The name 'Lutheran' was given to people who followed Martin Luther in the reformation of the church. They believed that Martin Luther was right in his interpretation of the Bible.
The Lutheran Church is described by having been begun by Martin Luther in 1517. The Reformation was the movement which gave rise to Protestant churches and the decline of the power of Roman Catholicism. The Reformation sought to "reform" Christianity by returning it to original beliefs based solely on reference to the Bible, eliminating later additions which accumulated in tradition.
The main points are:
We are saved by the grace of God alone -- not by anything we do;
Our salvation is through faith alone -- we only need to believe that our sins are forgiven for Christ's sake, who died to redeem us;
The Bible is the only norm of doctrine and life -- the only true standard by which teachings and doctrines are to be judged.
Scriptures and worship need to be done in the language of the people.
Lutherans are Christians. There are about 60 million Lutherans throughout the world. Most of them live in Europe and the USA. There are over 8 million Lutherans living in the USA. In Australia and New Zealand over 255,000 people call themselves Lutherans.
Unlike the Roman Catholic Church, Lutherans do not believe that the office of the papacy as such has any divine authority, or that Christians need to submit to the Pope's authority to be "true" members of the visible church.Differences remain about the role of Mary and the saints.
Unlike Catholics, Lutherans do not believe it is proper or Scriptural to offer prayers to saints or to view Mary as in any sense a "mediator" between God and human beings.
While Lutherans believe that any doctrinal error has the potential to distort or deny Scripture's teaching regarding salvation, we also believe that anyone (regardless of denominational affiliation) who truly believes in Jesus Christ as Savior will be saved.
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