The basic beliefs of The United Methodist Church include:
- Triune God. God is on God in three persons:Father, Son and Holy Spirit (Holy Ghost).
- Scripture. The writings in the Old Testament andNew Testament are the inspired word of God.
- Sin. While human beings were intended to bear the image of God, all humans are sinners for whom that image is distorted. Sin estranges us from God and corrupts human nature such that we cannot heal or save ourselves.
- Salvation through Jesus Christ. God’s redeeming love is active to save sinners through Jesus’incarnate life and teachings, through his atoningdeath, his resurrection, his sovereign presence through history, and his promised return.
- Sacraments. The UMC recognizes only two sacraments: Holy Baptism and Holy Communion. In Holy Baptism, the Church believes that “Baptism is not only a sign of profession and mark of difference whereby Christians are distinguished from others that are not baptized; but is also a sign of regeneration or the new birth.” It believes that Baptism is a sacrament in which God initiates a covenant with individuals, people become a part of the Church, is not to be repeated, and is a means of grace. The United Methodist Church generally practices Baptism by sprinkling, pouring, or immersion. The United Methodist Church affirms the real presence ofChrist in Holy Communion, (the bread is a symbol of His body crucified on the cross and the cup is a symbol of His blood shed for humanity), believes the sacrament to be a means of grace, and practices open communion.
- Free will. The UMC believes that people, while corrupted by sin, are free to make their own choices because of God’s divine grace.
- Grace. The UMC believes that God gives unmerited favor freely to all people, though it may be resisted.