Wednesday, May 22, 2013
A United Methodist Congregation
What we Believe
The Essentials of What We Believe as United Methodist Christians:
The God of the Bible is the only true God, infinite in power, wisdom and goodness. God reveals himself as the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, three equal, distinct but inseparable persons.
The Father is the creator, ruler and preserve of all things. He is infinite in power, wisdom, justice, goodness and love. He has provided the means by which people may enjoy a relationship with Him and eventual freedom, with all of creation, from evil.
Jesus Christ is truly God and truly human, the perfect and inseparable union of the divine and human natures. He is the Son of God made flesh, born of the Virgin Mary by the power of the Holy Spirit. His sinless life, suffering, death, resurrection and ascension provide the way of salvation. His sacrifice on the cross, once for all, provides the only way to the Father. No he intercedes for us before the Father, awaiting the day when He will return to judge every person and establish His kingdom.
The Holy Spirit is equal with the Father and with the Son as God. The Holy Spirit is present in the world to make people aware of sin, righteousness and judgment. The Holy Spirit leads people through faithful response to the gospel, and lives in every Christian from the moment of salvation. The Holy Spirit empowers the Church to carry out Christ’s mission in the world, enables believers to live a fruitful Christian life, and endows each believer with spiritual gifts according to God’s will. The Holy Spirit guides the faithful into all truth, which is always in harmony with the truth given in the Scriptures.
The Bible, both Old and New Testaments, is the only written Word of God. Inspired by God and written by human authors under the supernatural guidance of the Holy Spirit, the Bible reveals all that is necessary for knowing God’s will, salvation and Christian growth. It is the guide and final authority for faith and conduct of individuals and the teaching and purpose of the Church.
Humans are made in the image of God and are the supreme object of God’s creation. Since the fall of Adam, all people are born with an attitude of ego-centrism and rebellion toward God called sin, which separates people from God. This corruption is so pervasive that people are not capable of a positive response to God. Only through the work of God can people be saved from the corruption of sin and restored to the relationships which God has intended for us.
God offers us this relationship through the death of Jesus on the cross, the perfect sacrifice for the sins of the whole world. Forgiveness cannot be earned through good works, self-improvement, or religious ceremony. It is a gift for all people who repent of their sins and trust in Jesus Christ as God’s offer of forgiveness. Sins are forgiven, people are declared right in God’s sight, made a new person by the Holy Spirit, and adopted into the family of God otherwise known as the Church.
United Methodists are the second largest Protestant denomination in America. United Methodists hold to the historic doctrines of the Christian faith. We are evangelical, but moderates rather than fundamentalists. We value the intellect and modern science, while at the same time looking to the Bible as the authoritative guide for faith and practice. Methodists have a passionate faith with strong convictions, but we also recognize that the world is not always black and white. We are willing to ask questions, to wrestle with difficult issues, and to do so with grace and compassion.
Methodists have been known for our emphasis on a personal faith, lived out in concrete ways in the world. We have historically valued well-informed and passionate preaching, worship that was lively, and small groups where people could grow in faith.
Methodists have open hearts, and open minds--and welcome anyone interested in learning more about the Christian faith.