What Lutheran Christians Believe...
We don't know where you are in your faith walk, but we understand that questions are worth answering. We can't address every question you might have, but hope this overview will at least provide a start.
Lutheran Christians turn to the Bible for answers about God, faith and salvation – even what happens at the end of life!
Other questions? Please talk to a pastor. We will answer you as best we can – without judgement.
...about Jesus and “being saved”
God is a loving God whose will is not for us to live in eternal punishment. That's why He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to live the perfect life God requires and to become our substitute. Jesus took our sins on Himself and died on the cross to pay for them. When we believe in Jesus Christ as our Savior, He gives us His forgiveness. The Bible says it this way:
“For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. God sent His Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through Him.” John 3:16-17
Both Jesus and Paul remind us there is absolutely nothing we can do to “be saved” – that Jesus Christ has already done everything necessary. Because of Jesus, everyone who believes is forgiven and will live eternally.
...about the Bible
Everything Lutherans believe comes from the Bible, God's message of love and hope for all people. The Bible is the written Word of God, handed down to us in order to point us to the truth that we are saved from our sin and eternal death by the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. We believe that the Bible is completely reliable and without error.
There is only one true God – the Triune God – who exists in three separate but equal persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. More of what we believe about God is summarized in the Apostles’ and the Nicene Creeds (the word "creed" means "I believe") we speak during services. You can find these creeds in the inside back cover of the hymnal in the pew rack in front of you.
...about human beings and sin
We all fall short of God's expectations because we are all born "sinful." Sin can be summed up as all the things we say, think, do and don't do that fall outside of God's holy will for our lives. Sin ends up separating us from God.
Sin was brought into the world when Satan lured the Adam and Eve to sin against God's will, breaking the perfect relationship with God.
From that point on, sin became part of our very existence and all creation. Because God also demands perfect obedience, our ultimate punishment for sin became death.
…about life after death
On Judgment Day – we don't know when – Jesus Christ says He will return to earth. On that day, everyone who has died will be raised and those who are still alive will be transformed in their bodies (see 1 Thessalonians, chapters 4 and 5). Those who do not believe will go into eternal damnation in hell and all those who believe in Jesus as Savior will have eternal life in heaven (see Matthew 25 to see how Jesus promises eternal life and describes the Last Day).
…about life’s purpose
The Bible says that we exist here on earth to glorify God. That means while we are alive on earth we are to "Love God, Love Others, and Serve the Word." We see life as a "dress rehearsal" for what believers in Jesus will do forever in heaven.
It is through faith in Jesus that we receive the forgiveness of sins and eternal life – by believing that He has freed us from the guilt, punishment, and power of sin. Faith is a gift worked in us by the power of the Holy Spirit; it doesn't come to us through anything we are capable of, but through what God does for us. We simply receive what God is already offering out of His great love.
Baptism is commanded by Jesus for all people (Matthew 28:18-20). It is one-way God brings faith to infants, children and adults. Peter says that in baptism, God acts to give those baptized forgiveness of sins and sends His Holy Spirit to bring or strengthen their faith – children and adults alike (Acts 2:38-39 and Acts 16:31-34).
We invite everyone to pursue Christian baptism. The first step at Trinity is to speak to a pastor.