TRINITY LUTHERAN CHURCH’S STATEMENT OF BELIEFS
The Members Of Trinity Lutheran Church Believe And Confess
The Following Truths As Drawn From God’s Word
As Sinners, Forgiven By The Blood Of Jesus, Brought To Faith By The Holy Spirit, And Trusting In Our Father’s grace, We Believe That….
The Bible………..…in its entirety, is God’s inspired and inerrant Word; which the Lord has revealed to us, to make us wise unto salvation, through faith in Jesus Christ, our Savior (see 1st Peter 1:16-20; 2nd Timothy 3:15-16; Romans 10:9-10, 17).
The Only True God is the Triune God..…Father, Son and Holy Spirit – that is, ‘One God in three Persons, and three Persons in One God’. (Sadly, throughout history, many have tried to make God’s essence more understandable – to our limited thinking, and sin-marred minds‘ – but, in the process, they have departed from the Christian faith, and started false religions (ie. Islam, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormonism). Our response is: “Don’t make your brain bigger than the Bible”. In other words, hold your reason captive to God’s Word, even when you can’t understand it all. As Luther said, “If there is something in Scripture you cannot understand. Give God the honor of being more learned than you are.” In fact, wouldn’t you expect ‘Almighty God‘ to be bigger than your brain, and your ability to fully comprehend all that He is? As a result, rather than telling God Who He can be, and Who He can’t be, let Him tell you Who He is – because God knows Himself quite well. Thus, our Lord tells us in His Word that He is ‘One God‘ (see Deuteronomy 6:4, 1st Corinthians 8:6), and yet, there are three persons – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – in the One Godhead (see Genesis 1:26-27, and notice the words ‘us’ and ‘our’. Also see Matthew 28:19-20).
Humanity………..is the crown of God’s creation, not evolved by chance, but lovingly and purposefully created by God, as two distinct genders – male and female. Humanity was created ‘very good’, in the Image of God, without sin, for the purpose of living with and under God, in His kingdom, forever; and there to serve Him in everlasting righteousness, innocence, and blessedness (see Genesis 1:26-31).
Sin…….…was, and is, humanity’s deliberate rebellion against God’s will for our lives, as expressed in the Ten Commandments. Since we are all born in sin, and also because we sin daily, we have all broken God’s commandments, and broken God’s heart. As a result, our sin has separated us from God, and fully deserves His wrath. In addition, our sin is the source of all the sufferings and death we experience in this life (see Genesis 3), and our sin will result in judgment and eternal death in hell, unless forgiven (see Exodus 20, Romans 1:18-32, 1st Corinthians 6:9-20). [In our hyper-sexualized culture, we feel we must emphasize that any sexual activity or relationships, other than that of: one man and one woman, united as husband and wife in God’s gift of marriage, is sinful. While it’s true that ‘no sin is worse than another’, that phrase is often used to justify sin. True! No sin is worse than any other, but all sin will lead to death in hell unless forgiven.]
Salvation Is God’s Gracious Gift…….to His wayward, lost, and dying children! John 3:16 declares, “God so loved the world that He gave His only-begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him will not perish, but have everlasting life.” Romans 5:8 says, “God proved His love for us in that, while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” And 1st John 1:7 promises, “The blood of Jesus, God’s Son, cleanses us from all unrighteousness.” We believe that Jesus lived a perfect life to give us His righteousness, He died an innocent death to forgive our sins, and He rose again victoriously to conquer our death, and the devil (see Romans 3:19-28, 5:19; Hebrews 2:14-15, 4:15; Matthew 28:1-10; John 11:25-26).
Faith……..….is how God’s gifts are received and become mine. Faith is the absolute trust or confidence of one’s heart in the promises of God, that: God freely forgives our sin, and declares us righteous, solely for the sake of Christ’s perfect life, His innocent suffering and death, and His victorious resurrection (see Romans 5:1, 10:9-10; Ephesians 2:8-9). As a result of being forgiven, and declared righteous in Christ’s righteousness, we are saved and risen to die no more in Christ. Faith takes God at His Word, and receives what God promises.
Good Works…..……are neither necessary to be saved, nor can they accomplish anything at all toward one’s salvation. Christians do good works “not to be saved, but because we are already saved by Jesus” (see Ephesians 2:1-10). In other words, good works flow from salvation.
The Holy Spirit……………..………is God’s EMT, Who comes to rescue us in our sinfully dead condition. The Holy Spirit gives us Divine CPR, or ‘spiritual mouth-to-mouth resuscitation’ as He works saving faith in our hearts in our Savior, Jesus, through the Means of Grace, namely: the Word of God, Holy Baptism, and the Lord’s Supper (see John 6:63; John 14:26; John 16:12-15; Acts 2:38-39, 1st Corinthians 6:11, Galatians 3:26-27). By the work of the Holy Spirit – Who is the breath of God – we breathe in God’s grace and forgiveness in Jesus, and are re-born to new life in Christ that never ends! And by the power of the Holy Spirit, we then breathe out Jesus’ forgiveness to the world!
The Church…………………is the ‘body of Christ’, and is comprised of all believers in Jesus throughout all of time and space. The church is God’s family of forgiven sinners in Christ, which gathers around God’s Word, Holy Baptism, and the Lord’s Supper, to receive forgiveness, life, and salvation, to build up one another in the faith and support each other in our life-long walk with Christ, and who are sent out into the world to share the Good News of our Savior’s forgiveness with a lost and dying world (see Matthew 28:18-20). Our Lord desires that every believer be an active member of a Christian congregation (see Psalm 95:1-5, and notice the word ‘us’ and ‘we’. Hebrews 10:25).
Jesus Will Come Again……………Jesus has a perfect track record of keeping His promises. And He promises us that He is coming again, on the last day, to raise the bodies of all the dead – both believers and unbelievers – back to life. After He raises our bodies, the Lord will take all of the believers, body and soul, home to Heaven. Then He will give the unbelievers what they always wanted – life without God. But sadly, ‘life without God’ is hell. But all believers will live happily-ever-after, with our Lord, in paradise; and there to know fully the joys of our Lord and His salvation! (see John 5:28-29, 14:1-6; Matthew 25:31-46; 1st Thessalonians 4:13-18; Revelation 21:1-5; Revelation 22.)
NOTE: This ‘Statement of Beliefs’ does not exhaust all of the teachings of God’s Word, nor does it exhaust all that our church teaches. We look to God’s Word – the Holy Bible – as the true and final authority for our beliefs and practices. We also believe that the Lutheran Confessions, as found in: The Book Of Concord (published in 1580), are a correct exposition and understanding of God’s Word.
TO GOD BE THE GLORY, GREAT THINGS HE HAS DONE! SO LOVED HE THE WORLD, THAT HE GAVE US HIS SON!