LUTHERAN BELIEF and PRACTICE
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.
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