What We Believe
What is a Christian?
Pe√Īasquitos Lutheran Church is a Christian church.¬†Christian describes one who believes that Jesus Christ came to earth to die on the cross to pay the price for human wrongdoing (known as sin); and that after three days Jesus was raised from the dead.¬†As a Christian congregation we base all that we do on the teaching of Jesus Christ found in the Bible.¬†As followers of Jesus we live our lives in a way that will help others come to know Him, too.¬†We strive to love others as God loves us and to live out the forgiveness we have in Jesus Christ.
Why are beliefs important?
There are many in our day who discount the role of beliefs. Beliefs are treated much like a weather vane which changes and shifts with the wind.¬†But what we believe is much more important and stable than that.¬†Our beliefs are much like the rudder of a ship which directs its course, often away from danger. As a Christian congregation our beliefs are not pulled out of thin air, but are rooted in the Bible, consisting of both the Old Testament and the New Testament.¬†Our beliefs are shared by Christians down through history and around the world.¬†Without such beliefs our lives lack a foundation.
We acknowledge and believe in one God in three persons ‚Äď God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. We believe that God the Father created the universe. He is loving, compassionate, just and kind. His deepest desire is to live in an intimate relationship with all people. We believe that, because of His desire to live in a relationship with us, God became a human being. Jesus Christ, born of a virgin, is fully God and fully man. Through His death and resurrection, Jesus made it possible for all people to live in a relationship with God. We believe that Jesus Christ is the Way, the Truth, and the Life (John 14:6). It is only through Jesus that people can enter into a relationship with God. We believe that the Holy Spirit is the presence of Jesus Christ among us. Through the Holy Spirit we experience the love and power of God.¬†The Holy Spirit gives each Christian special talents and abilities¬†so that we can serve others.
With Christians around the world we believe in Jesus Christ as recorded in God's Word, the Bible, and summarized in the Apostles' Creed.¬† Through the Bible, God reveals Himself to us. We fully and completely accept the entire Bible, the Old and New Testaments, as God's inspired Word for all people and believe that it is without error. As Lutheran Christians, we believe that the Scripture alone is the source of truth and faith.¬†God‚Äôs love is undeserved and unearnable, yet through faith in Jesus Christ we are declared right in the sight of God.¬†Jesus Christ, who died and rose again, is at the center of all that we do.
Humanity and Salvation
Humanity is separated from God because of sin. The Good News that because of Jesus Christ, forgiveness is possible. We refer to this as salvation. Salvation is not something that we earn; it is a gift of God received through trusting in Jesus Christ.¬†The Holy Spirit brings us into the community of believers and followers of Christ; this is what we call the Church. Our goal is to live and die as Jesus did, reaching out to the poor, sick, alienated and oppressed; those that are easily forgotten. We believe in the return of Jesus Christ. He will return to give eternal life to those who trust in Him and to judge those who do not.¬†Though we don't know when He will return, the Bible says we must be ready and make the most of life today.
We believe that a sacrament is something commanded by Jesus Himself; that has a visible, earthly element, and imparts the forgiveness of sins to those who receive it.¬†With this view of the sacraments, we teach that there are two sacraments: Baptism and Communion. Baptism is the application of water in the name of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in response to the command and promises of Jesus (Matthew 28:19, 20). In Baptism, we believe God embraces and adopts us as members of His family. Since we see Baptism as God's act and not ours, we baptize people of all ages, as all are in need of this gracious gift of God. Communion (or the Lord's Supper) is more than just an ordinary meal.¬† It is shared with baptized Christians as a way of connecting with God and with one another. We believe that through the Lord's Supper, God comes to love us and forgive us.¬†It is a meal of renewal in which Jesus is really present.¬†In the Lord's Supper, God is acting in and through Jesus Christ to extend forgiveness for sins and to empower His people to live fully for Him.