With the universal Christian Church, The Lutheran Church Missouri Synod teaches and responds to the love of the Triune God: the Father, creator of all that exists; Jesus Christ, the Son, who became human to suffer and die for the sins of all human beings and to rise to life again in the ultimate victory over death and Satan; and the Holy Spirit, who creates faith through God’s Word and Sacraments. The three persons of the Trinity are coequal and coeternal, one God.
Being Lutheran, our congregations accept and teach Bible-based teachings of Martin Luther that inspired the reformation of the Christian Church in the 16th century. The teaching of Luther and the reformers can be summarized in three short phrases: Grace alone, Scripture alone, Faith alone.
God loves the people of the world, even though they are sinful, rebel against Him and do not deserve His love. He sent Jesus, His Son, to love the unlovable and save the ungodly.
The Bible is God’s inerrant and infallible Word, in which He reveals His Law and His Gospel of salvation in Jesus Christ. It is the sole rule and norm for Christian doctrine.
By His suffering and death as the substitute for all people of all time, Jesus purchased and won forgiveness and eternal life for them. Those who hear this Good News and believe it have the eternal life that it offers. God creates faith in Christ and gives people forgiveness through Him.
The word Synod in The Lutheran Church Missouri Synod comes from the Greek words that mean walking together. It has rich meaning in our church body, because the congregations voluntarily choose to belong to the Synod. Diverse in their service, these congregations hold to a shared confession of Jesus Christ as taught in Holy Scripture and the Lutheran Confessions.
The congregations of the Synod are confessional. They hold to the Lutheran Confessions as the correct interpretation and presentation of Biblical doctrine. Contained in The Book of Concord: The Confessions of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, these statements of belief were put into writing by church leaders during the 16th century. The simplest of these is Luther’s Small Catechism. The Augsburg Confession gives more detail on what Lutherans believe.
- The Scriptures, both Old and New Testaments, are the inspired Word of God without error in the original writings, the complete revelation of His will for the salvation of men, and the divine and final authority for all Christian faith & life.
- There is one God, Creator of all things, infinitely perfect & eternally existing in three persons Father, Son & Holy Spirit.
- Jesus Christ is true God and true man, having been conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. He died on the cross as a sacrifice for our sins according to the Scriptures. Further, He arose bodily from the dead and ascended into heaven, where, at the right hand of the Majesty on High, He is now our High Priest and Advocate.
- The ministry of the Holy Spirit is to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ and, during this age, to convict men of sin; regenerate the believing sinner; and dwell within, guide, instruct, and empower the believer for godly living and service.
- Man was created in the image of God but fell into sin and is therefore lost, and only through regeneration by the Holy Spirit can salvation and spiritual life be obtained.
- The shed blood of Jesus Christ and His resurrection provide the only ground for the justification and salvation for all who believe, and only such as receive Jesus Christ by faith are born of the Holy Spirit and thus become the children of God.
- The personal and imminent return of our Lord Jesus Christ is our “blessed hope” and has a vital bearing on the personal life and service of the believer.
- There will be a bodily resurrection of all the dead, of the believer to everlasting blessedness and joy with the Lord, and the unbeliever to judgment and everlasting, conscious punishment.
- The true church is composed of all such persons, who, through saving faith in Jesus Christ, have been regenerated by the Holy Spirit and are united together in the body of Christ of which He is the Head.
- The chief goal, objective, and motivation for every Christian is to glorify God, and help others come to saving faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.