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What We Believe
Lutheran Christians believe and confess the teachings of the Bible as explained during the early 16th century by a German monk named Martin Luther (1483-1546) and his theological contemporaries. These theologians sought to correct errors which were being taught by the Christian church during this  era, with the hope of having a more biblical, Christ-centered, and unified church. The foundations of their teachings stemmed from a few guiding principles.

Scripture Alone
(Sola Scriptura)

The Bible is God’s inerrant and infallible Word, in which He reveals both His Law (His commands and expectations) and His Gospel (His gift of salvation in Jesus Christ). The Bible is the sole rule for Christian  teaching and practice.

Grace Alone
(Sola Gracia)

God loves the people of the world, even though they are sinful, rebel against Him and do not deserve His love. However, because of His love, God sent Jesus—His Son—to love the unlovable and save the ungodly. The word “grace” simply refers to the undeserved gift that God gives to sinful, rebellious people—the free gift of love, forgiveness, and salvation that comes through Jesus’ death on the cross and His resurrection.

Faith Alone
(Sola Fide)

By His suffering and death as our substitute, Jesus purchased and won forgiveness, salvation, and eternal life for us. Those who hear this Good News ("Gospel") and believe it have this forgiveness, salvation, and eternal life. By making this claim, a Lutheran is saying that these things are not matters of performance or about “being a good person.” Rather, forgiveness, salvation, and eternal life are simply matters of faith.

Christ Alone
(Sola Christus)

There are esseantially two kinds of religions in the world. The one kind of religion looks to what we do or don’t do as a way to earn God’s favor, forgiveness, and eternal life. This kind of religion essentially says, “If I am a good person, if I pray enough, if I submit enough, if I am sincere enough, if I follow the right path, if I do enough good things, then God will love me, be pleased with me, and give me good things.” This is the teaching that Martin Luther struggled with on a personal level and, along with others, sought to correct.

The second kind of religion recognizes that we are sinful people, and that we will never be able to do enough good to earn God’s favor. For how can a perfect, holy, sinless God be in fellowship with flawed people? And yet, as stated above, Christianity states that God loved His creation so much that He sent His Son, Jesus, to live a perfect life, to die an undeserved death, and to rise from the dead. In this way, Jesus did what we could not do ourselves, and He became our substitute, the one and only mediator between God and us. This is what is meant when a Christian says that Jesus is the only way to forgiveness, salvation, and eternal life with God.

The Means of Grace

The Lutheran Church believes that faith in Jesus doesn’t just come “out of thin air.” Rather God tells us about His love and gives us Jesus’ forgiveness through “means of grace.” These means include 1) God’s Word, the Bible, and 2) the sacraments.

Lutherans believe that God provides His grace through two sacraments: baptism and communion. The word “sacrament” is defined as something that 1) is instituted by Jesus during His ministry, 2) has a physical component, and 3) carries God’s promise of forgiveness of sins.