Nearly 500 years ago, the Christian church was corrupted by many false teachings. A man named Martin Luther led people back to the teachings of the Bible. His work, and the work of his colleagues, is called the Reformation. Through the Reformation, the church was restored to the truth and purity of God’s Word. This means that the teachings of the Lutheran Church are not new. They are the teachings of the Bible. The Lutheran Church is not a new church, a sect, or cult. It is a church with teachings based entirely on the prophets of the Old Testament and the apostles of the New Testament.
As Lutherans, we are Christians who follow the pattern of Martin Luther and the Reformation. We believe that all Christian teachings should come from God’s Word. We believe that everything the Bible teaches is correct and true. We believe that it is only through the Bible that we can know and believe in the one true God – the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
As Lutherans, we believe that all people are sinners. Because of our sin we deserve to perish eternally. However, we also believe that God loves all people and doesn’t want anyone to perish. The bible teaches us that God sent his Son, Jesus Christ, to be our Savior. Jesus lived a perfect life for us and died on the cross in our place. Because of the work of Jesus Christ, our sins are forgiven. It’s through faith in Jesus that we can be assured that God will welcome us into heaven when we die. The bible teaches that we receive faith in Jesus through the work of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit works faith in our hearts and strengthens our faith through God’s Word and the sacraments of Baptism and Communion.
As Lutherans, we hold to the three ecumenical creeds of the Christian Church. These are the Apostles Creed, Nicene Creed, and the Athanasian Creed. These creeds are brief statements of faith. We use the creeds to tell others what we believe. We also use them to confess our faith publicly in our worship.
As Lutherans, we also hold to the Lutheran Confessions. These are the documents produced during the Reformation that correct false teachings and provide a summary of the teachings of the bible. The Lutheran Confessions include the Small Catechism (1529 A.D.), the Large Catechism (1529 A.D.), the Augsburg Confession (1530 A.D.), the Apology of the Augsburg Confession (1531 A.D.), the Smalcald Articles (1536 A.D.), and the Formula of Concord (1577 A.D.).