It is taught among us that we cannot obtain forgiveness of sin and righteousness before God by our own merits, works, or satisfactions, but that we receive forgiveness of sin and become righteous before God by grace, for Christ’s sake, through faith when we believe that Christ suffered for us and that for His sake our sin is forgiven and righteousness and eternal life are given to us. For God will regard and reckon this faith as righteousness, as Paul says in Romans 3:21-26 and Romans 4:5.
–The Book of Concord, A.D. 1580
GRACE ALONE—God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. —Romans 5:8
What does this mean? Because there was nothing that anyone could do to help sinners, God came to your rescue even though you didn’t deserve it. He sent into this world His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, to live a perfect life in your stead, and offer Himself as the sacrifice for your sin.
FAITH ALONE—So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God. –Romans 10:17
What does this mean? Because you cannot create faith that will save you by your own self, God’s Holy Spirit works through the Word of God, calling you to faith through the hearing of His Gospel found in the Holy Bible.
SCRIPTURE ALONE—All Scripture is God breathed, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness. —2 Timothy 3:16
What does this mean? Scripture alone is what norms the teaching of the Lutheran Church (Missouri Synod), not the opinions of human beings.