Who Are Lutherans?
Who are These Lutherans?
A Lutheran is a follower of Jesus Christ.
• Christians who accept the Bible as the source of doctrine and guidance.
• Christians who accept the same ancient belief statements – the Apostles and Nicene and Athanasian Creeds.
Lutherans proclaim God’s message by:
• emphasizing salvation through faith
• teaching that a person is to live in the freedom of Christian love
In the world, there are more than 70 million Lutherans. In the United States, there are more than 9 million Lutherans.
Most belong to one of these Church bodies:
• The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (60%)
• The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod (30%)
• The Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (5%)
There are a number of very small Lutheran Church bodies in the United States. The Northern Great Lakes Synod is a member synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
Lutherans affirm the Christian faith.
Who was Martin Luther?
Lutheranism had its beginnings in 1517 when Martin Luther, a German teacher and priest, publicly called for the correction of errors in the medieval church. Luther was also a professor, author, composer of hymns and reformer.
Lutheran teachings are centered in the Scriptures.
Lutherans teach that:
• The Bible is the Word of God.
• God is one in three persons -Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We call this the “Holy Trinity”.
• People were created by God in perfection, but failed. We cannot, by our own effort, return to God.
• Our Savior, Jesus, died to save us all.
• Repenting means turning from one’s sins and asking for Christ’s forgiveness.
• A person is justified (made right with God), not through our own efforts, but only by God’s grace, through faith.
• The Church is all people who believe in Jesus as Lord and Savior.
• Baptism is by water and the Word of God. It is a sacrament creating new life in a person.
It remakes him or her in a God pleasing way. Lutherans baptize people at all ages.
• The Lord’s Supper (Eucharist), a sacrament, is the Body and Blood of Christ borne by bread and wine in Holy Communion. Lutheran Churches frequently receive this sacrament. Most Lutheran Churches celebrate communion weekly.
• The creeds are statements of belief. They summarize the Bible’s teachings. They have been believed by God’s Church since Jesus established the Church.
• A Christian’s unity with fellow Christians is rooted in Christ as God and Savior.
• Religion and science complement each other. Religion talks about the “who”, the creator; science talks about the “how”.