Lutherans are an “evangelical” people: From the Greek word, euangelion, from eu "good" and angelion "message." Being evangelical refers to our focus on the salvation given as a gift of grace through faith in the death and resurrection of Jesus. We:
- Accept the Bible as the inspired Word of God and look to the Scriptures for the source and norm of our Faith. (Some Lutherans include “inerrant” along with inspired.) The Bible includes the Old Testament and New Testament, both of which point us to Christ.
- Confess the Triune God: God the Father, Christ the Son, and the Holy Spirit, one God now and forever.
- Proclaim Christ as Lord and Savior.
- Profess the Ancient Christian Creeds: The Apostles’ Creed, The Nicene Creed, and The Athanasian Creed.
- Adhere to the Lutheran Confessions contained in the Book of Concord, a summary and explanation of the Bible. The Book of Concord allows us to articulate our faith and say “this is what we believe, this is who we are, this is your key to understanding us.” In no way does the Book of Concord supersede the authority of Scripture.
Lutherans are part of the “holy, catholic and apostolic” church, past present and future. As Martin Luther explained in the Small Catechism: the Holy Spirit “calls, gathers, enlightens and sanctifies the whole Christian church on earth and preserves it in union with Jesus Christ in the one true faith.” We do not hold ourselves apart from other Christian denominations, but there are distinctions and varying degrees of emphasis on the Sacraments. Lutherans strongly emphasize:
- SOLA GRATIA (Grace alone)
- SOLA FIDE (Faith alone)
- SOLA SCRIPTURA (Scripture alone)
Over the coming weeks, we will be taking a more in depth look at the Book of Concord and its contents: The Small and Large Catechisms, the Augsburg Confession, and the Apology of the Augsburg Confession.
Standing firm in the grace of God,