What We Believe

The Basics

Lutherans are a diverse group of people, convinced that the Holy Spirit is leading us toward unity in the household of God.

Members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America are connected to the faith of the church through the ages and around the world.

Lutherans believe in the Triune God. We are part of God’s unfolding plan.

When we gather for worship, we connect with believers everywhere and of every time.

When we study the Bible and pray, we are drawn more deeply into God’s own saving story.

When we serve others and address social issues that affect the common good, we live out our Christian faith.

Statements of Belief

Lutherans believe in the Triune God. God created and loves all of creation — the earth and the seas and all of the world’s inhabitants. We believe that God’s Son, Jesus Christ, transforms lives through his death on the cross and his new life, and we trust that God’s Spirit is active in the world.

We are part of God’s unfolding plan. When we gather for worship, we connect with believers everywhere. When we study the Bible or hear God’s word in worship, we are drawn more deeply into God’s own saving story.

The convictions shared by Christians from many different traditions are expressed in statements of belief called creeds.

These ecumenical creeds that Lutherans affirm and use in worship confess the faith of the church through the ages and around the world.

The Confession of Faith of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America is part of our founding constitution. The ELCA accepts the following creeds as true declarations of the faith of this church:

The Bible

Most Americans, religious or not, have heard of and read part or even all of the Bible. It is arguably one of the most often referenced books — or set of books — in our culture.
In its most basic definition, the Bible is a diverse collection of writings, divided into two main sections:

  • the Old Testament, which tells the story of God’s relationship with and work on behalf of the Hebrew people
  • the New Testament, which shares the story of Jesus, God’s Son, and his teachings, death and resurrection, as well as the experiences and faith of the first followers of Jesus

But its meaning — and its significance to the Christian faith — is far more complex and profound. As Lutherans, ELCA members believe that the Bible is the written Word of God. It creates and nurtures faith through the work of the Holy Spirit and points us to Jesus Christ, the living Word and center of our faith. And in reading the Bible, we are invited into a relationship with God that both challenges us and promises us new life.

In these pages you’ll find information about this incredible collection of writings and new insights into how it can help to strengthen and develop your faith.