Lutherans are Christians. They believe in one, holy, catholic and apostolic church of Christ. Lutherans also believe in the Trinity, or the unity of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit and believe that Jesus Christ is the resurrected Savior and Lord. Lutherans accept the Apostles’, Nicene, and Athanasian Creeds as true declarations of the faith of the church. Lutherans accept the Unaltered Augsburg Confession as a true witness to the Gospel, and the other confessional writings of the Book of Concord as further valid interpretations of the faith of the church.
Lutherans believe the canonical scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are the inspired Word of God and the authoritative source for proclamation, faith, and life.
Lutherans celebrate the sacraments of Holy Baptism and Holy Communion. Holy Communion is the True Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, given in, with and under the elements of bread and wine, offering forgiveness of sins and life and salvation.
Confession and forgiveness are together the great treasure of the gospel, and are at the heart of the spiritual life of every Christian. The private confession of sin to the pastor and the personal assurance of God’s forgiveness has been a feature of Christian life from the earliest times. Confession is healing for the soul and a great source of strength for those endeavoring to follow Christ. Luther teaches us to acknowledge guilt for all sins, even those of which we are not aware, but to confess only those sins of which we have knowledge and which trouble us. We are to receive the promise of forgiveness from the pastor as from God himself. The Order for Confession and Forgiveness that precedes the Sunday liturgy is not to be taken as a substitute for private confession and absolution, which is encouraged for all. Confession and forgiveness through the ministry of the pastor is available to all who request it, regardless of whether or not one is baptized or a church member.