At Peace we smile at the fact that God has revealed his love for us on the pages of the Bible, his Holy Word. For that reason, and rightly so, the Bible is and remains the source of doctrine and the foundation on which we stand. That will not change. But what about those other "doctriny" things one hears in our services and classes?
Consider the relationship between the sun and the moon. In the night sky, the moon is brilliant and visible; but it's not the source of light and it never gives off it's own light. The sun is the sole source of light; the moon simply reflects sun's radiance.
Our confessions of faith act in much the same way. We give a statement of faith in the creeds (Apostles', Nicene, & Athanasian). We teach from Luther's Small & Large Catechism. We agree with the Unaltered Augsburg Confession, the Apology (defense) of the Augsburg Confession, the Smalcald Articles, & the Formula of Concord. And we do so, not "in so far as" they agree with Scripture, we do so "because" they agree with Scripture. Like the moon/sun relationship, our beliefs and the statements that express them, simply & properly reflect the truth of the Source.
- What's that mean about the origin of this world? The Bible says God created by his Word it in six, 24-hour days (Genesis 1, Exodus 20:11, Psalm 33:6-9, Hebrews 3:4 & 11:1)-3).
- What's that mean about mankind? The Bible says we were created perfect (Genesis 2) but fell into sin & need a Savior (Genesis 3, Psalm 32, Psalm 51, Romans 3-5).
- What's that mean about Jesus? The Bible says he is fully God and fully Man, born to live perfectly for us, die innocently for us, rise victoriously for us (Genesis 3:15, Isaiah 7-9, 53, Psalm 22, all of John, Romans 5).
- What's that mean about our life in his forgiveness? The Bible says it's a sure promise from the God who does not lie; we are at peace with God (Numbers 6:22-27, Psalm 32:3-5, John 14:27, Ephesians 2:1-10 [esp. vs. 8 & 9]).
- What's that mean about our lives here? The Bible says that, as we enjoy his every promise, he strengthens us to rejoice in his grace with a life lived to his glory until we see him in heaven (Romans 6-8, I Corinthians 6, Matthew 28:18-20)
- What's that mean about his Sacraments (Baptism & Lord's Supper)? The Bible says they are mean by which God distributes all the blessings Jesus won for us; they his acts of love for us, not our acts of service toward him (Luke 22:17-20, I Corinthians 11:17ff, Mark 16:16, Acts 16:25-24, I Peter 3:15-22, Titus 3:4-8).
- What's that mean about everything & anything we believe, teach, and confess? It means we'll find out what the Bible says first & take our stand on that!