What do we believe?

Basic Beliefs

         The Methodist Church is part of the Whole Church, which is the body of Christ.

         There is only one God who created everything.

         There is nothing we can do to buy our way into heaven.

         Jesus died on the Cross and paid the price for all our sins.

         Jesus was buried in a tomb but rose from the dead.

         When Jesus ascended back into heaven, God sent the Holy Spirit to guide and help us.

         If we believe in Jesus as our Saviour and Lord, then we can be put right with God.

         God is a triune God consisting of God the Father, Jesus the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. All three are equal.

         The Bible is not just any book but is the divine revelation of God.

Within these very broad guidelines, there stand four particular emphases which began with John Wesley and remain part of the Methodist Tradition:-

1. All need to be saved - the doctrine of original sin

2. All can be saved by grace through faith - Universal Salvation

3. All can know that they are saved - Assurance

4. All can be saved to the uttermost - Christian Perfection

Methodism stands firmly within the Protestant tradition of the worldwide Christian Church. When John Wesley was asked "What is the character of a Methodist?" part of his detailed answer went thus -

"A Methodist is one who has the love of God shed abroad in his life by the Holy Ghost given unto him. One who loves the Lord his God with all his heart, and with all his soul, and with all his mind, and with all his strength. God is the joy of his heart and the desire of his soul."

When the Methodist Church united in 1932 the Deed of Union was drawn up, part of which reads as follows:- 'The Methodist Church claims and cherishes its place in the Holy Catholic Church which is in the Body of Christ. It rejoices in the inheritance of the Apostolic Faith, and loyally accepts the fundamental principles of the historic creeds and of the Protestant Reformation. It ever remembers that, in the Providence of God, Methodism was raised up to spread scriptural Holiness through the land by the proclamation of the Evangelical Faith, and declares its unfaltering resolve to be true to its Divinely appointed mission. The Doctrines of the Evangelical Faith which Methodism has held from the beginning and still holds, are based upon the Divine Revelation recorded in the Holy Scriptures. The Methodist Church acknowledges this revelation as the supreme rule of faith and practice.'

Methodism is well aware of the importance of personal religious experience. The Methodist Church owed its origin, under God, to the profound change which came in the religious experience of John and Charles Wesley at Whitsuntide 1738.

Religious experience is personal, but it is also shared :-

         It is a fact of life - it comes from God and points to Him.

         Through his experience the Christian knows that his redemption is the work of God's grace (Ephesians 2:1-10).

         Through his experience, the Christian receives assurance that he has been forgiven and is a child of God (Romans 8:12-17).

         The Christian's experience is shared by men and women of all races.

         God's love is given to all and the Christian is committed to offer Christ and His love to all people.

 

Portrait of a Methodist

by John Wesley

A Methodist is one who has the love of God shed abroad in his heart by the Holy Spirit given unto him.

One who loves the Lord his God with all his heart and soul and mind and strength.

He rejoices evermore, prays without ceasing, and in everything gives thanks.

His heart is full of love to all mankind and is purified from envy, wrath, malice, and every unkind affection.

His one desire and the one design of his life is not to do his own will but the will of Him that sent him.

He keeps all God's commandments from the least to the greatest.

He follows not the customs of the world, for vice does not lose its nature through becoming fashionable.

He fares not sumptuously every day.

He cannot lay up treasures upon earth, nor can he adorn himself with gold and costly apparel.

He cannot join in any diversion that has the least tendency to vice.

He cannot speak evil of his neighbour any more than he can lie.

He cannot utter unkind or evil words.

He does good unto all men, unto neighbours, strangers, friends and enemies.

These are the principles and practices of our sect.

These are the marks of a true Methodist.

By these alone do Methodists desire to be distinguished from all other men.