St. Paul is a congregation of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod located in Rochelle, IL.
Our Mission Statement
“Building Relationship in Christ, now and forever.”
To proclaim the gospel through word and sacrament to our membership, our communities and our world.
Connecting people with Jesus Christ and each other through worship, learning, and service.
We believe there is only one true God. Contrary to public opinion, only one spiritual path leads to heaven. And that path passes through the God of the Bible, who has revealed Himself in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
We believe God the Father is the Creator and sustainer of the universe. The first words of the Bible are: “In the beginning God made the heavens and the earth.” The universe and the earth did not happen by accident or random chance as the basic tenets of evolution set forth. The universe, the earth, and each and every one of us are the creation of our infinitely wise and loving God. When God made the earth, Adam and Eve – the first people – the Bible tells us that God said they were “very good!” He gave Adam and Eve a soul and a free will to express their love for the Loving Creator in a trust relationship with Him and a partnership in caring for all He had made. Adam and Eve chose to walk away from this loving relationship and trust in themselves for guidance and fulfillment in life. Once Adam and Eve broke that relationship, their natures and choices became selfish and self-centered. Sin has caused a broken world and broken lives. The worst tragedy of sin is that it causes a separation with the one we are made for – GOD. The outcome of a life separated from God is eternal death and damnation.
We believe God has sent his Son, Jesus Christ, into the world to save us from the consequence of sin, death, and eternal damnation. Jesus Christ was God in the flesh—He was 100% human and 100% God, all in one. As a man He experienced all the pain, suffering, and temptation we do. But because He was God, He dealt with it all in perfect, sinless ways. He did what none of us can do: He never sinned. After three years of publicly teaching and demonstrating that He was God, He allowed Himself to be crucified on a cross, paying the price for the sin of the world. Through His crucifixion, the debt we owe for our sin has been forgiven. Jesus’ resurrection from the dead testifies to this fact.
We believe the Holy Spirit works through God’s Word to bring us back into a right relationship with God through faith in Jesus. “To have faith in Jesus” means “Jesus has saved and forgiven me…and I trust in that fact.” The Holy Spirit constantly reminds us of what Jesus has done, encouraging and empowering us to mature in our relationship with God.
We the believe Bible is the authority when it comes to knowledge about God and His forgiveness. We can discover things about God by observing the beauty of creation or the orderly nature of the human body, but only through the Bible do we learn with clarity who God is and what He has done. We learn that God is a just God who punishes sin. He is also a merciful and loving God who planned from the beginning of creation to send his Son so that the sins of those who trust in Jesus might be forgiven at no cost. Through the Bible God speaks to us every day. We believe the Bible is God’s truth, therefore, it is powerful and free from errors. The Word of God, and not tradition or human reason, shall have utmost authority in our church. Where the Word speaks we are bound. Where the Word does not speak we have freedom. (2 Peter 1:20-21; Isaiah 55:10-11; 2 Timothy 3:16; Romans 14:1,4,12,22)
We believe the Church is not the mission – it is established by God to accomplish the mission. We will share the Good News about God’s love in Jesus with the world. (1Corinthians 9:22; Philemon 2:1-4) The church consists of everyone who trusts in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord who together share him all over the world. The church is people, not buildings, ministries, denominations or traditions.
We believe God has given His Church two great gifts in Baptism and The Lord’s Supper. In Baptism, God establishes a relationship with us, marking us as members of His Family and promising to always be our God. We believe Baptism is a powerful gift. It is not just a simple act of washing with water in the name of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Its power lies in God’s Word, connected with the water. It links us in a real and tangible way with God’s forgiveness and assures us that we have a place in His Family and a mission in this world. (Matthew 28:18-20)
In the Lord’s Supper, the Word of God, love, forgiveness, and power for living a holy life is given. When Jesus promises that “this (bread) is My Body…this (wine) is My Blood,” we believe it! We do not understand how this is, and do not have to, but we believe that while the Supper is a simple act consisting of bread and wine and involving all of our senses, the Word of God ensures that Jesus’ Body and Blood are also present, in, with and under the bread and wine, for the strengthening of our relationship with Him.
We believe faithful Christian ministry will emphasize salvation by grace through faith in Christ Alone. (Ephesians 2:8-10; 1 Corinthians 2:2)
We believe followers of Jesus Christ will demonstrate good works and the fruits of the Spirit, which are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness and self-control. (Galatians 5:22; Matthew 7:16)
We believe every Christian is called by God to live a life of eternal significance. Each is uniquely gifted for service in Christ’s church and in the world. (Romans 12:1; 1 Peter 4:10; Ephesians 4:7; 1 Corinthians 12; 1 Corinthians 12:7)
We believe that in all our beliefs and values – We will show Love. “If I hold in my mind not only all human knowledge but also the very secrets of God, and if I have the faith that can move mountains – but have not love, I amount to nothing at all.” (1 Corinthians 13:2 (Phillips) )