We believe that in baptism, one of the things that happens is that we are “adopted” by God. And as members of God’s family, we are taught and nurtured by a specific church family. A “Lutheran”, then, is someone who is a member of a Lutheran Christian community.
If you were to boil down Lutheran beliefs to one word, a strong candidate for that word would be grace. Grace is a word that describes God’s unconditional and steadfast love. If mercy is not getting what you deserve (punishment), then grace is getting what you don’t deserve (love and forgiveness). This grace is shown in countless ways, but most clearly of all in the good news that we are freely saved through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Most Christian denominations point to God’s grace, but Lutherans tend to get really radical about it.