There is one God, living and eternal, who is creator and preserver of all there is and who is always present everywhere. We know God as three persons in relationship: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Christians call this relationship of three-in-one “the Trinity.” God is love and God loves you.
Jesus Christ is the only begotten Son of God, born of a virgin, the Word made flesh, a human being in whom God chose to live on earth for a short time among God’s people. Jesus was nailed to a cross and died, but God raised Him from the dead on the third day to show the world God’s power over sin and death. It is in Jesus Christ that we find new life.
The Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit, sometimes called the Spirit of Christ, is God’s presence with us for guidance, comfort, and strength. The Holy Spirit lives in each person as God’s gift. When by grace we become aware of the Spirit’s presence in our lives, we begin our journey of faith. It is the Holy Spirit who inspires and empowers us for the task of ministry to others and to the world.
The Bible is God’s Word revealed to human authors, and it tells us of God’s relationship with God’s chosen people through the ages. The Bible is our primary source of knowledge of the good news of Jesus Christ on which we base our faith and by which we practice our daily lives. While Scripture is primary, we are also guided by the tradition of the church, by reason (ours & others’), and by experience (ours & others’).
Grace is God’s free gift of love to all persons. There is nothing we can do to earn God’s love; it is by faith that we are able to accept God’s gift. We, then, are by grace what Christ was by nature, children of God. God’s grace is present to us in three ways:
1. Prevenient grace - God’s grace that goes before us, that was and has always been there, even before we knew that there was such a thing as grace.
2. Justifying grace - God’s grace that is with us when we come to accept Christ as Savior - God’s saving grace, saving us from the power of sin and evil in our lives.
3. Sanctifying grace - God’s grace that is our companion all along our faith journey. God’s love never leaves us as we seek to perfect our lives in love for God, ourselves, others, and the world.
To learn more about our United Methodist tradition, visit umc.org.