We believe that in the beginning God made the universe and everything in it out of nothing. All the invisible and visible realities of our universe have their source and being from and in Him. Everything that God created was good.
On the sixth day of creation, God made man and woman, and placed them in the Garden of Eden. They were perfect, without any kind of physical or spiritual blemish. They dwelt in perfect harmony with the other creatures God had made.
The man and woman were given a free will, which meant that they had the choice to obey or disobey God. God didn't want to force them to love Him but desired that they love Him from their own freewill.
Unfortunately, the man and woman fell into sin when they chose to disobey God's command not to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. This act of disobedience at once brought grave far-reaching consequences to all mankind. The once peaceful relationship between God and mankind was torn apart. Death and suffering, with which we are all familiar, became a part of the human experience.
As God pronounced to the man and woman the consequences of their disobedience, He promised them another chance at life in a new paradise. At a time in the future He would send a Savior, who would break down the hostility between God and mankind and pave the way for a perfect union in a new created order.
God's promise to send a Savior was fulfilled in His Son, Jesus Christ, who was both true God and true man. Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of a virgin in the city of Bethlehem, Israel. He completely by-passed the conventional way humans are conceived. This meant that He was without sin; original sin had not been transmitted to Him like it has been to every other human being.
Jesus led a perfect and holy life. He obeyed the laws of God perfectly. He taught the people about the Kingdom of God, which they could receive by believing in Him. Yet, it was God's plan that Jesus come into the world to suffer and die on a cross for the sins of all people in order to save all people.
The religious authorities arrested Jesus, and the civil authorities sentenced Him to death on a cross. Jesus was crucified and buried in a local tomb. Many of Jesus' followers lost all hope. Their great teacher had been killed.
But it wasn't God's plan that Jesus remain in the grave. On the third day after His cricifixion, Jesus rose from the dead. Death had no power over Him because Jesus was and is God. He conquered death once and for all.
The good news is that anyone who believes in Jesus for the forgiveness of any wrongdoing he/she has done in life can share in His resurrection. Through Jesus one is able to approach God and live with Him forever. Since God is holy and demands that anyone who approaches Him be holy, one must be clothed with the holiness and righteousness of Jesus. The garments of Jesus' holiness and righteousness are free to anyone who believes in Him.
After Jesus rose from the dead, He spent forty days on this earth before He ascended into heaven. He promised He would come again for those who believe in Him and gather them to Himself in the new perfect and sinless paradise, which He intends to create at the end of time. This world will be destroyed, along with those who refuse to believe in Him.
Since we believe in Jesus Christ, we have no fear of death. We will die, of course, but death is not the end. We believe that those who have died in Christ are living with Him now in a spiritual state in heaven and await a bodily resurrection. Upon our death, we too will go to be with Jesus in heaven.
God has sent His Holy Spirit, which we received at our baptism, to live and dwell in our hearts. The Holy Spirit works forgiveness in us at the Lord's Supper, where we receive the body and blood of our risen Savior. We believe that the Holy Spirit works faith in our hearts and will keep us in the faith until Jesus comes again.
Jesus commanded His disciples to proclaim salvation in His name throughout all the world. A direct result of that command is the proliferation of Christian churches around the world. We at Zion gather together in response to this command. We come together in worship to hear God's inerrant word, the Bible, to receive the Sacraments, to build up one another in Christian love, and to bear witness to the truth of Jesus in the community around us, which we also do through our good works and acts of charity as Jesus has called us to do.