We believe that there is one God (Dt. 6:4;1 Cor. 8:4), in three persons, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit (Mt. 28:19; Mk. 1:9-11). Each person is of one and the same divine essence and is equal in power and majesty. This teaching is called the doctrine of the Holy Trinity. Though it cannot be fully comprehended, it is how God has revealed Himself in the Bible.
We believe that the Bible is the inspired Word of God (2 Tim. 3:16), and that the Scriptures are completely without error. We believe that God has given the Scriptures to us to lead us to salvation in our Savior Jesus Christ (Eph. 2:20). Because they alone are the Word of God, all teaching must be based on them alone.
Our Sin and Need for Forgiveness
We believe that Adam and Eve were originally created without any sin. However, after the fall into sin (Gen. 3), all people have been born sinful (Rom 5. 5:12), and we sin daily (Rom. 3:23). There is nothing that we ourselves can do to free ourselves from the bondage of our sin (Rom. 5:6). We are all sinners, who deserve God’s punishment. The 10 Commandments show us how we have failed to live up to God’s standard.
Salvation Through Jesus Christ
God’s Law shows us our sin, the Gospel shows that God sent His Son to save us from our sin. Jesus Christ is the Son of God who was born of the virgin Mary. He is both true God and true man on the cross (Col. 2:10). He saved us first by fulfilling God’s Law perfectly in our place (Heb. 7:26,27), and then by offering His perfect life as the payment of our sins on the cross (Is. 53:6; 2 Cor. 5:21). On Easter morning Christ rose from the dead (1 Cor. 15:17), Christ’s resurrection assures us of eternal life with Him in heaven (1 Cor. 15:20). Christ accomplished the salvation of the whole world on the cross, but this salvation is received only through faith in Him as our Savior (Act 10:43). We are not saved because of any works. Salvation is an underserved gift of God through faith in our Savior Jesus Christ. (Eph. 2:8,9). Even faith is not a work, but a gift given by the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 12:3).
The Means of Grace
The Holy Spirit uses certain means to bring us to faith and to strengthen our faith in Jesus Christ. These means of grace are the Word of God and the Sacraments of Baptism and Holy Communion. In His Word God uses the Law to bring us to see our sin, and the Gospel to help us to see our Savior from sin Jesus Christ (1 Pet. 1:23). Baptism is the means by which the Holy spirit grants us a rebirth as children of God (Rom. 6:4; Titus 3:5.) In Holy communion we receive the body and blood of our SAvior in the bread and wine as a guarantee and pledge that our salvation has indeed been accomplished (1 Cor. 11:23ff).
We are not saved because of any works that we do (Eph. 2:9). Our salvation is purely a gift of god. But as Christians we are also new creations. God gives us the will to love others as Christ has loved us (Eph. 2:10; Mt. 5:16). However, as long as we are on his earth we also have the sinful nature which fights against our new nature in Christ. So the Christian life becomes a struggle between the new nature and the old (Rom. 7:14ff). We do good works, not to be saved, but because we are saved.
The Lutheran Confessions
Drawn from God’s Word, the Lutheran Confessions are a true and binding exposition of Holy Scripture and serve as authoritative texts for all pastors, congregations and other rostered church workers of the LCMS.
What are the Lutheran Confessions?
The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod accepts the Scriptures as the inspired and inerrant Word of God, and subscribes unconditionally to all the symbolical books of the Evangelical Lutheran Church as a true and unadulterated statement and exposition of the Word of God.
We accept the Lutheran Confessions as articulated in the Book of Concord of 1580 because they are drawn from the Word of God and on that account regard their doctrinal content as a true and binding exposition of Holy Scripture and as authoritative for all pastors, congregations and other rostered church workers of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod.
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