What Methodists Believe
God is the Creator and Ruler of the universe. God is personal and is involved in and cares about our daily life. He eternally exists in three persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. These three are co-equal, each possessing the attributes of deity.
Genesis 1:1, 26-27; Psalm 121; Psalm 139; Matthew 28:19
Jesus Christ, the second person of the Trinity, was miraculously conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary, so He was both fully God and fully human. He lived a sinless life on earth and voluntarily paid for our sin by dying on the cross in our place. He rose physically from the dead, thereby demonstrating His power over sin and death. He ascended to heaven and will return to earth as judge of the living and the dead.
Matthew 1:22-23; Isaiah 9:6; John 1:1-5, 14-30; Philippians 2:6-11; 1 John 4:2-3, 15; Hebrews 1:1-4, 4:15; Romans 1:3-4; 1 Corinthians 15:3-4; 1 Timothy 6:14-15; Acts 1:9-11; Titus 2:13
The Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit is the third person of the Trinity and is present in the world to convict us of sin, guide us into truth, and remind us what Jesus taught. He lives within every Christian, empowering us to live the Christian life and become more like Christ. He gives each Christian spiritual gifts, which we are responsible to use to serve Christ and build up His Church.
John 14:16-17, 26; 16:7-16; Acts 1:8, 2:1-4; 1 Corinthians 12:1-13; Ephesians 5:18; Galatians 5:22-25; Romans 12:4-8
Grace is central to our understanding of the Christian life and faith. Grace can be defined as God’s unearned, unmerited, and undeserved love that guide and sustains our lives. As United Methodist, we understand God’s grace in three distinctive ways: prevenient grace, justifying grace, and sanctifying grace.
Genesis 1; Psalm 23; John 1; Romans 3:23-25; Galatians 3:10-14; Philippians 2:12-13, 3:10-14;
Salvation is a gift from God, which must be accepted individually by repentance and faith in Jesus Christ. Salvation happens when we trust in God’s saving acts shown through Jesus Christ rather than our own effort or knowledge.
Romans 6:23; Ephesians 2:8-9; John 14:6; Romans 5:1-2; Galatians 3:26; Titus 3:4-7
Authority of the Bible
The Bible is God’s Word to us. Human authors, under the inspirational guidance of the Holy Spirit, wrote the Bible. It is the source of truth and the final authority for Christian belief and practice.
Psalm 1, 19, 119:105, 160; Nehemiah 8:9; John 14:21; 2 Timothy 3:16-17
Christ desires that each believer be connected with a local church, because the Church is God’s primary way to accomplish His purposes on earth today. The purpose of the Church is to share the Gospel (the good news of what Jesus has done) and nurture Christians to maturity in Christ.
Matthew 16:18; Ephesians 4:4-16; Hebrews 10:23-25; Acts 2:42-47; 1 Corinthians 12:12-31; Romans 12:4-8
Humanity was created by God and bears His image, though we were formed out of dust. Every human life has value, because God made us in His image and loves us. We were created to enjoy fellowship with Him. But having defied God by choosing to go our own way, our sinful disobedience separates us as unholy people from a holy and perfect God. This situation is only remedied by personal acceptance of what Jesus Christ did for humanity through His shed blood on a cross.
Genesis 1:26-27, 3:8-11; Luke 13:34; John 3:16; Psalm 8:3-6; Isaiah 53:6, 59:2; Romans 3:23, 6:23; 1 Tim 2:5-6
Mercy and Compassion
God calls all Christians to show compassion to those in need, and stand up for those who cannot stand up for themselves. We show mercy and compassion because of God’s love and example towards humanity.
Exodus 34:6; Micah 6:8; Matthew 9:36; Mark 6:34; John 3:16; Philippians 2:5-11; James 5:11
Each human being has a soul that was designed to live forever. We will either live in eternal union with God or be eternally separated from God, the source of all life. Eternal life with God begins the moment we receive Christ into our lives by faith.
John 3:16, 6:40, 11:25-26, 14:1-3; Romans 6:23, 8:17-18; 1 Corinthians 2:9; Matthew 13:37-43