Our Vision and Mission:
We, the Church, exist in order to provide opportunities for people to Experience God Love Others and Serve Chattanooga
We believe church (that is, our worship and life together in Christ) is a very important part of our lives. In order to receive the fullness of God’s blessings and His gifts of life, love, faith, hope, and the power of the Holy Spirit, the attendance at church service and Bible study is vital. Attendance at weekly worship is paramount to your living in God’s grace and with His peace, as well as a God pleasing life. It is here that God delivers these Good Gifts to us.
In order for you to grow in faith toward God and in fervent love toward your neighbor, it is also important you spend time in His Word and with other Christians. We make it a high priority to spend a 2nd hour each week either in a Bible class or small group at First. Again, this not only benefits you but also the entire body of Christ. Daily, personal Bible reading, devotion, and prayer are also extremely important. We also enjoy many fellowship activities and events that bring us closer together as a family.
As Christ’s men and Christ’s women, and as we grow in our Christian faith together, we want to serve God by serving our neighbors. As everyone is able and as God has given each of us specific gifts and talents, all are encouraged to join in serving our neighbors by and through various opportunities and activities.
What We Believe
LCMS - The Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod
We believe the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments to be the verbally inspired word of God (2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:20-21), the final authority for faith and life, inerrant in the original writings, infallible, and God-breathed (Matthew 5:18; Psalm 12:6; Proverbs 30:5).
The Lord God is one God (Deuteronomy 6:4), eternally existing in three persons - Father, Son, and Holy Spirit - co-eternal in being, co-eternal in nature, co-equal in power and glory, having the same attributes and perfection (2 Corinthians 13:14). God is not hidden, as though we must search to find him. Rather, he has revealed himself to us, that we might know him. He is the creator of the universe (Genesis 1:1). He has always existed, never having a beginning, never ending (Revelation 21:6), and never changing (Psalm 102:27; Malachi 3:6). He is the most beautiful of all things (Psalm 27:4). He is love (1 John 4:16) and he loves the world (Hosea 2:23; John 3:16). He is holy (Isaiah 6:3), he is merciful and forgiving (Daniel 9:9), he is compassionate (Exodus 34:6) he is just and rules the world with justice (Psalm 67:4).
God the Father is the creator and sustainer of life. He spoke the world into being (Genesis 1:1). Throughout history the Father has shown himself to have a track record of pursuing and loving people even in their ignorance, apathy, and rebellion (Jeremiah 31:3) .The Father desires to be known by all people (1 Timothy 2:4). He delights in loving the people whom he created (Zephaniah 3:17; Ezekiel 33:11).
Jesus Christ is true God with the Father and the Spirit - not merely a good man or a moral teacher. The Lord Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of God who became man without ceasing to be God, having been conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary, in order that he might reveal God and redeem sinful man (John 1:1-2,14; Luke 1:35; Colossians 1:19). Jesus Christ accomplished our redemption through his death on the cross as a vicarious, substitutionary sacrifice. His resurrection from the dead was literal and physical (1 John 2:2; Romans 3:24; 1 Peter 2:24; Ephesians 1:7; 2:13; 1 Peter 1:3-5). The Lord Jesus Christ ascended into heaven and is now exalted at the right hand of the Father, where he is our high priest, mediator, intercessor, and advocate (Acts 1:9-10; Hebrews 7:25, 9:24; Romans 8:34; 1 John 2:1-2).
THE HOLY SPIRIT
The Holy Spirit is true God with the Father and the Son--therefore not merely the power or energy of God (Acts 5:3-4; 1 Corinthians 3:16). We believe that we cannot by our own reason or strength believe in Jesus Christ, our Lord, or come to Him (Hebrews 9:14; 1 Corinthians 3:16; 1 Corinthians 12:3); but the Holy Spirit has called us by the Gospel, enlightened us with His gifts, sanctified and kept us in the true faith (Titus 3:5). The Holy Spirit indwells his people and gives them spiritual gifts that are manifested in numerous ways (1 Corinthians 12:1-11)
CONDITION OF HUMANITY
Humanity was created in the image and likeness of God (Genesis 1:26-27), but through Adam's sin the race fell, inherited a sinful nature, and became alienated from God. We are by nature sinful to the core and rebellious toward God (Psalm 51:5, Genesis 8:21, Jeremiah 17:9, Romans 3:23-24, Ephesians 2:1-3, 12). Left to ourselves, we are utterly unable to remedy our lost condition (Romans 3:22-23, 5:12; Psalm 51: 5).
Salvation is free. It is a gift (Ephesians 2:8-10; John 1:12) of God that is received through faith in Jesus Christ, whose blood was shed on the cross at Calvary for the forgiveness of our sin (Ephesians 1:7; 1 Peter 1:18-19; 2Corinthians 5:21; John 3:16). No amount of good work or effort or church attendance or religious activity can be done to earn our way into heaven (Isaiah 64:6; Romans 3:28). Through faith in Jesus Christ as Savior (John 17:3), anyone can be assured that he/she will spend eternity with God.
HUMANITY IN CHRIST, THE CHURCH
Through Christ's sacrifice, humanity was redeemed, made heirs of God's love, and adopted as his children (Romans 5:12-19). In Christ, humanity is connected with God and made whole. In Christ, humanity knows joy and purpose. In Christ, humanity experiences true freedom and full life (John 8:36, Galatians 5:1, John 10:10). He gives us a new heart, new desires, and new perspective. The church is a body of people from all times and all places who have been made alive to the Truth of God by the Spirit, and have put their faith in the work of Christ alone as their Savior from sin (Ephesians 1:22-23, 5:25-27; 1 Corinthians 12:12-14; 2 Corinthians 11:2). The church is not something we go to, nor is it something we do. Instead, the church is something we are. The church is here not just for itself, it exists to serve all people and adore the One - Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Genesis 12:1-3, Isaiah 49:6, Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 1:8).