What We Lutherans Teach

The Holy Spirit has caused the Christian Church to grow marvelously over 21 Centuries now. As a promised by God, the growth will continue by God, the growth will continue unabated until the end of the world which will occur on “the day of the Lord”. 2 Pet. 3:10 and Matt. 24:3. The Phenomenal growth of Christianity has brought about physical divisions into Denominations; Associations; Ministries and even Sects. This regrettable situation has even brought about the question of identity. We hear Christians claiming to be Roman Catholics; Lutherans; Anglicans; Methodists; Presbyterians; Pentecostals; and others too numerous to name here. In the midst of such proliferation it is what you teach that identifies you. The Editorial Board of the Lutheran Herald, has chosen to dedicate this page in each publication to dwell on WHAT WE LUTHERANS TEACH. You need to follow these articles so you can position yourself against man-made doctrines and grow as a bible-based Christian. A sound knowledge of the word of God will sharpen your identity so you can stand firm and not be easily carried away. Now let’s start off with what we teach about the Bible


ABOUT THE BIBLE
The Bible is the holy book of the Christians and of the Jews. The word “Bible” comes from a Greek word that means in English “Books”. The Bible is also called “Holy Bible”, The Scriptures”, “The Holy Scriptures”, The Word”, also, “The Word of God”. “Scripture” is a word from the Latin language meaning “What is written”. The one volume Bible that we all have is in fact a collection of many holy books. The Bible of the Jews is that Hebrew Bible which we Christians call OLD TESTAMENT. It was written in Hebrew language and was in use 150 years before Christ’s birth. It has the 39 books that were unquestionably accepted into the canon. The second segment of our Bible is called NEW TESTAMENT and was written mostly in Koine Greek, which is no longer spoken in our world, not even in modern day Greece. It has a total of 27 books. The Christian Bible therefore is a library of 66 Canonical books. The rule establishing which books were inspired by God is known as “canon”. A book from doubtful/questionable source was dropped from the canon. All such esoteric writings came to be identified with 14 or 15 books with doubtful authorship were excluded by early Palestinian Jews from the canon. The Greek word for this class of books is “Apocrypha”. Some apocriphal books had been retained in the Standard Roman Catholic Bible. The Eastern Orthodox Christians also include all the apocryphal books in their canon. You may find Bibles in the book stand that has apocryphal books following the O.T. books. Some names are: 1 and 2 Esdras. Bel and the Dragon; prayer of Manasseh. Tobit; 1 and 2 Meccabees; Ecclesiasticus; Judith; etc. Most Christian churches accept only the 66 books of the Old and New testaments for official use since they are the only inspired ones. If you have a Bible with apocryphal books, you can read such books for reading sake. We do not preach from them nor draw doctrines from them.

HOW DID WE GET THE HOLY BIBLE?
The Holy Spirit “breathed” into the writers the thoughts and words that they were to write. God told them when, what and how to write. The Bible came from different human writers, but one divine Author. And the one author is God. Of the Old Testament writers we read: “All scripture is given by the inspiration of God” 2 Timothy 3:16. God employed His pen men and gave them divine impulse and command to write as they were moved by Holy Ghost. In the light of the Holy Scriptures itself, we believe and teach that the Holy Spirit acted through divine impulse, divine thought content and divine choice of words to bring the truth from God to mankind. In Lutheran teaching, it is false to say that the Bible contains the truth from God to us. The Bible is the truth from God to us! When we teach on the attributes of the Holy Bible, we expatiate on these 5 facts:
1 The authority of the Bible
2 The inerrancy of the Bible
3 The efficacy of the Bible
4 The sufficiency of the Bible
5 The clearness of the Bible


THE USE OF THE HOLY SCRIPTURES
We respect the Bible, we study it, we obey it and we believe its messages. You may want to ask why. As can be seen, the Holy Scriptures is the word of God our Creator, King and Redeemer. The Bible is the most widely read and the most influential book in the entire world and for all generations. We owe allegiance to God’s will as revealed to us in the Holy Book. As we pledge our commitment to relate with the Supreme Being, we stand on three pillars: – Sola Scriptura = Scripture Alone! Sola Gratia = Grace of God Alone! Sola Fidei = Faith in God Alone. As seen from history, more importantly, the reformation history, we boldly carry our nick name.

THE CHURCH OF THE OPEN BIBLE
Our needs and confessions stand on the Holy Scriptures alone. The Holy Bible is the source and norm of our teachings and practices. For us, the Bible is the book of the ages; the food for the soul; the light in darkness; the precepts that indwell the heart and the unfailing tool treasured by all the saints. As to its influence, the Holy Bible is a devouring flame; a crushing hammer; a saving power; a defensive weapon; a life-giving force; and the hope of the hopeless. The Bible authenticates the divinity of Jesus the Christ, thereby giving assurance of eternal life which is life beyond your grave. As you may know, we who accept the lordship of Jesus Christ are in a spiritual warfare while here on earth. We are not armed if we are no in the word of God (The Holy Scripture).
In our approach to Bible study, we Lutherans uphold the principle of SCRIPTURE INTERPRETS SCRIPTURE! (Latin; scriptura scripturam interpretature). The Holy Scripture is its own interpreter. The meaning of a Bible passage is to be understood in the context and the light of other passages in scriptures.

In case you fell like asking me “who are you Lutherans and what is your take on the Bible?” my answer is, several years ago the Christian Church was restored to a new life of spiritual freedom and fruitfulness after a long period of bondage and corruption. That act of God has been known as Reformation of the Christian Church. The man whom God used was Dr. Martin Luther, a former priest of the Roman Church. From there we later derived our name. about the Bible, we Lutherans teach in supremacy that all its words is the word of God and that it is absolutely the truth, without error, it interprets itself. It’s the only divine revelation from God to sinful human beings. The scriptures if diligently heard, studied, obeyed, will work faith in those who trustfully accept it. That faith in Jesus Christ is the hand which appropriates God’s gift of eternal life. Take up your Bible and read these four passages 2Peter 1:21. 1 Cor. 2:13; John 5:39; Luke 11:28, There are many more passages in support.

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