What We Believe
Most Americans, religious or not, have heard of and read part or even all of the Bible. It is arguably one of the most often referenced books, or set of books, in our culture.
In its most basic definition, the Bible is a diverse collection of writings, divided into two main sections:
- the Old Testament, which tells the story of God's relationship with and work on behalf of the Hebrew people
- the New Testament, which shares the story of Jesus, God's Son, and his teachings, death and resurrection, as well as the experiences and faith of the first followers of Jesus
But its meaning - and its significance to the Christian faith - is far more complex and profound. As Lutherans, we believe that the Bible is the written Word of God. It creates and nurtures faith through the work of the Holy Spirit and points us to Jesus Christ, the living Word and center of our faith. And in reading the Bible, we are invited into a relationship with God that both challenges us and promises us new life. Lutherans believe that people meet God in Scripture, where God's heart, mind, relationship to - and intention for - humankind are revealed. Through an ongoing dialogue with the God revealed in the Bible, people in every age are called to a living faith.
Statement of Faith
What we believe in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
This church confesses the Triune God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
This church confesses Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and the Gospel as the power of God for the salvation of all who believe
- Jesus Christ is the Word of God incarnate, through whom everything was made and through whose life, death, and resurrection God fashions a new creation.
- The proclamation of God's message to us as both Law and Gospel is the Word of God, revealing judgment and mercy through word and deed, beginning with the Word in creation, continuing in the history of Israel, and centering in all its fullness in the person and work of Jesus Christ.
- The canonical Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are the written Word of God. Inspired by God's Spirit speaking through their authors, they record and announce God's revelation centering in Jesus Christ. Through them God's Spirit speaks to us to create and sustain Christian faith and fellowship for service in the world.
This church accepts the canonical Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments as the inspired Word of God and the authoritative source and norm of its proclamation, faith, and life.
This church accepts the Apostles' Creed, Nicene Creed andAthanasian Creed as true declarations of the faith of this church.
This church accepts the Unaltered Augsburg Confession as a true witness to the Gospel, acknowledging as one with it In faith and doctrine all churches that likewise accept the teachings of the Unaltered Augsburg Confession.
This church accepts the other confessional writings in the Book of Concord, namely, the Apology of the Augsburg Confession, the Smalcald Articles and the Treatise, the Small Catechism, the Large Catechism, and the Formula of Concord, as further valid interpretations of the faith of the Church.
This church confesses the Gospel, recorded in the Holy Scriptures and confessed in the ecumenical creeds and Lutheran confessional writings, as the power of God to create and sustain the Church for God's mission in the world.