United Methodists Beliefs
What are the distinctive emphases of our tradition? What beliefs are essential and what beliefs are not essential? These are good questions! Along with all Biblical mainline denominations, our basic beliefs are based on the Holy Scriptures as outlined in the Apostles’ Creed.
1. We believe in the Deity of Christ
United Methodist Christians make the claim that Jesus is God come into the world – God who became human in order to save us from our sins. Jesus was at once fully God and fully human. United Methodism believes in the incarnation of God in Christ.
2. We believe in Original Sin
To say we believe in Original Sin means that, because God has given each of us free-will, we are all subject to sin. No matter how hard we try, we are unable to overcome sin on our own. We are a people of sin in need of a savior. Our sinfulness keeps us estranged from God. To say we are born into sin does not mean that we are “no good.” God created humanity in His own image, and that image is “good.” It is we who have spoiled the divine image. Yet, even when we have not loved God, He has loved us and sent His Son to save us.
3. We believe in the Atonement
Because of the cross of Christ, God has acted to set us right with Him. Christ willingly took on the punishment you and I deserved. It has been the teaching of the Church throughout the centuries that Christ’s death on the cross accomplished for us what has never been done before or since. It changed the relationship between God and His people. This now makes it possible for our sins to be forgiven and for us to have eternal life. Thanks to Christ, we are now “at-one” with God.
4. We believe in Justification by Faith
To “justify” is to “make right.” How can we make ourselves right with God? Because of sin, we cannot. The good news of the New Covenant in Christ is that God has done this for us. Justification puts us in right relationship with God.
5. We believe in the Work of the Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit is God present and active in the world today. The Holy Spirit is constantly at work leading people along their faith journey.
6. We believe in Eternal Life
Because Christ is risen, we too can have the certainty of eternal life. When we belong to Christ, we have the assurance of life after death, as well as living victoriously in this life.