Thumbnail Sketch of What Lutherans Believe
• Believe in personal, triune God—Father (Creator), Son (Redeemer), and Holy Spirit (Sanctifier).
• Accept the Bible as the written witness to God’s revelation of his saving action through Jesus Christ.
• Salvation by grace through faith in Christ is taught. People are saved by God’s love as revealed in Jesus.
• Accept the historic creeds as definitions and summaries of biblical truth.
• Practice two sacraments: Baptism and Holy Communion as God’s physical and personal means of conveying God’s grace. Unbaptized adults are baptized, but infant baptism is the usual practice. The baptized Christian lives in the covenant of his or her Baptism, dying daily to sin and rising again by faith in Christ. The real presence of Christ is affirmed in Holy Communion.
• Believe the church lives to preach the Gospel and celebrate the sacraments, giving its followers strength for service in the world.
• Christian life is a continual growth in forgiveness and grace, but perfection is never completed in this life.
• Worship style is liturgical, following the classic traditions and services of the Western church. Preaching of the Word and celebration of the Sacrament of Holy Communion are the main points of focus at worship. Corporate worship is a celebration of God’s grace and a profession of faith by the believer.
• Churches are ordered through interdependent congregational, regional, national, and global expressions of the church characterized by democratic decision-making, strong ecumenical relationships, elected leadership, and an ordained ministry.