St. Bartholomew Lutheran Church
Trenton, New Jersey
St. Bartholomew Lutheran Church is a community of believers that is rooted in God’s unconditional grace and love, striving to share God’s light of hope and salvation to scatter the darkness wherever it is found, through word and deed.
"Not Just Going to Church, but BEING the Church"
What We Believe
Saved by Grace Through Faith
The sins of the whole world have been forgiven by the grace of God in the person of Jesus Christ. This means that God forgives our sins and gives the gift of eternal life simply because God loves us. God does not place conditions on this gift. We don't earn it by being good people, but we get this gift simply because we are God's children.
Even the ability to believe in God's love is a gift.
We are 100% sinners and 100% saints. Human beings are capable of doing incredibly terrible things to each other and our world, but at the same time we are capable of doing incredible good. We commit or allow genocide to occur, yet we also risk our lives to rescue the hurting and oppressed. We are lost to the sin of selfishness, yet we also give of our time and money to those who are hungry or poor.
A saint is ultimately a forgiven sinner. God forgives us and we are inspired to do good in the world, but we still fall short of the good God calls us to do and we hurt ourselves and others through our actions and inaction. Christians live in this tension.
Jesus is God in the flesh. He is fully God and fully human. God came to this earth through this peasant and itinerant rabbi from Nazareth. We witness and experience the saving grace of God through his life, death, and resurection.
Life: Jesus welcomed those who were deemed outcast and undesirable. He ate with sinners, tax collectors, and prostitutes. He welcomes all.
He taught that abundant life is experienced through the "way of the cross" or giving up one's own life for the sake of others. This is where real living begins.
He healed others of their sicknesses and forgave sins. Human brokenness is real and God desires us to be restored.
Death: The very incarnation of God was killed by human hands. This reveals the depth of our sin and brokenness. We have a hard time accepting the grace and love of God (to say the least).
The depth of God's love is so great, that God is willing to serve and forgive us even to the point of death.
Resurrection: Jesus rose from the dead three days later. The power of sin and death could not overcome the love of God in the person of Jesus Christ. This is Good News for us. No sin, brokenness, or death can ever separate us from the love of God.
Theology of the Cross
God shows up in the most unlikely of places. God chooses the foolish and weak to accomplish great and powerful things. God brought salvation to the enslaved Israelites, not the great and powerful Pharaoh of Egypt. God sent prophets to speak up for justice for the poor, the widow, and the stranger- the most vulnerable of society. God came into this world as a helpless baby. God also experienced death.
If God showed up in the oppressed, the weak, and even in death itself, God is certainly present in the oppressed, the weak, and the dying in our own selves and in our world today.