What Lutherans Believe
Lutherans Center Their Faith in Jesus Christ
Lutherans know Jesus Christ.
Lutherans build their lives on Jesus Christ. They believe Jesus Christ is the only, perfect, Son of God. They believe that Jesus lived a life of perfect obedience to God's Law, and that He permitted Himself to be sacrificed on the cross as payment for the sins of all who believe in Him. Lutherans believe that Jesus rose from the dead and lives for them- and for all people who believe in Him as their Savior.
Jesus brings people close to God. Lutherans believe their lives- today, tomorrow, and in eternity- depend on Jesus.
Lutherans live with a certain assurance of eternal life because of
Jesus Christ. They know they're not perfect, that they stumble and
fall in their daily walk with God. But they also know that their
forgiveness has been won and paid for by Jesus Christ, and that when
they repent and seek forgiveness, God will forgive them because of
Lutherans Are Christians
Lutherans hold beliefs shared by many Christians:
- God is three Persons in one: the Father, who created and sustains the world; the Son, Jesus Christ, who lived as a man, died, and rose from the dead; and the Holy Spirit who works God's will in the world.
- The Bible is God's Word, spoken through human writers.
- Sin is revolt against God in thought, word, and deed. Every person is guilty of sin against God. Sin is also the cause of the bad things people do to each other.
- Everyone will have existence after death- either in heaven or in hell- forever.
- God has a plan to end the world, when He will judge everyone- both the living and the resurrected dead.
- Those who truly believe that Jesus paid the price for their sins will be judged righteous.
Lutherans proudly display the sign of the cross, a symbol used by
all Christians. The cross symbolizes the terrible death that Jesus
suffered as punishment for their sins.
How Lutherans Got Started
Lutherans take their name from Martin Luther, a German priest who, in the 1500's, attempted to reform the Roman Catholic Church and return it to its Biblical foundation. Luther's writing, debating, preaching and teaching sparked the Protestant Reformation.
Through his study of the Bible, Luther helped the Christian Church rediscover the truth that God is loving and that He offers forgiveness and eternal life as a free gift because of Jesus Christ.
Luther taught that people- no matter how hard they try- cannot earn
God's forgiveness or a place in heaven. These are gifts from God that
people receive through faith in Jesus Christ as Savior.
Lutherans Trust The Bible
Lutherans often refer to the three ``solas'' (Latin for ``alone'') as a summary of their faith:
- Grace alone- God loves the people of the world, though we do not deserve His love. He sent His Son to love the unlovely and save all people from their sin.
- Faith alone- Jesus has provided for our forgiveness and life; those who hear this promise and believe it, have what it offers. People don't ``get'' faith; God gives it as He gives us His promises.
- Scripture alone- The Bible is the only source that shows God's will and it is the only basis for faith.
Lutherans talk about Law and Gospel. The Bible gives the Law,
showing God's expectations of people and the terrible consequences of
not following His commands. But the Bible also reveals the Gospel:
the ``Good News'' of God's love and forgiveness.
Lutherans recognize two sacraments, or means that God has provided to distribute the blessings of His salvation. A sacrament is a sacred act instituted by Jesus Christ which contains visible elements with the Word and Command of God behind them. The two sacraments are:
- Holy Baptism-delivering the promise of salvation through water (the visible element), God's Word, and the power of His Holy Spirit.
- Holy Communion-conveys the forgiveness of sins, salvation, and life eternal with God. The visible elements are bread and wine, which, through a mystery known only unto God, are also the true body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ.
How to Claim God's Blessings
- Romans 3:23
"...for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,.."(NIV)
- Romans 6:23
"For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."(NIV)
- Ephesians 2:8-10
"For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith ; and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God: not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works which God prepared in advance for us to do."(NIV)
- Luke 18:13
"But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, 'God, have mercy on me, a sinner.' "(NIV)
- John 3:16
"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."(NIV)
- 1 Corinthians 9:13
"Don't you know that those who work in the temple get their food from the temple, and those who serve at the altar share in what is offered on the altar?"(NIV)
- Romans 8:38-39
"For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord."(NIV)
- Romans 10:9-10
"That if you confess with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord,' and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved."(NIV)
- 2 Corinthians 6:1-2
"As God's fellow workers we urge you not to receive God's grace in vain. For he says, 'in the time of my favor I heard you , and in the day of salvation I helped you.' I tell you, now is the time of God's favor, now is the day of salvation."(NIV)
- Acts 2:37-39
"When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, 'Brothers, what shall we do?' Peter replied, 'Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off - for all whom the Lord our God will call.' "(NIV)
- Ephesians 4:26-27
" 'In your anger do not sin': Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold."(NIV)
- Matthew 28:19-20
"Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."(NIV)
Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®.
NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society.
Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved.
|Bethel Lutheran Church's Mission is declaring the Gospel to those who do not know Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, calling them into faith, while sharing and strengthening the faith of our members and fellow believers.|