BELIEF and PRACTICE
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 human beings and to rise to life again in the ultimate victory over death and Satan; and the Holy Spirit, who creates faith through God’s Word and Sacraments. The three persons of the Trinity are coequal and coeternal, one God.
Our congregations accept and preach the Bible-based teachings of Martin Luther that inspired the reformation of the Christian Church in the 16th century. The teaching of Luther and the reformers can be summarized in three phrases: Grace alone, Faith alone, Scripture alone.
SOLA GRATIA – “Grace Alone”
God loves the people of the world, even though they are sinful, rebel against Him and do not deserve His love. He sent Jesus, His Son, to love the unlovable and save the ungodly.
SOLA FIDE – “Faith Alone”
By His suffering and death as the substitute for all people of all time, Jesus purchased and won forgiveness and eternal life for them. Those who hear this Good News and believe it have the eternal life that it offers. God creates faith in Christ and gives people forgiveness through Him.
SOLA SCRIPTURA – “Scripture Alone”
The Bible is God’s inerrant and infallible Word, in which He reveals His Law and His Gospel of salvation in Jesus Christ. It is the sole rule and norm for Christian doctrine.
Who is Jesus?
For more than 2,000 years people have asked this question. We were not present when Jesus lived on this earth, but in the Bible we have the record of His birth, life, death on the cross, and resurrection. Through the study of the Bible, you can seek the answer to this age-old question. Visit our “Who is Jesus?” section to learn more.
What does “Synod” mean?
The word “Synod” in The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod comes from Greek words that mean “walking together.” The term has rich meaning in our church body, because congregations voluntarily choose to belong to the Synod. Though diverse in their service, our congregations hold to a shared confession of Jesus Christ as taught in Holy Scripture and the Lutheran Confessions.
Lutheran congregations are confessional. Our congregations believe the Lutheran Confessions are a correct interpretation and presentation of biblical doctrine. Contained in The Book of Concord: The Confessions of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, these statements of belief were transcribed and shared broadly by church leaders during the 16th century. Luther’s Small Catechism contains essential summaries of our beliefs, while the Augsburg Confession gives more detail about what Lutherans believe.
Who is Jesus?
No one else has influenced history as He has. Jesus is the Son of God. Old Testament prophets spoke of His coming and described the eternal and life-changing impact He would have. Jesus is both God and man. He stilled the seas and walked on water. With a touch of His hand, He cured incurable diseases. He restored life to those who had physically died. Jesus personifies love. He paid the ultimate price so that we could live with Him forever. He sees us through the eyes of love. He loves us in spite of every hurtful thought, every harmful word, and every wrongful action. These are all a result of sin, which contaminates everything we do. It is behind every broken home, every empty life, every infirmity, every damaged emotion, every sorrow and grief. And as the Bible says, the end result of sin is death (Rom. 6:23). But Jesus Himself was sinless; only He could pay the penalty for our sins. Because of his love, He suffered, died, and rose again. We are forgiven. All who believe in Jesus are guaranteed eternal life with Him in heaven. Why did Jesus do this? Because Jesus is love.
What Difference Does Jesus Make?
Suffering and pain touch everyone. At times life seems like an endless cycle of hopelessness. Even Christians, who claim that Jesus is the source of hope amidst the struggles, still suffer. They still struggle. They still die. So, what’s the point? What difference does Jesus make? First, look at the brokenness that invades your life—those things that cause guilt, shame, and grief. They exist because of a condition called sin—sin separates you from God and robs you of the peace, comfort and hope you desperately crave. And no matter how hard you try, there isn’t anything you can do to make things right again on your own. That’s where Jesus comes in. Jesus knows the misery you feel. Jesus makes the difference at that very point—when your pain intersects your cry for help. Jesus is God’s answer to that cry. Jesus took the punishment you deserve. He died in your place so that you can be forgiven. Because you are forgiven, you can have the comfort of knowing you are at peace with God and the certainty that He provides you with the strength to cope with guilt, shame and grief. And because of what Jesus has done for you, your past is forgiven, your present can be lived with confidence, and your future is guaranteed. For all who believe in Jesus, an everlasting world—without suffering, sin and death—is assured. This glorious place called heaven is where you will see Jesus face to face. That’s the difference Jesus makes!
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.
This information was adapted from the LCMS website. For more information, please visit: http://lcms.org/belief-and-practice