What We Believe
New Jerusalem Lutheran Church is part of the ELCA, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. The ELCA Is a relatively young organization, which began with a merging of three separate Lutheran church groups in the late 1980s. Now, the ELCA has more than 10,000 churches nationwide and almost 4 million members across the United States, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.
What is Lutheranism?
Lutheranism is a Christian religion based on the teachings and lessons of Jesus Christ, and is rooted in the theology of Martin Luther, a leader in the Protestant Revolution of the 1500s. Lutherans believe in salvation through Jesus Christ, who came to this earth to save humankind from sin.
We are a church of diversity representing all ages, cultures, and races. Because God first loved us, we are called to love and serve our neighbors. Our unity is in Jesus Christ. We serve together as individuals, congregations, and synods (regions of churches). We are all stitched together like the pieces of a quilt—each with a unique story to tell and gifts to share. Together we are called and then equipped to share the love of Christ.
Grace Alone, Faith Alone, Scripture Alone
Martin Luther is a huge part of Lutheranism’s history, and many of his principles still hold true today. At the time, Luther was discovering that salvation didn’t come with a price. Doing good deeds, paying for forgiveness … these were not the tenets of Christ. We cannot earn our way into heaven. God gives us grace, our faith in him and Christ as our Savior, and believing and studying the Word of God are the only things Luther believed would help us become closer to God.
The Holy Trinity and the Word of God
Lutherans believe in a triune God: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and we treat these as three aspects of one God. We believe salvation comes through faith in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, and treat the Bible as a holy book, the true Word of God.
Although we do confess our sins to God during worship services, and we recite creeds (a recitation that reaffirms our faith), such as the Nicene Creed or the Apostle’s Creed, we as Lutheran’s believe that faith and acceptance of Christ is the backbone of our faith.