Along with all other Lutheran churches around the world, we trace our roots directly to a 16th century movement for renewal of the church, known as the Reformation. Martin Luther was an Augustinian monk assigned to lecture in biblical theology at the University of Wittenberg in Germany. Even though he lived the life of a conscientious monk, Luther felt that he was not able to please God. But as he studied the Bible he began to realise that its central message is about God’s overwhelming love for us.
The Bible teaches that we are saved by God’s kindness to us, through faith in Jesus Christ, and not by our own efforts to please God. So Luther began to protest against the church practices of that time that gave people the impression they must work hard to win their place in heaven. Good works don’t make God love us, he taught; God loves us regardless of who we are or what we’ve done.
Luther’s teaching, sermons, and writings inspired others to join him in working for reform of the church. Beginning at Wittenberg, reform spread to many areas of Northern Europe, especially in Germany and the Nordic countries.
You can learn more about the Lutheran Church by visiting the website for the Lutheran Church of Australia.