Our Church Confession

The Lutheran Church Missouri Synod LCMS


Lutheran Church Confession

Our Lutheran Church Confession

The Lutheran Church Confessions are a genuine and binding explanation of the scriptures drawn from the Holy Bible. They serve as authoritative texts for everyone. That includes pastors, congregations, and various Lutheran Church Missouri Synod LCMS employees.

What is the Meaning of Our Lutheran Church Confession?

The Lutheran Church Missouri Synod LCMS recognizes all Holy Scriptures as the inspired and inerrant written Word. The LCMS unconditionally subscribes to all of The Evangelical Lutheran Church's symbolical books as a genuine expression and expression of His Word.

We accept the Lutheran Church Confessions as explained in the Book of Concord of 1580. They originate directly from the Bible. We regard their doctrinal statements as the correct and necessary explanation of the Holy Scriptures and authoritative for all pastors, congregations, and other The Lutheran Church Missouri Synod LCMS workers.

Three Ecumenical Creeds

I.  The Apostle’s Creed

I believe in God, the Father almighty, maker of heaven and earth: And in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord: who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried: he descended into hell, the third day he rose from the dead, ascended into heaven, and sits on the right hand of God, the Father almighty, whence he shall come to judge the living and the dead.

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

Apostles Creed Explained

The Apostles' Creed is a statement of Christian faith that dates back to the early Church. While it is not believed to have been written directly by the apostles, the Creed reflects their teachings and beliefs. It has become a foundational statement of faith for Christians throughout history. The Creed consists of affirmations of belief in God the Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit and serves as a unifying symbol of the Christian faith.

The Creed begins with the affirmation of faith in God the Father, the creator of heaven and earth. Belief in God the Father is the foundation of the Christian faith and is essential to understanding the nature of God. The Creed then declares belief in Jesus Christ, the Son of God and Savior of the world. The Creed affirms the virgin birth, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, asserting that He is both fully human and fully divine.

The third section of the Creed affirms belief in the Holy Spirit, the third member of the Trinity. The Holy Spirit is the presence of God in the world and is essential to the life of the Christian community. The Creed stresses that the Holy Spirit is not a separate deity but a necessary part of the Godhead.

The Creed affirms belief in the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting. These affirmations provide hope and comfort to Christians, reminding them of the ultimate goal of the Christian life: to be united with God in eternity.

The Apostles' Creed was not composed at a single point in history but developed over time based on the teachings of the apostles and the early Christian Church. The Creed evolved in various forms, with different versions of the Creed existing in other regions of the Christian world. The Creed was eventually standardized through the efforts of church councils and became a unifying symbol of the Christian faith.

The Apostles' Creed has significantly impacted the history of Christianity and continues to be an essential expression of Christian belief. It is often recited during worship services and is included in various church documents and confessions. While it is not a comprehensive statement of faith, the Creed provides a basic framework for understanding the Christian faith and has helped unite Christians worldwide for centuries.

II.  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 the Father before all ages, God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten not made, being of one substance with the Father, through whom all things were made: who for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven, was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the virgin Mary, and was made man: who for us, too, was crucified under Pontius Pilate, suffered, and was buried: the third day he rose according to the Scriptures, ascended into heaven, and is seated on the right hand of the Father: he shall come again with glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom shall have no end.

And in the Holy Spirit, the lord and giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son: who together with the Father and the Son is worshiped and glorified: who spoke by the prophets.

And I believe one holy, Christian, and apostolic church.

I acknowledge one Baptism for the remission of sins, and I look for the resurrection of the dead and the life of the age to come. Amen.

Nicene Creed Explained

The Nicene Creed is one of the most important statements of Christian belief in history. It is called the Nicene Creed because it was first adopted at the Council of Nicaea in 325 AD. The Creed was created to settle a dispute in the church over the nature of Jesus Christ.

The Nicene Creed is divided into twelve articles, each focusing on a different aspect of Christian belief. The first article declares faith in God the Father as the Almighty Creator of heaven and earth. The second article focuses on Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, who was begotten, not made. The third article focuses on the Holy Spirit and how it proceeds from the Father and the Son.

The Nicene Creed affirms that Jesus Christ is not just a mortal or a prophet but the eternal Son who is one in being with the Father. It also affirms the belief in the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come.

The Nicene Creed has been an important part of Christian worship for centuries. It is recited in many churches today as a statement of faith and belief. The Creed serves as a reminder of the fundamental truths that all Christians share, regardless of denomination or tradition.

One interesting aspect of the Nicene Creed is that it was initially a baptismal creed modified to make it more like the Nicene Creed we know today. The changes to the original Creed were designed to clarify the church's position on the nature of Jesus Christ and help combat heresy.

The Nicene Creed has been the subject of much theological discussion and debate over the centuries. Some scholars have criticized the Creed for being too rigid and dogmatic, while others have praised its clarity and precision. Despite these debates, the Nicene Creed remains an essential statement of Christian belief widely used and respected today.

In conclusion, the Nicene Creed is a powerful statement of Christian belief that has been a part of the church's worship for centuries. It affirms the belief in God the Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit, as well as the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. The Creed has played a significant role in shaping Christian thought and worship, and it continues to be an essential expression of faith for millions of Christians worldwide.

III.  The Athanasian Creed

Whoever wishes to be saved must, above all else, hold the true Christian faith.

Whoever does not keep it whole and undefiled will, without doubt, perish for eternity. That is the true Christian faith: we worship one God in three persons and three persons in one God without confusing the persons or dividing the divine substance. For the Father is one person, the Son is another, and the Holy Spirit is still another, but there is one Godhead of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, equal in glory and coequal in majesty.

What the Father is, that is the Son, and that is the Holy Spirit: the Father is uncreated, the Son is uncreated, and the Holy Spirit is uncreated; the Father is unlimited, the Son is unlimited, and the Holy Spirit is unlimited; the Father is eternal, the Son is eternal, and the Holy Spirit is eternal; and yet there are not three Eternals, but one, just as there are not three who are uncreated and who are unlimited, but there is one who is uncreated and unlimited.

Likewise, the Father is almighty, the Son is almighty, and the Holy Spirit is almighty, and yet there are not three who are almighty, but there is one who is almighty. So the Father is God, the Son is God, the Holy Spirit is God, and yet there are not three gods but one God. So the Father is Lord, the Son is Lord, the Holy Spirit is Lord, and yet there are not three Lords but one Lord.

Just as we are compelled by Christian truth to acknowledge each person by himself to be God and Lord, we are forbidden by the Christian religion to say that there are three Gods or three Lords.

The Father was neither made nor created nor begotten by anybody. The Son was not made or created but was begotten by the Father. The Holy Spirit was not made, created, or begotten but proceeds from the Father and the Son. Accordingly, there is one Father and not three Fathers, one Son and not three Sons, and one Holy Spirit and not three Holy Spirits.

And among these three persons, none is before or after another, none is greater or less than another, but all three are coequal and co-eternal. Accordingly, as stated above, three persons are to be worshiped in one Godhead, and one God is to be worshiped in three persons.

Whoever wishes to be saved must think thus about the Trinity.
It is also necessary for eternal salvation that one faithfully believe that our Lord Jesus Christ became a man, for this is the right faith, that we believe and confess that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is at once God and man: he is God, begotten before the ages of the substance of the Father, and he is man, born in the world of the substance of his mother, perfect God, and perfect man, with a reasonable soul and human flesh, equal to the Father concerning his Godhead and inferior to the Father concerning his manhood. Although he is God and man, he is not two Christs but one: one, that is to say, not by changing the Godhead into flesh but by taking on the humanity of God; one, indeed, not by confusion of substance but by unity in one person. For just as the reasonable soul and the flesh are one man, so God and man are one Christ, who suffered for our salvation, descended into hell, rose from the dead, ascended into heaven, and is seated on the right hand of the Father, whence he shall come to judge the living and the dead. At his coming, all men shall rise with their bodies and give an account of their deeds. Those who have done good will enter eternal life, and those who have done evil will go into everlasting fire.
That is the true Christian faith. He cannot be saved unless a man believes this firmly and faithfully.

Athanasian Creed Explained

The Athanasian Creed, also known as the Quicumque Vult, is a Christian statement of faith traditionally attributed to Athanasius, the great defender of orthodoxy against Arianism. While the creed's origin is uncertain, it is believed to have been written in the 5th century and gained widespread acceptance by the early Middle Ages.

The Athanasian Creed is unique among the Christian creeds in that it does not begin with a statement of belief in God but rather with a statement of the bounds of the orthodox faith. It declares that whoever wishes to be saved must hold fast to the catholic faith and that this faith is summed up in three key doctrines: the Trinity, the Incarnation, and the final judgment of all humanity.

The creed declares that there is one God who is uncreated, infinite, and eternal and that the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are each fully God, yet together, they are one God. It also professes belief in the incarnation of Christ, that he is both fully God and fully man, and that he suffered, died, and was resurrected. Finally, it asserts a belief in the universal judgment at the end of time, when all humanity will be judged according to their faith and deeds.

While some Christians have criticized the Athanasian Creed for being too convoluted and difficult to understand, others have praised it for its robust defense of orthodox doctrine. The Athanasian Creed has been used throughout history to combat heresies and define the boundaries of the Christian faith.

The Athanasian Creed continues to be recited today in Christian worship, especially in the Western Church. And while some Christians may view it as outdated or irrelevant to the modern Christian life, it remains a powerful declaration of the central tenets of the faith.

In conclusion, the Athanasian Creed is a statement of faith that proclaims the essential beliefs of Christianity. It is unique among Christian creeds in that it declares the boundaries of orthodox belief and stresses the importance of the Trinity, the incarnation of Christ, and the universal judgment. While it may be seen as outdated by some, it continues to be a vital statement of faith for those who profess belief in the Christian faith.

IV.  Justification

It is also taught among us that we cannot obtain forgiveness of sin and righteousness before God by our own merits, works, or satisfactions but that we receive forgiveness of sin and become righteous before God by grace, for Christ’s sake, through faith, when we believe that Christ suffered for us and that for his sake our sins are forgiven. Righteousness and eternal life are given to us. God will regard and reckon this faith as righteousness, as Paul says in Romans 3:2–26 and 4:5.

Article II of the Constitution of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod LCMS

The Lutheran Church Missouri Synod, and every member of the Synod, accepts without reservation:

The Scriptures of the Old and New Testament as the written word of God and the only rule and norm of faith and practice.

All the Symbolical Books of the Evangelical Lutheran Church as a true and unadulterated statement and exposition of the Word of God, to wit: the three Ecumenical Creeds (the Apostles’ Creed, the Nicene Creed, the Athanasian Creed), the unaltered Augsburg Confession, the Apology of the Augsburg Confession, the Smalcald Articles, the Large Catechism of Luther, the Small Catechism of Luther, and the Formula of Concord.

Martin Luther and the Confession of Faith

During the Reformation, Luther and the other devout reformers argued to retain private church confession and absolution. Why? There is an enormous advantage to confessing one's sins. That is, to publicly admit and then hear the lovely words of forgiveness from the lips of the Lord's appointed and ordained servant (your pastor).

When Lutheran princes delivered the Augsburg Confession to Emperor Charles V in 1530, they said the following in Article. 14:

We are taught that private absolution should be preserved and preserved. However, listing all transgressions and sins in confession is impossible. "Who can see his blunders?" as referenced in Psalm 19:12.

Martin Luther Wrote the Following about Private Church Confession and Absolution:

We should preserve private church confession since it allows consciences tormented and crushed by the terrors of sin to lay themselves naked and receive consolation that public preaching cannot provide. We wish to open church confession as a port of call and shelter for people whose consciences the devil has entangled in his snares and whom he has bewitched and tormented in such a way that they cannot free or extract themselves and feel and see nothing but death, for there is no greater suffering in this life than the aches and perplexities of a heart devoid of direction and peace (Luther's Works 6:297–298 AE).

Luther also Stated:

For this reason, I hold high regard for private church confession because the word and absolution are spoken privately and individually to each believer for the forgiveness of his sins, and he may have recourse to it as often as he desires for this forgiveness, as well as for comfort, counsel, and guidance.

Thus it is a precious, beneficial thing for souls, as long as no one must use it by laws and commandments. Still, sinners are free to use it, each according to their own need, when and where he wishes, just as we can obtain counsel and comfort, guidance and instruction when and where our need or inclination moves us.

Speak with your pastor if you want confidential church confession and absolution. You and he can work out a convenient time. Our Lutheran Service Book also has a form for individual church confession and absolution. Bear in mind that your pastor made an oath at his ordination not to reveal anything stated to him in private confession to anyone. Do not avoid personal church confession because you might be afraid your pastor will think less of you or treat you differently because of your sins. That will not happen because he is glad you acknowledged your iniquities and received complete forgiveness through Christ our Lord.

The Creed, Part 1 - Preaching through Luther's Small Catechism

The Creed, Part 2 - Preaching through Luther's Small Catechism