Martin Luther, portrait, 1529 Uffizi
by Lucas Cranach the Elder,
The Lutheran Church is both the original Protestant Church as well as the largest protestant church in the world. There are more than sixty million Lutherans in the world. Only the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches claim more followers.
The Lutheran Church came into being following the attempt of Dr. Martin Luther to reform the Roman Catholic Church almost 500 years ago. When this attempt failed those who looked to Luther formed the Lutheran Church. In forming their new Church, Lutherans, as they came to be known (against Dr. Luther’s wishes), simply went back to the core teachings of Holy Scripture, keeping what was God pleasing and Biblical and rejecting what was not. This emphasis on ‘Scripture alone’ was one of the three main themes of the Reformation.
The other two themes of the Reformation, ‘grace alone’ and ‘faith alone,’ led Lutherans to a clear understanding of God’s Law and Gospel. The Law, shows us our sin and our need for a saviour. The Gospel shows us our Saviour from sin, Christ Jesus. Lutherans proclaim the truth of what St. Paul teaches us in Ephesians 2:8 and 9 “. . . it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.” (NIV)
Our congregation is a member of Lutheran Church–Canada, a synod (a church body, or denomination) which is both one of the oldest and youngest in North America. It is one of the oldest because it is a daughter church of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod. (The LCMS has been doing ministry in Canada for over 150 years.) It is one of the youngest because in 1988 Lutheran Church Canada became a fully autonomous, independent church body to better serve Christ’s Church in Canada and in the world.
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