Lutherans are Christians who believe that all Christian teachings should come from God’s Word, the Bible. We believe that the Bible is God’s Word. This means that everything the Bible teaches is correct and true. We believe that it is only through the Bible that we can know the one true God – the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit – and His will for our lives.
Lutherans believe in God’s grace.
All people are sinners and would perish eternally without God’s help. The good news is that God has provided all of this help as a free gift. God’s saving grace is His undeserved love for all people through the life, death and resurrection of His Son, Jesus. God loves all people, of every nation and race equally. It is God the Father’s desire for all people to hear His Word, to believe in His Son, Jesus Christ, as their only Savior, and therefore to have eternal life. Jesus lived a holy life in our place and died on the cross for the forgiveness of all our sins. Through this completed work of Jesus, God the Father sees the whole world as not guilty, or justified. This teaching of “justification” is the central truth of the Bible.
Lutherans believe that faith in Jesus Christ is necessary for eternal salvation.
This faith in Jesus, who is both God and man, our Savior, comes only as God, the Holy Spirit, works through God’s Word and Baptism in a person’s heart. We believe we sinners cannot come to faith through our own power, but that our faith is accomplished only by the power of the Holy Spirit as He connects us to Jesus as the Savior.
Baptism is not a symbol of us becoming God’s child but is a medium through which God blesses His people. Baptism brings the forgiveness of sins to us just as the Romans passage describes. However, the Bible teaches that forgiveness of sins comes through faith alone, so God uses baptism to create the faith in us which can receive the forgiveness of sins. Baptism is not effective because of “Holy Water”, but is powerful because God’s Word comes to the regular water as God commanded us to do.
According to Christ’s Word and institution, His body and blood are truly present, distributed and received in the Lord’s Supper, under the forms of bread and wine. This Supper is intended for Christians who know and adhere to the teachings of God’s Word, who are able to examine themselves on the basis of that Word, and who repent of their sins and look to Christ alone for forgiveness. The body and blood of Christ are offered and received in this Sacrament for the remission of sins and for the strengthening of faith.