What are the Sacraments?
The Lutheran Church often gives a three-part definition of a sacrament:
1) Instituted by Christ:
2) With an earthly element connected to God's promise;
3) Which gives the forgiveness of sins
Using that definition; there are two sacraments: Baptism and the Lord's Supper. In baptism we are joined to Christ, our sins are washed away, we receive the Holy Spirit, and we become God's children. In the Lord's Supper, Jesus gives us to eat and drink His Body and Blood (along with the bread and wine), for the forgiveness of sins and the strengthening of faith.
What is the Bible?
The Bible is the very Word of God, written by men but by the inspiration of the Lord. Therefore, every word is His. As such, it cannot err or be wrong. It is the source and fount of all doctrine (teaching) for the Church.
What are the Lutheran Confessions?
The Lutheran Confessions are the official teaching and confession of faith of the Lutheran Church. They are found in the Book of Concord of 1580. Included in these statements of belief are the three Creeds (Apostles, Nicene, Athanasian), the Augsburg Confession, the Apology (or Defense) of the Augsburg Confession, the Smalcald Articles, the Treatise on the Power and Primacy of the Pope, the Small Catechism, the Large Catechism, and the Formula of Concord. these writings are NOT on the same level as the Bible, but they Do accurately summarize and teach the scriptural truth. Our congregation, school, pastor, and teachers have all pledged to teach and practice the Christian faith as expressed in the Lutheran Confessions.