I have so many people discussing the problems that they have had in trying to find a faithful church that encourages them in the faith that I have decided to tell you why I chose the denomination I am in.
First of all, my church has a confession and sticks to it. I know what I am getting when I attend an LCMS church. The law/gospel distinction, the deity of Christ, the efficacy of baptism, the gift of Holy Communion, are all in the confessions and aren't going to change. Every church member is catechized and this should prevent significant holes in theology. When we join a confessional church, we study the Apostles Creed; we know what the resurrection of Jesus is and means; we know that Christians have the hope of a bodily resurrection. Understanding of the kingdom is part of learning about the Lord's Prayer. When we learn about baptism, we are taught to avoid the error of thinking that our act of obedience is what saves us. When we learn the Ten Commandments, we learn that no one keeps God's law perfectly. When we learn about Holy Communion, we realize that this isn't something we do for God, but something that He is doing for us. And that brings me to
The Confessional Lutheran Difference
In a Confessional Lutheran church, the emphasis is on the gospel. It is understood that it is the gospel that saves. It is the gospel that empowers. (Romans 1:16) Every sermon includes the gospel. The promise of what Christ has done and is doing for us.
"His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature" - 2 Peter 1:3-4
Holy Communion emphasizes the gospel, because it is the gift of eternal life, the gift of Christ's body and blood. (John 6:51, 54) His promise of forgiveness. (Matthew 26:28) Baptism emphasizes the gospel, because it is the promise that Jesus died and rose again, for the one who is baptized. (Acts 2:38-39, Romans 6:3-9)
Everything, everything, is about Jesus. It isn't about you. It isn't about me. It isn't about our faithfulness, our obedience. It is about His faithfulness. And it is about His faithfulness, His promises, that we need to be constantly reminded. "Therefore, I will always be ready to remind you of these things, even though you already know them, and have been established in the truth which is present with you." - 2 Peter 1:12
"The law is good! 'Love your neighbor as yourself,' it’s something we should strive to do, but not because you’re going to get something for it and not because it proves you are a Christian. Jesus proves you are a Christian, baptism proves you are a Christian, the Lord’s Supper proves you are a Christian—to you. God is proving it to you!" - Reverend Jonathan Fisk