And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. – Matthew 16:18 (ESV)
It is God who established the Church, those whom He called and gathered together to trust in Him and serve His mission. Israel was the Old Testament Church (Exodus 12:3) and it is Jesus Christ (Matthew 4:18-22) and later the Holy Spirit (Acts 2) who would call and gather the New Testament Church who like Peter, confessed faith in the Rock of their salvation, Jesus Christ.
This universal Church of all time and places includes all who have been called and gathered through the Holy Spirit by the Gospel and who belong to the Lord through faith in Jesus Christ. This is the invisible Church whom only God can see and whom Christ will gather in the end (Revelation 7:9-17).
Redeemer Lutheran Church (RLC) is one visible and local expression of Christ’s body, the Church. A local church or congregation is an assembly of believers in which the Gospel is rightly taught and the Sacraments are rightly administered (AC VII). Congregations are not perfect and made up of both saints and sinners, true believers and those who have drifted away from the faith (AC VIII).
Every congregation, formally and informally, is connected to a particular confession within Christianity (Roman Catholic, Anglican, Baptist, Reformed…). RLC belongs to the Lutheran confession of Christianity. Within Lutheranism there is much diversity and RLC belongs to the conservative branch of Lutheranism, often referred to as “Confessional Lutheranism.”