What We Believe as United Methodists
God — God, who is one, is revealed in three distinct persons.
Jesus — We believe in the mystery of salvation through Jesus Christ. God became human in Jesus whose life, death, and resurrection demonstrate God’s redeeming love.
The Holy Spirit — The Holy Spirit is God’s present activity in our midst when we sense God’s leading, God’s challenge, or God’s support or comfort, it’s the Holy Spirit at work.
The Bible — We believe that the Bible is the primary authority for our faith and practice.
God’s Reign — The kingdom or reign of God is both a present reality and future hope and is experienced by living the stories and teachings of Jesus.
The Church — The church is the body of Christ, an extension of Christ’s life and ministry in the world today.
Grace — We understand grace as a gift from God – the undeserved, unmerited, and loving action of God in human existence. God’s grace is at work throughout our spiritual journeys – it prepares us, redeems us, and continually shapes us into the people we are created to be.
Sacraments — We recognize two sacraments, baptism and communion. Baptism marks the beginning of our lifelong journey as disciples of Jesus Christ. Communion nourishes and sustains us on the journey.
Inclusiveness — All are welcome to participate in the life and work of the church. No distinction is made because of racial or ethnic background, national origin, language, gender, age, handicapping, condition, or social status.
Does the UMC teach and affirm the full divinity of Jesus?
Yes. “We believe in Jesus Christ, 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 one begotten Son of the Father, born of the Virgin Mary by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Book of Discipline ¶104, Confession of Faith Article II)
Does the UMC teach and affirm the bodily resurrection of Jesus?
Yes. “As ministering Servant, he lived, suffered, and died on the cross. He was buried, rose from the dead, and ascended into heaven to be with the Father, from whence he shall return. He is eternal Savior and Mediator, who intercedes for us, and by Him all men will be judged.” (Book of Discipline ¶104, Confession of Faith Article II)
Does the denomination teach and affirm the historic Christian creeds?
Yes. “Faced with diverse interpretations of the apostolic message, leaders of the early church sought to specify the core of Christian belief in order to ensure the soundness of Christian teaching. The determination of the canon of Christian Scripture and the adoption of ecumenical creeds such as the formulations of Nicaea and Chalcedon were of central importance to this consensual process. Such creeds helped preserve the integrity of the church’s witness, set boundaries for acceptable Christian doctrine, and proclaimed the basic elements of the enduring Christian message. These statements of faith, along with the Apostles’ Creed, contain the most prominent features of our ecumenical heritage.” (Book of Discipline ¶102)
Learn more about The United Methodist Church at ResourceUMC.org.
The online version of the 2016 Book of Discipline may be found at Cokesbury.