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Beliefs Text

The Foundation of the Church: The Three "Solas"

Historically all Lutheran Churches have subscribed to these three articles of faith, which we believe comprise the foundation of the Christian Church.

"Sola Gratia = Only by Grace" - Grace is, "God's Riches at Christ's Expense." Grace is undeserved favor. We deserve judgement, but instead God gives us forgiveness and life.

Jesus said,"For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him." (John 3:17)

"Sola Fide = Only by Faith" - The grace given to us makes its home in our hearts by faith. No amount of good works or sacrifice can appease God and gain His favor. Instead God gives to us faith in Him as a gift.

Jesus said, "No one can come up to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day." (John 6:44)

"Sola Scriptura = Only by Scripture" - The Bible is the only source of "theology", or in other words, knowing who God is and what He has done for us and what He wants from us. We believe that the Holy Scriptures were breathed by God into the ears of the Biblical writers, and as such they are infallible.

Jesus said, "It is easier for heaven and earth to disappear than for the least stroke of a pen to drop out of the Law." (Luke 16:17)

The Marks of the Church

The Creeds and the Lutheran Confession - Many faiths claim to hold to Scripture or to have truth from another source. Trinity Lutheran Church holds to the ancient practice (handed down from the apostolic church) of expressing our faith in clear, specific statements called "confessions." These confessions include three statements of faith from antiquity called the "Three Ecumenical (Universal) Creeds," (The Apostles' Creed, the Nicene Creed, and the Athanasian Creed). These Universal Creeds identify the churches affiliated with historic Christianity and those that are not to be associated with the Christian Church. We also have several statements or confessions that deal with other, more detailed articles of faith. These along with the Three Universal Creeds are assembled in the Book of Concord, our official statement of faith.

Saint Paul the Apostle writes: For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures. (1 Corinthians 15:3,4)

The Sacraments of Holy Baptism and the Lord's Supper - These additional marks of the church identify where God's Spirit is at work. Trinity is known as a "sacramental Church" because we believe that God is truly acting in, with, and under the physical elements that we sense. We prepare to receive Holy Communion by going through catechesis (instruction in the essentials of the Christian faith.) In Baptism a spiritual death and resurrection occurs.

Saint Paul the Apostle writes: Having been buried with Him in baptism and raised with Him through your faith in the power of God, who raised Him from the dead. When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins. (Colossians 2:12,13)

In Holy Communion Christ is truly present to feed us spiritually, forgive our sins, and renew our hearts.

Is not the cup of thanksgiving for which we give thanks a participation in the blood of Christ? And is not the bread that we break a participation in the body of Christ? (1 Corinthians 10:16)