What we believe, teach and confess

At Trinity, we believe and preach Christ and Him crucified.  We are a member of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod.  We demonstrate and confess what we believe in two Creeds – the Apostles Creed and the Nicene Creed.  God set his expectations for us in the 10 Commandments.  And one of the hymns in the Lutheran Hymnal gives a good demonstration of how we are saved by Grace through faith. 

The Apostles Creed: 

I believe in God the Father almighty, Maker of Heaven and Earth. 

What does this mean?  (From Luther’s Small Catechism – The meaning of Article 1 – Creation): I believe that God has made me and all creatures; that He has given me my body and soul, eyes, ears, and all my members, my reason and all my sense, and still preserves them; also clothing and shoes, meat and drink, house and home, wife and children, fields, cattle, and all my goods; that He richly and daily provides me with all that I need to support this body and life; that He defends me against all danger, and guards and protects me from all evil; and all this purely out of fatherly, diving goodness and mercy, without any merit or worthiness in me; for all which it is my duty to thanks and praise, to serve and obey Him.  This is most certainly true.

And in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried; He descended into hell; the third day He rose again from the dead; He ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence He shall come to judge the quick and the dead.

What does this mean? (From Luther’s Small Catechism – The meaning of Article 2 – Redemption): I believe that Jesus Christ, true God, begotten of the Father from eternity, and also true man, born of the Virgin Mary, is my Lord, who has redeemed me, a lost and condemned person, purchased and won me from all sins, from death, and from the power of the devil; not with gold or silver, but with His holy, precious blood and with His innocent suffering and death, that I may be His own and live under Him in His kingdom and serve Him in everlasting righteousness, innocence, and blessedness, just as He is risen from the dead, lives and reigns to all eternity. This is most certainly true.

I believe in the Holy Ghost; the holy Christian Church, the communion of saints; the forgiveness of sins; the resurrection of the body; and the life everlasting.  Amen.

What does this mean? (From Luther’s Small Catechism – The meaning of Article 3 – Sanctification): I believe that I cannot by my own reason or strength believe in Jesus Christ, my Lord, or come to Him; but the Holy Spirit has called me by the Gospel, enlightened me with His gifts, sanctified and kept me in the true faith. In the same way He calls, gathers, enlightens, and sanctifies the whole Christian church on earth, and keeps it with Jesus Christ in the one true faith. In this Christian church He daily and richly forgives all my sins and the sins of all believers. On the Last Day He will raise me and all the dead, and give eternal life to me and all believers in Christ. This is most certainly true

The Nicene Creed:

I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth and of all things visible and invisible. 

And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of His Father before all worlds, God of God, Light of Light, Very God of Very God, Begotten, not made, Being of one substance with the Father, By whom all things were made; Who for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven And was incarnate by the Holy Ghost of the Virgin Mary and was made man; And was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate.  He suffered and was buried; And the third day He rose again according to the Scriptures; And ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of the Father; And he shall come again with glory to judge both the quick and the dead; Whose kingdom shall have no end. 

And I believe in the Holy Ghost, the Lord and Giver of Life, Who proceedeth from the Father and the Son, Who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified, Who spake by the Prophets.  And I believe one holy Christina and Apostolic Church.  I acknowledge one Baptism for the remission or sins, And I look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come.  Amen. 

The 10 commandments: 

The First Commandment:
Thou shalt have no other gods before Me.

What does this mean?
We should fear, love and trust in God above all things. 

The Second Commandment:
Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord, thy God, in vain.

What does this mean?
We should fear and love God that we may not curse, swear, user witchcraft, lie or deceive by His name, but call upon it in every trouble, pray praise and give thanks.

The Third Commandment:
Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. 

What does this mean?
We should fear and love God that we may not despise preaching and His Word, but hold it sacred and gladly hear and learn it. 

The Fourth Commandment:Thou shalt honor thy father and thy mother, that it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.

What does this mean?
We should fear and love God that we may not despise our parents and masters, nor provoke them to anger, but give them honor, serve and obey them, and hold them in love and esteem.

The Fifth Commandment:Thou shalt not kill.

What does this mean?
We should fear and love God that we may not hurt nor harm our neighbor in his body, but help and befriend him in every bodily need.

The Sixth Commandment:
Thou shalt not commit adultery.

What does this mean?
We should fear and love God that we may lead a chaste and decent life in word and deed, and each love and honor his spouse. 

The Seventh Commandment:
Thou shalt not steal.

What does this mean?
We should fear and love God that we may not take our neighbor’s money or goods, nor get them by false ware or dealing, but help him improve and protect his property and business.

The Eighth Commandment:
Thou shalt not bear false witness against they neighbor.

What does this mean?
We should fear and love God that we may not deceitfully belie, betray, slander, nor defame our neighbor, but defend him, speak well of him, and put the best construction on everything. 

The Ninth Commandment:
Thou shalt not covet they neighbor’s house.

What does this mean?
We should fear and love God that we may not craftily seek to get our neighbor’s inheritance or house, nor obtain it by a show of right, but help and be of service to min in keeping it.

The Tenth Commandment:
Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his cattle, nor anything that is thy neighbor’s.

What does this mean?
We should fear and love God that we may not estrange, force or entice away from our neighbor his wife, servants, or cattle, but urge them to stay and do their duty. 

One of the hymns from The Lutheran Hymnal sums up what we believe, teach and confess:

By grace I’m saved, grace free and boundless; my soul believe and doubt it not.  Why stagger at this word of promise.  Hath scripture ever falsehood taught?  Nay then this word must true remain:  By grace thou too, shalt heaven obtain. 

By Grace! None dare lay claim to merit; Our works and conduct have no worth.  God in His love sent our Redeemer, Christ Jesus, to this sinful earth; His death did for our sins aton, And we are saved by grace alone.

By grace! Oh, mark this word of promise When thou are by they sins opprest, When Satan plagues they troubled conscience, And when they heart is seeking rest.  What reason cannot comprehend God by His grace to thee doth send. 

By grace God’s Son, our only Savior, Came down to earth to bear our sin.  Was it because of thine own merit, That Jesus died they soul to win?  Nay it was grace and grace alone, That brought Him from His heavenly throne. 

By grace! This ground of faith is certain; So long as God is true, it stands.  What saints have penned by inspiration, What in His Word our God commands, What our whole faith must rest upon, Is grace alone, grace in His Son. 

By grace to timid hearts that tremble, In tribulation’s furnace tried – By grace, despite all fear and trouble, The Father’s heart is open wide.  Where could I help and strength secure If grace were not my anchor sure? 

By grace!  On this I’ll rest when dying; in Jesus’ promise I rejoice; For though I know my heart’s condition, I also know my Savior’s voice.  My heart is glad, all grief has flown, Since I am saved by grace alone.