Troy United Methodist Church
Tuesday, October 17, 2017
Everyone is Welcome!

Our Beliefs

Our basic beliefs include the following:

The Bible
:
We believe the Bible is the inspired Word of God. It is the source of our knowledge about God and the story of God’s saving work throughout history.  "All scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong with our lives.  It straightens us out and teaches us to do what is right. (2 Timothy 3.16, NLT)"

God
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We believe God is the Creator of all that exists and the Father of all races of people. God seeks relationship with all his children for the purpose of granting eternal salvation.

Jesus Christ
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We believe Jesus is the only Son of God. Through the human, Jesus, God came to live among us as one of us. Because of Jesus’ ways and teachings we learned that God is love and seeks to save all people.
Through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, God provided humankind a way to be forgiven and freed of sin. We believe Jesus died upon a cross for our sins. “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)

Holy Spirit
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The Holy Spirit is God present with us to guide and sustain us. God’s Spirit is always near to bring comfort and strength.

Salvation
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At the center of our faith is a belief in God’s forgiveness of our sin through our belief in Jesus Christ. Christ died for the sins of all people. Salvation is not earned, but is a gift from a gracious God. Salvation is God’s plan to provide humans an escape from the consequences of sin.

However, be clear - salvation is not the same thing as going through confirmation, being on a church membership roll, being baptized, taking communion, observing religious duties, going to church, saying prayers, reading the Bible, memorizing creeds, nor doing good deeds.  These things are important, but are meant to point toward the saving grace of Christ, not be salvation in itself. 

As a result of experiencing salvation: your sins are forgiven (1 John 1:9; John 3:16), you are a member of God’s family (John 1:12; John 3:2), you have peace with God and access to Him (Romans 5:1-2; Ephesians 2:6-7), God's Spirit dwells within you (Romans 8:9-11; 1 John 4:4).

Remember, feelings have nothing to do with salvation.  You may feel like you are floating on a cloud, or as dull as a doorknob. It makes no difference. Trusting God’s love is what counts.

Conversion: When a person believes in Jesus Christ, repents of his or her sin, receives forgiveness, and commits his or her life to the service of the Lord, that person has experienced what we call “conversion.”  When you confess Jesus as Lord and Savior, you experience the new birth. 

Church: Being a part of a fellowship of other believers is vitally important to growing in your faith and sharing the joy you have in Christ with others.  The Church is Christ's Body and each believer plays an important part - no one is expendable (1 Corinthians 12.12-37).  Through participation in the church we pass on the knowledge and traditions of the faith, nurture one another, and share our resources to reach out to help, heal, comfort and convert. 

Sacraments
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Sacraments are holy symbols or signs that point toward God’s grace. We believe that Jesus instituted two sacraments: Baptism and Holy Communion.

Through baptism, sins are symbolically washed with water. The amount of water used in the ritual is less significant than the realization that through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, we have been cleansed of our sins and are presented holy before God.  We accept the baptisms of all other Christian churches and we believe that there is no need to re-baptize a person.

Within the United Methodist Church  persons of all ages, including babies, may receive baptism. It is our understanding that God’s gracious gift of salvation extends to all persons regardless of age. From the earliest days of the church, whole households were baptized into the faith, which would have included infants and children (Acts 16:15, 31-33; I Corinthians 1:16). When young children are baptized, parents pledge to raise the children in the Christian faith. When the child is older and has the opportunity to learn more about the faith, he or she may claim their baptism for themselves. While they are not re-baptized, they affirm the baptism they received as a baby.

Baptism may take place by any of three methods: sprinkling, when a pastor’s hand is dipped into water and placed on the person’s head; pouring, when water from a pitcher is poured over the head; and immersion, when the person is completely dipped beneath the water. The most common form used is sprinkling.
Holy Communion (or Lord’s Supper) is the celebration of Christ’s gift of himself for our sin through the eating of bread and the drinking of wine. Jesus initiated the ceremony when he ate his last meal with his disciples in the Upper Room the evening before his death (Matthew 26:26-29).

In the United Methodist Church all believing Christians, regardless of age or denominational affiliation, are welcome to participate in communion. Since the late nineteenth century, we have celebrated this sacrament with bread and grape juice rather than wine, as a way of expressing pastoral concern for children, youth and those who might be prone toward alcoholism. This method also supports our witness of abstinence from alcoholic beverages.
 
The bread and juice of communion represent the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. When Jesus presented the bread and cup to his disciples the night before he was crucified, he asked them to consider him every time they ate the bread and drank from the cup (1 Corinthians 11:23-26).