At the center of all Lutheran theology is Jesus Christ our Savior. We believe that the Bible is much more than a rule book that tells us how we are to live our lives. The Bible is God’s revelation about how Jesus Christ saved us. We believe Baptism and the Lord’s Supper are ways God offers us the forgiveness that Jesus Christ won on the cross. We believe that every single verse, every single chapter, every single book of the Bible, and every single doctrine ultimately point to Jesus.
Jesus Christ our Savior is at the center of a Lutheran’s hope. If you ask the question “Why are you saved?” many people will want to talk about their lives. “I have tried my hardest to be a good person,” they will say. Or perhaps “I have done my best.” How horrible it must be for such people to go through life, wondering if their best is good enough to be saved!
Others will try to answer that question by talking about their faith. “I’m saved because of my strong faith!” That too is a terrifying thought. Does that mean when I have doubts, my salvation disappears? Does it mean when my faith grows weak, my salvation grows unlikely? Does it mean when I am faithful, I am saved; but the times when I am unfaithful and commit sin, I am damned?
A Lutheran answers the question “Why are you saved?” with four words: Jesus Christ my Savior. Lutherans understand we are saved for one reason. Jesus Christ died to save us. Whether our good works are many or few, whether our faith is weak or strong . . . these things have no bearing on our salvation. For such things do not affect what Jesus did on the cross. He died so that we might live. He rose to prove we too will rise.
None of this is Martin Luther’s invention. Lutheran doctrine was not created by Martin Luther. Luther discovered nothing new. He simply taught what the Bible teaches. Lutheran teaching is biblical teaching, and the Bible teaches us about Jesus Christ our Savior.
Since Jesus Christ is at the center of all that Lutherans teach and believe, we realize that there is only one reason we are Lutheran. We are Lutheran because we are Christian. Christians love Christ, and since every aspect of Lutheranism points us to Christ, that’s the reason we love being Lutheran.