What We Believe

Our Beliefs Are Founded in Scripture

St. Mark Lutheran Church offers a theologically conservative environment in which its members may worship.

We believe, teach, and confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and the world's only Savior from sin. There is one true God who has revealed himself as three persons in one God and one God in three persons — the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

We are a congregation of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS). With heritage in the Lutheran Reformation, we believe that the Bible is the true, infallible Word of God down to the very words, that it is without error in any way, and that it is sufficient to make us wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. The Bible is the only standard for Christian teaching and doctrine by which all other teachings are judged.

As a confessional Lutheran church, we confess the three ecumenical creeds—Apostles', Nicene, and Athanasian. Additionally, we hold to the Lutheran confessions as contained in the Book of Concord of 1580 because they are faithful expositions of the teachings of the Bible. In order to remain true and faithful to God's Word, all preaching and teaching in our church and school are in harmony with these confessions.

WELS.net

What About Jesus

God and His Revelation (The Bible)

  • We believe the Bible is the true and inspired message from God, right down to its words. This is called verbal inspiration.
    2 Peter 1:21 • 1 Cor. 2:13 • 2 Timothy 3:16
  • We believe the entire Bible is God's Word and is true. Timothy 3:16
    • John 17:17b • Psalm 12:6 • Proverbs 30:5
  • We believe God and His Word do not change.
    John 10:35
  • We believe the Bible is the only source and standard for Christian teaching and living.
    2 Timothy 3:15-17
  • We believe the Bible serves as the guide for our faith and life.
    Romans 10:17
  • We may have different opinions about many subjects, but we are to believe and follow all that the Bible teaches.
    John 8:31 • John 13:35
  • We believe and accept Scripture on its own terms, accepting as factual history what it presents as history, recognizing a metaphor where Scripture itself indicates one, and reading poetry that is evident as such.
    2 Timothy 3:16 • John 10:35
  • We believe that Scripture must interpret Scripture. Interpretation is not up to human reason.
    1 Corinthians 2:13
  • We believe there is only one true God.
    John 17:3
  • We believe God has made Himself known as a Triune God, one God in three persons.
    Matthew 28:19 • John 5:23
  • We believe that God has revealed Himself in nature.
    Psalm 19:1 • Romans 1:20
  • We believe we can get up every morning, not knowing what the day has in store for us, and confidently place our lives in the hands of our heavenly Father, who loves each one of us as His dear child.
    Jeremiah 29:11

Creation, Man, and Sin

  • We believe God created the universe and everything in it, including man, in six normal days and so reject the theories of evolution.
    Genesis 1-2
  • We believe we are sinful and would be lost forever without a Savior.
    Romans 5:18 • Psalm 51:5 • Genesis 8:21
  • We believe the account of the flood was a historical event with current scientific support to indicate a world-wide catastrophe.
    Genesis 6-9
  • We believe as our Creator, God has the right to tell us how to live our daily lives in keeping with His Ten Commandments.
    Exodus 20 • Romans 13:10
  • We believe that mankind is unable to reconcile himself to God by his own efforts and deeds.
    Ephesians 2:1
  • We believe in the total spiritual depravity of man.
    Romans 3:9-18
  • We believe at creation God established the marriage bond to be between one man and one woman.
    Genesis 2
  • We believe all homosexual behavior to be immoral, contrary to God's Word, and a sin in the sight of God.
    Mark 7:21-23
  • We believe that with contrition and repentance, God forgives all sins because of the work of his Son Jesus.

Christ and Redemption

  • We believe Jesus Christ is really God and really a man.
    Galatians 4:4 • Philippians 2:7-8
  • We believe Jesus lived a perfect life that we could not.
    Hebrews 4:14-15
  • We believe that through Jesus' death on the cross, He received the punishment for our sins as our substitute.
    Matthew 20:28 • 2 Corinthians 5:21
  • We believe Jesus physically rose from the dead. We believe He defeated death and proved He is God.
    1 Corinthians 15:3-4 • Romans 1:3-4
  • We believe Jesus is that Savior, the Son of God, born of the virgin Mary.
    Galatians 4:4
  • We believe Jesus died to pay for our sins, and bodily rose from the dead as proof that our sins are forgiven.
    Philippians 2:7-11

Justification by Faith

  • We believe that God has justified, that is, declared all sinners righteous in His eyes for the sake of Christ. We believe this is the central message of Scripture upon which the very existence of the Church depends.
    Romans 5:18
  • We believe by faith in Jesus Christ, the individual receives this free gift of forgiveness through Christ and eternal life.
    Ephesians 2:8-9
  • We believe that Christ died for all but those who do not believe will be lost.
    Mark 16:16
  • We believe that man's conversion is entirely the work of God's grace and reject any teaching that makes man somehow responsible for his salvation.
    1 Corinthians 2:14 • Romans 8:7 • 1 Corinthians 12:3 • Romans 10:17

Good Works and Prayer

  • We believe that faith in Jesus Christ produces works that are pleasing to God and we reject the idea that good works contribute toward gaining salvation.
    John 15:5 • James 2:17 • Hebrews 11:6 • Ephesians 2:8-9
  • We believe that prayer is a fruit of faith and not a means of grace. Christians present their needs and the needs of others and they give thanks.
    1 Timothy 2:1
  • We believe that God answers prayers according to his wisdom.
    Matthew 7:7-8 • 1 John 5:14
  • We believe that good works, which are fruits of faith, must be distinguished from works of civic righteousness performed by unbelievers.
    Hebrews 11:6

The Means of Grace

  • We believe that coming to faith is an act of grace and nothing we choose to do.
    John 15:16
  • We believe through baptism the Holy Spirit creates and strengthens faith in both children and adults.
    Mark 16:16 • Matthew 28:19 • John 3:6
  • We believe that in the Lord's Supper, we receive Jesus' true body and blood, together with the bread and wine, for the forgiveness of our sins.
    Luke 22:19-20
  • We believe that faith can only come from hearing the Word of God.
    Romans 10:17
  • Forgiveness of sins and life in heaven are God's free gifts. All who believe in Jesus as their personal Savior have those gifts.

The Church and Its Ministry

  • We believe we show our respect and love for God when we come together for worship as He tells us to do.
    Hebrews 10:24-25
  • We believe that all people who believe that Jesus is their Savior from sinare members of the holy Christian church, regardless of the nation, race, or church body to which they belong.
    2 Corinthians 5:21 • Galatians 3:26
  • We believe that only the Lord knows those who are his.
    1 Samuel 16:7 • 2 Timothy 2:19
  • We believe that the presence of the holy Christian church nevertheless can be recognized wherever the gospel is preached and the sacraments are administered.
    Isaiah 55:10-11
  • We believe that God directs believers to acknowledge oneness in faith with Christians whose confession of faith submits to all the teachings of Scripture.
    John 8:31 • 1 Thessalonians 5:21-22
  • We believe that God directs believers not to practice religious fellowship with those whose confession and actions reveal that they teach, tolerate, support or defend error.
    2 John 10-11 • Romans 16:17-18
  • We believe that every Christian is a priest before God and all believers have direct and equal access to the throne of grace through Christ, the mediator.
    1 Peter 2:9 • Ephesians 2:17-18

The Church and the State

  • We believe that not only the church but also the state, that is all governmental authority, has been instituted by God.
    Romans 13:1
  • We believe that Christians will therefore obey the government that rules over them unless that government commands them to disobey God.
    Romans 13:5 • Acts 5:29
  • We believe that God has assigned to the church the distinct responsibility of calling sinner to repentance, of proclaiming forgiveness through the cross of Christ, and of encouraging believers in their Christian living.
    Matthew 28:19-20
  • We believe that God has assigned to the state the distinct responsibility of keeping good order and peace, of punishing the wrongdoer and of arranging all civil matters in society.
    Romans 13:3-4 • 1 Timothy 2:2

Jesus' Return and The Judgment

  • Jesus Christ will return at the end of the world to judge all people and believers in Him will live in heaven for eternity.
    Acts 1:11
  • We believe that Jesus will return visibly, in the same way as his disciples saw him go into heaven.
    Acts 1:11
  • We believe that no one can know the exact time of Jesus' return and so we remain alert and watch so that the day will not come upon us unexpectedly.
    Matthew 24:36 • Matthew 24:4-14 • Luke 21:34
  • We believe that at Jesus' return, this present world will come to an end.
    2 Peter 3:13
  • We believe that at Jesus' second coming, the souls of all the dead will be reunited with their bodies, and together with the living will appear the throne of judgment, the unbelievers condemned to an eternity in hell and those who by faith bave been cleansed in the blood of Christ, will be glorified and live with Jesus forever in heaven.
    John 5:28-29 • Philippians 3:21

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