The Methodist movement is a group of historically-related denominations of Protestant Christianity which derive their inspiration from the life and teachings of John Wesley. George Whitefield and John’s brother Charles Wesley were also significant leaders in the movement.
The Methodist branch of protestant religion traces its roots back to 1739 where it developed in England as a result of the teachings of John Wesley. Wesley’s three basic precepts that began the Methodist tradition consisted of:
- Shun evil and avoid partaking in wicked deeds at all costs,
- Perform kind acts as much as possible, and
- Abide by the edicts of God the Almighty Father.
God is all-knowing, possesses infinite love and goodness, is all-powerful, and the creator of all things.
- God has always existed and will always continue to exist.
- God is three persons in one, the Father, the Son (Jesus Christ), and the Holy Spirit.
- God is the master of all creation and humans are meant to live in a holy covenant with him. Humans have broken this covenant by their sins, and can only be forgiven if they truly have faith in the love and saving grace of Jesus Christ.
- Jesus was God on Earth (conceived of a virgin), in the form of a man who was crucified for the sins of all people, and who was physically resurrected to bring them the hope of eternal life.
- The grace of God is seen by people through the work of the Holy Spirit in their lives and in their world.
- Close adherence to the teachings of Scripture is essential to the faith because Scripture is the Word of God.
- Christians are part of a universal church and must work with all Christians to spread the love of God.
- Baptism is a sacrament or ceremony in which a person is anointed with water to symbolize being brought into the community of faith.
- Communion is a sacrament in which participants eat bread and drink juice to show that they continue to take part in Christ’s redeeming resurrection by symbolically taking part in His body (the bread) and blood (the juice).
- Wesley taught his followers that Baptism and Communion are not only sacraments, but also sacrifices to God.
- People can only be saved through faith in Jesus Christ, not by any other acts of redemption such as good deeds.
The mission of the 32,000 Methodist Churches is “To make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world”.