Wednesday, November 22, 2017
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 What Do We Believe?     

As United Methodists, we believe in the triune God -- Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

  • We hold in common with all Christians a faith in the mystery of salvation in and through Jesus Christ.
  • We share the Christian belief that God's redemptive love is realized in human life by the activity of the Holy Spirit, both in personal experience and in the community of believers.
  • We understand ourselves to be part of Christ's universal church, we are initiated and incorporated into this community of faith by Baptism, and through Holy Communion, we participate in the risen presence of Jesus Christ and are thereby nourished for faithful discipleship.
  • With other Christians we recognize that the reign of God is both a present and future reality.
  • We share with many Christian communions a recognition of the authority of Scripture in matters of faith, the confession that our justification as sinners is by grace through faith, and the sober reality that the church is in need of continual reformation and renewal.

We also celebrate our Wesleyan distinctiveness: Grace pervades our understanding of Christian faith and life. By grace, we mean the undeserved, unmerited, and loving action of God in human existence through the ever-present Holy Spirit.

  • Prevenient Grace: God's divine love that surrounds all humanity and precedes any of our conscious impulses, prompting our first glimmers of understanding God's will, awakening in us an earnest longing for deliverance from sin and death, and moving us toward repentance and faith.
  • Justification and Assurance: We believe that God reaches out to the repentant believer with accepting and pardoning love. By the prompting of God's grace and through the guidance of the Holy Spirit, we are forgiven of our sin and restored to God's favor.
  • Sanctification and Perfection: The wonder of God's acceptance and pardon does not end God's saving work -- through the power of the Holy Spirit, we are enabled to increase in the knowledge and love of God and in love for our neighbor. Sanctifying grace draws us toward the gift of Christian perfection: having a heart "habitually filled with the love of God and neighbor" and "having the mind of Christ and walking as He walked."
  • Faith and Good Works: God's grace and human activity work together in the relationship of faith and good works; God's grace calls forth human response and discipline. Faith is the only response essential for salvation, but salvation evidences itself in good works.
  • Mission and Service: Personal salvation always involves Christian mission and service to the world. Love of God is always linked with love of neighbor.
  • Nurture and Mission of the Church: The personal experience of faith is nourished by the worshiping community. For Wesley, there is "no religion but social religion, no holiness but social holiness."

Please visit

http://archives.umc.org/interior.asp?mid=1648 for the Doctrinal Standards and General Rules of the United Methodist Church. More information can be found at the official United Methodist website, www.UMC.org.
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