WHO ARE LUTHERANS?
In the 1500s, Martin Luther challenged the false teachings and practices of the Roman Catholic Church in Europe. Luther rediscovered the Gospel’s message that sinners are saved entirely by the grace of God, not because they have earned or deserve salvation in any way.
WELS (The Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod) is a Christ-preaching, Bible-believing, people-serving church. As Lutherans we trace our roots back to the Reformation of the sixteenth century. More appropriately, as Lutheran Christians, we trace our roots back to the time of Jesus Christ, for we believe and teach what Jesus taught his apostles to teach. We are called the Wisconsin Synod because our church body was organized in the state of Wisconsin about 150 years ago.
THIS WE BELIEVE
“For 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” John 3:16
This is the sum of our faith. On the basis of this and many other passages in Scripture, we believe, teach and confess that:
- There is one God, who has revealed himself as the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
- Mankind and this world are God’s creation.
- All people are born in sin and throughout their lives commit sin in thought, word and action. As a result, all people are naturally condemned by God and deserve his anger and eternal punishment.
- God sent his own Son, Jesus Christ, into this world to be the Savior of all people. He satisfied God’s justice by living a perfect life in our place and he suffered the consequences of the world’s sin by his crucifixion and death. He thereby paid for the sins of the world.
- God raised Jesus from the dead, giving us the certainty of our salvation.
- By faith in Jesus as our Savior we have the forgiveness of all our sins and the sure hope of eternal life.
- At death our soul goes to be with God in heaven.
- At the end of the world Jesus will come back to judge the living and the dead. He will raise the dead, re-unite souls with bodies, and give glorified bodies to all who died in faith. God’s people, with perfect body and soul, will serve the Lord forever for his grace.
This we believe, teach and confess.
A full explanation of our synod’s beliefs can be found in the publication “This We Believe” available here.