Beliefs

The Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod: Walking Together in the Faith

Our congregation belongs to the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod
(LCMS) -- the second largest Lutheran church body in the United States, with more than 2.5 million members.  The word "synod" means "walking together," and the congregations of the LCMS have chosen to "walk together" because we are united in our beliefs.

What Lutherans Believe

At the heart of our Christian faith is the sure confidence that we are saved by grace alone, through faith alone, on account of Jesus Christ alone. All that we believe, teach, and confess is based on God's Word alone.

The following is a brief summary of our beliefs, drawn from the Bible:

1.  There is one true God, who created us and loves us.

Psalm 139:13.  You created my inmost being; You knit me together in my mother’s womb.

Psalm 145:8-9.  The Lord is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love.  The Lord is good to all; He has compassion on all He has made.

2.  The one true God is the Holy Trinity — the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

1 Corinthians 8:4.  There is no God but one.

Matthew 28:19.  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.

3.  We do not fully experience God’s love because our sin has separated us from Him.

Isaiah 59:2.  Your iniquities have separated you from God.

Romans 8:7.  The sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God's law, nor can it do so.

4.  Lost in our sin, we cannot bring ourselves into a right relationship with God.


Psalm 51:5
.  I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.

Ephesians 2:1.  You were dead in your transgressions and sins.

5.  Although our sinful rebellion deserves God’s punishment, God does not want us to receive the judgment we deserve.  In his love and mercy, God the Father sent his Son, Jesus, to save us from sin, death, and the devil.

John 3:16.  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.

1 John 4:9-10.  This is how God showed his love among us:  He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.

6.  God the Son, Jesus Christ, saved us by becoming a man, living a sinless life, and dying on the cross as our substitute to pay the price for all our sins.

Isaiah 53:4-5.  Surely He took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered Him stricken by God, smitten by Him, and afflicted. But He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon Him, and by His wounds we are healed.

Galatians 4:4-5.  When the time had fully come, God sent His Son, born of a woman, born under law, to redeem those under law, that we might receive the full rights of sons.

7.  Jesus’ victory over sin, death, and the devil was publicly demonstrated and declared in his bodily resurrection from the dead.

1 Corinthians 15:3.  For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures …

Romans 4:25.  He was delivered over to death for our sins and raised to life for our justification.

8.  The free gifts of pardon and peace won for all mankind on the cross are now delivered to us personally in Holy Baptism, in God’s written and spoken Word, and in Holy Communion.  Through these “means of grace,” God creates and strengthens saving faith in our hearts.

Mark 16:16.  Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.

Matthew 26:26-28.  While they were eating, Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying:  “Take and eat; this is My body.”  Then he took the cup, gave thanks, and offered it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you.  This is my blood of the new covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.”

9.  God’s free gifts of forgiveness and everlasting life become ours personally when we receive them in faith.  We are not saved by anything we do, but by the grace of God alone, through faith in Jesus Christ alone.

Ephesians 2:8-9.  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.

Romans 5:1.  Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.

10.  All who receive Christ in faith have the assurance of everlasting life.

John 11:25-26
.  Jesus said … “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in Me will never die.”

Romans 8:1.  Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

For More Information

A classic overview of our church's beliefs can be found in Martin Luther's Small Catechism, which summarizes the most important teachings found in the Bible.

For more information about what we believe, please see the "What About ...?" series, which provides helpful summaries of our beliefs on a variety of topics -- including our positions on several contemporary issues.

We would be happy to discuss with you any questions you might have about our church's beliefs.

Images © CPH.  Used with permission.