Our Lutheran Identity
LWF member churches, united in pulpit and altar fellowship, confess the Triune God, one holy, catholic, and apostolic church, and justification by faith alone proclaimed in word and sacrament.
Our identity as Lutherans is rooted in the Word of God, Jesus Christ and the good news that all humanity is liberated by grace. Our member churches proclaim this good news in their contexts, shaping communities according to the Gospel, nurturing faith and commitment to God’s mission.
To be Lutheran is to be
We proclaim the “good news” of Christ’s life, death on the cross, and resurrection and Christ’s unconditional promise: “forgiveness of sins, justification, and eternal life” (AC, Article IV).
Faith in the unconditional promise is created by the Holy Spirit through the gospel “purely preached” and the holy sacraments “administered according to the gospel.” (AC Article VII). Our worship of the Triune God and our life together as a communion of churches is centered on God’s Word that comes to us as both law and promise (Apology AC Article IV), preached and given in the sacraments.
We are freed by Christ in faith to love and serve our neighbor. Our service in the world and our care for creation are integral to our Lutheran identity. Faith is bound to yield good fruits and good works (AC Article VI).
While the central convictions of the Lutheran tradition are not uniquely ours, its distinctive patterns and emphases shape the way in which we respond to the challenges and questions we face today.
The LWF confesses the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments as the only source and norm of its doctrine, life and service, and sees in the Ecumenical Creeds and in the Lutheran Confessions a pure exposition of the Word of God.
The LWF confesses the one holy, catholic, and apostolic church. Faithful to Scripture, the Ecumenical Creeds, and the Lutheran confessions, we actively seek and promote that unity God has already given to strengthen our witness to the Gospel of Jesus Christ and service to the neighbor. Through our participation in the ecumenical movement, we work for unity among Christians through theological exploration, dialogue, education, collaborative action, and joint service.