Who we believe in:
- God as Trinity: This term simply means that we believe in one God but a God who is in three persons, each as important as the other.
- God the Father: We believe in God the Father, who made heaven and earth. He is the one who made us and the world around us.
- Jesus Christ: We believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who is the truth of God expressed in human ways that human beings can understand, born by the power of the Holy Spirit to a young woman, Mary. Through his teaching, death on the Cross and resurrection from the dead we can learn more about the way God want us to live and we can experience a closer relationship with God.
- The Holy Spirit: We believe in the Holy Spirit, who has always been present since the creation of the world and who empowered Jesus. We also believe that because we are now reunited with God, through Jesus, this Spirit is with us now. The Holy Spirit helps us communicate and pray to God, encouraging us to grow in our faith as well as empowering us and guiding us as we live our lives.
What that means for us?
We believe that as human beings we do things wrong, things which hurt other people and which offend God. This means that we separate ourselves from God, turning our backs on God. This is where what some people call ‘The Good News of Jesus’ comes into it. We believe that when Jesus died on the cross He took all of the things which stop us from being close to God, both now and forever, and disposed of them. After his resurrection he ascended into heaven, proving his authority and power. This immediately bridges the gap between us and God and, if we will allow Jesus the Son to turn us round and lead us to God the Father, enables us to be with God, and God with us. We become what the Bible calls ‘Children of God’, because God adopts us into God’s family and sends the Holy Spirit to be with us, to support us and to encourage us. The Holy Spirit is with us today.
The amazing thing is that we cannot achieve any of this by ourselves. The Bible shows that we haven’t earned what Jesus did in dying for us. It is all gift. We are able to start loving God because God first loved us. When we start loving God, we find ourselves drawn into loving the other people and things that God loves. What many Christians find is that is that the more they understand what God has done for them and are thankful, the more they want to respond by showing this kindness and generosity to others; to go to church and find our more; to help transform the world into what God would have it be. They start to do these things, not to earn God’s love but to explore it and to tell and show others. Over the years, the Methodist Church has taught that God's grace is not something for a super holy spiritual elite but for ordinary people. It is God’s free gift to us all. (You can find out more about what Methodist Christians believe by visiting www.methodist.org.uk/who-we-are/what-is-distinctive-about-methodism)