What We Believe:
As the largest of the Protestant Denominations within the Christian faith, the Lutheran faith is centered on the person and work of Jesus Christ. We believe that God is three in one, or triune: God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. We believe that the Son of God, Jesus Christ, became a human being to suffer and die for the sins of the world so that all who believe in Him will not perish but through His substitution for us on the cross we are given forgiveness and eternal life.
Lutherans believe that salvation was made possible entirely by the work of Jesus Christ. Lutherans believe that we are saved by God's mercy and forgiveness and not by any works that we can do ourselves. There is no amount of good works that we can do to pay for our sins. Rather, the work is entirely by Jesus Christ, through God's grace alone!
Lutherans believe that trust and faith in Jesus Christ are necessary for salvation. That trust and faith is made possible through the work of God, the Holy Spirit. God uses the Scriptures and the Sacraments to create both trust and faith in our lives. We understand that simple trust in the promises of God in Jesus Christ are sufficient to secure an individual's salvation.
Lutherans take their beliefs from the Holy Scriptures. Lutherans believe the Bible is the inspired and unfailing Word of God, and the only revelation on both beliefs and practice. We recognize that God's Word does not address every matter of practice. If God's Word has spoken to a matter we must follow God's Word on that matter. But where God's Word is silent, there can be liberty for practice as long as this is done responsibly for the sake of proclaiming the Gospel into the world.
Lutherans believe it is important to proclaim their faith to the world in an understandable manner. Martin Luther, a German monk, was known as the “Father of the Reformation” and was one of the first to write down statements explaining what we believe and where we find these beliefs in the Bible. The most important of these statements are found in the Book of Concord, which is a collection of Lutheran theological declarations. These are referred to as the "Lutheran Confessions" and Lutherans believe that these writings correctly explain what the Holy Scripture teaches.
Baptism- Lutherans believe in both infant baptism and baptism of believing adults.
Access to God- Lutherans believe that every individual has direct access to God. There is no need to have a priest to mediate.
Sacraments- Lutherans believe that the sacraments are an aid to faith.
The Lord’s Supper- Lutherans believe in the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper, also known as Holy Communion. Luther rejected the Roman Catholic belief of "Transubstantiation". This is the Roman Catholic concept referring to the change that involves the substances of bread and wine being turned miraculously into the substance of Christ himself. Lutherans believe that “in and with” the eating of the bread and drinking of the wine, we receive the “real presence of Jesus Christ”. Luther also rejected the belief of some Protestant Reformers, that Holy Communion was just a “symbol”, not containing Christ's “real presence”.
Salvation- Luther maintained that salvation is available to all humans through the redeeming work of Christ, also known as “grace”. This is based on John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, Jesus Christ that whosoever believes in him will have everlasting life.”