THE UNITED METHODIST CHURCH
We believe and affirm the following:
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 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 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.
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 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.
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
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,
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.
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
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 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 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
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
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.
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.
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
We believe all men stand under the righteous judgment of
God both now and in the last day.
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
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.
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.