United Methodists share a common heritage with other Christians:
- Conviction that God has love and mercy for all people
- Belief that Jesus the Christ is the embodiment or incarnation of God's love in this world
- Faith that the Holy Spirit continually works in us and through us as we journey through life
Our United Methodist heritage is rooted in a deep and profound understanding of God's grace. This incredible grace flows from God's great love for us and is central to our understanding of Christian faith and life. Grace can be defined as the love and mercy given to us by God because God wants us to have it, not because of anything we have done to earn it. God's unending grace goes before us and is always surrounding and transforming us.
United Methodists also share four main guidelines for belief. These guidelines help us understand our faith, and include:
Because these guidelines are interdependent, they allow for variety in understandings of theology.
The distinguishing marks of a United Methodist are probably best illustrated by a commitment to the basics of Christianity and by a Christian lifestyle, rather than by assenting to a rigidly defined set of beliefs.
Finally, because of what God has done for us, we offer our lives back to God through a life of service. As disciples, we become active participants in God’s activity in the world through mission and service. Love of God is always linked to love of neighbor and to a passionate commitment to seeking justice and renewal in the world.
To learn more about the basic beliefs of people within The United Methodist Church, click here: http://www.umc.org/what-we-believe/basics-of-our-faith