Lutheran Church Missouri Synod Beliefs
With the universal Christian Church, The Lutheran Church Missouri Synod (LCMS) 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.
The LCMS 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, Faith alone, Scripture alone.
Sola Gratia – Grace 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. Justification comes from God “by divine grace alone, through faith alone, for Christ’s sake alone.”
Sola Fide – Faith Alone
Faith lone in Christ Jesus is the only way to eternal salvation. 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.
Sola Scripture – Scripture Alone
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. The Bible is the only standard by which church teachings can be judged. It also holds that the Holy Scripture is explained and interpreted by the Book of Concord series of Confessions of faith composed by Lutherans in the 16th century. Missouri Synod pastors and congregations agree to teach in harmony with the Book of Concord because it teaches and faithfully explains the Word of God. The Missouri Synod also teaches Biblical inerrancy, the teaching that Bible is inspired by God and is without error. For this reason, they reject much–if not all–of modern liberal scholarship
Sacramental Union and the Lord’s Supper
Regarding Holy Communion, the LCMS believes in the doctrine of the Sacramental Union, Real Presence, that the Body and Blood of Christ are truly present “in, with, and under” the elements of bread and wine. Or, as the Smalcald Articles express this mystery: “Of the Sacrament of the Altar, we hold that the bread and wine in the Supper are Christ’s true body and blood.” It is occasionally reported that the LCMS and other Lutherans teach the doctrine of consubstantiation. Consubstantiation is rejected by Lutherans and is explicitly rejected by the LCMS.
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