LCMS Belief & Practice


With the universal Christian Church, The Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod 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.

Being “Lutheran,” our congregations 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.

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.

Faith alone

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 it offers.  God creates faith in Christ and gives people forgiveness through Him.

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.

Who is Jesus?

For more than 2,000 years people have asked the question, “Who is Jesus?“.  We were not present when Jesus lived on this earth, but in the bible we have the record of his birth, life, death on the cross, and resurrection.  Study of the Bible, God’s Word, will enable you to seek out the answer to this age-old question.

What does “Synod” mean?

The word “Synod” in The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod comes from Greek words that mean “walking together.”  The term has rich meaning in our church body, because congregations voluntarily choose to belong to the Synod.  Though diverse in their service, these congregations hold to a shared confession of Jesus Christ as taught in Holy Scripture and the Lutheran Confessions which they believe are a correct interpretation and presentation of Biblical doctrine.  Contained in The Book of Concord:  The Confessions of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, these statements of belief were put into writing by church leaders during the 16th century.  The simplest of these is Luther’s Small Catechism.  The Augsburg Confession gives more detail on what Lutherans believe.  Read an article from the May 2004 Lutheran Witness about what a “Synod” is.

Study Resources

The Synod’s Commission on Theology and Church Relations provides study documents and statements of theological issues.  Answers to theological questions may be found on the Frequently Asked Questions web site.

The Christian Cyclopedia has served thousands of students, church professionals and lay persons as a one-volume compendium of historical and theological data, ranging from ancient figures to contemporary events.

In addition, a series of downloadable pamphlets offer insight on a variety of doctrinal topics, moral issues and concerns in the church.  We also invite you to learn more about specific worship practices of the Synod.