First impressions are important. With that in mind, here’s a bit about us.
Clara Busch, a wife, a mother of 11, and a foster mother to many more, prayed for a Lutheran church to be started in La Mesa. That prayer led to the calling of Pastor Andrew Lucas in 1941 to plant this new church. The mission was expanded in 1958 as Christ Lutheran School was built. For over 65 years, students and families have experienced quality education from Preschool to 8th grade.
Christ Lutheran Church is focused on Developing Dynamic Disciples for Christ. Scripture teaches that disciples worship, connect, learn, and serve. We view it as a cyclical process.
We believe that there is one true, Holy God, eternally in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit -- each of Whom possesses equally all the attributes of deity and the characteristics of personality. In the beginning, God created out of nothing the world and all the things therein, thus manifesting the glory of His infinite power, wisdom, and goodness. By His Power He continues to sustain His creation. By His Providence He is operating throughout history to fulfill His redemptive purposes. (Genesis 1:1,26,27, 3:22; Psalm 90:2; Matthew 28:19; 1 Peter 1:2; 2 Corinthians 13:14)
Jesus Christ is the eternal second Person of the Trinity who was united forever with a true human nature by a miraculous conception and virgin birth. He lived a life of perfect obedience to the Father and voluntarily atoned for the sins of all by dying on the cross as their substitute, thus satisfying divine justice and accomplishing salvation for all who trust in Him alone. He rose from the dead in the same body, though glorified, in which He lived and died. He ascended to heaven and sat down at the right hand of the Father, where He, the only Mediator between God and man, continually makes intercession for His own. He shall come again to earth, personally and visibly, to consummate history and the eternal plan of God. (Matthew 1:22, 23; Isaiah 9:6; John 1:1-5, 14:10-30; Hebrews 4:14,15; 1 Corinthians 15:3,4; Romans 1:3,4; Acts 1:9-11; 1 Timothy 6:14,15; Titus 2:13)
The essential accompaniment of a genuine saving relationship with Jesus Christ is a life of holiness and obedience, attained by believers as they submit to the Holy Spirit, the third Person of the Trinity. He was sent into the world by the Father and the Son to apply to mankind the saving work of Christ. Through the Word of God and the Sacraments of Holy Baptism and the Lord's Supper, the Holy Spirit works and sustains faith in the hearts of people. The Holy Spirit enlightens the minds of sinners, awakens in them recognition of their need for a Savior, and regenerates them. At the point of salvation, He permanently indwells every believer to become his/her source of assurance, strength, wisdom, and uniquely endows each believer with gifts for the edification of the body. The Holy Spirit guides believers in understanding and applying the Scripture. His indwelling presence, power, and control are appropriated by faith, making it possible for the believer to lead a life of Christ-like character and to bear fruit to the glory of the Father. (2 Corinthians 3:17; John 16:7-13, 14:16,17; Acts 1:8; 1 Corinthians 2:12, 3:16; Ephesians 1:13; Galatians 5:25; Ephesians 5:18)
The sole basis of our belief is the Bible, composed of the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments. We believe that Scripture in its entirety originated with God and that it was given by inspiration of the Holy Spirit through the instrumentality of chosen men. Scripture speaks with the authority of God and reflects the backgrounds, history, styles, and vocabularies of human authors. We hold that the Scriptures are infallible and inerrant in the original manuscripts. They are the unique, full, and final authority on all matters of faith and practice, and there are no other writings similarly inspired by God. (2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:20, 21; 2 Timothy 1:13; Psalm 119:105,160, 12:6; Proverbs 30:5)
We believe and teach that since Adam and Eve sinned, all men and women are born with sin, that is, without the fear of God and without trust in God. This nature, state, or origin (spiritual depravity), will bring condemnation and eternal death upon those not born again. People are made in the spiritual image of God, to be like Him in character. People are the supreme object of God’s creation. Although every person has tremendous potential for good, all of us are marred by this sinful attitude of disobedience toward God. (Genesis 1:27; Psalm 8:3-6; Isaiah 53:6a; Romans 3:23; Isaiah 59:1, 2)
The central purpose of God's revelation in Scripture is to call all people into fellowship with Him through Jesus Christ. Originally created to have fellowship with God, man defied God, choosing to go his independent way, and thus was alienated from God and suffered the corruption of his nature (original sin), rendering him unable to please God. The fall took place at the beginning of human history, and all individuals thus born in the image of Adam have suffered these consequences and are in need of the saving grace of God. The salvation of mankind is, then, wholly a work of God's free grace, not the result, in whole or in part of human works of goodness, and must be personally appropriated by repentance and faith. Therefore, a person is made right (justified) with God when he/she believes that he/she is forgiven for Christ's sake, who, by His death, has made satisfaction for his/her sins. This faith God imputes for righteousness in His sight. Therefore, a person is justified by grace, through faith in Jesus Christ alone. When God has begun a saving work in the heart of any person, He gives assurance in His Word that He will continue performing it until the day of its full consummation. Salvation is maintained by the grace and power of God, not by the self-effort of the Christian. Eternal life begins the moment one receives Jesus Christ into his life by faith. (Romans 6:23; Ephesians 2:8-9; John 14:6, 1:12; Titus 3:5; Galatians 3:26; Romans 5:1; 1 Peter 1:3-5; John 10:29)
The Bible tells us that such “faith comes by hearing” (Rom. 10:17). Jesus Himself commands Baptism and tells us that Baptism is water used together with the Word of God (Matt. 28:19-20). Because of this, we believe that Baptism is one of the miraculous means of grace through which God creates and/or strengthens the gift of faith in a person’s heart (see Acts 2:38; Acts 22:16; 1 Peter 3:21; Gal. 3:26-27; Rom. 6:1-4; Col. 2:11-12; 1 Cor. 12.13).
Terms the Bible uses to talk about the beginning of faith include “conversion” and “regeneration.” Although we do not claim to understand fully how this happens, we believe that when an infant is baptized God creates faith in the heart of that infant. We believe this because the Bible says that infants can believe (Matt. 18:6) and that new birth (regeneration) happens in Baptism (John 3:5-7; Titus 3:5-6). The infant’s faith cannot yet, of course, be verbally expressed or articulated by the child, yet it is real and present all the same (see e.g., Acts 2:38-39; Luke 1:15; 2 Tim. 3:15). The faith of the infant, like the faith of adults, also needs to be fed and nurtured by God’s Word (Matt. 28:18-20), or it will die. Lutherans do not believe that only those baptized as infants receive faith. Faith can also be created in a person's heart by the power of the Holy Spirit working through God's (written or spoken) Word.
Baptism should then soon follow conversion (cf. Acts 8:26-40) for the purpose of confirming and strengthening faith in accordance with God's command and promise. Depending on the situation, therefore, Lutherans baptize people of all ages from infancy to adulthood.
The LCMS does not believe that Baptism is ABSOLUTELY necessary for salvation. All true believers in the Old Testament era were saved without baptism. Mark 16:16 implies that it is not the absence of Baptism that condemns a person but the absence of faith, and there are clearly other ways of coming to faith by the power of the Holy Spirit (reading or hearing the Word of God). Still, Baptism dare not be despised or willfully neglected, since it is explicitly commanded by God and has His precious promises attached to it. It is not a mere “ritual” or “symbol,” but a powerful means of grace by which God grants faith and the forgiveness of sins.
We also believe and teach that the Body and Blood of Christ are truly present in, with and under the bread and wine as they are distributed to those who eat in the Supper of the Lord. Those who receive the Body and Blood as penitential people who trust in Christ and His words about this supper receive forgiveness of all sins, the assurance of salvation, and strength in their Christian lives.
The corollary of union with Jesus Christ is that all believers become members of His body, the Church. There is one true Church universal, comprised of all those who acknowledge and receive Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. The Scripture commands believers to gather together in order to devote themselves to worship, prayer, the teaching of the Word, the administration of Baptism and Holy Communion as established by Jesus Christ, fellowship, service to the body through the development and use of talents and gifts, and outreach to the world. Wherever God's people meet regularly in obedience to this command, there is the local expression of the Church. Under the watchful-care of pastors, deacons, and other supportive leadership, its members are to work together in love and unity, intent on the one ultimate purpose of glorifying God.
Lutherans are "Amillennialists," differing from popular "millennial" views of the end times. We agree with all Christians that Jesus will come again at the end of time; that his return is imminent and motivates us to be diligent and passionate in outreach. We believe that no one can predict when his return will occur, only God the Father knows. We do not believe that the Bible teaches a literal 1,000-year reign of Christ. The millennial reign of Jesus began when he rose from the dead and ascended into heaven. His millennial reign continues forever (Ephesians 1:19-23). We believe that the tribulation of the Christian church began when Jesus ascended into heaven and will continue until his return. The tribulation will significantly intensify in the time period immediately prior to Jesus' second coming. The Church is simultaneously living in the tribulation and under the authority and power of Jesus' millennial reign. We believe that the rapture will take place when Jesus comes at the end of time (1 Thessalonians 4:15-18). We do not teach a "pre-, mid- or post-tribulation rapture." We believe in a God who will accomplish his plan and purpose at the end of time regardless of the various views of the Body of Christ.
No matter what you need – we’re here to help!
Our Board of Directors is known as the Apostolic Counsel (AC for short). This body is made up of 5 members of Christ Lutheran Church affirmed to be Christlike servant leaders in our annual congregational meeting. The AC provides wise counsel to the senior pastor and holds him accountable in leading Christ Lutheran Church Ministries to pursue our mission of developing dynamic disciples for Christ. The AC uses the guiding principles affirmed by the congregation in 2016 to make sure our resources are managed well, our mission stays focused on connecting people to Jesus, and our outreach is to our community and beyond!