...The Reason We're Here
The way a church community thinks about God shapes everything about that church's life together. At Lord of Life, we take our name seriously...
- If God is truly the Lord of our life together, what impact does that have on our discipleship?
- How does God make Godself known in the world, and under what terms?
Grace, Not Cheap Grace
As a church in the Lutheran tradition, at Lord of Life, we emphasize the grace of God at work in the hearts of people, and in the world at large. What is grace? It's the belief, thoroughly supported by the Bible and by Lutheran theology, that the love of God for humanity is so vast and all-encompassing that there is nothing people can do (or fail to do) that will overshadow that love. This is NOT some sort of "get out of jail free" card that gives people an excuse to fall back and become complacent. Grace is not "cheap."
One of the most famous Lutheran theologians of the twentieth century, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, warned of the dangers of cheap grace when he emphasized that Christians have a duty of discipleship that goes hand-in-hand with the grace of God:
Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ.
Salvation by Grace
At Lord of Life, we believe that God's grace is made known in the world both through God working in people's hearts and through the outreach of discipleship by the members of the community. That discipleship outreach is an imperative for Christians, but not a requirement to earn God's favor.
We believe that there is nothing any person can do or say to "earn" God's favor or their own salvation. Our theology of mission does NOT include "winning believers for Jesus Christ" because salvation, in the Lutheran tradition, comes from God by grace, not from making a decision to accept Jesus.
God with Us
Time and again in the Bible, we are told that we live in a broken world where we are guaranteed to experience hardship, pain, and trial. In the face of this sobering truth, there is genuine hope to be found in the promises of God. Jesus did not wear blinders to the suffering of humanity two thousand years ago. He healed the sick and uplifted the downtrodden. He met people in the midst of their darkest hours of grief and sickness.
So too does God abide with us now. We have been given the promise that Jesus is with us always, to the end of the age. In the community of the church, we experience the grace and promises of God together, and through that community, we can help each other in times of grief and pain.