Davis Street UMC’s Statement of Faith – We hold to historic Christian Doctrine and Wesleyan Theology. Methodism has from the beginning been more concerned with the warm heart and good life of the person. The one thing required of those who desire admission into The United Methodist Church has always been a “desire to flee from the wrath to come and to be saved from their sins.” However, that desire does imply certain convictions in the heart and mind of a person – especially belief in God, in Jesus Christ, and in the Bible as the sufficient rule of faith and practice. Methodism has always believed that few doctrines are essential – we “think and let think.”
The Bible. The Bible is the inspired and holy word of God. The Bible is our textbook. The Bible is listed first because it is our chief source of knowledge about God and Christ and contains all the truth necessary for salvation.
God. God is infinite in wisdom, power and love – the creator and sustainer of the universe. Every person on earth is God’s child. God will hear the prayer of any and every person. One does not have to go through any mediary to reach God. However, through worship in the sanctuary, through fellowship with other people, through proclamation of the faith from the pulpit, through study in classes, and in other ways the church helps one learn about and commune with God.
Jesus Christ. “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son” (John 3:16). We believe Jesus Christ is uniquely God’s Son, sent by God, to be born of Mary, to make the invisible God known in human form. In his expressions of loving mercy, in his teaching, in his miracles of compassion, in the absolutely holy life he lived, in the compassion of his ministry, and in the utter selflessness of his servanthood, we see God. “He who has seen me has seen the Father,” Jesus said (John 14:9). We believe Jesus Christ died upon a cross for us and our sins. His cross is an example of sacrifice, and it is a revelation of God’s love, but it is more, much more. His death on the cross forever makes a difference in a person’s relationship with God. As Paul put it, “God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself” (2 Corinthians 5:19). We find salvation through his shed blood. We believe Christ rose from the dead, and his resurrection is our assurance that there is life for us beyond the grave. “Because I live,” he said, “you will live also” (John 14:19).
The Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is God here on this earth – God in us and with us. The Holy Spirit came in a new and mighty way upon the Christians at Pentecost (Acts 2) and is present in the world today. We believe the Spirit bears witness to our spirits that we are in Jesus Christ and are the children of God (Romans 8:16). The witness of the Spirit” is a doctrine often emphasized by John Wesley. In his sermon on the subject, he said, “By the witness of the Spirit I mean the inward impression on the soul, whereby the Spirit of God immediately and directly witnesses to my spirit that I am a child of God; that Jesus Christ hath loved me and given Himself for me; that all my sins are blotted out and I, even I, am reconciled to God.”
Forgiveness of our sins and the salvation of our souls. This is the very center of our faith. Sin is both in our nature and in our actions. It may be said that our actions are the expressions of the sin in our souls. If we are “heartily sorry for these our misdoings,” as we pray in the prayer of confession, and put our faith in Jesus Christ, we are justified, saved, cleansed – not because we deserve it, but because of the grace, the unmerited favor of God. “Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1).
Holiness. As the result of commitment to God we grow in faith, and our love for God and for one another becomes more complete. Holiness of heart and life has always been emphasized by Methodists. As we grow in Christian faith, the intentions of the soul become more perfect. This is what we call sanctification .
Conversion. One becomes a Christian through the Christian experience of conversion. It may be climactic or gradual. Methodism has always been glad to accept the individual experience that each person has had.
The Church. The United Methodist Church recognizes implanted in our hearts the words of Wesley, “If your heart beats with my heart in love and loyalty to Christ, give me your hand.” All Christians are invited to the Communion table in every United Methodist church. Methodism accepts both the baptism and vows of membership from any other Christian church. One coming from another church is only asked, “Will you be loyal to The United Methodist Church, and uphold it by your prayers, your presence, your gifts, and your service?”
Baptism. Baptism is an outward sign of an inner commitment and a spiritual new birth. It is a rite of initiation into the body of which Christ is the head. It is believed that three modes of baptism were practiced by the early church: sprinkling, pouring, and immersion. Being more concerned about the inner experience than the outward expressions, The United Methodist Church both practices and accepts any mode of baptism.