About

preacher

Greetings! With the universal Christian Church, Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church, Oak Park Il, teaches and responds to the love of the Triune God: the Father, creator of all that exists; Jesus Christ, the Son, who became human to suffer and die for the sins of all human beings and to rise to life again in the ultimate victory over death and Satan; and the Holy Spirit, who creates faith through God's Word and Sacraments. The three persons of the Trinity are coequal and coeternal, one God.

Our congregation accepts and preaches the Bible-based teachings that inspired the reformation of the Christian Church in the 16th century. The teaching of Luther and the reformers can be summarized in three phrases: Grace alone, Faith alone, Scripture alone.

The Rev. Robert M. Niehus

(708) 209-6981

Becoming a Member

 

Membership at Christ Lutheran Church is based on your confession (agreement) with the teachings of The Evangelical  Lutheran Church, (Not ELCA!) drawn from the Holy Scriptures and the Book of Concord (The Lutheran Confessions). There are three ways to become a member of Christ Lutheran Church.

The first method is by Holy Baptism. Children who have received the Sacrament of Holy Baptism at Christ Lutheran Church and have been placed under the spiritual care of this congregation shall be considered baptized members. Children who have been baptized by another Christian church through water and the Word in the name of the Triune God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit and who personally or through their guardian, express their desire to be members of this congregation shall be considered baptized members.

The second method is confirmation (youth or adult).  Baptized members of Christ Lutheran Church go through a period of instruction. The Rite of Confirmation for youth is one in which a young person confesses for themselves what their parents confessed for them at the time of their baptism.  Adults who are not baptized and desire to become members of our congregation would first take adult instruction classes, be baptized and then make a confession of faith in the Rite of Confirmation for adults..

The third method is profession of faith. This for those who are baptized and confirmed adults who were once members of a congregation who have fallen away and become inactive, who now desire to be restored as active members of the church once again.  Catechetical instruction may be required.

Christ Lutheran Church offers an adult instruction class for all those who are interested in church membership at Christ Lutheran Church, Oak Park.  If you would like to learn more about us, or would like to refresh your understanding of what we believe, teach and confess as Christians, you are invited to join us. 

If you have any questions regarding membership please contact  Rev. Robert M. Niehus at (708) 386-3306.

 

Catechesis/Instruction

 

As members of Christ’s Church, we gather regularly for instruction in the Word of God, not simply to learn knowledge about God, but that our faith in Jesus Christ might be strengthened, and that we might live by that faith in our lives. We call this kind of teaching “catechesis.” Receiving our Lord’s teaching from the Holy Scriptures is a way of life for us, young and old alike, from the cradle to the grave. Our Lord is with us wherever His Word is faithfully taught and received. Jesus said:

“Go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in
the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to
observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even
to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:19-20).

As we learn in the Table of Duties, the Apostle Paul insists upon “doctrine” as one of the most important duties of a bishop (1 Timothy  4:13,16; 5:17; 2 Timothy 4:2). Doctrine is not naturally known but must be learned. The act of teaching is known in the church as “catechesis” and the knowledge imparted by teaching as “catechism.” The word katechesis means instruction by word of mouth, especially by questioning and answering. This term is commonly used for instruction in the doctrinal teachings of Christianity, established for preparation for initiation into the Church.

St. Luke indicates that his Gospel was written in part for this purpose: “that you may know the certainty of those things in which you were instructed” (Luke 1:4). In Acts 18:25, a man named Apollos is described as “instructed [katechemenos] in the way of the Lord."  St. Paul uses the word twice: “I would rather speak five words with my understanding, that I may teach [katecheso] others also” (1 Corinthians 14:19); and ”Let him who is taught [ho katechoumenos] the word share in all good things with him who teaches" [to katechounti]  (Galatians 6:6). Hence the word, with its technical meaning of oral sacred instruction, is applied both to the act of instructing and the subject-matter of the instruction.

Catechesis is much more comprehensive than mere education and intellectual knowledge.  It involves the actual doing of things that Christians will continue to do for the rest of their lives: attend Divine Service, listen to preaching, study the Word of God, receive the Lord’s Supper, confess their sins, receive holy absolution, pray, confess their faith, forgive one another, live as husbands, wives, fathers, mothers, children, and as workers of every kind.

If you have questions about, or are interested in learning more about catechesis and other learning opportunities available to you please contact The Reverend Robert M. Niehus