The Lutheran Church differs from all other churches in being essentially the Church of the pure Word and unadulterated Sacraments. Not the great number of her adherents, not her organizations, not her charitable and other institutions, not her beautiful customs and liturgical forms, and so forth, but the precious truths confessed by her symbols in perfect agreement with the Holy Scriptures constitute the true beauty and rich treasures of our Church, as well as the never-failing source of her vitality and power.
Wherever the Lutheran Church ignored her symbols or rejected all or some them, there she always fell an easy prey to her enemies. But wherever she held fast to her God-given crown, esteemed and studied her Confessions, and actually made them a norm and standard of her entire life and practice, there the Lutheran Church flourished and confounded all her enemies.
Accordingly, if Lutherans truly love their Church, and desire and seek her welfare, they must be faithful to her Confessions and constantly be on their guard lest anyone rob her of her treasure. To strengthen this loyalty and to further facilitate the study of our “Golden Concordia,”—such is the object also of this Jubilee Edition— the Triglot Concordia.
May God be pleased, as in the past, so also in the future, to bless our Church, and graciously keep her in the true and only saving Christian faith as set forth and confessed in the Lutheran symbols, whose paramount object is to maintain the gem of Luther’s Reformation, the blessed doctrine of salvation by grace only, which most wonderfully magnifies the great glory of our God, and alone is able to impart solid comfort to poor sinners.
Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, Missouri
July 4, 1921
We believe in the one true God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. (Matt. 28:18-19; John 15:26; 2 Cor. 13:14)
We believe that all people are sinful by nature (Ps. 14:3; 51:5; Is. 64:6; Rom. 3:9-18, 23; 5:12; James 2:10; 1 John 1:8) and deserve God’s punishment, now and forever. (Matt. 10:28; Is. 66:24; Matt. 7:13; Luke 16:19-31)
We believe that God sent His Son, Jesus Christ, into the world as our substitute to be sacrificed on the cross in payment for our sins. (John 1:14; Matt. 1:21; John 1:1; 20:20; Rom. 4:25; 5:8, 19; John 1:29; Is. 53:6; Rom. 3:23-25; 2 Cor. 5:21; Gal. 3:13)
We believe that Jesus Christ is true God and true man. We believe that He won forgiveness for the whole world at the cross. We believe that He is the only Redeemer and the only Mediator between God and man. (Rom. 3:21-26; 4:5; 5:1; Gen. 15:6; 2 Cor. 5:19)
We believe that we are justified (declared righteous by God) solely by God's grace for Christ's sake through faith. We believe that the risen Christ now gives His forgiveness to us through the means of grace, that is, His holy Word and Sacraments. (John 3:5-8; 17:17-20; 1 Cor. 1:21; Acts 11:14; Rom. 10:17)
We believe that the Bible is the inspired Word of God, and, as such, is free from error. We believe that the Bible is the only norm and rule for faith and life. (John 17:17; 10:35; 2 Peter 1:21; 2 Tim. 3:16; 1 Cor. 2:13)
We believe that the three ecumenical creeds (Apostles', Nicene, Athanasian), Luther's Small and Large Catechisms, the Augsburg Confession, the Apology (defense) of the Augsburg Confession, the Smalcald Articles, the Treatise on the Power and Primacy of the Pope and the Formula of Concord (which all comprise the Book of Concord) confess the Scriptural faith.
We believe that in Holy Communion, together with the bread and wine, we receive the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins and the strengthening of faith. (Matt. 26:26-28; Mark 14:22-24; Luke 22:19-20; 1 Cor. 11:23-26)
For more information on our beliefs, teachings and confessions, see A Brief Statement of the Doctrinal Position of the Missouri Synod (1932) (pdf ~ 223 kb)and A Statement of Scriptural and Confessional Principles (1973) (pdf ~99.3 kb).