With all Christians, Lutherans trust and respond to the love of the Triune God – one God yet three persons.
God the Father is creator of all that exists. God the Son, Jesus Christ, became human to suffer and die for the sins of all human beings. He rose to life again in victory over sin, death and Satan. God the Holy Spirit creates faith through God’s Word and Sacraments. The three persons of the Trinity are coequal and coeternal, one God.
Part of being “Lutheran” means that we believe that the Bible is God’s Word. We accept the Bible-based, Christ-centered teachings of Martin Luther and his colleagues as the correct interpretation of God’s Word. They inspired the reformation of the Christian Church in the 1500s. Luther’s teaching is summarized in three short phrases:
God loves all people of the world, even though they are sinful, rebel against Him and do not deserve His love. He sent Jesus, His Son, to love the unlovable and save the ungodly. Salvation is the free gift of God’s grace (undeserved mercy) for Christ Jesus’ sake alone.
By His suffering and death as the substitute for all people of all time, Jesus purchased forgiveness of sins and eternal life for them. Those who hear this Good News and believe it have the forgiveness of sins, new life and salvation that it offers. God the Holy Spirit creates this faith (belief, trust) in Christ through the Good News message of the Gospel.
The Bible is God’s Word. Because God Himself inspired the Bible, it is without error and completely reliable. In it God reveals two great messages: His Law (God’s will for how we are to live — yet when we do not follow His will, God’s law shows us our sin); and His Gospel (the Good News of forgiveness for our sins, new life, and salvation in Jesus Christ). This Bible is the only source for Christian life and church practice.