Beliefs

WHAT UNITED METHODISTS BELIEVE

United Methodists share a common heritage with other Christians.

  • Conviction that God has mercy and love for all people
  • Belief in a triune God — Father, Son, and Holy Spirit
  • Faith in the mystery of salvation through Jesus Christ
  • Celebration of the sacraments

United Methodists share four main guidelines for belief:

  1. Scripture
  2. Tradition
  3. Experience
  4. Reason

Human Worth – Even though all human beings are sinners, God endows each person with worth and moral responsibility. Reconciliation between humans and God is chief among God’s purposes. The full splendor of true humanity is seen in Jesus Christ.

Faith and Good Works – They belong together. Personal salvation leads to involvement in Christian Mission in the world. Personal religion and Christian social action are mutually reinforcing.

Primacy of Grace – God, who is revealed through Jesus Christ, loves human beings and all creation. Grace is God’s loving action in human existence through the Holy Spirit.

Prevenient Grace – This is the Grace–the divine love–that “runs ahead” of our conscious impulses and leads our hearts toward faith.

Conversion and New Birth – God forgives sins and changes the human heart when persons repent and trust in Christ. Not all Christians experience the workings of divine grace in the same ways.

Holiness – Christians allow the Holy Spirit to shape them more and more into the image of Christ. Faithful disciples work for a world of reconciliation, peace, justice and love.

Tolerance – While United Methodism retains much from its several heritages, different theological positions grow out of the circumstances and experiences of different groups. It acknowledges the virtues of different points of view even within the same community of believers.