About Emmaus

Evangelical Lutheran

Emmaus Lutheran Church is a member congregation of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod. As Lutherans, we are evangelical, which means that the center of our congregation’s life is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We believe that God declares us, who are sinners, righteous, solely on account of the obedience of the Son of God, Jesus Christ.

Jesus, true God and true man, was born of the virgin Mary, placed Himself under God’s Law for the sake of human beings, and perfectly fulfilled the commandments of God. Then He offered His sinless life as an offering to atone for our sin. God counts those who believe this to be righteous before Him and receives them into His favor and eternal life. This teaching of the Scripture, that we are justified by God’s grace alone, through faith alone, was proclaimed by the Reformer Martin Luther in the 16th century, after it had been obscured for centuries. Although we are believers in Jesus, not Martin Luther, we joyfully accept the title “Lutheran” since we acknowledge Luther’s teaching of the pure Gospel of Jesus to be the teaching of our Lord Jesus Christ and His apostles. This teaching of the Gospel gives us peace with God (Rom. 5:1) and joy, because it gives us certainty that we will see His glory (Rom. 5:2).


Emmaus Lutheran Church believes the Scriptures of the Old and New Testament to be the inspired, infallible, and inerrant Word of God, and the final authority for doctrine and life. Because we believe the Holy Spirit breathed out the Holy Scriptures, we also believe it is possible to know and be certain of the teaching of the Scriptures. We do not merely teach the “fundamentals” of Biblical doctrine, but believe, teach, and are united in all of the doctrine of Jesus, as He commanded the apostles: 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 keep all that I have commanded you (Matthew 28:19-20).”


At Emmaus, we believe that a person is not saved by doing good works, but by faith [in Jesus Christ] apart from works of the Law (Rom. 3:28). However, faith in Christ is not a decision we are able to make by our own free will. Human beings are dead in their trespasses and sins by nature (Eph. 2:1). God gives us the gift of faith through His Holy Spirit, who speaks in the reading of Holy Scripture and in faithful preaching (John 6:63, Romans 10:14-17). He also bestows and strengthens faith in Christ through the Sacraments of Baptism and the Holy Supper, where His Word and promise of the forgiveness of sins is joined to physical elements—water and bread and wine.

We confess Baptism to be a means through which God gives regeneration and new birth (Titus 3:4-5). We acknowledge that in the bread and wine of Holy Communion Christ gives us His true body and blood for the forgiveness of sins (1 Cor. 11:23-25). We also believe that when called and ordained ministers of Christ pronounce the forgiveness of sins, or absolution, Christ Himself is announcing forgiveness to sinners, as He says in John 20: “And He breathed on them and said, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you withhold forgiveness from any, it is withheld.’” (John 20:22-23)


We believe that Jesus, who is at the right hand of God, is also present among His Church in the Word and Sacrament. When we are gathered together to hear His Word and receive His true body and blood, we are with the Lord. We draw near and approach the heavenly sanctuary through our great High Priest, Jesus Christ, as the letter to the Hebrews says: Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. (Hebrews 10:19-22)

Since we enter as priests into the very presence of God, it is fitting that our worship be with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire (Hebrews 12:28-29). Emmaus’ worship adheres to the forms the Christian Church has used for nearly two thousand years. The Liturgy of Word and Sacrament and the daily prayer offices of Matins and Vespers do not give voice our subjective feelings about the Triune God, but they proclaim the reality of our justification before God through Jesus’ death and resurrection, and His service to us for our salvation in the preaching of the Word and the administration of the Sacraments of Baptism and His Body and Blood.


Emmaus, together with all our sister congregations in the Missouri Synod, confesses the Bible as God’s inerrant Word, and the Lutheran Confessions as correct expressions of the teaching of the Bible. We subscribe to the Book of Concord of 1580, which contains, among other things, the Augsburg Confession and the Small and Large Catechisms of Martin Luther, as our confession of the Christian faith. We insist that all our teaching and practice conform to this standard of doctrine, and that those who commune at our church share this confession of faith with us.


We believe that the doctrine which we teach to our children and proclaim before the world is the true teaching of Jesus Christ, held by Christians throughout the ages. We confess the three ecumenical creeds: Apostles’, Nicene, and Athanasian, together with Christians of all times and all places. And while we recognize that the great theologians of the past were human and sometimes erred, we rejoice in the great cloud of witnesses with which we are surrounded (Hebrews 12:1), in the sermons, hymns, and writings handed down to us from our fathers in the faith.