WHAT WE BELIEVE
- We believe in the triune God (Father, Son, Holy Spirit)
- Scripture is the authoritative Word of God in matters of faith, the confession that our justification as sinners is by grace through faith, and the sober realization that we are in need of continual reformation and renewal.
- New birth (salvation) comes through faith in the mystery of salvation in and through Jesus Christ alone.
- Every person is created in God’s image.
- God’s prevenient grace pursues us (comes after us) by the activity of the Holy Spirit from the time we are born; his justifying grace restores our relationship with Him; and His sanctifying grace changes us into people who strive for “holiness in living.”
- We are called to disciple people along the journey.
As United Methodists, we earnestly strive inwardly and outwardly to experience the grace, compassion, and love of God through word and deed.
We believe the journey toward oneness with our Creator includes an inward spiritual discipline, based upon the Word, and an outward journey of acts of kindness, mercy and justice.
As disciples of Jesus Christ, we know God is the power who can free us from oppression and the psychological terrors of fear and death.
We believe God calls every disciple to care for the widow, orphan and vulnerable and restore them to dignity and opportunity.
As Methodists, we do not believe we are totally depraved, but recognize we are born in bondage to original sin. But, to each is given a measure of faith. Through this measure of faith, we are wooed by the Holy Spirit to accept our deliverance from original sin, a deliverance purchased on the cross by our Savior Jesus Christ.
God’s love for us while we are still sinners we study as prevenient grace, or grace that “comes before” our acceptance of Christ’s redemption. It is with us from birth.
When we accept Christ and are freed from the power of sin and death, this is our rebirth and at that point we are recipients of justifying grace. We realize we still live in a fallen world and are housed in a body susceptible to its sinful nature, but the Holy Spirit gives us power to resist sin.
From the moment of our justification, we Methodists believe our journey is all about relationship. In our personal relationship with God, through Christ’s redemption and guidance of the Holy Spirit, we journey toward sanctification.
Sanctification is the process of moving from sinfulness to holiness—holiness in living. It is often referred to as sustaining grace, because our spiritual discipline and acts of mercy will only be sustained by a constant, close relationship with God.
This holiness is distinct from the righteousness imputed at the time of justification, through the blood of Christ. The holiness, or righteousness, imputed by Christ is perfect and is not improved upon by any process.
But our life of piety, which includes growth through study and action, includes good works of mercy and the rejection of a sinful lifestyle. We become perfect, not in the sense that we never sin again. We become perfect, as Paul described, in our relationship with God, knowing that we must strive to become the person God designed and called us to be. This can only be accomplished through faith.
From tiny measure to a mature disciple, faith completes our circle of life in Christ. This faith that we separate into three parts, only as milestones in our God experience, is a seamless, expanding and purifying force which culminates in our eventual glorification in the presence of God, who will welcome every “good and faithful servant.”