As Lutherans we believe that there is a God
We believe that He has made Himself and His will known to us in the pages of the Bible. And, since we also believe that God is the principal author of the Bible, we believe that the Bible is trustworthy and accurate and is to be used to determine all matters of faith and Christian living.
In the Bible we learn that God has created and preserves all things. We are taught, and we believe and teach, that our first parents were special creations of God, and that, as special creations of God, they enjoyed a special relationship with Him, a relationship which they broke through their own personal decision. That decision (sin) not only broke their own relationship with God but also broke it for all their descendants. Because of that broken relationship, our first parents and all their descendants deserved the penalty of death. The Bible tells how God restored that broken relationship.
The Bible teaches that God, motivated solely out of His love for us, took the initiative and restored us to a right relationship with Himself. He accomplished this by entering our history as one of us, as a human being, as the man Jesus. In his lifetime, Jesus, fully God and fully human, taught us how we are to live in relationship with God and with each other. As the culmination of His life, Jesus took upon Himself the penalty of death that we had deserved and died in our place as our representative. After His death, He came back to life, demonstrating His power over death. We are taught in the Bible that all who receive this information and believe it are declared by God to be in a right relationship with Him, are forgiven all their sins, and are promised everlasting life and fellowship with God.
We also believe and teach, as the Bible teaches, that the Spirit of God comes to us through the preaching and teaching of this message of forgiveness, enabling us to believe what God has done for us in Jesus and encouraging us to live as Jesus taught us to live in relationship with each other.
The Apostles’ Creed
Our faith is succinctly stated in the three articles of the Apostles’ Creed. Printed below each of the Articles is a portion of the Small Catechism of Dr. Martin Luther, written in the sixteenth century, which presents a fuller explanations of how the words of the Creed are to be understood. Luther introduced the Catechism with these words, “As the Head of the Family Should Teach It in a simple way to the Household”
The First Article – Creation
I believe in God, the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth.
What does this mean? I believe that God has made me and all creatures; that He has given me my body and soul, eyes, ears, and all my members, my reason and all my senses, and still takes care of them. He also gives me clothing and shoes, food and drink, house and home, wife and children, land, animals, and all I have. He richly and daily provides me with all that I need to support this body and life. He defends me against all danger and guards and protects me from all evil. All this He does only out of fatherly, divine good-ness and mercy, without any merit or worthiness in me. For all this it is my duty to thank and praise, serve and obey Him. This is most certainly true.
The Second Article – Redemption
And in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried. He descended into hell. The third day he rose again from the dead. He ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty. From thence he will come to judge the living and the dead.
What does this mean? I believe that Jesus Christ, true God, begotten of the Father from eternity, and also true man, born of the Virgin Mary, is my Lord, who has redeemed me, a lost and condemned per-son, purchased and won me from all sins, from death, and from the power of the devil; not with gold or silver, but with His holy, precious blood and with His innocent suffering and death, that I may be His own and live under Him in His kingdom and serve Him in everlasting righteousness, innocence, and blessedness, just as He is risen from the dead, lives and reigns to all eternity. This is most certainly true.
Third Article – Sanctification
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Holy Christian Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.
What does this mean? I believe that I cannot by my own reason or strength believe in Jesus Christ, my Lord, or come to Him; but the Holy Spirit has called me by the Gospel, enlightened me with His gifts, sanctified and kept me in the true faith. In the same way He calls, gathers, enlightens, and sanctifies the whole Christian church on earth, and keeps it with Jesus Christ in the one true faith. In this Christian church He daily and richly for-gives all my sins and the sins of all believers. On the Last Day He will raise me and all the dead, and give eternal life to me and all believers in Christ. This is most certainly true.
These words summarize our belief and understanding of the work of the Trinity, a core doctrine of our Christian faith.