What do Lutherans Believe?
A Christian is a perfectly free lord of all, subject to none.
A Christian is a perfectly dutiful servant of all, subject to all.
History of Lutheran Church
Martin Luther (1483-1546) is known as the Father of Protestantism. Before becoming a priest in 1507 he studied to become a lawyer. While studying to become a Doctor of Theology he discovered significant differences between what he read in the Bible and the beliefs and practices of the Church. On October 31, 1517 he challenged Wittenberg University in Germany to a debate on 95 theological issues. What started as a debate and attempt to reform the Church, escalated into religious division; fueled by fiery temperaments and violent language on both sides. As a result there was not a reformation but a separation. “Lutheran” was a name applied to Luther and his followers.
Sacraments of the Lutheran Church
Lutherans accept two Sacraments as God-given means for filling the lives of people with God's grace. Although they are not only the means of God’s self-revelation, Baptism and Holy Communion are visible acts of God’s love. In Baptism, at any age, God freely offers God's grace and lovingly establishes a new community. In Holy Communion—also call the Lord’s Supper or the Eucharist—those who come to the table receive in bread and wine, the body and blood of Jesus himself. This gift is the real presence of God’s forgiveness and mercy, nourishing believers in an union with their Lord and with each other. All are welcome to partake in Communion.
Three Basic Lutheran Principles
Lutherans hold to three basic principles of theology and practices.
We are saved by the grace of God alone- not by anything we do.
Our salvation is through faith alone- we only need to believe that our sins are forgiven for Christ’s sake, who died to redeem us.
The Bible is the only norm of doctrine and life.
Lutherans and the Bible
Luther said, “the Bible is the manger in which the Word of God is laid.” It is accepted as the primary and authoritative witness to the church’s faith. It is the authority for the Christian faith and practice, not a definitive record of history or science. In the Old Testament is found the vivid account of God’s covenant relationship to Israel. In the New Testament is found the story of God’s new covenant with all of creation in Jesus. The Bible is the record of the drama of God’s saving care for creation throughout history.
More about Lutherans
If you are interested in learning more about what Lutherans believe and what we teach, please talk with Deacon Gail or click here and it will take you to the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America site about what we teach in the Lutheran church.