The Inerrancy of the Word
At Shepherd of the Hills, we believe and teach that the Bible is the true Word of God. We believe and teach the message of the Scriptures in its entirety. Listed below are the basic, core teachings of Scripture that are preached and taught at Shepherd of the Hills. If you have questions about any of the teachings that are listed here or any that are not listed here please feel free to contact our pastor.
One Triune God
We believe that there is one true God (Deuteronomy 6:4), who has revealed himself in three persons, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19). However, we do not have three Gods, but one God. The ancient Christian church used the word “triune” (three in one).
Sinfulness of Mankind
We believe that all people are sinful from the moment they are conceived (Psalm 51:5) and that the punishment for sin is death (Romans 5:12; 6:23). Because of our sin there is nothing that we can do to please God “for all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).
We believe that God does not want us to “try hard” or to “make our best effort” to live a good and decent life. Instead, Jesus says, “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Matthew 5:48). In other words, trying hard is not good enough. God demands absolute perfection. We also believe that the fair punishment which God prescribes for our failure to live up to that perfection is death (Romans 6:23).
We believe that since no one could achieve such perfection because of their sin, God sent his one and only Son Jesus into the world to be our Savior from sin and death, “that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).
Jesus the Christ
We believe that Jesus is the God-man, 100% God and 100% human being. He is the Son of God who was born of the Virgin Mary. He was born into this world to keep God’s law perfectly in our place (Matthew 5:17) and to suffer and die for the sins of the entire world (1 John 2:2).
We believe that Jesus rose from the dead with a glorified body on Easter morning. This resurrection serves as powerful, divine proof that God has forgiven all sin for the sake of Jesus.
We believe that because of what Jesus has done, God has justified (declared “not guilty”) the entire world freely by His grace (undeserved love) for the sake of Jesus (Romans 3:24).
We believe that only those who trust in Jesus as their Savior will receive the eternal life He offers (John 3:16,36). Those who do not believe the message of salvation or trust in Jesus will suffer eternal death in hell (Mark 16:16).
Salvation by Grace Alone
We believe that we are not saved because of our faith. We are saved by faith (Ephesians 2:8,9). The Holy Spirit is the one who creates faith (trust) in our hearts through the hearing of God’s Word and partaking in the Sacraments of Holy Baptism and Holy Communion (Romans 10:17). Just as God gives us our physical life as a free gift (we do nothing to earn or deserve it), so also He gives us our new spiritual life as a free gift (we do nothing to earn or deserve it). In other words, we do not make “our decision for Jesus.” Jesus chooses us simply by His grace (undeserved love).
We believe that in Holy Baptism God give us the forgiveness of sins and eternal life. "Baptism now saves you" (1 Peter 3:21). We baptize infants because they need these promises as well, since they are sinful from birth and sometimes die as a result (Psalm 51:5; Romans 5:12).
The Lord's Supper
We believe that in Holy Communion Jesus gives us his true, natural body and blood under the bread and wine for the forgiveness of sins (Matthew 26:26-28)and that "whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord" (1 Corinthians 11:27-29).
We believe that Christians produce good works not to merit or earn anything from God (something they cannot do anyway). Instead, Christians produce good works because that’s what Christians naturally do, in the same way that a good vine produces fruit (John 15:1-8). Good works are “fruits of the Spirit” (Galatians 5:22-25).
The Resurrection of the Dead
We believe that Jesus will return on the Last Day and judge all people. “Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned” (Mark 6:16). We reject any teaching of a “thousand year” reign of Christ on earth. Jesus said very plainly, “My kingdom is not of this world” (John 18:36).
If you would like a more thorough exposition of what we and our sister congregations in the Wisconsin Synod believe and teach you can find one here.