What We BelieveWhat do Lutherans believe?
Good Shepherd Lutheran Church is a congregation of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA).
A Lutheran is:
- A member of the larger body of Christ including all followers of Jesus.
- Completely reliant on the grace of God for salvation
- Baptized once for the forgiveness of sin and regularly receives the sacrament of Holy Communion
- Claimed by God, marked with the cross of Christ and sealed with the Holy Spirit
- A servant within his/her family, church and community
- There is one God made known in three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit (the Trinity)
- God the Father created and sustains all things
- God the Son died on a cross to free us from sin and guilt to new life
- God the Spirit lives within and around us calling us to follow each day
- The Bible tells the story of God’s relationship with God’s people
- The Bible is not a rule book but a “living word” that calls us to radical change
- The Bible is accepted as the primary and authoritative witness to the church’s faith.
- The Bible affirms that all people have worth and dignity because we are all created in God’s image
- We are saved by the grace of God alone—not by anything we do (Galatians 2:15-16)
- Our salvation comes through faith alone—we only need to trust God made known in Christ.
- The Bible is the norm for faith and life—the true standard by which teachings and doctrines are judged.
- Lutherans accept two sacraments as God-given means of grace—Baptism and Holy Communion.
- In Baptism, God freely offers his grace and lovingly incorporates us into his Church.
- In Holy Communion, we receive the bread and the wine—the body and blood of our Lord.
- This gift is itself the real presence of God’s forgiveness and mercy.