What do Lutherans Believe?
Here is a very brief summary of what we as Lutherans believe God has revealed about Himself and us in His Word, the Holy Scriptures.
God is the creator of everything that exists.
Adam and Eve, our first parents, were originally created by God pure and holy. They lived according to God's will, doing what was pleasing to Him.
Adam and Eve, the man and woman God created in the beginning, went against God's will and brought sin into the world. Since that time, all people have been conceived and born in sin.
Sin is living out of relationship with God, not living according to God's will, and thus transgressing His holy will in thought, word and deed.
People cannot restore themselves by their good works or restore themselves to a right relationship with God.
God sent His Son, Jesus, into the world. He is both true God and true man. He lived to fulfill God's law for us, died on the cross to pay the penalty our sins deserved, and rose from the dead so that we might have eternal life. He ascended into heaven, where He now sits at the right hand of The Father to intercede for us.
Because of Jesus' death on the cross, God declares a person just or righteous and forgiven. This happens not because of human effort, but because the justification won by Jesus is applied to the one who believes in Jesus as Savior.
Faith in Jesus is a gift of God, given by the power of the Holy Spirit; thus all the glory belongs to God.
The means of grace are the Word, Holy Baptism and Holy Communion. By these means, the merits of Jesus' perfect life and atoning death are personally conveyed to all who believe in Jesus as their Savior.
Jesus will come again to take all believers to Himself. On the final day, all the dead will be raised. Those who are still alive will be bodily transformed. After this the final judgment will take place. Unbelievers will go into eternal damnation, and believers into eternal life.
The true Christian church is made up of all believers of all times who believe in the Triune God and in Jesus Christ as their only Savior.
God wants Christians to join with other believers in churches which correctly teach God's Word and administer Holy Baptism and Holy Communion according to the teachings of Scripture.
Christians are called to tell others that the only way of salvation is by faith in Jesus Christ, and to show their faith by their deeds of love toward others.
Reprinted from Lutheran Hour Ministries What Lutherans Believe brochure, Copyright 2000.