Our Core Beliefs
The Grace of Jesus Christ
As United Methodists we anchor our belief systems in an understanding of God’s grace, freely poured out in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus the Christ. We believe God’s grace is at work through the Holy Spirit in every person, all the time, from the youngest to the oldest, seeking to awaken their hearts and minds to their need for God (“prevenient grace”). When that awakening occurs, and an individual makes a decision to receive the love of God offered in Christ, that person is put right with God (saved) through God’s justifying grace. For Methodists, this is not the end of the journey, but the beginning of a life long process of growing more and more like Christ (a process of “sanctification.”).
Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And all f us, with unveiled faces, seeing the glory of the Lord as though reflected in a mirror, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another; for this comes from the Lord, the Spirit. 2 Corinthians 3:17-18
We Are Saved
So we believe we are “saved” and are “being saved” throughout our lives, being conformed more and more to the image of Christ until we reach a state of being completely filled with his love. Our founding father, John Wesley, called this state “perfection.” By that he did not mean that we had become perfect, but that we can become perfectly filled with Christ’s love in this life.
- We hold Christ at the center of all things, and name him Lord of our lives and Lord of the universe.
- We believe in God’s presence made real and effective and powerful through the work of the Holy Spirit, which is ongoing throughout our lives.
- We believe the Bible is the inspired word of God that points us to the Word of God, Jesus the Christ, and that it contains everything that is necessary and sufficient for salvation.
- We believe there is a present dimension to salvation – a qualitative difference in our daily lives, recognizable as the fruits of the spirit (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, generosity, faithfulness, and self control) – as well as an eternal dimension to salvation (eternal life in the presence of God who loves us).
- We believe that works of mercy naturally flow from God’s love made real in our lives, and as a result are socially active in a variety of ways to alleviate human suffering and promote human well being and education.