McAlester First United Methodist’s Beliefs
The following are core Christian beliefs that we understand to be the essence of Christianity.
Authority of Scripture
The basis of our beliefs is the Bible, the sixty-six canonical books of the Old and New Testaments. The Bible is God’s Word and serves as our final authority in all matters of faith and practice.
We believe God is Triune. In other words, we believe in one true God who exists eternally in three persons: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, who are of one substance and equal in power and glory.
Deity of Christ
Jesus Christ is fully God and fully human, born of the virgin Mary.
Though all have sinned and have broken relationship with God, Jesus Christ died on the cross and God raised him from the dead so that we might receive forgiveness and be restored to relationship with God.
Resurrection of Christ
On the third day, Jesus rose from the dead, defeating sin and death and offering us the gift of salvation.
Salvation by Grace through Faith
A person is saved from the condition of sin and spiritual death only by the grace of God. This happens when that person experiences the free gift of new birth by placing his or her personal faith in Jesus Christ.
These are beliefs we hold, while recognizing many biblical Christians have drawn different conclusions.
Assurance of Salvation
Scripture makes clear that it is the privilege of all Christian believers to rejoice in the assurance of their salvation from the very moment in which they trust Christ as their Savior, and thereafter (1 John 5:11-12). This assurance is not based upon any kind of merit, but is produced by the witness of the Holy Spirit who confirms in the believer the testimony of God in His written Word (Rom. 8:15-16; 1 John 3:24).
We believe water Baptism is a sacrament to be observed by the Church today, a means by which we experience God’s grace tangibly. McAlester First UMC offers baptism to those who have placed their faith in Christ by any of three modes of water baptism which have been practiced throughout church history: immersion, pouring, and sprinkling. We also practice infant baptism. Children who are baptized as infants must eventually accept Christ for themselves and make a personal commitment to him as Lord and Savior. Any prior baptism in a Christian church, including infant baptism, will be acceptable for those who seek to join McAlester First UMC.
We believe the Lord’s Supper is a sacrament to be observed by the Church today, a means by which we experience God’s grace. We believe that Communion is an outward sign or symbol of the broken Body and shed blood of Jesus Christ. While we do not believe that the bread and juice turn literally into the actual flesh and blood of Christ, we do believe that in Communion we experience the very real presence and grace of Jesus Christ with us.