Lutherans are Christians who accept the teachings of Martin Luther (1483 – 1546). Luther was a German theologian who realized that there were significant differences between what he read in the Bible and the practices of the Roman Catholic church at that time. On October 31, 1517, he posted a challenge on the door of Wittenberg University, titled “95 Theses” (to debate 95 theological issues). His hope was that the church would reform its practice and preaching to be more consistent with the Word of God as contained in the Bible.
Today, nearly five centuries later, Lutherans still celebrate the Reformation on October 31 and still hold to the basic principles of Luther’s theological teachings, such as Grace alone, faith alone, Scripture alone. These comprise the very essence of Lutheranism:
We are saved by the grace of God alone -- not by anything we do;
Our salvation is through faith alone -- a confident trust in God, who in Christ promises us forgiveness, life and salvation; and
The Bible is the norm for faith and life -- the true standard by which teachings and doctrines are to be judged.
Lutherans believe in the Trinity,one God, three Persons: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. These three Persons are in full relationship, working together through the past and present to bring all people into relationship with God.
Lutherans believe that theHoly Scripturesof the Old and New Testaments are the written Word of God. Inspired by God’s Spirit speaking through their authors, they record and announce God’s revelation centering in Jesus Christ. Through them God's Spirit speaks to us to create and sustain Christian faith and fellowship for service in the world. The Bible is the inspired Word of God and the authoritative source and norm of the church’s proclamation, faith, and life.
The proclamation of God's message to us as both Law and Gospel is the Word of God, revealing judgment and mercy through word and deed, beginning with the Word in creation, continuing in the history of Israel, and centering in all its fullness in the person and work of Jesus Christ.
Lutherans believe that all human beings are born in sin and cannot live the life God intends for us on our own. We believe that we are justified by grace through faithon account of Christ.
Lutherans understand that God comes to us specifically through theMeans of Grace: the Word of God, the Sacrament of Baptism, and the Sacrament of Holy Communion. Through them, God helps us understand and receive the benefits of a relationship with Him. God graciously speaks to us through the Law (what we need to do) and the Gospel, (what He has done for us).
The Lutheran church confesses the Gospel, recorded in the Holy Scriptures and confessed in the ecumenical creeds and Lutheran confessional writings, as the power of God to create and sustain the Church for God's mission in the world.Lutherans use ThreeStatements of Faithor Creeds These are The Apostles' Creed, The Nicene Creed, and The Athanasian Creed.
For more information about what we believe, check out the ELCA's website: ELCA Teaching
Lord of Life Lutheran Church
North Pole, Alaska