United Methodists share a common heritage with all Christians. According to our foundational statement of beliefs in The Book of Discipline, we share the following basic affirmations in common with all Christian communities:

 Our Christian Roots: God

From early in our Judaic roots we’ve affirmed that God is one and indivisible, yet God is revealed in three distinct ways.

Our Christian Roots: 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.

Our Christian Roots: The Holy SpiritWesley United Methodist Church Fort Smith Arkansas Know God Grow in Faith Go into the World

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.

Our Christian Roots: Human Beings

Genesis 1:27 asserts that we’ve been made in the image of the Creator. Like God we have the capacity to love and care, to communicate, and to create.

Our Christian Roots: The Church

The church is the body of Christ, an extension of Christ’s life and ministry in the world today.

Our Christian Roots: The Bible

We believe that the Bible is God’s Word and is the primary authority for our faith and practice.

Our Christian Roots: God’s Reign

The kingdom or reign of God is both a present reality and future hope.

Distinctive Emphases

Wesley 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.

The distinctive shape of our theological heritage can be seen not only in this emphasis on Christian living, but also in Wesley’s distinctive understanding of God’s saving grace. Although Wesley shared with many other Christians a belief in salvation by grace, he combined them in a powerful way to create distinctive emphases for living the full Christian life.

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