We believe that God is three persons in one: the Father, who created and sustains the world; the Son, who lived as a human being, died, and rose from the dead; and the Holy Spirit who works God’s will in the world.
We believe that all people are created in the image of God and are intended by God to be in an eternal relationship with him. But sin separates people from God. Sin exists in every person. It is the cause of the bad things people do to each other.
We believe that Jesus died and rose again for us and for every person in the world. He did this to take away our sins and give us eternal life. This salvation cannot be earned. It is a gift that people receive through faith in Jesus Christ.
Lutherans often refer to three “solas” (Latin for ‘alone”) as a summary of the faith that gives them hope:
- Grace alone-God loved the world, though we do not deserve his love. He sent his Son to love the unlovely and save the ungodly.
- Faith alone—Jesus has provided for our forgiveness and life; those who hear this promise and believe it, have what it offers. People don’t “get” faith; God gives it as he gives us his promises.
- Scripture alone-The Bible is the only source that shows God’s will and the only basis for faith.
The Christian Life
We believe that the Ten Commandments serve as a guide to God’s will in our lives. We believe that the strength to please God with our lives is a gift of the Holy Spirit, and nurtured by a life of prayer. We know we’re not perfect, that we stumble and fall in our daily walk with God. But we also know that our forgiveness has been won and paid for by Jesus Christ and when we repent and turn to Christ for forgiveness, God will forgive us because of Jesus.
We consider Baptism and the Lord’s Supper to be gifts from God to the church, through which God is present and actively at work. God gives his grace in the Water of Baptism. Jesus gives us himself, his body and blood, in the bread and wine of Holy Communion.
The Bible is our Sacred Scriptures, the Word of God. We treasure God’s Word because it teaches us about eternal life through Jesus Christ. The Word is Gospel (‘good news”) because it assures us of God’s love and faithfulness. We believe that the Bible is inspired – that means that God was at work in the lives of the human writers so that the final product is just what God wanted it to be – for us!
The Good News
The good news is that God loves you! He loves you with an incomprehensible and undying love. This love led Jesus Christ to the cross for you, so that everything that would ever separate you from God would be removed. God has provided for you a life in fellowship with Him and an eternity of blessing beyond imagination. And all of this is absolutely free! The following Bible readings will tell you more about the “good news”: John 3:16, Ephesians 2:8-9 , Romans 5:1-21, Acts 2:38-42 , Romans 3:21-24 , Acts 4:12
Worship is the meeting place of God and his people. God gathers us into his presence that we might celebrate his goodness to us in Jesus, and receive from God gifts of his grace. We make use of historical forms of worship that have benefited Christians throughout the ages, as well as worship forms as new as today.
How Lutherans Got Started
Lutherans take their name from Martin Luther. He was a German priest who broke away from the Roman Catholic Church in the early 1500s. Luther’s writing and teaching sparked the Protestant Reformation. Through his study of the Bible, Luther helped the Christian Church rediscover the truth that God is loving and that he offers forgiveness and eternal life as a free gift because of Jesus Christ. Luther taught that people-no matter how hard they try-cannot earn God’s forgiveness or a place in heaven. It is a gift that people receive through faith in Jesus Christ.
To learn more about the teachings of the Bible and what it means to follow Jesus, sign up for the next “Following Jesus” seminar.