With all true Christians we believe in one true God, who has revealed himself as a Trinity of Father, Son, and Spirit. This revelation by God came in the appearance and saving work of Jesus Christ. Each week we confess this faith as expressed in the ancient Nicene Creed:
I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth and of all things visible and invisible. And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of His Father before all worlds, God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father; by whom all things were made; who for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the virgin Mary and was made man; and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate. He suffered and was buried. And the third day He rose again according to the Scriptures and ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of the Father. And He will come again with glory to judge both the living and the dead, whose kingdom will have no end. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord and giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son, who with the Father and the Son together is worshiped and glorified, who spoke by the prophets. And I believe in one holy Christian and apostolic Church. I acknowledge one Baptism for the remission of sins, and I look for the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come. Amen.
While standing squarely in the catholic, orthodox tradition of the Christian faith, we Lutherans also are heirs of the Protestant Reformation.
Thus we also confess the following three things as truths of the Christian faith:
Sola Gratia – by Grace Alone We believe that all people are sinners condemned by God’s law who cannot redeem themselves. Only by God’s saving grace, his unmerited power and kindness toward us, can we be saved. This God has done in two ways: By sending Jesus Christ to atone for our sins and break the power of death, and by sending the Holy Spirit to kindle in us faith in this work of Christ.
Sola Fide – by Faith Alone This faith alone puts us right with God by conferring on us sinners the righteousness of Christ himself. And while this faith by its nature bears fruit in good works – just as a living, healthy tree bears fruit – works of ours never justify us before God or earn us salvation.
Sola Scriptura – by Scripture Alone We believe that the prophetic and apostolic Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are the inspired Word of God. As such, by Scripture alone are all confessions of faith, all teachings, and all claims by church authorities to be measured. The authority of the Bible, in other words, is unique and supreme. We study and cherish the early Church Fathers. We embrace many decisions made by early Church Councils. We follow many traditions handed down through the centuries. But insofar as these are good, it is because they uphold and express the divine truth of the Scriptures. Other authorities can misjudge and lead people astray, but God’s Word cannot do so.
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