The Medina United Methodist Church is a group of Christians who are UNITED in the ESSENTIALS. John Wesley would often quote one of the early church fathers: “In Essentials we have Unity. In Non-Essentials we have Liberty. In all things we have Charity.”
In essential beliefs – we have UNITY.
“There is one Body and one Spirit…there is one Lord, one faith, one baptism and one God and Father of us all…” Ephesians 4:4-6
In non-essential beliefs – we have LIBERTY.
“Accept him whose faith is weak, without passing judgment on disputable matters…Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls…So then each of us will give an account of himself to God…So whatever you believe about these things keep between yourself and God.” Romans 14:1,4,12,22
In all our beliefs – we show CHARITY.
“…If I hold in my mind not only all human knowledge but also the very secrets of God, and if I have the faith that can move mountains – but have no love, I amount to nothing at all.” 1 Corinthians. 13:2
So the Big Question is: WHAT ARE THE ESSENTIALS? The essentials are those that things things that the Bible clearly teach as important to the faith. Such as…
1. About God
God is the Creator and Ruler of the universe, and is revealed in the three personalities: The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. The three (Trinity) are co-equal and are one God.
Verses: Genesis 1:1,26,27; 3:22; Psalm 90:2; Matthew 28:19; 1 Peter 1:2; 2 Corinthians 13:13
2. About Jesus Christ
Jesus Christ, as the Son of God, is co-equal with the God. Jesus, born of the Virgin Mary, lived a sinless human life and offered Himself as the perfect sacrifice for the sin of all people by dying on a cross. He arose from the dead after three days to demonstrate His power over sin and death. He ascended to heaven and will return someday to earth to reign as King of kings, and Lord of lords.
Verses: Matt 1:22,23; Isaiah 9:6; John 1:1-5, 14:10-30; Heb. 4:14,15; I Corinthians. 15:3-4; Rom. 1:3-4; Acts 1:9-11; 1 Timothy 6:14-15; Titus 2:13
3. About the Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit is co-equal with God and the Son of God. The Holy Spirit is present in the world to make people aware of their need to be reconciled to God. The Holy Spirit also lives in every Christian from the moment of conversion, and provides the spiritual truth, and guidance in doing what is right. The Holy Spirit gives every believer a spiritual gift when they accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior of their lives. As Christians we seek to live under His influence daily.
The Bible is God’s Word to us. It was written by human authors, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. It is the supreme and ultimate source of truth for Christian beliefs and living, and contains all things necessary for salvation. Therefore we seek to actively teach the WHOLE counsel of God from within it’s pages.
People are made in the spiritual image of God, to be like character. We are the supreme act of God’s creation. Although every person has great potential for good, we are marred by an attitude of disobedience toward God called “sin”. This attitude – a “bent” to sin – separates people from God and causes many problems in life.
Salvation is God’s free gift to us but we must accept it. We can never make up for our sin by self-improvement or good works. Only by trusting in Jesus Christ as God’s offer of forgiveness can anyone be saved from sin’s penalty: eternal separation from God. Eternal life, the life which God intends for us, begins the moment a person accepts Jesus Christ into our life by faith.
Verses: Romans 6:23; Ephesians 2:8-9; John 1:12, 14:6; Titus 3:5; Galatians 3:26; Romans 5:1
7. About Baptism
We believe Baptism signifies entrance into the household of faith, and is a symbol of repentance and inner cleansing from sin, a representation of the new birth in Christ Jesus and a mark of Christian discipleship. Jesus commands us to go out into all the world and to make disciples, BAPTIZING them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit… (Matt 28:19)
Over the centuries, Christians have fought over the issue of baptism. Some have even killed other Christians to defend a particular view of baptism. We believe baptism is important; however we don’t believe it can save an individual. We don’t believe that a person is saved by getting wet. Jesus is the ONLY source of salvation.
We also believe Baptism was given to build up the church, not to tear it apart. Therefore, rather than fighting over an issue that the Bible isn’t completely clear about… we choose to recognize and practice ALL forms of baptism based on an individual’s understanding of Scripture. (Immersion, Pouring, and Sprinkling) We don’t just sprinkle.
Verses: Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 16:14; Col. 2:12
8. About the Lord’s Supper
We believe the Lord’s Supper is a representation of our redemption, a remembrance of the suffering and death of Christ, and a symbol of love and union which Christians have with Christ and with one another. When received by faith, the bread and juice become for us the body and blood of Christ.
Further we believe that all who desire the grace of God and seek to live Godly lives are invited to participate in the Lord’s Supper. We believe that The Supper can be both a confirming and converting experience. In the case of Children… we allow the parents to decide. In general, we observe an “Open Communion” table. (You don’t have to be a United Methodist to participate)