∑ Lutherans confess the faith of the apostolic Christian Church as it is taught in the three Ecumenical Creeds (Apostlesí, Nicene, and Athanasian). Namely, that there is only one true God, and yet in this one God there are three persons: the Father, the Son (Jesus Christ), and the Holy Spirit.
∑ Lutherans confess that all are conceived and born sinful, standing under Godís wrath and are unable to save themselves.
∑ Lutherans confess that God the Son was born of the virgin Mary. This Jesus Christ, true God and true man, died on the cross and rose to life again in order to save the world from Godís wrath. We wait for Him to return on the Last Day to judge both the living and the dead.
∑ Lutherans confess that we are saved by Godís grace, for Christís sake, through faith alone.
∑ Lutherans confess that this saving faith comes to us as Godís free gift through the work of the Holy Spirit as Christís Church proclaims the Gospel and administers the Sacraments (Baptism and the Lordís Supper).
∑ Lutherans confess that the only authority for Christian teaching and life which is never in error, and never leads us astray is Godís Holy Word, which He has given to us in the Old and New Testaments. Scripture is the final authority in all matters of faith and practice.
∑ THE LUTHERAN CONFESSIONS are the basic statement of our faith.†
∑ They tell us that: All Lutheran doctrine (teaching) is to be taken from Holy Scripture. Our Lutheran Confessions are very explicit on this point.† ". . . the Word of God shall establish articles of faith and no one else, not even an angel." (S.A. Part II, The Mass, 15, Tappert page 295.) "We receive and embrace with our whole heart the Prophetic and Apostolic Scriptures of the Old and New Testament as the pure, clear fountain of Israel, which is the only true standard by which teachers and doctrines are to be judged." (F.C., Th. D., sum., 3, Triglot, p. 851) Holy Scripture is the only source and the absolute norm of our faith.
∑ The Lutheran Confessions, or Symbols are seen as secondary norms, or as true declarations of the doctrines of Holy Scripture, which all who would call themselves Lutheran must confess and teach. For this reason the confessional Lutheran Church demands of all its public teachers and ministers a bona-fide subscription to all its Confessions as the pure and unadulterated declarations of God's Word. (We call this a "quia" subscription Ė that is we subscribe to the Confessions "because" they are truly scriptural.) To put it another way. Holy Scripture is the deciding norm, it is absolutely necessary. The Bible decides what is true or false doctrine. The Confessions are the distinguishing norm, they are only relatively necessary. They determine whether or not a person has correctly understood the true doctrines of Scripture.
∑ The Lutheran Confessions are that which make Lutherans Lutheran! They contain:
∑ The Ecumenical Creeds,† The Small and Large Catechisms of Dr. Martin Luther , The Smalcald Articles (Luther), The Augsburg Confession and its Apology (Defense) written by Dr. Philip Melanchthon , The Treatise on the Power and Primacy of the Pope (Melanchthon), The Formula of Concord with the primary authors being Jacob Andreae, Martin Chemnitz, Nicolaus Selnecker, David Chytraeus, Christoph Koerner, Andreas Musculus.
∑ These writings are contained the ďBook of Concord.Ē
∑ Project Wittenberg & The Book of Concord† ó These sites contains many source documents, the Roman Catholic response to the Augsburg Confession Ė The Confutation (Confutatio Pontificia), . . .†† as well as many other documents of interest.†