What We Believe

Perhaps the best brief summary of Christian teaching is the Apostles' Creed. Most Christians cite this creed - along with the Nicene and Athanasian Creeds - as authoritative explanations of the content of Scripture.

God, Man, and God's Word

God is - The first part of the good news of God (the "gospel") is that He exists. God is, and even His name (from the Hebrew "to be" verb) proclaims His existence (Exodus 3:14).

God created the world and everything in it (Genesis 1 and 2) - God is the creator of the existence, order, beauty and complexity all around us.

God created man, including you (Genesis 1:26-27) - God created everything in the universe, but then He created man last of all, specifically, and in His image. God was done making rocks, trees, dogs and dirt. What He made was the pinnacle of His creation. He made you.

Man rebelled against His Creator - Our first parents, Adam and Eve, rebelled against God, disobeying Him to follow the lies of a serpent (Genesis 3). From that day on mankind has been rebelling against our soveriegn Creator. This rebellion is called sin, and because of it we are all, naturally speaking, dead in our sins - children deserving God's righteous wrath (Ephesians 2:3).

God redeemed man - God paid the debt for our sin with the blood of His Son at the cross. God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love for mankind, even while we were dead in our trespasses and sins, made us alive through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ (Ephesians 2:4-6). The entire Bible tells the story of God loving His people - and doing something because of that love.

God calls man to repentance and faith... - Repentance and faith are both gifts from God, as opposed to works that we do to make ourselves right with God. We are saved "by grace through faith, and that not of ourselves, it is the gift of God, that no one should boast" (Ephesians 2:8-9).

...by His Holy Spirit... - The Holy Spirit is also God, the third part of what we call "the Trinity." That is a longer discussion, but suffice it to say that God is both three and one. It isn't good math, but it is an accurate reflection of Scripture. Matthew 28:19-20 is one place to find this - God tells us to baptize in one name: "The Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit."

...through the Word of God. - God called Jesus "The Word" in John 1. God spoke to man through His Son (Hebrews 1:1-2). He also speaks through the written Scriptures - what you and I would call the "Old and New Testaments."

All who believe the promises of God benefit from them: "Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved" (Romans 10:13).

Lutheran Doctrine

Martin Luther was strong on the Bible as the Word of God, saying things like:

          "The Bible is alive; it speaks to me. The Bible has feet; it

            runs after me. The Bible has hands; it lays hold of me."

          "Whoever believes and holds to Christ’s Word, heaven                  stands open to him, hell is shut, the devil is imprisoned, 

            sins are forgiven and he is a child of eternal life. This is

            what this book teaches you - the Holy Scriptures - 

            and no other book on earth."

Lutherans, though, teach that the Bible is more than God's truth. It is also the powerful means by which God creates and sustains faith in the human heart. It is powerful and effective. It is the "power of God unto salvation for all who believe" (Rom. 1:16-17). 

For this reason Lutherans call the Bible the "primary means of grace." The "secondary" means of grace (namely, the two Sacraments of Baptism and the Lord's Supper) derive their power from that Word.