What Do We Believe

About God

We believe in the one true, holy and living God, Eternal Spirit, who is Creator, Sovereign and Preserver of all things visible and invisible. He is infinite in power, wisdom, justice, goodness and love, and rules with gracious regard for the well-being and salvation of men, to the glory of His name. We believe the one God reveals Himself as the Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Spirit, distinct but inseparable, eternally One in essence and power.

About Jesus Christ

We believe in Jesus Christ, truly God and truly man, in whom the divine and human natures are perfectly and inseparably united. He is the eternal Word made flesh, the only begotten Son of the Father, born of the Virgin Mary by the power of the Holy Spirit. He lived, suffered and died on the cross. He was buried, rose from the dead and ascended into heaven to be with the Father, from whence He shall return. He is eternal Savior and Mediator, who intercedes for us, and by Him all men will be judged.

About the Holy Spirit

We believe in the Holy Spirit who proceeds from and is one in being with the Father and the Son. He convincts the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment. He leads men through faithful response to the gospel into the fellowship of the Church. He comforts, sustains and empowers the faithful and guides them into all truth.

About Prevenient Grace

We acknowledge God’s prevenient grace, the divine love that surrounds all humanity and precedes any and all of our conscious impulses. This grace prompts our first wish to please God, our first glimmer of understanding concerning God’s will, and our "first slight transient conviction" of having sinned against God.

God’s grace also awakens in us an earnest longing for deliverance from sin and death and moves us toward repentance and faith.

About Justification

We believe God reaches out to the repentant believer in justifying grace with accepting and pardoning love. Wesleyan theology stresses that a decisive change in the human heart can and does occur under the prompting of grace and the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

In justification we are, through faith, forgiven our sin and restored to God’s favor. This righting of relationships by God through Christ calls forth our faith and trust as we experience regeneration by which we are made new creatures in Christ.

This process of justification and new birth is often referred to as conversion. Such a change may be sudden and dramatic, or gradual and cumulative. It marks a new beginning, yet it is part of an ongoing process. Christian experience as personal transformation always expresses itself as faith working by love.

Our Wesleyan theology also embraces the scriptural promise that we can expect to receive assurance of our present salvation as the Spirit "bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God."

About Sanctification

We believe sanctification is the work of God's grace through the Word and the Spirit, by which those who have been born again are cleansed from sin in their thoughts, words and acts, and are enabled to live in accordance with God's will, and to strive for holiness without which no one will see the Lord.

About the Bible

The Bible is God’s word written by human authors under the supernatural guidance of the Holy Spirit. It is the final authority for determining our Christian beliefs and how we are to live.

About Human Beings

People are made in the spiritual image of God — we are rational and moral beings. Because we are God’s creation made in God’s image, each person possesses inherent self-worth. Although every person has tremendous potential for good, all of us are marred by an attitude of self-centeredness which the Bible calls “sin.” This attitude and its resultant actions separate us from God, others and ourselves.

About being made right with God

Becoming right with God and having our relationship with God restored is what the Bible calls salvation. Salvation is God’s free gift to us. We can never earn it or achieve it by self-improvement or good works. We accept God’s gift of a new life when we turn from our self-ruled life and accept Jesus as our Savior. The new life that God gives us is an abundant life in this world and eternal life in the world to come.

About the kind of life we are called to

Though we are not made right with God by our own goodness, “good works” are not optional for the Christian life. When we give our lives to Christ, it is expected that we will grow towards loving God with all our being and loving our neighbors as ourselves.

St. Mark's United Methodist Church

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