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What We Believe and Teach
Shepherd of the Ridge is a community of believers who strive to grow closer to God each day while struggling to meet the ever-increasing needs of a hurting world. We hope to benefit our members, our visitors, and others as God gives us the ability. We're a family with joys and struggles, knowing we don't love God or each other as we should, but forgiving each other and resting in God's forgiveness when we don't.
We are a member of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, a church body that believes that the Bible is the Word of God (2 Timothy 3:16,17), given it to us in love, and inerrant (has no errors). Because of that, we draw all of our teachings from that Word of God.
While we can learn about God to some degree through observing nature and our consciences, both of which were created by the same God, both are flawed by sin, so the only 100% reliable source of information is the Bible. From the Bible, we learn:
Only one true God exists, and He is the Creator of time and space (Genesis 2:4), exists beyond the universe, yet has chosen to guide and direct our lives, because He loves us. (Psalm 113)
This one God has revealed Himself to us as three distinct Persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. (Matthew 28:19) We use the word "Trinity" or "Triune" to describe this "triple unity".
Shortly after God created humanity, Adam and Eve, the first humans, fell into sin (rebellion against God) (Genesis 2-3). While their descendants (all humanity) have inherited that condition and continue to rebel (Psalm 51:5), God continued to love us and promised to send a man, born of a woman, to destroy the power of the devil and save us by His own wounds. (Genesis 3:15; Isaiah 53)
God kept His promise when God the Son became a human being (John 1:14) and was born of a woman, Mary. (Luke 2) He (Jesus Christ) is fully human and fully God (Colossians 2:9) and lived a perfect life but was then executed by crucifixion, taking our place and paying for our rebellion, fulfilling God's Law on our behalf (1 John 4:10).
Having paid for our sin with His substitutionary sacrifice, He rose from death to show that He is the Lord of Life, and He has promised that, one day, all people will rise as He did. (John 11:23-26) Those who reject this free gift will be cast away from Him forever, but all who trust in His forgiveness will live with God forever in a new creation, free from sin, pain, and death. This gift is given freely to us, even though we don't deserve it and can do nothing to earn it. (Romans 11:6)
Until that day, He continues to give us His love and forgiveness, and He strengthens our faith and shows us His love by speaking to us through His Word, touching us through the Lord's Supper, and washing away our sin through Holy Baptism, spiritually transforming us through the power of the Holy Spirit. (Ephesians 2:8-10)
This promise and free gift of eternal joy is given freely to all who trust in Jesus' forgiveness.
Christians do not consider themselves "better" than anyone else. We are simply beggars who found bread and want to share with you the Bread of Life. (John 6:47,48)
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