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Our Beliefs
 

Our Beliefs

Aldersgate Church affirms the two most widely recognized statements on the Christian faith, the Apostles’ Creed and the Nicene Creed. We share a common heritage with all Christians through the ages, yet we have deep roots within Wesleyan-Holiness Theology and the United Methodist Church: Open Hearts. Open Minds. Open Doors.

We recognize John Wesley’s experience on Aldersgate Street in London on May 24, 1738. Wesley’s intellectual conviction was transformed into a personal experience with God – his heart was “strangely warmed” by the Holy Spirit. This is what the name “Aldersgate” means to us and we believe the Holy Spirit is active within God’s people today. We believe all people are image-bearers of God, and all are welcome at Aldersgate Church, regardless of who they are or where they have been, to come explore their faith in a community of love.

At Aldersgate Church, questions are welcome, doubts can be expressed, and disagreement will be expected; because we have a wide variety of experiences and understanding of life. That being said, we are committed to the following foundational Christian beliefs:

GOD

We believe in one God, the Holy Trinity—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

We believe that this Godhead, in all sovereignty and intimacy, spoke creation into existence and breathed life into humanity.

We believe God is everlasting and infinite in power, wisdom, justice, goodness, and love.

We believe God is the sovereign ruler of the universe.

We believe God is the fullness of love: God loves all creation. In particular, God loves humankind, created in the divine image. This love inspires and empowers us to love God and love others unconditionally.

JESUS CHRIST

We believe that God became human in Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus Christ, God’s Anointed One, was truly God and truly human (both Son of God and Son of man).

We believe that Jesus is our Savior. Jesus Christ freed us of our sin and gave us the gift of whole life, eternal life, and salvation by humbling himself and giving himself as a sacrifice on the cross, reconciling us with God, and defeating sin and death through the resurrection.

We believe that the Holy Spirit raised Jesus from the dead and that the risen Christ lives today.

We believe that Jesus is our Lord and that we are called to pattern our lives after his life.

We believe that Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection demonstrate God’s redeeming love.

THE HOLY SPIRIT

We believe that Jesus ascended into heaven and God sent us the Holy Spirit.

We believe that the Holy Spirit is God dwelling within and among us.

We believe that the Holy Spirit transforms us and sets us free from the bondage of sin.

We believe that the Holy Spirit comforts us when we are in need and convicts us when we stray from God.

We believe that the Holy Spirit produces fruit within us (Gal. 5:22) and bestows spiritual gifts upon believers (1 Cor. 12:8-10). These fruits and gifts are not of our own achievement, but rather are the outgrowth of the Spirit’s work within us, by grace, through our faith in Jesus the Christ.

We believe that the Holy Spirit awakens us to God’s will and empowers us to live faithfully.

HUMAN BEINGS

We believe that God created human beings in God’s image. Like God, we have the capacity to love and care, to communicate, and to create.

We believe that all people have been made to know, love, and serve God.

We believe that human beings can choose to accept or reject a relationship with God.

We believe that relationship with God allows us to live more fully into our true humanity as displayed in the life of Jesus.

THE CHURCH

We believe that the church is the body of Christ, an extension of Christ’s life and ministry in the world today.

We believe that the mission of the church is to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.

We believe that the church is “the communion of saints,” a community made up of all past, present, and future disciples of Christ.

We believe that the church is called to worship God and to support those who participate in its life as they grow in faith.

THE BIBLE

We believe that the Bible is God’s Word.

We believe that the Bible is the primary authority for our faith and practice.

We believe that the Bible bears authentic testimony to God’s self-disclosure in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ as well as in God’s work of creation, in the pilgrimage of Israel, and in the Holy Spirit’s ongoing activity in human history.

We believe that through Scripture the living Christ meets us in the experience of redeeming grace.

We believe that the writers of the Bible were inspired by God and illuminated by God’s Spirit.

We believe that God was at work in the process of canonization, during which only the most faithful and useful books were adopted as Scripture.

We believe that the Holy Spirit works today in our thoughtful study of the Scriptures, especially as we study them together, seeking to relate the old words to life’s present realities.

We believe that our interpretation of Scripture is to be guided by the Holy Spirit and informed by the traditions of the Church.

THE KINGDOM OF GOD

We believe that the Kingdom of God is both a present reality and future hope.

We believe that the fulfillment of God’s kingdom—the complete restoration of Creation—is still to come (Rev. 21:1-5).

We believe that those who are in Christ are new creations (2 Cor. 5:17) adopted into God’s Kingdom and are co-heirs with Christ, sharing both in suffering and in glory (Rom. 8:17).

We believe that we are active participants in the Kingdom of God as renewed people doing “the work of ministry” (Eph. 4:2) and taking part in the Kingdom’s coming as Christ’s body on the earth.

We believe that the reign of God is both personal and social.

 

We also have something called the Aldersgate Manifesto, which is merely a helpful reminder of who we are as a church, how we are committed to living, and what we are actively against becoming.