy in itself; but we pray in this petition that it may be hallowed also among us. How is this done? Answer: When the Word of God is taught in its truth and purity, and we, as God's children, lead holy lives, in accordance with it. This grant us, dear Father in heaven! But whoever teaches and lives otherwise than as God's Word teaches, profanes the Name of God among us. From this preserve us, heavenly Father! THE SECOND PETITION Thy kingdom come. What does this mean? Answer: The kingdom of God comes indeed of itself, without our prayer; but we pray in this petition that it may also come to us. How is this done? Answer: When our heavenly Father gives us His Holy Spirit, so that by His grace we believe His holy Word, and live a godly life here on earth, and in heaven for ever. THE THIRD PETITION Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. What does this mean? Answer: The good and gracious will of God is done indeed without our prayer; but we pray in this petition that it may also be done among us. How is this done? Answer: When God destroys and brings to naught every evil counsel and purpose of the devil, the world, and our own flesh, which would hinder us from hallowing His Name, and prevent the coming of His kingdom; and when He strengthens us and keeps us steadfast in His Word and in faith, even unto our end. This is His good and gracious will. THE FOURTH PETITION Give us this day our daily bread. What does this mean? Answer: God indeed gives daily bread to all men, even to the wicked, without our prayer; but we pray in this petition that He would lead us to acknowledge our daily bread as His gift, and to receive it with thanksgiving. What is meant by daily bread? Answer: Everything that is required to satisfy our bodily needs; such as food and raiment, house and home, fields and flocks, money and goods; pious parents, children and servants; godly and faithful rulers, good government; seasonable weather, peace and health; order and honor; true friends, good neighbors, and the like. THE FIFTH PETITION And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. What does this mean? Answer: We pray in this petition that our heavenly Father would not regard our sins nor because of them deny our prayers; for we neither merit, nor deserve those things for which we pray; but that He would grant us all things through grace, even though we sin daily, and deserve nothing but punishment. And certainly we, on our part, will heartily forgive, and gladly do good to those who may sin against us. THE SIXTH PETITION And lead us not into temptation. What does this mean? Answer: God indeed tempts no one to sin; but we pray in this petition that God would so guard and preserve us, that the devil, the world, and our own flesh may not deceive us, nor lead us into error and unbelief, despair, and other great and shameful sins; but that, when so tempted, we may finally prevail and gain the victory. THE SEVENTH PETITION But deliver us from evil. What does this mean? Answer: We pray in this petition, as in a summary, that our heavenly Father would deliver us from all manner of evil, whether it affect the body or soul, property or reputation, and at last, when the hour of death shall come, grant us a blessed end, and graciously take us from this world of sorrow to Himself in heaven. THE CONCLUSION For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen. What does the word "Amen" mean? Answer: It means that I should be assured that such petitions are acceptable to our heavenly Father, and are heard by Him; for He Himself has commanded us to pray in this manner, and has promised to hear us. Amen, amen, that is Yea, yea, it shall be so.

  • The Small Catechism - Confession

    Answer: Confession consists of two parts: the one is that we confess our sins; the other, that we receive absolution or forgiveness from the pastor as from God Himself, in no wise doubting, but firmly believing, that our sins are thereby forgiven before God in heaven. What sins should we confess? Answer: Before God we should acknowledge ourselves guilty of all manner of sins, even of those of which we are not aware, as we do in the Lord's Prayer. To the pastor we should confess only those sins which we know and feel in our hearts. What are such sins? Answer: Here examine yourself in the light of the Ten Commandments, whether, as father or mother, son or daughter, master or servant, you have been disobedient, unfaithful, slothful, ill-tempered, unchaste, or quarrelsome, or whether you have injured any one by word or deed, stolen, neglected or wasted aught, or done any other evil.

  • The Small Catechism - The Sacrement of Baptism

    In the plain form in which the head of the family shall teach it to his household. I. - What is baptism? Answer: Baptism is not simply water, but it is the water used according to God's command and connected with God's Word. II. What is this Word of God? Answer: It is the word of our Lord Jesus Christ, as recorded in the last chapter of Matthew: "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the Name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit." III. What gifts or benefits does Baptism bestow? Answer: It works forgiveness of sins, delivers from death and the devil, and gives everlasting salvation to all who believe, as the word and promise of God declares. What is this word and promise of God? Answer: It is the word of our Lord Jesus Christ, as recorded in the last chapter of Mark: "He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned." How can water do such great things? Answer: It is not the water, indeed, that does such great things, but the Word of God connected with the water, and our faith which relies on that Word of God. For without the Word of God, it is simply water and no Baptism. But when connected with the Word of God, it is a Baptism, that is, a gracious water of life, and a washing of regeneration in the Holy Spirit, as St. Paul says to Titus, in the third chapter: "He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, that being justified by His grace we might be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. This is a trustworthy statement." IV. What does such baptizing with water signify? Answer: It signifies that the old Adam in us, together with all sins and evil lusts, should be drowned by daily sorrow and repentance, and be put to death; and that the new man should daily come forth and rise, to live before God in righteousness and holiness for ever. Where is it so written? Answer: St. Paul, in the sixth chapter of the Epistle to the Romans, says: "We have been buried with Him through baptism into death, in order that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life." .

  • The Small Catechism - The Sacrement of The Altar (Communion)

    In the plain form in which the head of the family shall teach it to his household. I. What is the Sacrament of the Altar? Answer: It is the true Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, under the bread and wine, given us Christians to eat and to drink, as it was instituted by Christ Himself. Where is it so written? Answer: The holy Evangelists, Matthew, Mark, and Luke, together with St. Paul, write thus: "Our Lord Jesus Christ, in the night in which He was betrayed, took break; and when He had given thanks, He brake it and gave it to His disciples, saying, 'Take, eat; this is My body, which is given for you; this do in remembrance of me.' After the same manner also He took the cup, when He had supped, and when He had given thanks, He gave it to them, saying, 'Drink ye all of it; this cup is the New Testament in My blood, which is shed for you, and for many, for the remission of sins; this do as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.'" II. What is the benefit of such eating and drinking? Answer: It is pointed out in these words: "Given and shed for you for the remission of sins." Through these words the remission of sins, life and salvation are given unto us in the Sacrament; for where there is remission of sins, there is also life and salvation. III. How can the bodily eating and drinking produce such great benefits? Answer: The eating and drinking, indeed, do not produce them, but the words: "Given and shed for you for the remission of sins." For besides the bodily eating and drinking, these words are the chief thing in the Sacrament; and he who believes them, has what they say and declare, namely, the remission of sins. IV. Who, then, receives the Sacrament worthily? Answer: Fasting and bodily preparation are indeed a good outward discipline, but he is truly worthy and well prepared who believes these words: "Given and shed for you for the remission of sins." But he who does not believe these words or who doubts them, is unworthy and unprepared; for the words: "For you," require truly believing hearts.

 

Isaiah 28:16

Therefore thus says the Lord GOD, "Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a tested stone, A costly cornerstone for the foundation, firmly placed. He who believes in it will not be disturbed."