About the Bible. Our confession of faith and life stand on the foundation of God’s Word (Matthew 7:24-27). It is the only authority for our faith, teaching and life because we believe the Bible is the inspired, inerrant and infallible Word of God. It is God’s Word that reveals who God is, what God is about, who we are and what we are to be about. The Bible and the Christian faith is all about Jesus Christ who alone is “the way, and the truth, and the life” (John 14:6); in whom all have been offered the gift of eternal life (John 3:16); and to whom we bear witness and serve (Acts 1:8).
Are Christian. Our beliefs are “Christian” or small “c” catholic in that they reflect the universal truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 15:1-11) which the Church has always proclaimed and even died for.
Are Lutheran. Our beliefs are “Lutheran” because our confession of the Christian faith reflects the teachings of Martin Luther and other reformers who sought to restore the Church to the pure, historic and biblical truth of the Gospel (Romans 3:21-31): that our salvation is by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone.
Are Confessional. Our primary beliefs are explained in the Book of Concord which is our confession of what God’s Word has revealed as true and essential for Christians to believe. A briefer summary of our Christian confession is presented in the Small Catechism which is also part of the Book of Concord.
About God. We believe “that God is one divine essence who is eternal, without a body, without parts, of infinite power, wisdom, and goodness. He is the maker and preserver of all things, visible and invisible (Nehemiah 9:6). Yet there are three persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19). These three persons are of the same essence and power” (Augsburg Confession I.2-3). Christian refer to this as the doctrine of the “Trinity” or “Triune God.”
About Human Nature and Sin. We believe “that since the fall of Adam (Romans 5:12), all who are naturally born are born with sin (Psalm 51:5), that is, without the fear of God, without trust in God, and with the inclination to sin” (Augsburg Confession II.1).
About Jesus Christ. We believe “that there is one Christ, true God and true man, who was born of the Virgin Mary, truly suffered, was crucified, died, and was buried. He did this to reconcile the Father to us and to be a sacrifice, not only for original guilt, but also for all actual sins of mankind (John 1:29). He also descended into hell, and truly rose again on the third day. Afterward, He ascended into heaven to sit at the right hand of the Father. There He forever reigns and has dominion over all creatures. . . The same Christ will openly come again to judge the living and the dead” (Augsburg Confession III.1-4, 6).
About Salvation. We believe “that people cannot be justified before God by their own strengths, merits, or works. People are freely justified for Christ’s sake, through faith, when they believe that they are received into favor and that their sins are forgiven for Christ’s sake. By His death, Christ made satisfaction for our sins. God counts this faith for righteousness in His sight (Romans 3:21-26; 4:5).” (Augsburg Confession IV.1-3).
About How We Are Saved. We believe “that the ministry of teaching the Gospel and administering the Sacraments was instituted so that we may obtain this faith. Through the Word and Sacraments, as through instruments, the Holy Spirit is given (John 20:22) who works faith, when and where it pleases God (John 3:8), in those who hear the good news that God justifies those who believe that they are received into grace for Christ’s sake” (Augsburg Confession V.1-3).
About the Church. We believe “that the Church is the congregation of saints (Psalm 149:1) in which the Gospel is purely taught and the Sacraments are correctly administered” (Augsburg Confession VII.1).
About Baptism. We believe “that Baptism is necessary for salvation (Mark 16:16), that God’s grace is offered through Baptism (Titus 3:4-7), and that children are to be baptized (Acts 2:38-39), for being offered to God through Baptism, they are received into God’s grace” (Augsburg Confession IX.1-2).
About the Lord’s Supper. We believe “that in the Lord’s Supper Christ’s body and blood are truly and substantially present and are truly administered with those things that are seen – bread and wine – to those who receive the Sacrament” (Apology X.54).
About the Authority of Pastors. We believe that “the authority of the Keys (Matthew 16:19), or the authority of the bishops—according to the Gospel—is a power or commandment of God, to preach the Gospel, to forgive and retain sins, and to administer the Sacraments” (Augsburg Confession XXVIII.5).
About Good Works. We believe “that it is necessary to do good works. This does not mean that we merit grace by doing good works, but because it is God’s will (Ephesians 2:10). It is only by faith, and nothing else, that forgiveness of sins is apprehended. The Holy Spirit is received through faith, hearts are renewed and given new affections, and then they are able to bring forth good works” (Augsburg Confession XX.27-29).
For more information about what Lutherans believe: