What do United Methodists believe about God, the world, and people?
We believe that the one God has come to us in three representations, or persons, in order to be in relationship to us. God the Father is the Creator of all things. God the Son became flesh and blood, lived among us, and was named Jesus. God the Holy Spirit gives all who follow Jesus the power to love God and to love the neighbor.
We have broken relationship with this God and with the neighbor, and have tainted the world with sin. We have wounded ourselves and each other, and have damaged the natural order. We are in need of salvation from sin.
We believe that God, through the Holy Spirit, is calling to us and going before us, surrounding us with love, even before we are saved, giving us our very first wish to please God, and helping us to realize that we have damaged ourselves and others.
We believe that salvation has been brought to us in the person of Jesus. He brought to Earth a love powerful enough to transform us and the damage we have done. He did so through his life, his teachings, his miracles, his sacrificial death, his rising from the dead, his victory over death, and his promised return.
We believe that the Holy Spirit brings us together as the church to practice this new life, to practice the love of God and the neighbor, and to seek a life that promotes the healing of the world's wounds. As a church, we do so through praying to God, giving of our resources to help those in need, and by telling others of this good news.
We believe that no one should ever be turned away from the mercy and love of God. Therefore, all people may come to this church, participate in its worship of God, and have a place at the table when the holy meal called Communion is offered.
We believe in two means, or sacraments, by which Jesus gives us favor that we do not deserve (which we call grace). In Baptism, we affirm that God has washed us clean of the sin by which we have helped to wound the world. We accept all Christian Baptism done in other churches. In Communion, we remember the sacrifice that Jesus made for us, and receive power to serve and to love God and neighbor.
We believe that as we follow Jesus, we are made more complete in loving God and neighbor day by day. It is a gift from God that we are able to do so, and our weaknesses do not limit how deep God's love grows in our lives.
We believe that trust and faith in Jesus is the only thing which will save us. We also believe that the best evidence of that salvation is in what we do to care for our neighbor -- those who are poor, who are on the margins, who are in trouble, who need God's grace.
We believe that our following Jesus is not a private matter; we are to help all who are in need of God's grace. In most every place, United Methodists make a difference -- feeding one million hungry children every day, teaching reading skills, building Habitat for Humanity houses, sheltering abused and neglected children, and a thousand other ministries.