What Does It Mean to be Lutheran?
First and foremost, to be a Lutheran means to be a disciple or follower of Jesus.
To say, “I believe” is the same as saying “I trust,” taught Martin Luther.
“Show me what your heart clings to,” he said, “and I will show you your God.”
God’s grace is free.
The Lutheran Church takes its name from Martin Luther. He called for the reform of the Roman Catholic Church in 1517, which taught that good works “earned” salvation and a place in heaven. Luther taught instead that God’s grace and love were a free and undeserved gift from God through Jesus Christ, who brings His love to us in person. Lutheran teaching still places great emphasis on our redemption by God’s grace, stressing that our ultimate trust belongs in Him.
THE FOUR “ONLYS”
Lutheran Theology is built around the four solas (“onlys”), which Martin Luther first spelled out in 1520.
Only God’s grace can save us. It is His generous gift of love to us, the constant state in which we live.
Faith equals trust, and it alone can bring us God’s grace. When we trust God in every aspect of our lives, we enter into God’s grace.
Only the Bible—the Word of God—can serve as the standard and norm for our theology, doctrine and faith.
Jesus Christ brings God’s grace to us in person. He is the Living Word of God, the object of our faith.
THE SACRAMENTS OF BAPTISM AND HOLY COMMUNION
Lutherans emphasize Baptism as the promise of God’s saving power in our lives.
In the bread and cup of Holy Communion, we believe that the real presence of Jesus and his forgiving grace can be found.
Baptized Christians of all denominations are invited to come to the Table for Holy Communion.