To put it simply, our faith is the belief that Jesus Christ is Lord; that He is the divine Son of the Father, and through Him (through His death and resurrection) we receive the forgiveness of our sins and therefore the promise of life everlasting. This we know as our salvation.
We Lutherans are Scriptural and Confessional. We believe that God reveals Himself through His Word. This is a three-fold expression of God's Word; written (in the Holy Scriptures), read and proclaimed (from the pulpit), and incarnate (in the person of Jesus Christ).
We have a Trinitarian understanding of God, Father, Son, and
Holy Spirit; three in one, one in three.
We have two Sacraments, Holy Baptism and Holy Communion. By definition a Sacrament is an outward (physical) expression of an inward (Spiritual) grace. We receive the Holy Spirit in, under, and through these sacraments. That’s a funny way of saying the water remains water in baptism, yet the Spirit is present. And the bread and wine remain bread and wine, yet we also receive the true presence of Christ at the Holy Supper. It is a mystical union that remains a mystery.
We adhere to a confessional understanding of our faith. The documents that were at the heart of the reformation are our confessional documents through which we engage God’s Word. They are collected in a single volume called the Book of Concord. It (they) are the lens through which we read and interpret the Scriptures.
Our theological motto is “Saved by Grace through Faith.” We understand our faith (including our very ability to even have faith) to be given to us through the Holy Spirit. It is through this faith that we receive God’s grace. We believe there is nothing we can do to merit this grace. We believe we are captive to sin and can do nothing to free ourselves. Rather, we are all sinners and deserve damnation. Yet, God gives us this wonderful grace through Jesus.
Our good works are not an attempt to gain us salvation, but rather are our obedience to God in light of the reality of our salvation. And a faith without these works is dead.