What Does A United Methodist Christian Believe?
- We share a common heritage with other Christians. We believe:
- that God has mercy and love for all people. And we mean all people.
- in God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
- in salvation through Jesus Christ
- in celebration of the sacraments: baptism and the Lord's Supper (Holy Communion)
- The sources of our faith include:
- The Bible
- Our Confession of Faith
- The United Methodist “Book of Discipline”
- The work of theologians and educators
- The writings of the founder of United Methodism, John Wesley.
- We believe that four things guide our beliefs:
- The Primacy of Scripture
This format allows United Methodists to understand the historic Christian faith and to learn how to live it out in our contemporary world. For example, through our study of the Scriptures and through our application of reason, tradition and experience, we believe the following:
- We believe in human dignity. We believe that God gives each person dignity and moral responsibility. The full splendor of humanity is seen in God's personal revelation, Jesus Christ.
- We believe in tolerance. We believe that while United Methodism retains much from its heritage, it acknowledges the virtues of different points of view, even within the same community of believers.
- We believe in the primary importance of Grace. Grace — God forgiving and loving us, even though we don't deserve it — is God's loving action in human lives through the Holy Spirit. It is the spiritual climate and environment surrounding all human life.
- United Methodists believe in “Prevenient” Grace. Prevenient means “goes ahead” or “runs ahead.” This is the Grace, the divine love that runs ahead of our conscious impulses and leads our hearts toward faith.
- We believe in Conversion and New Birth. We believe that the human heart can change, through the grace and guidance of the Holy Spirit.
- We believe in Faith and Good Works. We believe you cannot have one without the other. Personal salvation leads to involvement in Christian mission in the world. Faith compels to reach out to each other in love.
- We believe in the Sacraments. Like most other Protestants we recognize only those sacraments in which Jesus Christ himself participated: Baptism and the Lord's Supper (communion).
- For us, baptism is the sacrament of initiation that joins us with the church and with Christians everywhere. It is a symbol of new life, a promise of God's saving love, a sign of God's forgiveness of our sins. Both infants and adults can be baptized. A person receives the sacrament only once in his or her life. Water is the special symbol of baptism. We baptize by sprinkling, immersion, or pouring.
- The Lord's Supper is a holy meal of bread and wine that symbolizes the body and blood of Christ. The Lord's Supper recalls the life, death and resurrection of Jesus and celebrates the unity of all members of God's family. By sharing the meal, we remember and give thanks for Christ's sacrifice for our sins.
To learn more about the beliefs of a United Methodist, we invite you to contact us!