Lutheran Christians are people who emphasize God’s love, grace and forgiveness revealed to us through Jesus. Lutherans base all of their beliefs upon the Holy Bible.
Lutherans, along with all Christians, believe in the one true God, described as the Trinity(Matthew 28:18-20). Our one Triune God has made Himself known to us as:
+ God the FATHER (CREATOR) – Who created us and everything else.
+ God the SON (SAVIOR) – Who died on the cross to forgive our sins
and rose from the dead to give us victory over death.
+ God the HOLY SPIRIT (SANCTIFIER) – Who creates and strengthens
faith and lives in us (I Corinthians 6:19-20; 12:3).
Lutherans believe the Bible is the inspired and completely accurate Word of God given to us to show us the way of salvation (2 Timothy 3:14-17). In the Bible God gives us the Divine message of Law and Gospel. God’s Law tells us how God wants us to live, but we all fall short of being able to obey God’s Law. God’s Gospel, or Good News, tells us that because Jesus died on the cross and rose from the dead, we are forgiven. This beautiful Gospel message is the primary message of the Bible.
Lutherans believe that Jesus is the central focus of our faith. Jesus is both Divine and human (John 1:1-14). Jesus was born at Bethlehem as God’s Son to be our Savior from sin, death and Satan. God’s Word tells us that faith in Jesus is the only known way of salvation for human beings:
John 14:6 – Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life.
No one comes to the Father except through me.”
Acts 4:12 – “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name
under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.”
Lutherans believe that sin entered God’s perfect creation when Adam and Eve disobeyed God (Genesis 3). Sin destroyed our relationship with God. The Bible speaks of two types of sin:
Original Sin (the disease) – the sin we inherit from our parents (Psalm 51).
Actual Sin (the symptoms) – the actual sins we commit in life by breaking the 10 Commandments (Romans 3:9-25).
Lutherans believe that salvation is a totally free gift of God. Our good works or human efforts do not merit or earn God’s favor or forgiveness. We are saved by grace through faith in Christ (as it says in Ephesians 2:8-9).
Lutherans believe that God wants all people to be baptized (Matthew 28:19).
Baptism is a precious gift from God through which God makes us His children by placing His Name upon us, giving us faith and washing away our sins (Romans 6:3-5).
Lutherans believe that through Holy Communion God grants us forgiveness of sins and strengthens our faith. At Communion we receive both bread and wine and the real presence of Christ’s body and blood (I Corinthians 10:15-16).
Lutherans believe that Christians live in the freedom of the Gospel (Galatians 5:13-14). We are to strive to obey the 10 Commandments, but the purpose of the church is not to micromanage people’s behavior. For example, we believe that drinking alcohol is permissible as long as it is done in moderation.
Lutherans believe the church should not engage in organized politics. Instead, individual Christians should live as the “salt” and “light of the earth” by promoting Godly values in their personal lives, families and communities (Matthew 5:13-17). Missouri Synod Lutherans do take a strong stand based upon the Bible on issues that intersect with our lives as citizens. For example, we believe that life is a sacred gift of God that should be valued and protected (Psalm 139:13-14).
What is most important to Lutherans is the fact that we are loved and forgiven by Jesus. Lutheran Christians believe that sinful humans are saved and forgiven by a loving God through:
a) Grace alone; b) Faith alone; c) Scripture alone.
As Christians, we are to grow in Christ’s love and to share Christ’s love.