This is the most important question we can ask!
In a world in which information is readily available and opinions abound, this fundamental question stands above all other inquiries and considerations. As a member of the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, Trinity Lutheran Church believes Jesus is exactly who He said He is. Along with the ancient Church, we confess that Jesus is true God and true man in one person. He is the Son of God who was crucified and raised from the dead for the salvation of all who trust in Him.
Christ is not Jesus’s last name, but identifies Him as the Messiah (Christ is the Greek translation of Messiah), the fulfillment of the Old Testament promises that God saves His people.
This fulfillment and salvation happened in history in real time and in a real place (first century AD in Israel) through a flesh-and-blood person named Jesus.
The Bible is the true and trustworthy Word of God that records God’s love for the world through His Son Jesus. The miracles recorded in the Gospels and the teachings of Jesus are true and accurate.
Jesus physically died on a cross and physically rose from the dead in three days. He physically ascended into heaven, and the Church awaits His second coming when He will judge all people.
Those who trust in Jesus as their Savior will rise to eternal life in heaven. Those who deny Jesus and live in their sin will be cast out of His presence to hell.
A Statement of Scriptural and Confessional Principles
We believe, teach and confess that Jesus Christ is our Savior and Lord, and that through faith in Him we receive forgiveness of sins, eternal life and salvation.
We confess that “our works cannot reconcile God or merit forgiveness of sins and grace, but that we obtain forgiveness and grace only by faith when we believe that we are received into favor for Christ’s sake, who alone has been ordained to be the mediator and propitiation through whom the Father is reconciled” (AC, XX, 9).
We believe that Jesus Christ is the only way to heaven and that all who die without faith in Him are eternally condemned.
We believe that those who believe in Christ will enjoy a blissful relationship with Him during the interim between their death and His second coming, and that on the last day their bodies will be raised.
We therefore reject the following:
1. That we may operate on the assumption that there may be other ways of salvation than through faith in Jesus Christ.
2. That some persons who lack faith in Christ may be considered “anonymous Christians.”
3. That there is no eternal hell for unbelievers and ungodly people.
On the basis of the Holy Scriptures we believe in the Holy Trinity; that is, we teach that the one true God, is the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, three distinct persons, but of one and the same divine essence, equal in power, equal in eternity, equal in majesty, because each person possesses the one divine essence in its entirety. We hold that all teachers and communions that deny the doctrine of the Holy Trinity are outside the pale of the Christian Church. The Triune God is the God who is gracious to man. Since the Fall, no man can believe in the "fatherhood" of God except he believe in the eternal Son of God, who became man and reconciled us to God by His vicarious satisfaction. God is perfect in love, power, holiness, goodness, knowledge, wisdom, justice, and mercy. He is unchangeable and therefore is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow.
What About the Bible (Holy Scriptures)?
We teach that the Holy Scriptures differ from all other books in the world in that they are the Word of God. They are the Word of God because the holy men of God who wrote the Scriptures wrote only that which the Holy Spirit communicated to them by inspiration, 2 Tim. 3:16; 2 Peter 1:21. We teach also that the verbal inspiration of the Scriptures is not a so-called "theological deduction," but that it is taught by direct statements of the Scriptures, 2 Tim. 3:16, John 10:35, Rom. 3:2; 1 Cor. 2:13. Since the Holy Scriptures are the Word of God, it goes without saying that they contain no errors or contradictions, but that they are in all their parts and words the infallible truth, John 10:35.
We furthermore teach regarding the Holy Scriptures that they are given by God to the Christian Church for the foundation of faith, Eph. 2:20. Hence the Holy Scriptures are the sole source from which all doctrines proclaimed in the Christian Church must be taken and also the sole rule and norm by which all teachers and doctrines must be examined and judged.
We reject the doctrine which has gained wide popularity in the Church of our day that Holy Scripture is not in all its parts the Word of God, but in part the Word of God and in part the word of man and hence does, or at least, might contain error. We reject this erroneous doctrine since it flatly contradicts Christ and His holy apostles, set up men as judges over the Word of God, and thus overthrows the foundation of the Christian Church and its faith.
We teach that God has created heaven and earth, and that in the manner and in the space of time recorded in the Holy Scriptures, especially Gen. 1 and 2, namely, by His almighty creative word, and in six days. We reject every doctrine which denies or limits the work of creation as taught in Scripture. Since no man was present when it pleased God to create the world, we must look for a reliable account of creation to God's own record, found in God's own book, the Bible. We accept God's own record with full confidence and confess: "I believe that God has made me and all creatures."
We teach humans, both male and female, were created in God's image for His glory. The first humans, Adam and Eve, were created without sin and appointed as caretakers of the rest of God's creations, Gen. 1:26, 27; Eph. 4:24; Col. 3:10, that is, they were created with true righteousness and holiness and endowed with a truly scientific knowledge of nature, Gen. 2:19-23.
We also teach that sin came into the world by the fall of Adam and Eve, as described in Gen. 3. By this Fall not only they, but also their natural offspring have lost the original knowledge, righteousness, and holiness, and thus all humans are sinners already by birth, dead in sins, inclined to all evil, and subject to the wrath of God, Rom. 5:12, 18; Eph. 2:1-3. This caused them to fall out of fellowship with God, and fractured all of creation ever since that time. We also teach that humans are unable, through any efforts of their own to reconcile themselves to God and thus conquer death and damnation.
We teach that in the fullness of time the eternal Son of God, Jesus Christ, was made man by assuming, from the Virgin Mary through the operation of the Holy Spirit, a human nature like ours, yet without sin, and receiving it unto His divine person. Jesus Christ is therefore "true God, begotten of the Father from eternity, and also true man, born of the Virgin Mary," true God and true man in one undivided and indivisible person. The purpose of this miraculous incarnation of the Son of God was that He might become the Mediator between God and men, both fulfilling the divine Law and suffering and dying in the place of mankind. In this manner God reconciled the whole sinful world unto Himself, Gal. 4:4, 5; 3:13; 2 Cor. 5:18, 19. God then raised Jesus from the dead and now, by grace, offers as a free gift eternal life to all who trust Christ, by faith, as their Lord and Savior. That is why salvation can be found in Christ alone.
We believe that there is one holy Christian Church on earth, the Head of which is Christ and which is gathered, preserved, and governed by Christ through the Gospel.
The members of the Christian Church are the Christians, that is, all those who believe that God forgives their sins for Christ's sake. The Christian Church, in the proper sense of the term, is composed of believers only, Acts 5:14; 26:18.
Since it is by faith in the Gospel alone that men become members of the Christian Church, and since this faith cannot be seen by men, but is known to God alone, 1 Kings 8:39; Acts 1:24; 2 Tim. 2:19, therefore the Christian Church on earth is invisible until Judgment Day, Col. 3:3, 4. Just as wheat is to be found only where it has been sown, so the Church can be found only where the Word of God is in use.
The Church, then, seeks to share the Word of God and the Good News of Jesus Christ with the community and world as it ministers to those in need.