Christians believe things. If you’ve been around Trinity for a little while, you’ve probably noticed that we are a congregation that believes things, and we take our beliefs seriously. And it’s not just me. This attitude isn’t something that a pastor sets, but then if another pastor comes along, things change. The teaching doesn’t change from one pastor to another. It doesn’t evolve over time. Or, at least, it’s not supposed to. We have a specific confession of faith, and part of being a member means that, together, we are committed to it.
Part of this confession of faith is a document called The Augsburg Confession. It was written in 1530, during the heart of the Lutheran Reformation. There were certain issues where the emerging Lutherans protested what they saw as abuses or errors in the Roman Catholic Church. Chief among them had to do with the doctrine of salvation. The Lutherans were quickly accused of being separatists, as if they were starting a new religion and abandoning the historic teachings of Christianity. This could not be farther from the truth. So they presented The Augsburg Confession to demonstrate that they were not innovators, but were instead being faithful to the Scriptures and consistent with the historical doctrines of the Christian Church.
The first article of the confession is simply titled, “God.” That seems like a good place to start. In this article, they say nothing new. They affirm the decree of the Council of Nicaea (325 ad). They say, “God is one divine essence … Yet there are three persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.”
Christians have been speaking this way for thousands of years. In the Scriptures, we see God revealed as these three persons. So we confess the doctrine of the Trinity, and this doctrine has not changed. If God changed, we would change our doctrine. But he doesn’t, so we don’t. This consistency should be a comfort to us. We change. Our lives change. The world around us changes. But God does not change. Therefore, we can depend on him. Since the beginning of creation, God’s faithful people have called upon him for help. So we, too, call upon this same God that our fathers in the faith have called upon for millennia.
The peace of Christ be with you all,
Pastor Dan Antal