WHAT WE BELIEVE AND TEACH
We are a Christ-preaching church, which proclaims Jesus Christ, the crucified and risen Lord, the only Savior for all the people of the world. Through his suffering, death, and resurrection, we have the forgiveness of sins and everlasting life.
We are a Bible- believing church that teaches that the Bible is the true and inspired Word of God, the only authority for Christian faith and life. We aim to teach God’s Word in all its truth and simplicity.
We are an evangelical church. This means that we want to bring the good news of Jesus to all people.
We are a people-caring church. We offer friendship, support, counsel, direction, and love. Why? Because the people of our church care about other people. And that includes you.
Here is a brief summary of what we believe and teach:
* We believe that there is one true God (Deuteronomy 6:4), who has revealed himself in three persons, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19). However, we do not have three Gods, but one God. The Christian church has historically used the words "Triune" and “Trinity” to describe our unique and incomprehensible three-in-one God.
* We believe that all people are sinful from the moment they are conceived in the womb (Psalm 51:5) and that the divine
punishment for sin is death (Romans 5:12; 6:23). Because of our sin there is nothing we can do by nature to please God "for all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23).
* We believe that God does not want us to simply "try hard" or to "make our best effort" to live a good and decent life. This does not please God. Instead, Jesus says, "Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect" (Matthew 5:48). In other words, trying hard is not good enough. God demands absolute perfection.
* We believe that since no one can achieve such perfection because of sin, God sent his one and only Son, Jesus Christ, into the world to be our Savior from sin and death, "that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life" (John 3:16).
* We believe that Jesus is the God-man, 100% God and 100% human being. He is the Son of God who was born of the virgin Mary.
* We believe that Jesus came into this world to keep God's law perfectly in our place (Matthew 5:17) and to suffer and die for the sins of the entire world (1 John 2:2). We believe that Jesus did this perfectly and that now God gives us the perfection (righteousness) of his Son as an absolutely free gift (2 Corinthians 5:21).
* We believe that Jesus rose from the dead with a glorified body on Easter morning (Matthew 28:6). This resurrection serves as powerful, divine proof that God has forgiven all sin for the sake of Jesus (Romans 4:25).
* We believe that because of what Jesus has done, God has justified (declared "not guilty") the entire world freely by his grace (undeserved love) for the sake of Jesus (Romans 3:24).
* We believe that all who trust in Jesus as their Savior have the forgiveness of sins and eternal life (John 3:16, 36). Only those who refuse to trust in Jesus as their Savior will endure eternal death (Mark 16:16).
* We believe that we are not saved because of our faith. We are saved by faith (Ephesians 2:8,9). The Holy Spirit is the one who creates faith (trust) in our hearts through the hearing of God's Word and partaking in the Sacraments of Holy Baptism and Holy Communion (Romans 10:17). Just as God gives us our physical life as a free gift (we do nothing to earn or deserve it), so also he gives us our new spiritual life as a free gift (we do nothing to earn or deserve it). We do not make a "decision for Jesus." Jesus chooses us simply by his grace (undeserved love), not because of who we are, but because of who he is.
* We believe that in Holy Baptism God makes a commitment to us. In Baptism he promises us the forgiveness of sins and eternal life (Acts 2:38-29). We baptize infants as well as adults because children need these promises as well, since they are sinful from birth and sometimes die as a result (Psalm 51:5; Romans 5:12).
* We believe that in Holy Communion Jesus gives us his true body and blood under the bread and wine for the forgiveness of sins (Matthew 26:26-28). This is a great mystery (something hidden from our eyes). Even unbelievers receive his body and blood in this Supper, although they do not receive it to their benefit (1 Corinthians 11:27-29).
* We believe that Christians produce good works not to merit or earn anything from God (something they cannot do anyway). Instead Christians produce good works because that's what Christians naturally do, in the same way that a good vine produces fruit (John 15:1-8). Good works are natural "fruits of the Spirit" (Galatians 5:22-25).
* We believe that Christians delight to do what agrees with God’s holy will. That will is revealed in the Bible, particularly in the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20) as their content is repeated in the New Testament. In wrestling with moral challenges, the Christian will seek answers from God’s Word. We believe, for example that the fifth commandment teaches that all human life is a gift from God. This commandment speaks against murder, abortion, suicide, and any activity that hurts or harms another person. We believe that the sixth commandment regulates marriage and family. God instituted marriage as a life-long union between one man and one woman (Matthew 19:4-6). Marriage is the only proper context for sexual intimacy. This commandment speaks against divorce (unless one’s spouse has broken the marriage through adultery (Matthew 19:9) or malicious desertion (1 Corinthians 7:15), and forbids all sexual intimacy apart from marriage, including homosexuality (1 Corinthians 6:9-10).
* We believe that in this world Christians still struggle with sin and that even their best works are tainted with sin. A sinful nature afflicts every Christian. Therefore Christians often fail to do the good they want to and keep on doing the evil they do not want to do (Romans 7:18-21). Because of Christ’s work of redemption, however, they can have confidence that their sin is forgiven (1 John 1:8-9) and that their imperfect efforts are considered holy and acceptable by their heavenly Father.
* We believe that Jesus will return on the Last Day and judge all people. "Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned" (Mark 16:16). We reject any teaching of a "thousand year" reign of Christ on earth, since the Scriptures do not teach this. Jesus said very plainly, "My kingdom is not of this world" (John 18:36).
For those who are interested in learning more about Peace Evangelical Lutheran Church, please call the church office at 408- 248-3484. Pastor Chung will be more than happy to answer any questions you may have.