The following are the core beliefs of Ontario United Methodist Church. They are based on the foundational truths taught in the Bible. All our teaching and ministry is rooted in and flows out of these biblical doctrines.
There is one eternally existing God who is three distinct but inseparable persons: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. God is the creator of all that exists, both visible and invisible, and is therefore worthy of all glory and praise. God is perfect in love, power, holiness, goodness, knowledge, wisdom, justice, and mercy. He is unchangeable and therefore is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow.
By grace we mean the undeserved, unearned, and loving action of God. While the grace of God is undivided, it precedes salvation as “prevenient grace,” continues in “justifying grace,” and is brought to fruition in “sanctifying grace.” We lead with God’s grace, rather than leading with God’s judgment. In spite of suffering, violence, and evil, we believe God’s grace is present everywhere. God summons us to repentance, pardons us, receives us, and gives us hope of eternal life by His grace.
Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of God and came to reconcile us with God. He lived a life without sin and willingly died on the cross to pay the penalty for our sin. God raised him from the dead and now, by grace, offers as a free gift of eternal life to all who follow Christ, by faith, as their Lord and Savior. That is why salvation can be found in Christ alone. We believe the journey of the Christian life continues after God’s initial acceptance and pardon. Through the power of the Holy Spirit we are enabled to increase in the knowledge and love of God and our neighbor, bringing us to experience God’s sanctifying grace and power.
God has revealed himself to us through his son, Jesus Christ, who is the visible image of the invisible God, the Bible, and through all of creation itself.
Humans were created in God’s image for His glory. Though created in God’s image, that image has been distorted by original sin, individual sin, and the brokenness of the world. Humans stand in need of redemption which can only occur by God’s gracious actions.
The Bible is the Word of God and contains all things necessary for salvation. The Bible should be studied and meditated upon not primarily for information, but for our transformation.
The Church is meant to be the visible body of Christ, sent into the world to glorify God and proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ.
God created humanity with a free will, able to decide to follow or not follow God. Though faith is a gift of God, God has given us the freedom to accept or reject that gift.
Jesus Christ was bodily resurrected from the dead on the third day and will return one day to judge both the living and the dead and to usher in the fullness of God’s kingdom on earth.
Holy communion is a sacrament ordained by Christ for all of the Church. One does not have to be a member of our church to celebrate communion with us as Christ came not for our church only, but for the whole world. All who love Christ, earnestly repent of their sin, and seek to live in peace with one another are invited to participate. While we believe communion is a memorial of the suffering and death of Christ as and symbol of the union Christians have with Christ and with one another, we also believe that Christ is spiritually present in the elements of communion.
Baptism is the sacrament of initiation into the family of God. This sacrament is a sign of the new birth and is therefore open to people of all ages and mental capacities. For children baptized, God’s claim upon their lives must be ratified by them in confirmation, where the pledge of baptism is accepted.