We believe there is only one true God who exists in three separate but equal persons: God the Father, God the Son (Jesus), and God the Holy Spirit. Christians refer to the three persons of the one true God as the Trinity. If you are a bit confused, that is okay – the Trinity is a mystery that we believe without fully understanding. We believe in the Trinity because Jesus taught it. Quite frankly, we would not want to believe in a God that is small enough to understand with our feeble minds. Below is a more detailed explanation of each of the three persons of God.
God became a human and fully revealed Himself to us in the person of Jesus. Jesus shows us who God is, what God loves, what God hates, and how God feels about us.
Jesus also shows us what it means to be fully human. He is a man who lived in Israel two-thousand years ago. But Jesus is more than an ordinary man. He was, and is, the perfect human. Through Jesus we know love. Through Jesus we know truth. Through Jesus, we know mercy and compassion. He epitomizes all that we are meant to be.
And Jesus is more than a perfect man. We follow and worship Jesus the God-man. Why do we feel this way about Jesus? Because of what He said and did. 1) Jesus claimed to be God and performed many miracles. 2) Jesus predicted that he would be killed and then be resurrected three days later. 3) As He predicted, He was killed and rose from the dead three days later – the greatest miracle ever! Since ordinary people don’t get up after being dead for three days, we believe what Jesus said is true – He is God.
Jesus is the perfect go-between for God and humans. Through His life, death, and resurrection He has established a relationship between God and humans.
Jesus ascended to heaven forty days after His resurrection. He is physically present there with God the Father. From heaven Jesus rules over all of heaven and earth. Today, He is the voice to the Father on our behalf.
Through Jesus, all aspects of life are held together for Christians. Everything else we believe is grounded in our belief in Jesus as God.
Through Jesus, we know God as our Father. This means that, through Jesus, we know God is not distant and aloof. He is not sadistic, taking pleasure in our pain and sorrow. Rather, He loves us as a father ought to love his children. For some people it is hard to think of God as a Father in heaven because their earthly fathers have failed them – a sad reality that occurs far too often in our broken world. Please know that our God in heaven is a perfect Father who sets the standard for all fathers throughout the world.
The Father is the creator of everything. At His Word, all things – visible and invisible – came into being.
The Holy Spirit
Through Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection, Christians have been filled with the Holy Spirit of God as a gift. In turn, the Holy Spirit enables us to believe in Jesus Christ as our Savior, keeps us in the one true faith, and equips us for living out our faith.
The Holy Spirit is present any time the good news about Jesus is shared. We believe this is true because of Jesus’ promises, and regardless of our ability to feel the Holy Spirit’s presences.
At times and places of His own choosing, the Holy Spirit gives miraculous gifts to humans. This includes, but is not limited to, the ability to speak in previously unknown foreign languages, prophecy, prophetic interpretation, and healings. These gifts serve one purpose – to point people to Jesus. Unfortunately, there have been many people who have used miracle for their own personal gain. If a miracle – real or concocted – is used in this way or is in anyway inconsistent with Jesus’ teachings, we believe it is not from God.
Through Jesus, we know that humans are the Father’s most beloved creation. God has given humans both bodies and souls. God made humans in His own likeness. We are made to represent God to all creation by loving and caring for it. As God has lived in perfect community for all eternity, we humans are made to live in community with each other. God’s intent was for us to worship Him through every aspect of our life.
But, through Jesus, we also know that we fail to worship and serve God in our lives. We call this sin. Sin can be summed up as all the things we do – thoughts, words, and actions – that fall outside of God’s will for our lives. Sin was brought into the world when the Devil tempted the first people God created – Adam and Eve – to sin. From that point on, sin became part of our very existence. Sin corrupts humans and infects all of creation.
Because we are sinful and our perfect God requires perfect obedience, we deserve punishment. God’s punishment for sin is death – physical (i.e. no heartbeat) and spiritual (i.e. separation from God) death. Death is not a natural part of our life; death is the opposite of life. Death is bad. Death is our enemy. God created humans to live eternally, not to die. Because sin leads to death, sin is something we desperately need saving from.
God loves us and He does not desire for us to die. That’s why He sent His Son, Jesus, to save us from sin and death. Jesus lived the perfect life; He never sinned — not even once. He then took the punishment for our sin and died our death in our place. Three days later, on Easter Sunday, Jesus put death to death by rising from the grave. Through Jesus, death no longer has any power over us. And in exchange, we are given His abundant and eternal life as a gift. We receive this gift when we believe in Jesus as our Lord and Savior.
On the Last Day — we don’t know when — Jesus Christ is going to return to earth. On that day, everyone who has died will be raised and those who are still alive will be bodily transformed. At that time, the final judgment will take place. Those who do not believe will enter eternal punishment in hell. All those who believe in Jesus as Savior will have eternal life in the New Creation.
God made all creation good. God loves His whole creation. Creation includes almost everything – earth and outer space, land and sea, plants and animals, etc. Creation is good, but it is not God. Humans are to care for creation, but not to worship it.
God built rhythms into creation – night and day, weeks, months, years, etc. These rhythms are seen in humans also, namely through rest and work. God also made creation to be a place of order, not chaos. God’s commandments flow out of this order.
Today, creation is not the way God intended. It is a place of chaos, pain, sadness, and death. Creation is out of sync with the rhythms it was designed for. This disorder is ultimately a consequence of human sin.
Fortunately, on the Last Day — we don’t know when — Jesus is going to return to earth from heaven and make all things new – the New Creation. The New Creation is the ultimate hope for Christians. In that place there will be no pain, no sorrow, no sin, and no death – everything that is sad will come untrue! In the New Creation we will be freed to love God and man perfectly. It is for this reason that Christians regularly pray “Come, Lord Jesus!”
The church is not a place we go or an event we attend. The church is the community of believers in Jesus who receive God’s gifts and respond with lives of worship. Jesus builds His church through the power of the good news about Him. The church exists throughout heaven and earth, both now and forever. The church on earth today is made up of sinners in need of God’s forgiveness.
God has provided tangible ways through which He delivers His gifts of forgiveness and life to those who believe in Jesus. These are called the “means of grace.” God’s means of grace are His Word, Baptism, and the Lord’s Supper. Through these means, God makes Himself known to us in very personal ways: God’s Word reveals His faithfulness and love; Baptism is our rebirth and renewal in Jesus; the Lord’s Supper is our closest communion with Christ as we receive His body and blood in remembrance of all He has done for us.
Everything in the Bible serves to point us to God’s love that is found in Jesus. The Bible includes two sections – the Old Testament and the New Testament. The Old Testament contains thirty-nine books that were written prior to God becoming man in the person of Jesus. The New Testament contains twenty-seven books written after the ascension of Jesus to heaven. All of the books in the Bible point to Jesus as the hero. It is only through Jesus that the teachings of the Bible can be rightly and fully understood.
The Bible is the written Word of God. As the Word of God it is living and active and has the power to change hearts and minds. It is inspired by God and without error. God inspired forty different authors over a period of roughly two-thousand years to write the Bible. Time and again, the Bible has proven to be historically, geographically, and archeologically accurate. Its accuracy in these areas serves to confirm our belief in its accuracy regarding the things of God and man. If you would like to receive a free Bible, please contact us.
Christ Lutheran is part of a larger church body called The Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod. See their website for more about the beliefs of the LCMS.