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Summary of the Christian Faith

The Ten Commandments

The Ten Commandments show us our sin and our need for a Savior.

  • You shall have no other gods.
  • You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God.
  • Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.
  • Honor your father and your mother.
  • You shall not murder.
  • You shall not commit adultery.
  • You shall not steal.
  • You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.
  • You shall not covet your neighbor’s house.
  • You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his manservant or maidservant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor. (Deuteronomy 5:6-21)

I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those that hate Me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those that love Me and keep My commandments. (Exodus 20:5-6)

The Apostles’ Creed

The Apostles’ Creed helps us confess the God who has done everything to save us from sin through Jesus Christ and to make use members of His Church.

I believe in God, the Father Almighty,
Maker of heaven and earth.

And in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died and was buried.
He descended into hell.
The third day He rose again from the dead.
He ascended into heaven
and sits at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty.
From thence He will come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy Christian Church,
the communion of saints.
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting. Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer

The Lord's Prayer
In the Lord’s Prayer; we call upon God, the only source for all we need.
Our Father who art in heaven,
hallowed by Thy name,
Thy kingdom come,
thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven;
give us this day our daily bread;
and forgive us our trespasses
as we forgive those
who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For Thine is the kingdom
and the power and the glory
forever and ever. Amen. (Matthew 6:9-13)

Holy Baptism

Holy Baptism
In Holy Baptism we are united with the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Through Baptism the Holy Spirit gives to us the forgiveness of sins, life, and salvation.

Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. (Matthew 28:19)

Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. (Mark 16:16)

He saved us through the washing and rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that having been justified by His grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life. This is a trustworthy saying. (Titus 3:5-8)

We were therefore buried with Him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. (Romans 6:4)

Confession and Absolution

Confession and Absolution daily returns us to the promises and hope given to use in our Baptism.

Jesus breathed on His disciples and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.” (John 20:22-23)

The Lord’s Supper

The Lord’s Supper, also called the Sacrament of the Altar, is the true body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ under the bread and wine, instituted by Christ Himself for us Christians to eat and to drink to strengthen faith against the temptations of the devil, the world, and our sinful flesh.

The Holy Evangelists Matthew, Mark, Luke, and St. Paul write:

Our Lord Jesus Christ, on the night when he was betrayed, took bread, and when He had given thanks, He broke it and gave it to his disciples and said: “Take, eat; this is My body, which is given for you. This do in remembrance of Me.”

In the same way also He took the cup after supper, and when He had given thanks, He gave it to them, saying: “Drink of it, all of you; this cup is the new testament in My blood, which is shed for you for the forgiveness of sins. This do, as often as you drink it; in remembrance of Me.” (Matthew 26:26-28; Mark 14:22-24; Luke 22:19-20; 1 Corinthians 11:23-25)

The Solas of Lutheranism

The Reformation rested upon three fundamental principals:

  1. Our salvation is entirely a gift of grace from God and not our own doing.
  2. We receive that grace through faith and not by any works we might do.
  3. The sole norm and rule of all doctrine is the Holy Scriptures.

Although the word sola means “alone,” the irony is that the three solas that follow are never alone! They are interconnected and woven together. These principals are referred to as the “three solas”: by grace alone, through faith alone, in Scripture alone. Together these “Reformation solas” form a concise and useful outline of what Lutherans believe, teach, and confess.

Sola Scriptura: Scripture Alone

Lutherans believe that the Bible is the inspired Word of God and that it alone is the source and norm for what we believe and what we practice. Lutherans are not anti-reason or anti-tradition or anti-experience. We simply use the Scriptures to judge the validity of these things and not the other way around. We believe that the Bible is God’s perfect Word; therefore, we don’t approach the Scriptures with a red pen!

Sola Gratia: Grace Alone

At the center of what we believe is the assurance that salvation is based upon the unearned free gift of God’s grace. What is so amazing about grace is that though we are sinful by nature and deserve God’s anger, we receive the riches of His love.

Sola Fide: Faith Alone

God’s gift of grace is received through faith in what Jesus has done for us. The good things we do flow out of being made right with God, but they have no power to make us right with God. This is what separates Christianity from all other world religions. Other religions point to what we have to do or what hoops we have to jump through to be made right with God. Christianity points to what Christ has done to make us right with God. Through God’s Word, Baptism, and the Lord’s Supper our faith is created and sustained.

References

“Lutheranism 101.” Concordia Publishing House. 2010. 15-22. Summary of the Christian Faith. Print.