Lutheran Higher Education at Concordia University:
Belief and Application
Part 1: A Summary of Faith
Concordia University Irvine, a comprehensive Lutheran Christian university guided by Christ’s Great Commission, develops wise, honorable, and cultivated citizens to serve society and the church.– The mission statement of Concordia University.
Our mission statement states that we are guided by the Great Commission of Christ Jesus. Since the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20) includes teaching everything Christ has commanded, we understand this to encompass the entire teaching of Holy Scripture. The Bible is the source of our theology. We believe that the Lutheran Confessions are drawn from Scripture and provide a faithful exposition of Biblical truth. These sources are the authoritative exposition of our faith. This statement is a brief summary of this biblical faith.
Our Relationship with Other Christians
We believe, teach, and confess historic, biblical Christianity, applying it in a modern world. That biblical faith was believed and proclaimed in the early church. It was confessed and articulated by the faithful at the time of the reformation. It remains an ongoing, vital confession today.
We believe that all Christians are part of the one true Church. We rejoice in the common teachings that unite all believers in the truth of God’s Word even as we recognize the existence and seriousness of differences that remain in various Christian groups and denominations.
We believe that the central and most essential teaching of Christianity is the doctrine of justification. Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, became incarnate as a true human being. By His holy life, innocent suffering and death and bodily resurrection, He has reconciled the world to God. We believe that all who receive Him receive the benefits that He has won for us by His work: namely the forgiveness of sins, life, and salvation. We believe that we are justified by grace through faith in Christ Jesus alone, apart from human works or merit (Ephesians 2:8-10).
The Triune God
We believe that Jesus Christ, along with the Holy Scriptures, reveals the nature of God to us. We believe that there is only one God in three coeternal and coequal persons; the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19).
We believe that the Bible is inspired by God and is the only infallible source of doctrine, life, and practice (2 Timothy 3:15-17). We believe that God’s Word reveals His holy Law not so that we can save ourselves, but so that we see the need for our salvation in Jesus Christ. We believe that God’s Word also reveals His Gospel – the good news that we are forgiven for Christ’s sake.
We believe that God created humanity, male and female, in His image (Genesis 1:26) and that man and woman are intended for one another. We furthermore confess that God has established marriage as an institution between one man and one woman exclusively (Mark 10:6-9). We also believe that all humans, except for Jesus Christ, have fallen into sin from which they cannot free themselves. All peoples, races, and both sexes are united in these truths. Likewise, we believe that Jesus Christ has come to be the Savior of all. The Gospel allows us to make no distinction in the value or significance of any person. “There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by His grace” (Romans 3:22-24).
We believe that Christians experience overlapping realities in this life. As the redeemed children of God, we stand before Him in Christ’s righteousness. We are now holy and righteous people because of Christ. At the same time, by our own acts and nature, we are sinners in constant need of His grace. In this life, we live as saints and sinners each day (Romans 7:14-25).
The Means of Grace
We believe that God has promised to bless us as we use the means of grace in faith and according to His institution. We believe that the Gospel is the power of God to salvation, (Romans 1:17) that Baptism gives us His forgiveness and incorporates us into His family (Romans 6:3-8), and that He feeds us with Christ’s body and blood for our forgiveness in the Lord’s Supper (Matthew 26:26-28).
The Christian Life
We believe that the Christian life is a life of faith and a response of thanksgiving and gratitude to God. The child of God seeks to grow in faith and in service to others. Yet Christianity is not a matter of behavior but of faith. This faith results in changed behavior but is not defined by this response.
The Great Commission
We believe that Christ has commissioned His people to make disciples of all nations. We believe that all Christians are called to share their faith with others (Matthew 28:18-20).
We believe that God equips people with talents and abilities. Any occupation or interest that is not opposed to God’s Word can be an act of service to Him. While God calls some into vocations of ministry in the church, we believe that God is also pleased when His people live out other vocations to His glory (1 Corinthians 10:31).