Our Beliefs

What Lutherans Believe

With the universal Christian Church, The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod teaches and responds to the love of the Triune God: the Father, creator of all that exists; Jesus Christ, the Son, who became human to suffer and die for the sins of all human beings and to rise to life again in the ultimate victory over death and Satan; and the Holy Spirit, who creates faith through God’s Word and Sacraments.

Our congregations accept and preach the Bible-based teachings of Martin Luther that inspired the reformation of the Christian Church in the 16th century. The teaching of Luther and the reformers can be summarized in three phrases: Grace alone, Faith alone, Scripture alone.

SOLA GRATIA:  God loves the people of the world, even though they are sinful, rebel against Him and do not deserve His love. He sent Jesus, His Son, to love the unlovable and save the ungodly.

SOLA FIDE:  By His suffering and death as the substitute for all people of all time, Jesus purchased and won forgiveness and eternal life for them. Those who hear this Good News and believe it have the eternal life that it offers. God creates faith in Christ and gives people forgiveness through Him.

SOLA SCRIPTURA:  The Bible is God’s inerrant and infallible Word, in which He reveals His Law and His Gospel of salvation in Jesus Christ. It is the sole rule and norm for Christian doctrine.

​Lutherans believe that it is by GRACE ALONE that one is eternally saved by God. It is by FAITH ALONE in CHRIST ALONE that one has access to this grace of God and its promise of salvation.  Finally, SCRIPTURE ALONE is the basis for all of our doctrine and practice.

The doctrinal statements of the Lutheran Church are contained in The Book of Concord of 1580. This book contains a number of documents that set forth what Lutherans believe, teach, and confess. These documents are The Augsburg Confession, The Apology of the Augsburg Confession, The Large and Small Catechisms of Martin Luther, The Smalcald Articles, The Treatise on the Power and Primacy of the Pope, and The Formula of Concord.

The Holy Trinity:
There is only one God, who exists in three Persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  The three ecumenical creeds (Apostles’, Nicene, and Athanasian) are a clear and concise expression of what we believe about the Triune God. (Please read Matthew 28:19-20 and 2 Corinthians 13:14.)  The three persons of the Trinity are coequal and coeternal, one God.

The Infallibility and Inerrancy of Scripture:
The entire Bible, which points to Jesus as the Savior, is the inspired, inerrant and infallible Word of God. (Please read Psalm 119:105, John 17:17, 2 Timothy 3:15-16 and John 5:39.)

God is the creator of everything that exists. God created everything from nothing in six literal days. (Please read Genesis 1:1-2 and Colossians 1:16.)  Adam and Eve were created by God pure and holy. But, through their choice and the deception of the devil, they went against God’s will and brought sin into the world and its ultimate consequence death. (Please read Genesis 3 and Romans 5:12-14.)

Original Sin and the Bondage of the Human Will:
All humans are born sinful and unable and unwilling to conform to God’s holy will. Any effort from a person to live a holy life will ultimately fail. The punishment for this sin is death. (Please read Psalm 51:3-5, Matthew 15:18-19 and Romans 3:9-18.) No one can do enough good works to erase sin and make them acceptable in God’s eyes. (Please read Romans 3:20 and Isaiah 64:6-7.)

Unlimited Atonement:
God, out of His great love, sent His one and only Son Jesus into the world. He lived a perfect life, took mankind’s place under God’s wrath and completely paid for the sins of mankind by dying on the cross. He
came back to life again on the third day and rose again to give to mankind the hope of everlasting life.  (Please read Isaiah 53:3-12, 2 Corinthians 5:21 and Romans 5:18-21.)

Salvation by Faith and not by Works:
Through faith one receives the forgiveness of sins earned by Jesus and is thus saved. (Please read John 3:14-18 and Ephesians 2:8-9.). Good works do not earn salvation, but are expressions of thankfulness to God and are to be credited to God’s working in and through a person. (Please read Ephesians 2:8-10 and Galatians 5:22-23.)

Faith comes through the Word and Sacraments:
The Lord brings the message of salvation to mankind through the Means of Grace: the Word and Sacraments (Holy Baptism and Holy Communion). (Please read Romans 10:17, Acts 2:38, Titus 3:4-7 & 1 Corinthians 11:23-26.) The Lord calls Christians to gather together for worship, administration of the Sacraments, study of God’s Word, mutual encouragement and to do mission work. (Please read Acts 2:42-47 and Hebrews 10:19-25.)

The Second Coming and Resurrection:
Jesus will come again one day to take all believers to Himself. On the final day all the dead will be resurrected. Those who believe in Jesus as their Savior will spend eternity in heaven. Those who do not believe in Jesus as their Savior will spend eternity in hell. (Please read John 10:27-28, Revelation 21:1-4 and Matthew 25:31-46.)

Content on this page is taken from:  “What Lutherans Believe” by Dr. Samuel Nafzger