Beliefs distinctive of Lutheran Christians:
The beliefs that make the Lutheran Church distinctive can be summed up in three ideas: Grace Alone, Faith Alone, Scripture Alone. These terms date back to the beginning of Lutheranism in Europe at the time of the Reformation. Martin Luther was a church reformer of the 1500's who brought the truths of the Bible to light through his teaching and preaching.
Grace Alone - We believe and teach that Christians are saved by God’s grace alone. This means that because God loves us, He has mercy on us, and through the death and resurrection of Jesus, He forgives us our sins. This grace is a gift freely given by God out of love. We do not in any way earn it. Other Christians teach that you earn salvation by living a good life, by following all the rules. Contrary to this, we believe that Christians are saved because God freely forgives because Christ died, taking our punishment for us. We did not deserve such love, but God freely gave it. This grace is truly amazing.
Faith Alone – We believe and teach that we receive the benefits of God’s grace, namely forgiveness of sins and eternal salvation, by believing and trusting the promises God has made to us through His Son, Jesus Christ. While God’s grace is freely given, it is by faith, by believing and trusting, that we personally receive the benefits of His love. Faith does not earn the benefits, but accepts them humbly and thankfully. (Ephesians 2:8-9)
Scripture Alone – All Christians believe that the Bible is a primary source of authority. We believe and teach that the Bible is the only source of authority. Everything we believe and teach is founded in the Bible, that is, in Scripture. We believe that the Bible is inspired by God through the Holy Spirit. It was written by men, but since they were directed by the Holy Spirit, the Bible is free from human error and biases. Lutherans also adhere to the Book of Concord. This book contains several documents which list and explain all the beliefs we are required to hold. Rather than being a source of authority distinct from the Bible, these confessions derive their authority from the Bible. We believe and teach that they are an explanation of those things written in the Bible that we, as Christians, must believe.
Peace is a member congregation of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod