Lutheranism’s Singular Objective

By Graham Glover

It’s about one thing. And only one thing.

Think that’s too limiting? Too simplistic? Hogwash.

To make it about something more is the problem. To suggest it’s about multiple things or more than one thing is the error that creates all other errors.

So, go ahead and say it with me: Lutheranism has a singular objective. At the end of the day, Lutheranism can be boiled down to one single teaching.

Seriously, when it’s all said and done, Lutheranism is only about one thing. For 500 years it has been about one thing – one single, solitary thing that defines our faith. It is the thing that supersedes everything else.

This isn’t to say other things aren’t important, that other teachings are insignificant or arbitrary. Lutheranism is a rich faith, with extremely deep teachings. And yet if it had to be described by one thing, there is no doubt what that one thing would be. Above all other teachings, traditions, and practices, Lutheranism is and always will be about the profound reality that we are justified by grace through faith.

Let that sink in for a moment. Lutheranism’s primary purpose – the reason the movement started and continues today – is to reaffirm the teaching that we are made righteous solely and exclusively by God’s grace, through the faith that He freely gives us.

That’s it. That’s Lutheranism’s objective: to teach and proclaim that we are justified by grace through faith.

It is, without question, the teaching on which the Christian faith stands or falls. If this one thing is distorted, so is everything else. If this one teaching is obscured, so are all others. It is Lutheranism’s singular objective.

Everything flows from it: our Biblical theology, our Liturgical theology, our Sacramental theology, our Confessional theology – everything.

This idea shouldn’t be difficult to grasp. It is the message our Lord proclaimed to our first parents and continues to proclaim to this day. It is the very essence of everything Christ Jesus taught, everything He did, everything He is. It is Christianity in every sense.

So yes, Lutheranism does have a singular objective. That objective is that we are sinners who are justified by a good and gracious God, because His grace, through the faith He gives us.

This is our faith. This is Christ. This is us. It is everything.