Lutheran Belief & Practice
With the universal Christian Church, The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod teaches and responds to the love of the Triune God: the Father, creator of all that exists; Jesus Christ, the Son, who became human to suffer and die for the sins of all human beings and to rise to life again in the ultimate victory over death and Satan; and the Holy Spirit, who creates faith through God’s Word and Sacraments. The three persons of the Trinity are coequal and coeternal, one God.
Being “Lutheran,” our congregations accept and teach Bible-based teachings of Martin Luther that inspired the reformation of the Christian Church in the 16th century. The teaching of Luther and the reformers can be summarized in three short phrases: Grace alone, Faith alone, Scripture alone.
God loves the people of the world, even though they are sinful, rebel against Him and do not deserve His love. He sent Jesus, His Son, to love the unlovable and save the ungodly.
By His suffering and death as the substitute for all people of all time, Jesus purchased and won forgiveness and eternal life for them. Those who hear this Good News and believe it have the eternal life that it offers. God creates faith in Christ and gives people forgiveness through Him.
The Bible is God’s inerrant and infallible Word, in which He reveals His Law and His Gospel of salvation in Jesus Christ. It is the sole rule and norm for Christian doctrine.
Who is Jesus?
For more than 2,000 years people have asked the question, “Who is Jesus?”. We were not present when Jesus lived on this earth, but in the Bible we have the record of his birth, life, death on the cross, and resurrection. Study of the Bible, God’s Word, will enable you to seek out the answer to this age-old question.
What does “Synod” mean?
The word “Synod” in The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod comes from Greek words that mean “walking together.” The term has rich meaning in our church body, because congregations voluntarily choose to belong to the Synod. Though diverse in their service, these congregations hold to a shared confession of Jesus Christ as taught in Holy Scripture and the Lutheran Confessions which they believe are a correct interpretation and presentation of Biblical doctrine. Contained in The Book of Concord: The Confessions of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, these statements of belief were put into writing by church leaders during the 16th century. The simplest of these is Luther’s Small Catechism. The Augsburg Confession gives more detail on what Lutherans believe. Read an article from the May 2004 Lutheran Witness about what a “Synod” is.
What We Believe
We believe that the Bible is the true Word of God, without error or contradiction and, therefore, is the only guide in determining what we believe and how to live our lives.
We believe that GOD is “Triune”, One God in three Persons – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
We believe that God created and sustains us and the world. We lost our original holiness as mankind chose to disobey God and fall into sin.
We believe God has revealed His Holy Will for us in the Ten Commandments. The Law condemns all who violate these commandments, and leads us to the knowledge of our sin.
We believe that every thought, word and deed contrary to God’s Law is sin; that every human being inherits sin; and that all sin calls for God’s wrath. People cannot save themselves by their good works or restore themselves to a right relationship with God.
We believe that because of God’s great love for us, He sent His own Son, Jesus, to redeem the world from sin – that He kept God’s Law perfectly, died and rose again, and thereby paid our debt of sin to God. 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.
We believe 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.
We believe that full forgiveness is offered to all people as a free gift of God’s grace. Those who believe in Jesus as their Savior receive His forgiveness, become new creatures in Christ and are filled with a new joy and a greater purpose.
We believe that the Holy Spirit calls us to faith and gathers us together around the Word and Sacraments – Holy Baptism and the Lord’s Supper – to receive God’s continual gifts of forgiveness, strength and peace.
We believe 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.
We believe 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 administers Holy Baptism and Holy Communion according to the teachings of Scripture.
We believe 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 towards others.
We are also memberes of the Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod. Together with our 2.5 million brothers and sisters of the Missouri Synod who worship in 6,150 congregations. These congregatons are served by 8,257 clergymen.
In addition our church has:
- Nearly 400 Missionaries at work in 40 countries
- 500 Campus Ministries
- 400 Chaplains
- 20,226 Parochial School Teachers who serve in
1,301 Early Childhood Centers
1,031 Elementary Schools
80 Lutheran High Schools
- 87 Deaconesses
- 546 Directors of Christian Education
- 26 Directors of Christian Outreach
- 125 Certified Lay Ministers
- 9 Parish Assistants
- 2 Seminaries
- 10 Christian Colleges/Universities