Bethlehem United Methodist Church
Saturday, May 25, 2013
The Essentials We Believe:
The God of the Bible is the only true God, infinite in power, wisdom and goodness.
God reveals himself as the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, three equal, distinct but inseparable persons.
The Father is the creator, ruler and preserver of all things.
He is infinite in power, wisdom, justice , goodness and love.
He has provided the means by which people may enjoy
a relationship with Him and eventual freedom, with all of creation, from evil.
Jesus Christ is truly God and truly man,
the perfect and inseparable union of the divine and human natures.
He is the Son of God made flesh, born of the Virgin Mary by the power of the Holy Spirit.
His sinless life, suffering, death, resurrection and ascension provide the only way of salvation.
His sacrifice on the cross, once for all, provides the only way to the Father.
Now he intercedes for us before the Father,
awaiting the day when He will return to judge every person and establish His kingdom.
The Holy Spirit is equal with the Father and Son as God.
He is present in the world to make people aware of sin, righteousness and judgment.
He leads people through faithful response to the gospel,
and lives in every Christian from the moment of salvation.
He empowers the Church to carry out Christ’s mission in the world,
enables believers to live a fruitful Christian life,
and endows each believer with spiritual gifts according to His will.
He guides the faithful into all truth, which is always in harmony with the truth given in the Scriptures.
The Bible, both Old and New Testaments, is the only written Word of God.
Inspired by God and written by human authors
under the supernatural guidance of the Holy Spirit, the Bible reveals all that is necessary
for knowing God’s will, salvation and Christian growth.
It is the guide and final authority for faith and conduct of individuals
and the teaching and purpose of the Church.
People are made in the image of God and are the supreme object of God’s creation.
Since the fall of Adam, all people are born with an attitude of rebellion
toward God called sin, which separates people from God.
This corruption is so pervasive that people are not capable of a positive response to God.
Only through the work of God can people be saved from the corruption of sin
and restored to the relationships which God has intended for us.
God offers people forgiveness through Jesus Christ’s death on the cross,
the perfect sacrifice for the sins for the whole world.
Forgiveness cannot be earned through good works, self-improvement, or religious ceremony.
It is a gift for all people who repent of their sins and trust in Jesus Christ as God’s offer of forgiveness,
their sins are forgiven, they are declared right in God’s sight, made a new person by the Holy Spirit,
and adopted into the family of God.
These benefits are known as salvation, and this salvation is complete and secure.
The fullness of God’s great salvation will come with the return of Christ.