We believe what all Christians believe:
- That God is Triune, that is, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, one God, existing eternally in three Persons.
- That God created the heavens and the earth, everything, seen and unseen.
- That at the right time, about 2,000 years ago, the Son took on human flesh, lived a perfect life, and died innocently in order to rescue us from the power of sin and eternal death.
- That the Holy Spirit of God is still active to bring lost sinners to faith in Jesus Christ and eternal salvation.
- That God has carefully preserved for us to this day a reliable record of his dealings with humans in the Bible. This Word of God points to Jesus, not just telling a story, but drawing us into a relationship with the God who loves and saves us.
As Lutheran Christians, we emphasize that we are saved by Grace alone, through Faith alone, worked in us by Scripture alone. These are the three “Solas” of Lutheran theology, from the Latin “Sola Gratia (Grace Alone), Sola Fide (Faith Alone), Sola Scriptura (Scripture Alone).”
Along with other Lutheran Christians, we also emphasize the importance of distinguishing between the two main messages of the Bible, the Law and the Gospel. In the Law God tells us what his standards are, warns us of the consequences of not meeting those standards, and tells stories of people who either have or have not listened to his commands. The Law shows us our sin, which makes it a strict, frightening word. The Gospel, on the other hand, tells us how God has dealt with the problem of our sin, that is, it tells us about Jesus. Jesus kept the Law of God perfectly for us. He died in our place when our sin earned death for us. He loves us, and calls us to himself, and promises eternal life with him in heaven. The Gospel shows us our Savior, which makes it a comforting, loving word.
Lutheran Christians confess the three Ecumenical Creeds of the Church, the Apostles’, the Nicene, and the Athanasian. We also subscribe to the Book of Concord of 1580, containing the Augsburg Confession and its Apology, the Small and Large Catechisms of Martin Luther, the Smalkald Articles, the Treatise on the Power and Primacy of the Pope, and the Formula of Concord, both Solid Declaration and Epitome. What this means is that there is a standard for judging whether a teaching is Lutheran or not. First, is it what the Bible teaches? Second, does it conform to these Lutheran Confessions.
A much more thorough understanding of what we believe can be explored at www.LCMS.org