What We Believe

St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church has been proclaiming the Gospel and administering the Sacraments in central Topeka since 1874. We’re a member congregation of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS), an association of about 6,000 congregations located throughout the United States. We confess the faith as revealed in the Holy Scriptures and in accordance with the Confessions of the Evangelical Lutheran Church as contained in the Book of Concord.

You can find detailed information about our beliefs on the LCMS website. In brief, we believe that…

  • God is triune: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Deuteronomy 6:4; Matthew 28:19
  • We are all by nature sinners in need of grace and forgiveness. 2 Chronicles 6:36
  • God sent His Son Jesus Christ, true man and true God, to save us from our lost condition. Our debt has been paid through Christ’s righteous life and sacrificial death. Galatians 4:4
  • Our salvation comes by grace through faith alone in Christ as our Savior. We contribute nothing to our salvation. Ephesians 2:8-9; Romans 10:14-17; 1 Corinthians 11:26
  • Baptism saves. Through Baptism, we become new creatures, but the “old Adam” is constantly with us, as long as we’re here on earth. We are thus simul justus et peccator—at the same time saint and sinner. Titus 3:4-7; Romans 7:7-25
  • God chooses us, not the other way around. We have no power to accept Christ, but we can reject Him. Ephesians 1:7-12
  • Faith is a gift, created and maintained through the preaching of God’s Word and administration of His Sacraments. Ephesians 2:8-9
  • The consecrated bread and wine in the Lord’s Supper are the true Body and Blood of the Lord Jesus Christ, a precious gift given to us Christians to eat and to drink for the forgiveness of our sins. Matthew 26:26-28; more information
  • Good works can’t save us, but they are expected of us—for the good of our neighbor. Ephesians 2:8-10; Galatians 6:10
  • The Bible is God’s Word and is inspired and inerrant. We regard the Book of Concord as a correct exposition of Biblical teachings. 2 Timothy 3:16

For more information about Lutheran beliefs, check out Luther’s Small Catechism, Lutheranism 101, and/or Spirituality of the Cross.