History of the Lutheran Church

Lutheran churches, including First Lutheran Church of Carson, are creedal churches. We subscribe to creeds (or “confessions”) which state what we understand to be the teachings of the Bible.

The Lutheran church derives its name from Martin Luther (1483-1546), an Augustinian monk whose posting of the 95. Theses on October 31, 1517 sparked the Reformation. The documents presenting what Lutherans believe, teach and confess as Christians were assembled and published in 1580 in The Book of Concord. We confess the teachings of the Book of Concord because we believe them to be a faithful exposition of what the Bible itself teaches.

Significantly, the very first documents included in The Book of Concord are the three ancient universal creeds compiled during the early, formative years of the Christian era — the Apostles’ Creed (ca. third century A.D.), the Nicene Creed (fourth century), and the Athanasian Creed (fifth and sixth centuries). Luther and the other writers of these confessions did not want to be doctrinal innovators. They, together with their contemporary descendants, maintain that we believe and teach nothing more and nothing less than what Christians through the ages have always believed.

The Gospel — the good news of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ for the sins of the world — is at the core of everything we believe and teach. We Lutherans believe that sinners are justified (declared right) with the Creator God by grace alone (sola gratia), through faith alone (sola fide), on the basis of Scripture alone (sola scriptura). These three great “Reformation solas” form a handy outline of what California Synod Lutherans believe, teach, and confess.