United Methodists share a common heritage with all Christians. Specifically, we share the following basic affirmations with all Christian communities:
- God: God, who is one, is revealed in three distinct persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. This three-in-one Godhead is commonly call the Trinity.
- Jesus: We believe in the mystery of salvation through Jesus Christ. God became human in Jesus of Nazareth; and his life, death and resurrection demonstrates God’s redeeming love.
- 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.
- Human Beings: Out of his perfect love, God creates every person in his image. We are created to be in relationship with God. Each person can choose to accept or reject that relationship. We believe that humans need to be in relationship with God our Creator in order to be fully human.
- The Church: The church is the body of Christ, an extension of Christ’s life and ministry in the world today. We are literally the hands and feet of Jesus Christ in this physical world.
- The Bible: We believe that the Bible is God’s Word and is the primary authority for our faith and practice.
- The Kingdom of God: The kingdom or reign of God is both a present reality and future hope.
Our Distinctly United Methodist Beliefs
John Wesley (the founder of Methodism) and the early Methodists were particularly concerned about inviting people to experience God’s grace and to grow in their knowledge and love of God through disciplined Christian living. They placed primary emphasis on Christian living, on putting faith and love into action. This emphasis on what Wesley referred to as “practical divinity” has continued to be a hallmark of United Methodism today. Read more about our distinctly Wesley emphases.