What Lutherans Teach

We confess the faith of the historic Christian church as it has always been taught in the three creeds (Apostles, Nicene, and Athanasian), that there is only one true God, and yet in this one God there are three persons: God the Father, God the Son (Jesus Christ), and God the Holy Spirit.

We confess that, since Adam fell into sin, all people are conceived and born entirely sinful, standing under God’s wrath, and are unable to save themselves.

We confess that God the Son was born of the virgin Mary. This Jesus Christ, who is true God and true man, died on the cross and rose to life again in order to save the world from God’s wrath. We wait for Him to return on the Last Day to judge the world and take us, His children, to heaven.

We confess that we cannot be forgiven before God by our own efforts, but that we receive the forgiveness of sin and are made right with God by grace, for Christ’s sake, through faith.

We confess that God has provided the way for us to receive this saving faith: the Holy Spirit has promised to give faith through the preaching of the Gospel and the Holy Sacraments.

We confess that those who believe in Jesus Christ show their faith through their love and good works to others.

We confess that the church is the place where believers are gathered in the liturgy to hear the true Gospel preached and to receive the Sacraments as Christ instituted them.

We confess that in Holy Baptism God makes us His children, gives us faith, and washes away our sins. Baptism is therefore necessary for all people: infants, children, and adults alike.

We confess that when we are truly sorry for our sins and confess them, we receive forgiveness for these sins from our pastor—as certainly as if Christ spoke the words Himself.

We confess that in the Lord’s Supper the true Body and Blood of Jesus Christ are really present in the bread and wine, and that we receive them with our mouths for the forgiveness of sins.

We confess that the only authority for Christian teaching and life which never errs or leads us astray is God’s Word, which He has given to us in the Old and New Testament Scriptures.

This is a brief summary of the teachings contained in the Augsburg Confession (1530), the fundamental doctrinal statement of the Evangelical Lutheran Church. You may examine the complete Book of Concord containing this confession and more by consulting Project Wittenberg.