What We Believe
- God created the world and all who live in it.
- The very first humans rebelled against God and became sinners. Since then all of us are sinful from the time we come into this world. Because our hearts are estranged from God, and we offend him with our words and actions, we need to be reconciled to him or we are eternally lost. This is equally true of us and all people.
- God is love. Although our sins offend him and caused him to condemn us, he never stopped loving us and desiring to restore our relationship with him. He himself became the man Jesus to save us.
- Jesus lived and died as our substitute. Jesus satisfied God’s demand that we live a life of love free from any sin. Jesus suffered all the punishment our sins justly deserved by his death on the cross. Jesus removed every reason God has to be offended by us or to condemn us.
- Jesus rose from the dead three days after he died. His body’s return to life demonstrates the complete success of his mission to remove our sin and restore our relationship with God. His return to life assures us that our own bodies will return to life after death.
- Jesus lived and died for the forgiveness of the entire world. Those who put their faith in him receive this forgiveness as a free gift. There is nothing more needed for us to be reconciled to God. It is entirely his work, his gift to us (Grace).
- The faith which receives God’s forgiveness and reconciles us to him is itself his gift. God works a miracle change in our hearts when people hear the good news about Jesus and his saving love (The Gospel).
- The good news about God’s grace and forgiveness is the central message of God’s word, the Bible. Although God used human beings to record his word with ink and paper, every word of the Bible is God’s word. Thus all that it teaches is true, reliable, and authoritative. God’s Spirit also gives this word supernatural power to change human hearts.
- In addition to the bare word of God recorded in the Bible, the Bible teaches us that God powerfully brings his forgiveness and love to us in two Christian rites or “sacraments.” These are baptism and the Lord’s Supper (communion).
- Baptism and the Lord’s Supper both contain the message of grace connected to material elements or signs. Baptism connects God’s word with water. The Lord’s Supper connects God’s word with bread and wine, where Jesus also promises to be present with his body and blood.
- Faith in Jesus not only reconciles us to God. It also produces a change of heart about good and evil, right and wrong. Faith begins to produce love in human hearts. This love shows itself in loving words and actions. Although this love may grow, in this life it will always be imperfect. Christians continue to struggle with sin and need God’s forgiveness, which he freely gives.
- The God who sent Jesus to save us reveals that he is the one and only God. Although God is one being, he exists as three distinct “persons” (The Trinity): The Father, the Son (Jesus), and the Holy Spirit. Each of these three is fully the one God, yet distinct from each other. That God exists in a way our minds cannot fully understand or explain demonstrates how much greater he is than human beings.
In the links on the left side of this screen you can explore our beliefs more fully.
To learn more about the Bible and what Lutherans believe, go to What We Believe on the WELS.net website.