Lutheran Teachings

We are evangelical Christians.  Lutherans continue practices of the early church, which used liturgical services and was careful to guard against false doctrine.  As Christians we tell the good news that the world has a Redeemer.  Jesus Christ--true God and true man--showed His divine nature through His miracles, teaching, and life.  In His death by crucifixion, He shed His own blood as the atoning sacrifice for sinful man, taking the curse of Adam's sin upon Himself.  He bore our guilt.  In His resurrection, Jesus shows us that He is greater than sin, death, and the devil, and that only He is able to offer eternal life.  He calls all people to repent of our sinfulness, acknowledge our need for the Lord's mercy, and trust in Him as our Redeemer.

How did we get the name Lutheran?  In the sixteenth century, a German monk named Martin Luther brought reforms to the church.  He pointed out abuses in church practice, such as priests promising the forgiveness of sins in exchange for money, and the Pope claiming higher authority than the Scriptures. Luther encouraged people to have faith in Christ.  He called them to return to worship, baptize children and adults, and teach God's Word, for in the pages of Scripture they would hear about the Savior.  Those who gathered for worship apart from the Roman Catholic Church were called "protesters" (who became known as Protestants) and "Lutherans" (who follow Luther's Christ-centered teachings).

Today over 80 million people worldwide consider themselves Lutheran Christians.  The Lutheran motto, Grace alone, faith alone, Scripture alone, refers to this teaching:  that we are saved by God's grace alone, through faith in His Son alone (apart from our good works), and the assurance of our salvation rests on the promises of Scripture alone.

Our Denomination

 The Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod.  The LCMS is a group of two million believers in more than 6,000 congregations worldwide.  We also are in fellowship with many Lutheran groups who confess and teach as we do.  The word Synod means "to walk together," so we can rely upon consistent teaching no matter which LCMS church we attend.  The name "Missouri" is included for historic reasons: when the Saxons (from present-day Germany) settled in the United States in the 1830's, they settled in eastern Missouri and founded our denomination in 1847.  Missouri Synod Lutherans are found worldwide, all confessing Jesus Christ and our salvation by "Grace alone, faith alone, Scripture alone"!

Our Confessions

The Bible.  We believe, teach and confess that the Bible is the Word of God, infallible and inerrant.  It is the sole source of our knowledge of God—Father, Son and Holy Spirit—and the sole source for doctrine and teaching.

The Book of Concord. This collection of writings is an exposition of the teachings of Holy Scripture.  It contains the Symbols of the early church (the Apostles’, Nicene, and Athanasian Creeds) in addition to the Augsburg Confession and other statements of what the Christian faith teaches and condemns.  Click here to access these writings, known as the Lutheran Confessions.

Current Issues. We speak where Scripture speaks on contemporary issues, and we study the Scriptures when issues call for wisdom, discernment, and conservative application of truth.  If you have questions about particular teachings and practices, see the Frequently Asked Questions at our Synod's official website that cover the Bible, Doctrine, Worship / Congregational Life, Denominations, and LCMS Views.

We teach there is only one God

  • The LCMS is a place of refuge for all who seek the Christian faith as it has been taught since the days of the first disciples.
  • In our pluralistic culture which places the self above reason, and which places opinion above Scripture, our churches are refreshingly black and white, as we confess that the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob still speaks today.
  • The Old Testament speaks of Christ who is to come, and the New Testament proclaims that He has come to seek and save the lost.
  • We Lutherans recognize we are forgiven sinners, on a mission to witness to Jesus during this life, as we await the Second Coming when Christ returns.

We teach that salvation matters.

  • We believe, teach, and confess that all men are born sinful and in need of God’s grace and forgiveness to be "born again of water and the Spirit" as Jesus taught.
  • We believe heaven and hell are real locations where people are sent at the time of death, their permanent place for eternal life.
  • We believe Satan is a fallen angel who is limited in power, and that God will banish him on the Last Day.
  • Satan is already defeated through the Cross, where Jesus atoned for all mankind’s sin then rose from death to show that neither sin, death nor the devil have power over Him.
  • Every person needs Jesus.  He is a friend to everyone who prays to Him as Savior and Lord.

We teach that we can experience change in our perspective and repentance in our lives.

  • God changed the lives of his people in the Old Testament: Rahab, Joseph, Ruth, Daniel and more… and through Jesus He changed the lives of the woman at the well, the Roman centurion, and his foot-in-mouth disciple named Peter.
  • If the Christian faith has great meaning, it is for the life change and hope it produces in people.
  • Through the power of the Holy Spirit, we pray, learn and receive grace in our times of need to know that God will help us.
  • We celebrate how, through Jesus Christ, we have been set free from guilt and sin and empowered to serve Him daily.