Our Beliefs

About

Everyone has had unique experiences in their lives. We at Athens First United Methodist Church understand that. We are all in different places of our spiritual journey. If you are starting out your journey or are well underway, we welcome you. There can be a lot of varying beliefs between the many congregations and denominations. Here is resource to provide you a brief look at our central theological beliefs. We hope that Athens First United Methodist Church can be your spiritual home. If you have more in depth questions related to our beliefs as a congregation feel free to reach out to Pastor Robert.

The Trinity

God

We believe in one God, who created the world and all that is in it.

We believe that God is sovereign; that is, God is the ruler of the universe.

We believe that God is loving. We can experience God’s love and grace.


Jesus

We believe that Jesus was human. He lived as a man and died when he was crucified.

We believe that Jesus is the embodiment of God.

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

We believe that Jesus is our Savior. In Christ we receive abundant life and forgiveness of sins.

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


The Holy Spirit

We believe that the Holy Spirit is God with us.

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 awakens us to God’s will and implores us to live obediently.

Human Beings

We believe that God created human beings in God’s image.

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

We believe that all humans are invited to be in relationship with God to help us be fully human.

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.

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 Christians are called upon to know and study the Old Testament and the New Testament (the Hebrew Scriptures and the Christian Scriptures).

The Reign of God

We believe that the kingdom or reign of God is both a present reality and future hope.

We believe that wherever God's will is done, the kingdom or reign of God is present. It was present in Jesus' ministry, and it is also present in our world whenever persons and communities experience reconciliation, restoration, and healing.

We believe that the fulfillment of God's kingdom--the complete restoration of creation--is still to come.

We believe that the church is called to be both witness to the vision of what God's kingdom will be like and a participant in helping to bring it to completion.

We believe that the reign of God is both personal and social. Personally, we display the kingdom of God as our hearts and minds are transformed and we become more Christ-like. Socially, God's vision for the kingdom includes the restoration and transformation of all of creation.

The Sacraments

Baptism

Through baptism we are joined with the church and with Christians everywhere.

Baptism is a symbol of new life and a sign of God's love and forgiveness of our sins.

Persons of any age may be baptized.

We baptize by sprinkling, immersion or pouring.

A person receives the sacrament of baptism only once in his or her life because it is primarily God’s covenant made to us.


The Lord's Supper (Communion, Eucharist)

The Lord's Supper is a holy meal of bread and wine that symbolizes the body and blood of Christ.

The Lord's Supper recalls the life, death and resurrection of Jesus and celebrates the unity of all the members of God's family.

By sharing this meal, we give thanks for Christ's sacrifice and we are nourished and implored to go into the world in mission and ministry.

We practice "open Communion;" All are welcome all who love Christ, repent of their sin, and seek to live in peace with one another.