Who Are We?
Faith Lutheran Church, located in Medford, OR, currently numbering 66 members, is a member congregation of the Evangelical Lutheran Synod (ELS). The ELS is headquartered in Mankato, Minnesota. Originally founded by Norwegian Lutheran immigrants around 1850, it currently numbers 130 congregations in 18 states. Like most church bodies today, it is a melting pot of many backgrounds. The ELS supports Christian work in several countries abroad, including Peru, Chile, South Korea, and India. (For more information on the ELS, click the link, www.els.name.)
As Lutherans, we trace our spiritual heritage to the days of the Reformation of the church (16th century), when God’s chosen instrument of the Reformation, Martin Luther, taught about Jesus Christ and the Bible truth accurately and forcefully in Germany. His Biblical teaching spread rapidly throughout Europe, beginning in 1517. This ignited the Reformation, by which many Christians left the Roman Catholic Church for the Biblical message of salvation by faith alone in Jesus Christ.
A few details about Martin Luther. He was born in 1483. He was brought up in the Roman Catholic Church of the Middle Ages. As a young man, he joined a monastery and became a Roman Catholic monk of the Augustinian order. In the monastery he was later ordained as a priest.
His father, Hans, desired that his son become a lawyer, and was not happy when Martin entered the monastery. Why did Martin go against his father, who was putting him through law school? It was not out of Martin’s love for God, but out of fear. He knew he was a sinner who deserved to be judged by God. The source of Martin’s fear was that he believed exactly what his church taught him: That Jesus had not completely forgiven him at the cross. So there was penance to do and prayers to pray and meals to miss to prove himself worthy of God. Yet Jesus, God’s almighty Son, had forgiven him and the entire world at the cross, where he died. The proof of this forgiveness, found at the cross, is the resurrection of Jesus from death.
Martin Luther began to study the Bible on his own in the monastery. It was there that Jesus worked faith in his heart. Suddenly Martin knew that he was, indeed, forgiven, fully and freely, at the cross. Eternal life was a gift through this forgiveness, received by faith in Jesus. Martin, in joy, eventually left the monastery to speak with everyone he could about Jesus and the cross, even though he was excommunicated for his teaching and lived under threat of arrest for the remainder of his life. For more on Martin Luther and the beginning of the Lutheran Church, go to “About Us – Birth of the Lutheran Church.”
The three central truths of the Reformation are: Salvation by God’s grace alone, through faith alone, by God’s Biblical Word alone.
- God’s grace is his undeserved love for sinners through Jesus Christ.
- Faith is trust in the person of Jesus alone for salvation.
- God’s Word is the Bible, of which Jesus said, “These are the Scriptures that testify about me” (John, chapter 5, verse 39).
Though the Reformation happened a long time ago, these truths will always remain truths. They do not shift and they do not topple. Jesus is risen! He forever forgives and reigns! These truths stand because of Jesus. They will always serve as God’s salvation for sinners in his name. Since every human being is sinful, every human needs to know these truths of Jesus Christ and trust in them now as ever. Our need for salvation from our sin does not change.
What Is Our Mission?
Our mission is that which Jesus gave to the entire Christian Church: “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you” (Matthew 20:18-20).
How Is The Mission of Jesus Christ Fulfilled Among Us?
- We baptize according to Jesus’ command. If you or any of your family members are in need of baptism, we will provide instruction and preparation to receive this vital Christian sacrament.
- We teach the Word of God, according to Jesus’ command. We do so in worship, in Sunday school and Bible class and by mutual encouragement as between friends.
- We administer the Lord’s Supper for the confirmed membership of the congregation. (We offer Bible instruction for those interested in joining the congregation as communing members in joint confession of the Biblical faith. We want you to commune with us.)