What is a Lutheran?Lutherans are Christians
Lutherans share a common understanding with all Christians regarding:
We believe that there is only one God, the holy and perfect creator of the universe, to whom we are all accountable.
- who God is
- how we have a right relationship with God ("salvation")
- who Jesus Christ is
- what Christ has done for us
believe that God is three Persons whom the Bible call: Father, Son
(Jesus Christ), and Holy Spirit. We understand that these three
Persons do not constitute three Gods, but individually they are fully
God and together they are One God, which we called "the Trinity."
We admit that this doctrine defies human logic, but we also admit that
a mere human mind cannot fully understand God. So we simply take
our stand on what God has said about Himself.
We believe that
Jesus Christ, is fully God and truly human. He is not a man who
became God, but He was eternally God and at a specific time in history,
He became human.
We believe as the Bible teaches that
Jesus was born from a virgin woman named Mary, conceived by the direct
working of God's Spirit in Mary's womb, not through any kind of sexual
We believe that Jesus lived a sinless perfect life,
and that the purpose of His life was to offer Himself in death as a
substitute for sinful humanity. We understand that while God
hates sin, He loves sinners. So it was through Jesus' suffering
and death on the cross, God's justice against sin was satisfied, and
through Jesus' sacrifice God is able to forgive sinners. (See Bad News - Good News video)
believe that Jesus physically rose from the dead, that He physically
showed Himself to eye witnesses who spoke with Him, touched Him, and
ate with Him.
We believe that 40 days after His resurrection, Jesus ascended to heaven, where He reigns as God over creation.
We believe that one day this physical world in which we live will cease to exist, and God will make a new perfect world for us.
Lutherans are Protestants
began in the mid-1500s in northern Europe as a reaction to certain
practices and teachings of the organized Christian church in Europe,
which we now refer to as the Roman Catholic Church. As Christians
throughout northern Europe began studying the Bible, they saw
what they felt were contradictions between the Bible's clear teaching
about Christ, faith, and forgiveness, vs. what the church taught and
practiced. This religious movement became known as the Protestant
Reformation. The word "Protestant" comes from the word "protest."
Protestant Christians believe...
The Bible alone
is our only source and authority for faith and doctrine -- not church
tradition, not church councils, not any individual church leader.
Our teaching and practices must always be evaluated by the clear
teaching of the Bible.
Salvation is in Christ alone, not in an organization or church denomination.
Salvation is a free gift of God which we receive by faith alone, not by doing good works to earn God's favor.
are saved by grace through faith, not by your own doing.
Salvation is a gift from God, not by our own works. So no one can
brag." (Ephesians 2.8-9)
During the time of the Reformation, Protestants summarized these teachings in this simple slogan:
The true Church is the invisible fellowship all true believers in Christ, not limited to any single denomination.
Christian believers have full access to God through Christ without any
need for mediation by church or clergy. (Protestants refer to
this as "the priesthood of all believers.")
reject as unbiblical specific teachings and practices which have been
prevalent in Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches. Among these
- Doctrines about purgatory
- Praying to "Saints" (Christians who have died)
- Traditions about Mary
sacraments (Most Protestants recognize only two: Baptism & the
Lord's Supper. However, Protestants disagree among themselves
about the purpose and meaning of those two sacraments or ordinances.)
In baptism we die with Christ and His new life emerges in us (see
Romans 6). Lutherans baptize babies because (1) babies are born
with a sin-nature and need salvation as all people do, and (2) babies
can have a faith relationship with God through Christ (see Mark 10:13-16).
SUPPER: Lutherans believe Jesus' promise that He offers us His true
body and blood with the bread and wine in the Lord's Supper (see Matthew 26:26-28).
Comfortable with theological paradox (logical contradiction).
-- Christ will come again only once. This will happen at the end of
time when the physical world will cease. Lutherans reject as
unbiblical recently popular teachings about multiple returns of Christ.
Liturgical worship style.
|The Law: Bad News||The Law is like a mirror that shows us our sin.|
The Law tells us what we should do
and what we have failed to do.
The Gospel: Good News
|The Gospel shows us our Savior.|
The Gospel tells us what Christ has done for us.
personally carried away our sins in His own body on the cross so that
we can be dead to sin and live for what is right.
You have been healed
by His wounds!" (1 Peter 2:24 NLT)