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Following the sermon, and usually just before or after the offering, we sing the Offertory, psalm verses in which we offer up to God thanks and praise for the salvation He has provided for us in Christ Jesus, His Son, and we devote ourselves to God and seek His help to live for Him. (Note: the Offertory was once connected to the offering of the bread and wine used in the Roman Mass but is not used that way in Lutheran Churches.)

The Bible tells us that Christ “died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again” (2 Corinthians 5:15). And, the apostle Paul writes: “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God” (Romans 12:1-2).

Therefore, in thanksgiving for our salvation in Jesus Christ, we not only give to God offerings of money; we give and devote to Him our bodies and souls – our very lives – for His service!

We sing and pray the words of Psalm 51: “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me away from Your presence, and do not take Your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, and uphold me by Your generous Spirit.”

Or, we sing the words of Psalm 116: “What shall I render to the Lord for all His benefits toward me? I will take up the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the Lord. I will pay my vows to the Lord now in the presence of all His people … I will offer to You the sacrifice of thanksgiving, and will call upon the name of the Lord. I will pay my vows to the Lord now in the presence of all His people, in the courts of the Lord’s house, in the midst of you, O Jerusalem.”

[Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.]

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Credo

“I Believe”

What is a Creed? Why do we say a creed in our worship services every Sunday?

A creed is a statement of what we believe. The word “creed” is an English word which comes from the Latin word “credo” and means “I believe….”

There are simple creeds in the Bible, such as: “Jesus is Lord” (1 Corinthians 12:3). And Peter confessed his faith in Jesus when he said: “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Matthew 16:16).

There are creeds which were used to teach the Bible’s doctrine, such as the Apostles’ Creed. We say the Creed each Sunday because it reminds us of the teaching of the Apostles of Jesus, which is written down for us in the Bible.

The Bible tells us that our faith is “built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone” (Ephesians 2:20).

There are also creeds which were written to defend the true teaching of God’s Word against false teaching. The Nicene and Athanasian Creeds are examples of such creeds, as well as the Augsburg Confession and its Apology.

In the Apostles’ Creed, we confess our faith in the Triune God and in the work of the true God to create, redeem and sanctify us and give us a place with Him in heaven.

The Apostles’ Creed

I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth. And in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord; who was conceived by the Holy Spirit; born of the Virgin Mary; suffered and under Pontius Pilate; was crucified, dead and buried; He descended into hell; the third day he rose again from the dead; He ascended into heaven and is seated on the right hand of God the Father Almighty; From where he shall come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit; the Holy Christian Church, the communion of saints; the forgiveness of sins; the resurrection of the body; and the life everlasting. Amen.

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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Why do pastors preach sermons every Sunday?

The word pastor means shepherd, and pastors are commanded “to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood” (Acts 20:28) by feeding God’s people with God’s Word through reading and teaching from the Bible.

St. Paul wrote in a letter to Timothy, who was a pastor of God’s people: “I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching” (2 Timothy 4:1-2).

And, before Jesus ascended into heaven, He commanded His disciples to teach His followers all the things He taught and commanded (Matthew 28:20).

That’s why pastors preach and teach from the Bible every Sunday.

[Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.]

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Why do we read or sing a psalm after hearing that our sins are forgiven for Jesus’ sake?

We read or sing a psalm of praise after the confession and absolution because we are thankful to God for His mercy and forgiveness in Christ Jesus and because God desires and calls upon us to praise His name.

The Bible says:

“Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving; let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms.” Psalm 95:2

“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.” Colossians 3:16

“Sing praise to the Lord, you saints of His, and give thanks at the remembrance of His holy name.” Psalm 30:4

“Praise the Lord! Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever.” Psalm 106:1

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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Why do we sing the Gloria in Excelsis in our worship services on Sunday mornings?

We sing this ancient song to give glory to God for His goodness and mercy toward us in Christ Jesus. Christians sang this song already in the second and third centuries, and we join with these believers and believers of all time in praising the true God.

As the angels sang “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!” after telling the shepherds the good news that Christ Jesus, the Savior, had been born (Luke 2:14), so we sing with the angels: “Glory be to God on high: and on earth peace, good will toward men.”

We continue our song of prayer and praise (with the angels of God and believers of all time) by giving glory to the one and only true God (the Triune God): to the almighty Father and our heavenly King; to Jesus Christ, who is God the Son and our Savior who came into this world as a man to be sacrificed on the cross for us and to take away the sins of all people; and to the Holy Spirit, who is true God with the Father and the Son. We sing the words of John the Baptist concerning Jesus from John 1:29: “Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!”

We glorify God, saying: “We praise Thee, we bless Thee, we worship Thee, we glorify Thee, we give thanks to Thee, for Thy great glory. O Lord God, heavenly King, God the Father Almighty. O Lord, the only-begotten Son, Jesus Christ; O Lord God, Lamb of God, Son of the Father, that takest away the sin of the world, have mercy upon us. Thou that takest away the sin of the world, receive our prayer. Thou that sittest at the right hand of God the Father, have mercy upon us. For thou only art holy; Thou only art the Lord. Thou only, O Christ, with the Holy Ghost, art most high in the glory of God the Father. Amen.”

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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