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Articles of Faith

       
Articles of Faith

THE UNITED METHODIST CHURCH

We believe and affirm the following:

GOD
The Creator of all things visible and invisible, having infinite power, wisdom, goodness, and love. God reveals himself as the three persons of the Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Spirit, each distinct but inseparable from the other.

JESUS CHRIST
Jesus Christ is truly God and truly man in whom the divine and human natures are perfectly and inseparably united. He is the eternal Word made flesh, the only begotten Son of the Father, conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He lived, taught, suffered, was crucified, buried and rose from the dead in his body to be with God the Father in heaven. He is the eternal Savior and mediator who intercedes for us until his return at the last day to judge all persons.

THE HOLY SPIRIT
The Holy Spirit comes from the Father and the Son, and is of one substance, majesty, glory and being with them. He convinces the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment. He comforts, sustains and empowers the faithful. His gifts to the Church are varied, for the edification of believers for the work of the ministry.

THE BIBLE
We believe that the Holy Bible contains all things necessary to salvation. It is to be received through the Holy Spirit as the true rule and guide for faith and practice. Whatever is not contained therein, not proved thereby, is not required of any person as an article of faith, nor as necessary to salvation.

SIN
Sin is the corruption of the nature of every person by which we have turned away from original righteousness and are inclined to evil. A person who has not been born again, through the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, remains in sin and cannot enter the kingdom of God.

JUSTIFICATION
We are accounted righteous before God through faith in Jesus Christ alone, and not by our own works or goodness. By trusting Christ, being justified thereby, and receiving the Holy Spirit we receive rebirth, renewal in righteousness, and reconciliation to God. We believe justification does not deliver us from our infirmities and mistakes, nor from the possibility of further sin. After we receive the Holy Spirit we may depart from grace and fall into sin and, by the grace of God, rise again and amend our lives.

SANCTIFICATION
Sanctification follows justification and leads those who have been born again, through cleansing from sin in their thoughts, words and acts, and assurance of their salvation into a life in accordance with God's will. Sanctification leads the believer toward Christian perfection, holiness, and righteousness.

THE ATONEMENT
The offering of Christ on the cross is that perfect payment and satisfaction for all sins of the whole world and no other or further satisfaction for sin is required. Through this act God was in Christ reconciliating the world to Himself.

FREE WILL
It is condition of mankind that we are inclined to evil, and cannot come to God by our own natural will, strength, works, or righteousness. However, having received the grace of God in Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit, we are responsible in freedom to exercise will for good works pleasing to God.

GOOD WORKS
Good works are those actions pleasing and acceptable to God which spring from a true and living faith. Although good works cannot save us or atone our sins, yet they are pleasing and acceptable to God, for through and by them faith is made evident in the world.

THE CHURCH
The Church is the community of all true believers in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. It is the redemptive fellowship in which the Word of God is faithfully preached by those divinely called, the sacraments are duly ministered according to Christ's own appointment, and under the discipline of the Holy Spirit, church order is maintained for worship, the edification of believers and the redemption of the world.

THE SACRAMENTS
The Sacraments are outward and visible signs of an inward and spiritual grace which comes from God. Two sacraments are ordained by Christ our Lord: Baptism and the Lord's Supper.
Baptism signifies repentance and forgiveness of sin, the new birth of the believer, and the entry into Christian discipleship. The baptism of young children is to be retained in the Church so that they may be nurtured and led to personal acceptance of Christ and by profession by faith confirm baptism.
The Lord's Supper is a memorial and remembrance of the suffering and death of Christ and a token of love within the Church.
Those who in faith eat the broken bread and drink the blessed cup partake of the body and blood in Christ in a spiritual manner until He comes.

PUBLIC WORSHIP
The worship of God in the company of believers is the duty and privilege who bow in adoration, dedication and submission. Worship is essential to the life of the Church and the assembling of the congregation together is necessary to Christian fellowship and growth. The order of public worship need not be the same in all places but may be modified according to circumstance and need. Worship shall be in a language and form understood by the people, consistent with the Holy Scriptures.

CIVIL GOVERNMENT
As Christians we recognize the protection under which we reside. Governments derive their powers from the sovereign God, and should therefore be responsible to God for the protection of religious, civil and human rights. Christians have a duty to give moral strength and purpose to their respective governments through godly, righteous, and sober living.

THE JUDGMENT
We believe all men stand under the righteous judgment of God both now and in the last day.

PROPERTY
We believe God is owner of all things. Property is given to the Church and to Christians as a divine stewardship, for the manifestation of Christian love and to promote the cause of Christ in the world. All forms of property are to be held in solemn trust and used responsibility for human good and the propagation of the Gospel, under the rule of God.


This summary is the result of combining the Confession of Faith of the former Evangelical United Brethren Church which joined with the former Methodist Church in 1968 to form the United Methodist Church.

Every concept of both of the former documents is included without alteration insofar as possible. Language has sometimes been updated to modern grammar and usage, however.
United Methodism is an evangelical church with Christ as the cornerstone, and having at its center the personal assurance of salvation which leads to evangelism and service.



 


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