A Summary statement about Lutherans
The Lutheran Church is both the oldest and largest protestant Church in the world. There are more than sixty million Lutherans in the world. Only the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches claim more followers.
The Lutheran Church came into being following the attempt of Dr. Martin Luther to reform the Roman Catholic Church almost 500 years ago. When this attempt failed those who looked to Luther for guidance formed the Lutheran Church. In forming their new Church, Lutherans, as they came to be known (against Dr. Luther’s wishes!), simply went back to the core teachings of Holy Scripture, keeping what was God pleasing and Biblical and rejecting what was not. This emphasis on Scripture alone was one of the three main themes of the Reformation.
The other two themes of the Reformation, grace alone and faith alone, led Lutherans to a clear understanding of God’s Law and Gospel. The Law, shows us our sin and our need for a savior. The Gospel shows us our Savior from sin, Christ Jesus. Lutherans proclaim the truth of what St. Paul teaches us in Ephesians 2:8 and 9 . . . “it is by grace you have been saved, through faith and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God not by works, so that no one can boast”.
Our congregation is a member of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church has been ministering to the people of Jacksonville and surrounding area for over 60 years. We invite you to come and visit us!