We believe, teach and confess Jesus Christ and Him crucified for the salvation of all people. It is only by virtue of Jesus' life, suffering and death on the cross, His resurrection from the dead and His ascension into heaven that we have full forgiveness for all our sins. With that forgiveness the Lord of Life promises us eternal life with Himself in heaven.
Evangelical comes to us from the Greek and means 'good news'. The Lutheran Church is evangelical because we believe, teach and confess the good news that we have salvation by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone, as taught in the Holy Bible. This Gospel message (gospel also means 'good news') is the central teaching of the Lutheran Church.
As Lutheran Christians, we are part of the one holy, catholic and apostolic Church confessed in the Apostles' Creed and taught in Holy Scripture. [See Ephesians 4:4-6: There is one body and one Spirit, . . . one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all Who is over all and through all and in all.] As Christians we are part of the one holy, universal Church that includes Christian believers of all times and places.
Our worship is 'traditional' and 'liturgical', which means that we follow the worship forms that have been handed down through the centuries from the early Christians. This liturgy is based upon God's own Word and the early Christian expressions of that Biblical truth. In fact, many of the very words of our worship services can be traced to the early forms of worship in the first few centuries after our Lord’s ascension. We continue to use the ancient Creeds (confessions of faith) as correct interpretations of Scripture and to guard against false belief and teaching.
The Lutheran Church started in the early 1500s when Martin Luther began writing and teaching against certain errors that existed in the established church of his time.
Through his study of the Bible, Luther helped the Christian Church rediscover the truth that God is loving and that He offers forgiveness and life everlasting as a free gift because of Jesus Christ and what He did.
On the basis of what God says in His Word, Luther taught that people – no matter how hard they try – cannot earn God's forgiveness or a place in heaven. It is a gift that people receive through faith in Jesus Christ. [Eph. 2:8-9]
Those who believed and followed these teachings from Scripture were called Lutherans by the established church, and the name stuck.
Lutherans often refer to the three 'solas' (Latin for 'alone') as a summary of the faith that gives certain hope:
To these three we also add a fourth 'sola' – Christ alone. For the entire Christian life, from beginning to end, is tied up in the Person and saving work of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, Who gave Himself for all of us so that we might have life in Him.
God has given the Church His Holy Word and the Sacraments of Baptism and the Lord's Supper as the means through which He Himself continually comes to us with His grace and forgiveness to create and sustain saving faith in us. We preach and teach God's Word in its purity and administer the Sacraments according to Christ's command.
I believe in one God,
the Father Almighty,
Maker of heaven and earth
and of all things visible and invisible.
And in one Lord Jesus Christ,
the only-begotten Son of God,
begotten of His Father before all worlds,
God of God, Light of Light,
very God of very God,
begotten, not made,
being of one substance with the Father,
by Whom all things were made;
Who for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven
and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the virgin Mary
and was made Man;
and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate.
He suffered and was buried.
And the third day He rose again according to the Scriptures
and ascended into heaven
and sits at the right hand of the Father.
And He will come again with glory to judge both the living and the dead,
Whose kingdom will have no end.
And I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the Lord and giver of life,
Who proceeds from the Father and the Son,
Who with the Father and the Son together is worshiped and glorified,
Who spoke by the prophets.
And I believe in one holy catholic* and apostolic Church,
I acknowledge one Baptism for the remission of sins,
and I look for the resurrection of the dead
and the life + of the world to come. Amen
* ‘catholic,’; meaning the whole Church as it
confesses the wholeness of Christian doctrine