What is a Lutheran Christian?

People are looking for a friend.  The Lutheran church has that friend -Jesus Christ.  He is our Friend because he came to be our Savior.  The central message of the Bible is that sinners (and that includes us all) have a Savior.  Jesus Christ is God’s own Son, who lived a perfect life, died on the cross, and rose  from the dead to bring us forgiveness, peace with God, and eternal life in place of guilt, fear, and damnation.

That’s the heart of our fatih.  In our age of uncertainty and fear, only such faith offers hope and confidence – in death as well as in life. Jesus said, “God so loved the world that, he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

 

A Life Worth Living

This faith isn’t merely an emotional feeling or an intellectual exercise.  Rather, it is a living confidence that daily expresses itself.  Lutherans at best, express their faith as giving and sharing people, just like Jesus himself was.

According to the Bible, all believers enjoy a personal life with God in Prayer and devotion.  Believers together exercise a shared ministry to one another and their world.  We try to do this by being warm and caring, by helping, and by praying for others in need.  In a word, Lutherans try to live their faith in love – love for God and love for people.

 

A Gift to Share

God’s free gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ is a  gift to share.  That’s the reason for Lutheran worship and education.  You are welcome to attend Sunday school, Midweek school, or worship services, hear God’s Word, and join our songs of praise.  Our churches also offer Bible instruction and discussion for people of all ages and backgrounds.  Lutheran education centers on Christ and his message of salvation.  In fact, Lutherans have developed an extensive school system for both children and adults, from early childhood through college.

 

A Heritage to Build Upon

Our Lutheran faith is rooted in the truths of the Bible itself, but the name Lutheran dates back to the 16th century.  It comes from a man named Martin Luther, who lived in German from 1483 to 1546.  Bible-believing Lutherans everywhere still hold to his teachings which come from the Bible. Luther struggled with the same basic problems that trouble people today.  He longed for peace with God, for assurance and certainty.  Unable to achieve this by his own works, he found it in the Bible.  When Luther discovered the love of God in Jesus Christ, he exclaimed, ” felt myself to be reborn and to have gone through open doors into paradise.”  Those doors are open for all, including you.

 


Lutheran Symbols and Crosses

   
 
 

The Luther Rose, also known as the Luther Seal, is easily the most recognized symbol for Lutheranism, and for good reason. Martin Luther personally oversaw the creation of this coat of arms in the year 1519. It provides a beautiful summary of his faith, a faith that is common to all Christians, of every place and every time. Here is how Luther explained the meaning of his seal:

"Grace and peace from the Lord. As you desire to know whether my painted seal, which you sent to me, has hit the mark, I shall answer most amiably and tell you my original thoughts and reason about why my seal is a symbol of my theology. The first should be a black cross in a heart, which retains its natural color, so that I myself would be reminded that faith in the Crucified saves us. 'For one who believes from the heart will be justified' (Romans 10:10). Although it is indeed a black cross, which mortifies and which should also cause pain, it leaves the heart in its natural color. It does not corrupt nature, that is, it does not kill but keeps alive. 'The just shall live by faith' (Romans 1:17) but by faith in the Crucified. Such a heart should stand in the middle of a white rose, to show that faith gives joy, comfort, and peace. In other words, it places the believer into a white, joyous rose, for this faith does not give peace and joy like the world gives (John 14:27). That is why the rose should be white and not red, for white is the color of the spirits and the angels (cf. Matthew 28:3; John 20:12). Such a rose should stand in a sky-blue field, symbolizing that such joy in spirit and faith is a beginning of the heavenly future joy, which begins already, but is grasped in hope, not yet revealed. And around this field is a golden ring, symbolizing that such blessedness in Heaven lasts forever and has no end. Such blessedness is exquisite, beyond all joy and goods, just as gold is the most valuable, most precious and best metal. This is my compendium theoligae [summary of theology]. I have wanted to show it to you in good friendship, hoping for your appreciation. May Christ, our beloved Lord, be with your spirit until the life hereafter. Amen."

 

The official seal of The Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod is a unique blend of symbols and words.

In the center is:
- a blue shield, representing the Christian's faith;
- a prominent gold cross proclaiming that we preach Jesus Christ crucified and risen from the dead;
- Latin words under the cross reading "Jesus Christ is Lord";
- three equilateral gold crosses symbolizing the Holy Trinity;
- three gold stars on the shield standing for the three Christian creeds: the Apostolic, the Nicene, and the Athanasian.
- Beneath the shield is Luther's seal.
- Three gold stars on each side of the shield stand for the six Lutheran Confessions that were published in one book, titled "Concordia," in 1580.
- Grape vines fill the bottom white spaces, symbolizing Christ's words in John 15:5 "I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing."
- Around the inner circle are the words on which Lutheranism is founded: Sola Scriptura, Sola Gratia, Sola Fide (by Scripture alone, by grace alone, by faith alone).
- The exterior circle contains the proper name of the church and the year it was founded 1847.

The seal was designed by the Reverend A.R. Kretzmann of Chicago; and the drawing is by Walter Geweke, also of Chicago.

LCMS Cross

   
 
     
 
 
 
 
 

Cross Styles and their Symbolic Meanings

 
     
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
     
 
     
   
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
     

More Christian Symbols