Lutherans are Protestants…Actually, we were the first protestants, and we still insist that the only Head of the Christian Church is Jesus Christ Himself and no one else, and that the only authority for Christian teaching and living is Holy Scripture and nothing else.
…but not Radical Protestants.We don’t judge Scripture by our personal feelings or private opinions, because we believe that every word of the Bible was given by the Holy Spirit for our salvation, and that everything He tells us there is absolute truth, to be trusted completely – including those mysteries of God which are beyond human reason.
Lutherans are catholics…In fact, we are the oldest kind of catholics. We still believe and confess the ancient creeds of the Church, and worship with the Church’s ancient liturgies. We rejoice in the Sacraments as Christ first gave them, because through them Jesus Himself comes to us. And we are free to use gladly the whole Church’s heritage of hymns and customs with which Christians have exalted our Savior for two thousand years.
…but not Roman catholics.We reject all additions to the teachings of the early Church. Most important, we deny that God demands any price from us for His grace, or that anything we could do, give, endure, or become could ever earn or deserve His love. On the contrary, we depend completely on what Christ alone has done, and given, and suffered in our place, knowing that God does not save us because we’re good – we’re not – but because Jesus has been good enough for all the world.
Lutherans are evangelicals !(“people of the Good News”)
All of us sinners who trust Jesus Christ are judged on His performance, not our own! Everything that God’s Law required of us, Jesus has done for the whole world! Every punishment our sins have deserved, Jesus has already taken for us all! And because of what He did, everyone who believes in Him is found innocent by God!
For Lutherans, this Good News is all our hope and happiness, the center of our faith, and the reason for our lives. For we have found that, as His Word promised, God forgives us and changes us and forgives us and cares for us, and forgives us and will bring us to Heaven forever – purely and only because of His great love for the sake of Jesus Christ. And everyday until Heaven, Lutherans exist to tell this Good News so that, through it, God will give our fellow-sinners faith to trust Him when He calls, “All is forgiven, Come Home.”