United Methodists Believe...
…that God is understood in three distinct forms. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are commonly used to refer to the threefold nature of God. Sometimes we use other terms, such as Creator, Redeemer, and Sustainer.
…in one God, who created the world and all that is in it. We believe that God is sovereign; that is, God is the ruler of the universe. We believe that God is loving. We experience God's love and grace.
…that Jesus was human. He lived as a man and died when he was crucified. We believe that Jesus is divine. He is the Son of God. We believe that God raised Jesus from the dead and that the risen Christ lives today. We believe that Jesus is the Savior. In Christ, we receive abundant life and forgiveness of sins. We believe that Jesus is Lord and that we are called to pattern our lives after his.
…that the Holy Spirit is God within us. We believe that the Holy Spirit comforts us when we are in need and convicts us when we stray from God. We believe that the Holy Spirit awakens us to God's will and empowers us to live obediently.
…that God created human beings in God's image. We believe that humans can choose to to accept or reject a relationship with God. We believe that all humans need to be in relationship with God in order to be fully human.
…that the church is the body of Christ, an extension of Christ's life and ministry in the world today. We believe that the mission of the church is to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.
…that the church is the "communion of saints," a community made up of all past, present, and future disciples of Christ. We believe that the church is called to worship God and to support those who participate in its life as they grow in faith.
…that the Bible is God's Word. We believe that the Bible is the primary authority for our faith and practice.
…that Christians need to know and study the Old Testament and the New Testament (the Hebrew Scriptures and the Christian Scriptures).
John Wesley, the founder of the Methodist movement in England in the eighteenth century, established “General Rules” for Methodists, which are well summarized as “The Three Simple Rules:”
- do no harm,
- do good, and
- stay in love with God.
For more information on United Methodist beliefs, go to: http://www.umc.org/what-we-believe/basics-of-our-faith. Also, see The Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church 2016, paragraphs 101-199.