Our Beliefs

About Being a Methodist

John Wesley and the early Methodists were particularly concerned about inviting   people to experience God’s grace and to grow in their knowledge and love of God   through disciplined Christian living. They placed primary emphasis on Christian   living, on putting faith and love into action. This emphasis on what Wesley   referred to as "practical divinity" has continued to be a hallmark of United   Methodism today.

Our United Methodist heritage is rooted in a deep and profound understanding   of God’s grace. This incredible grace flows from God’s great love for us. Did   you have to memorize John 3:16 in Sunday school when you were a child? There was   a good reason. This one verse summarizes the gospel: “For God so loved the world   that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish   but may have eternal life.” The ability to call to mind God’s love and God’s   gift of Jesus Christ is a rich resource for theology and faith.”

John Wesley, the founder of the Methodist movement, described God’s grace as   threefold:

  • prevenient grace   
  • justifying grace   
  • sanctifying grace

Prevenient Grace

Wesley understood grace as God’s active presence in our lives. This presence   is not dependent on human actions or human response. It is a gift—a gift that is   always available, but that can be refused.

God’s grace stirs up within us a desire to know God and empowers us to   respond to God’s invitation to be in relationship with God. God’s grace enables   us to discern differences between good and evil and makes it possible for us to   choose good….

God takes the initiative in relating to humanity. We do not have to beg and   plead for God’s love and grace. God actively seeks us!

Justifying Grace

Paul wrote to the church in Corinth: “In Christ God was reconciling the world   to himself, not counting their trespasses against them” (2 Corinthians 5:19).   And in his letter to the Roman Christians, Paul wrote: “But God proves his love   for us in that while we still were sinners Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).

These verses demonstrate the justifying grace of God. They point to   reconciliation, pardon, and restoration. Through the work of God in Christ our   sins are forgiven, and our relationship with God is restored. According to John   Wesley, founder of the Methodist movement, the image of God—which has been   distorted by sin—is renewed within us through Christ’s death.

Again, this dimension of God’s grace is a gift. God’s grace alone brings us   into relationship with God. There are no hoops through which we have to jump in   order to please God and to be loved by God. God has acted in Jesus Christ. We   need only to respond in faith.

Sanctifying Grace

Salvation is not a static, one-time event in our lives. It is the ongoing   experience of God’s gracious presence transforming us into whom God intends us   to be. John Wesley described this dimension of God’s grace as sanctification, or   holiness.

Through God’s sanctifying grace, we grow and mature in our ability to live as   Jesus lived. As we pray, study the Scriptures, fast, worship, and share in   fellowship with other Christians, we deepen our knowledge of and love for God.   As we respond with compassion to human need and work for justice in our   communities, we strengthen our capacity to love our neighbor. Our inner thoughts and   motives, as well as our outer actions and behavior, are aligned with God’s will   and testify to our union with God.

We’re to press on, with God’s help, in the path of sanctification toward   perfection. By perfection, Wesley did not mean that we would not make mistakes   or have weaknesses. Rather, he understood it to be a continual process of being   made perfect in our love of God and each other and of removing our desire to   sin.

        

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Join Us

 WE ARE LOCATED AT:

1000 S. Washington Street

Lockport, Illinois

 

Sunday Mornings at 1st UMC 
 
Sunday School at 9:00
 
Worship at 10:25
 

 

We are handicapped accessible providing:

 

   a wheelchair accessible

   entrance off of the parking lot

 

   an elevator to the lower level

 

   accessible restrooms

 

   large print bulletins and

   hymnals