We believe that God created all people, and that we are “of one blood”, according to Acts 17:26 “And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings.”
Therefore, we welcome all men and women to join us as we worship God and prepare to meet Jesus Christ without shame when He returns to judge the earth.
(John 4:23 “But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him.”)
(I John 2:28 “And now, little children, abide in Him, that when He appears, we may have confidence and not be ashamed before Him at His coming.”)
There are Wesleyan-Methodist churches throughout Pennsylvania, from God’s Missionary Church, the New York Pilgrim Holiness Church, the Allegheny Wesleyan Conference, and some independent congregations.
John Wesley preached and taught his fellow ministers four key points that we will examine here in this short statement of faith.
1. All men need to be saved, that is they need to be saved from sin.
(John 3:3 “Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”)
Sin is a willful choice to disobey God’s law, which we inherently know within our hearts.
(John 1:1-9 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. This man came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world.”)
(I John 3:4 “Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness.”
(Romans 2:12-16 “For as many as have sinned without law will also perish without law, and as many as have sinned in the law will be judged by the law (for not the hearers of the law are just in the sight of God, but the doers of the law will be justified; for when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do the things in the law, these, although not having the law, are a law to themselves, who show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and between themselves their thoughts accusing or else excusing them) in the day when God will judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ, according to my gospel.”)
In order to be saved, or “born again”, we must humble ourselves towards God, change our way of living, and ask God for mercy towards us, for our wrongdoing.
(Luke 18:9-14 [Also He spoke this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other men–extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I possess.’ And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me a sinner!’ I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.])
(“Acts 2:38 “Then Peter said to them, ‘Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.’”)
(I John 1:8-10 “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.”)
2. All men can be saved, for God does not desire for anyone to die eternally.
(John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”)
(I Timothy 2:3-4 “For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.”)
(II Peter 3:9 “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.”)
We believe that God’s grace reaches to all men, yet not everyone responds positively to God.
(Titus 2:11 “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men”)
(John 1:11 “He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him.”)
Only those who submit to God’s dealing in their lives are saved. Salvation is only through faith in Jesus Christ, and this faith is a “living faith”, that is a faith that produces good works in our lives, causing us to live in obedience to God.
3. All men can know that they are saved, by the witness of the Holy Spirit, and by the witness of the Word of God.
(Romans 8:1-16 “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God. But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His. And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you. Therefore, brethren, we are debtors–not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, ‘Abba, Father.’ The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God”)
(I John 1:5-7 “This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.”)
God gives us peace in our heart when we are regenerated, because we are no longer at war with Him.
(Romans 5:1-2 “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.”)
At that point, our rebellion and sin are no longer blocking us from a loving relationship with God.
(Isaiah 59:1-2 “Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, That it cannot save; Nor His ear heavy, That it cannot hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; And your sins have hidden His face from you, So that He will not hear.”
The witness of the Word of God is another confirmation, as we “walk in the light”, (that is live in obedience to God’s Word), we can know that we are saved.
(I John 2:3 “Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments.”
4. All men can be saved to the uttermost, that is to the fullest extent. We believe that we are to love the Lord God with all of our heart, soul, and mind and our neighbor as ourselves.
(Matthew 22:35-40 [Then one of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him, and saying, “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?” Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”])
This is Christian perfection, that is perfection in love.
(I John 4:17-21 “Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. We love Him because He first loved us. If someone says, ‘I love God,’ and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? And this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also.”)
As we fulfill these two greatest commandments, we fulfill all of God’s laws for us.
(Romans 13:9-10 “For the commandments, ‘You shall not commit adultery,’ ‘You shall not murder,’ ‘You shall not steal,’ ‘You shall not bear false witness,’ ‘You shall not covet,’ and if there is any other commandment, are all summed up in this saying, namely, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.”)
Also, we realize that God has called us to be holy as He is holy.
(I Peter 1:13-16 “Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance; but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, ‘Be holy, for I am holy.’”)
(Hebrews 12:14 “Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord:”
This is not an option for the Christian, but a commandment that God helps us to keep, as we submit to His will. Many today teach that it does not matter how a Christian lives, that every person sins every day, but this belief is not Scripturally based. Once we understand that sin in the proper sense is rebellion or lawlessness, (I John 3:4 “Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness.”), then we understand that those who love Christ would never live in rebellion against Him. We can know that we are Christians because we love God and our fellow man.
(I John 5:1-5 “Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves Him who begot also loves him who is begotten of Him. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome. For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world–our faith. Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?”)
(I John 3:14 “We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love his brother abides in death.”)