"What are confessional Lutherans?"

Confessional Lutherans are those Lutherans who subscribe (or hold firmly) to, first and foremost, all the words of Holy Scripture. Below is a summary of the main teachings of Scripture in which we believe. 

We believe that all the Holy Scriptures (the Bible) are the inspired, inerrant, infallible words of God (II Timothy 3:16, II Peter 1:21).

We believe that the book of Genesis gives the true account of the six - 24 hour days of creation, God’s establishment of marriage (which is one man and one woman for a lifetime), man’s fall into sin, and God’s promise to send his Son as the Savior of the world [Genesis 3:15] Without this confession of the Biblical account of creation, the rest of the Bible would be of no real value. (i. e. Where did sin come from and why did God send Jesus?) 

We believe that there is one true God (Deuteronomy 6:4), who has revealed himself in three persons, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19). However, we do not have three Gods, but one God. The ancient Christian church used the word "Triune" (three in one) to describe this truth of Scripture.

We believe that because of the original sin that we inherit from Adam and Eve, all people are sinful from the moment they are conceived (Psalm 51:5, John 3:6a) and that the punishment for sin is death (Romans 5:12; 6:23). Because of our sin, by nature, there is nothing that we can do to please God "for all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23).

We believe that God does not want us to "try hard" or to "make our best effort" to live a good and decent life. Instead, Jesus says, "Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect" (Matthew 5:48). In other words, trying hard is not good enough. God demands absolute perfection.

We believe that since no one can achieve such perfection because of their sin, God sent his one and only Son, Jesus, into the world to be our Savior from sin and death, "that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life" (John 3:16).

We believe that Jesus is the God-man, 100% God and 100% human being. He is the Son of God who was born of the virgin Mary. He was born into this world to keep God's law perfectly in our place (Matthew 5:17) and to suffer and die for the sins of the entire world (1 John 2:2).

We believe that Jesus also rose from the dead with a real and glorified body. This resurrection serves as powerful, divine proof that God has forgiven all sin.(Romans 4:25)

We believe that because of what Jesus has done, God has justified (declared "not guilty") the entire world freely by his grace (undeserved love) for the sake of Jesus (Romans 3:24)

We believe that all who trust in Jesus alone as their Savior have eternal life (John 3:16, 36). Only those who refuse to trust in Jesus alone as their Savior will endure eternal death in hell (Mark 16:16).

We believe that we are not saved because of our faith, but that we are saved through faith (Ephesians 2:8, 9).  The Holy Spirit is the one who creates faith (trust) in our hearts and maintains this faith through God's Word and partaking in the Sacraments of Holy Baptism and Holy Communion (Romans 10:17, John 17:17, Matt. 26:26-28, Titus 3:4-7). 

Just as God gives us our physical life as a free gift (we do nothing to earn or deserve it), so also he gives us our new spiritual life as a free gift (we do nothing to earn or deserve it).