What We Believe
Christ United Methodist Church – Franklin PA
A Grace-Filled Life
We believe that we are on a journey—that our lives have a direction and a destination designed by God. Though each of our lives will take its own route, we believe that we have the same map and guide that points us toward the same destination–new life in Christ.
The Power of Sin
We believe that human beings were created good, but we have all fallen far short of being the people God created us to be.
We are more likely to act in self-centered ways than care about others or God. The sad truth is that being self-centered always ends up being self-destructive.
What we cannot do for ourselves in regard to our self-centeredness, God stands ready, willing, and able to do in us and through us.
The Grace That Comes Before
We believe God comes to us and works in our lives long before we are ever aware of it.
We believe that God gives us everything we need to choose or reject Him.
We believe that God loves us for who we are. God will move heaven and earth in order to have a relationship with us simply because we belong to Him—because we are his children.
The Grace that Makes Us Right with God
We believe that our sin is too deep and too wide to allow us to grab ahold of a relationship with God.
We believe God provided the way to forgive us and transforms us through the life, death, resurrection, of Jesus Christ, and reconcile us to Himself.
We believe that Jesus is the Son of God, the Savior of all who will turn to Him in repentance and faith, and that he is the only way to God. Jesus Himself said, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life, no-one comes to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6)
We believe that real life, not mere existence, is only found in Jesus. He said, “I have come that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” (John 10:10)
We believe that Jesus is the answer to the world’s problems. He said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but have the light of life.” (John 8:12)
We believe that Jesus is the ultimate expression of God’s love to us. “This is how God showed His love among us: He sent His one and only Son into the world that we might live through Him.” (I John 4:9) “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)
We believe that through Jesus, and the empowerment of the Holy Spirit, we worship God the Father in Spirit and in Truth. Jesus said they are, “the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.” (John 4:23)
Sacred Moments & Avenues of Grace
We believe that the once-in-a-lifetime water of baptism signals a dying to our old selves and being raised to a new kind of living. It includes the forgiveness of past sins, being reborn in the Spirit, and claimed by a whole new family of Christian brothers and sisters.
We believe that the bread and juice of communion are a regular way for us to experience all that Jesus has done for us in order to forgive us, what Jesus offers us now in terms of his living presence, and a ‘taste’ of what Jesus promises us in terms of eternal life with God.
We believe that God provides for us a wide variety of means to communicate his love and commitment to us, including the Core Values identified above.
We believe that becoming more and more like Jesus is the goal of life. In Jesus we see what it means to be fully alive and fully human, as well as what it means to have the kind of relationship with God and each other we were designed for.
The process of becoming like Jesus means being recreated in mind, heart, body, and spirit – a process we call discipleship.
We believe that this is a life-long process of getting rid of the old ways of the world and putting on the new ways of Christ, and that the best evidence that this process is taking place is the transformation of people like us.
Centrality of Scripture
We believe in the authority and sufficiency of the Holy Bible, and that its writers were moved by the Holy Spirit (2 Peter 1:21), and therefore the writings are inspired, as if breathed or spoken by God (2 Timothy 3:16). The Bible is therefore our guide to salvation through faith in Christ, and sufficient for doctrine, correction, moral and ethical instruction (2 Timothy 3:15-17).
While informed by tradition, experience and reason, we believe that the final guide to the interpretation of Scripture is Scripture itself.
Blessed to be a Blessing
We believe that being a disciple of Jesus Christ means we are becoming like Christ in our ability to love God and others, and we engage in helping others become disciples, too. This is evidenced by the church’s emphasis on outreach and missions, and the multiple opportunities for individuals to participate in serving others locally, regionally and around the world. All the good things God gives us come to us, and pass through us, on the way to someone else. We have been blessed in order to be a blessing to others.