Biblically Christian The font source of Lutheran teaching and practice is the Holy Bible. With the universal Christian Church, The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod teaches and responds to the love of the Triune God: the Father, creator of all that exists; Jesus Christ, the Son, who became human to suffer and die for the sins of all and who rose to life again in the ultimate victory over sin and death; and the Holy Spirit, who creates faith through God’s Word and Sacraments. The three persons of the Trinity, coequal and coeternal, are one God.

Being Lutheran   We accept, preach and teach the Gospel revealed in the Holy Bible. We share the insights and emphases of Dr. Martin Luther, whose teaching is often summarized in these phrases: Grace alone. Faith alone. Scripture alone.

Grace Alone God’s gifts of life, forgiveness and salvation are freely given, without any merit or worthiness on our part. God loves the people of the world who do not deserve His love. He sent Jesus, His Son, to love the unlovable and save the ungodly.

Faith Alone By His suffering and death as the substitute for all people of all time, Jesus purchased and won forgiveness and eternal life. Those who hear this Good News and believe, receive the eternal life that God offers. The good works we do are a fruit of the faith God has planted in us.

Scripture Alone The Bible is God’s inspired and holy Word, in which He reveals His Law and His Gospel of salvation in Jesus Christ. It is the sole rule and norm for Christian teaching.

What are the Lutheran Confessions? The Lutheran Confessions are a set of writings brought together in 1580, called the Book of Concord, that were the capstone of the Reformation era in Germany. As Lutherans, we accept these documents because they are drawn from the Word of God and thus regard their doctrinal content as a true and binding exposition of Holy Scripture and as authoritative for all pastors, congregations and other church workers of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod.

What is Luther’s Small Catechism? The catechism is an essential part of a Christian’s library. Brief, clear summaries of God’s Word allow individuals and families alike to use the Small Catechism as a teaching and learning tool and prayer book. The catechism was written by Martin Luther in 1529, and its question and answer format provides Christians with a guidebook that is easy to use and applicable to all the various callings we have in life.

The Small Catechism explores the Six Chief Parts of Christian Doctrine: the Ten Commandments, the Apostles’ Creed, the Lord’s Prayer, the Sacrament of Holy Baptism, Confession, and the Sacrament of the Altar. It also includes daily prayers, a table of duties for Christians, and a guide for Christians to use as they prepare to receive Holy Communion.

An explanation section has regularly accompanied editions of Luther’s Small Catechism since the early days of Lutheranism. It is designed to help individuals understand and apply the catechism to their lives. Luther’s Small Catechism with Explanation is available for purchase from Concordia Publishing House in several different forms.

More information or resources . . .

Lutheran Church Missouri Synod, LCMS

Concordia Publishing House

Martin Luther

Martin Luther and the Luther Rose

The most enduring symbol of the Lutheran Reformation is the seal that Luther himself designed to represent his theology. By the early 1520s, this seal begins to appear on the title page of Luther’s works. Here is how Luther himself explained its meaning:

First, there is a black cross in a heart that remains its natural color. This is to remind me that it is faith in the Crucified One that saves us. Anyone who believes from the heart will be justified (Romans 10:10). It is a black cross, which mortifies and causes pain, but it leaves the heart its natural color. It doesn’t destroy nature, that is to say, it does not kill us but keeps us alive, for the just shall live by faith in the Crucified One (Romans 1:17). The heart should stand in the middle of a white rose. This is to show that faith gives joy, comfort, and peace—it puts the believer into a white, joyous rose. Faith does not give peace and joy like the world gives (John 14:27). This is why the rose must be white, not red. White is the color of the spirits and angels (cf. Matthew 28:3; John 20:12). This rose should stand in a sky-blue field, symbolizing that a joyful spirit and faith is a beginning of heavenly, future joy, which begins now, but is grasped in hope, not yet fully revealed. Around the field of blue is a golden ring to symbolize that blessedness in heaven lasts forever and has no end. Heavenly blessedness is exquisite, beyond all joy and better than any possessions, just as gold is the most valuable and precious metal.

(From: Letter from Martin Luther to Lazarus Spengler, July 8, 1530 [WA Br 5:445]; tr. P. T. McCain) Notes from Lutheran