Salvation UMC-style

From the Confession of Faith of the United Methodist Church:

We believe man is fallen from righteousness and, apart from the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, is destitute of holiness and inclined to evil. Except a man be born again, he cannot see the Kingdom of God.

Since we also believe that grace has been poured out on all people, that means people we meet are not, in fact, destitute of holiness. Or rather they will not be if they respond to the work the grace of God has already done in their lives.

But this grace itself is not saving grace. The new birth lies beyond the preservation from total wretchedness. And it lies beyond our own power or ability.

We believe we are never accounted righteous before God through our works or merit, but that penitent sinners are justified or accounted righteous before God only by faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.

These are our doctrinal standards.

What does that mean?


34 thoughts on “Salvation UMC-style

  1. Pat
    Your mashing scriptures together in ways that I think are confusing and unhelpful. I do appreciate you sharing your understanding and your candor :
    A couple things
    Scripture is the guide that identifies doctrines taught by men. Read acts 2:42-47 the disciples/followers of Jesus gave themselves to the apostles doctrine/teaching
    second- there is no formula given in scripture such as repent be born again and get baptized. Johns gospel proclaims that unless god gives birth to you “again/from above” than you are like nicodemus….a teacher of Israel who doesn’t fully recognize the messiah right in front of his face
    The book of acts says repent and be baptized by water and the spirit. Our obedience in water God’s gift and work in the spirit. And this happens in do many odd configurations in Acts: people get baptized and the spirit comes later, people get the spirit and then get water baptism afte, people get both at the same time. All this is in scripture
    Finally. People are free to a degree to interpret scripture differently. That is why we have denominations. There are both pros and cons to this. Different people display broad perspectives and thoughtfulness AND it is often frustrating to acknowledge “why isn’t there just a plain meaning to the text that we all see when we read it” so. The fact that we have teachings/doctrines that we interpret and uphold as faithful is not surprising at all. Peace to you

    1. Maybe I should add. It isn’t being Methodist or catholic or e.u.b that we are promoting as of supreme importance but rather I believe we are saying this is what Methodists think it means to be Christian AND this is what Catholics think it means to be Christian etc

  2. 1 Peter 1:23-25 Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)
    23 You have been born again not from some seed that will decay, but from one that cannot decay, through the living Word of God that lasts forever. 24 For
    all humanity is like grass,
    all its glory is like a wildflower —
    the grass withers, and the flower falls off;
    25 but the Word of ADONAI lasts forever.[a]
    Moreover, this Word is the Good News which has been proclaimed to you.

    1 Peter 1:3-5 Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)
    3 Praised be God, Father of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah, who, in keeping with his great mercy, has caused us, through the resurrection of Yeshua the Messiah from the dead, to be born again to a living hope, 4 to an inheritance that cannot decay, spoil or fade, kept safe for you in heaven. 5 Meanwhile, through trusting, you are being protected by God’s power for a deliverance ready to be revealed at the Last Time.
    1 Peter 1:10-12 Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)
    10 The prophets, who prophesied about this gift of deliverance that was meant for you, pondered and inquired diligently about it. 11 They were trying to find out the time and circumstances to which the Spirit of the Messiah in them was referring in predicting the Messiah’s sufferings and the glorious things to follow. 12 It was revealed to them that their service when they spoke about these things was not for their own benefit, but for yours. And these same things have now been proclaimed to you by those who communicated the Good News to you through the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) sent from heaven. Even angels long to look into these things

    1. Adely,
      I’m not sure about your reasoning behind cutting and pasting a bunch of scriptures? If you are joining Pat in saying that “you must be born again” is an imperative (a command) than I would suggest you look at the scriptures you posted again. It is understood that the letter of I Peter is written to Christians (the already baptized) and the words in this scripture are past tense “You have been born again”….how….why…..because of what Christ and his resurrection has accomplished. These scriptures are believed by many to be an encouragement and a reminder for christian churches to live holy lives in the midst of a world around them that was very different from them and sometimes persecuted them. It was a call for them to remember their baptism in Jesus Christ.

  3. John 3:1-21 Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)
    3 There was a man among the P’rushim, named Nakdimon, who was a ruler of the Judeans. 2 This man came to Yeshua by night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know it is from God that you have come as a teacher; for no one can do these miracles you perform unless God is with him.” 3 “Yes, indeed,” Yeshua answered him, “I tell you that unless a person is born again from above, he cannot see the Kingdom of God.”
    4 Nakdimon said to him, “How can a grown man be ‘born’? Can he go back into his mother’s womb and be born a second time?” 5 Yeshua answered, “Yes, indeed, I tell you that unless a person is born from water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the Kingdom of God. 6 What is born from the flesh is flesh, and what is born from the Spirit is spirit. 7 Stop being amazed at my telling you that you must be born again from above! 8 The wind blows where it wants to, and you hear its sound, but you don’t know where it comes from or where it’s going. That’s how it is with everyone who has been born from the Spirit.”
    9 Nakdimon replied, “How can this happen?” 10 Yeshua answered him, “You hold the office of teacher in Isra’el, and you don’t know this? 11 Yes, indeed! I tell you that what we speak about, we know; and what we give evidence of, we have seen; but you people don’t accept our evidence! 12 If you people don’t believe me when I tell you about the things of the world, how will you believe me when I tell you about the things of heaven? 13 No one has gone up into heaven; there is only the one who has come down from heaven, the Son of Man. 14 Just as Moshe lifted up the serpent in the desert, so must the Son of Man be lifted up; 15 so that everyone who trusts in him may have eternal life.
    16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his only and unique Son, so that everyone who trusts in him may have eternal life, instead of being utterly destroyed. 17 For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but rather so that through him, the world might be saved. 18 Those who trust in him are not judged; those who do not trust have been judged already, in that they have not trusted in the one who is God’s only and unique Son.
    19 “Now this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, but people loved the darkness rather than the light. Why? Because their actions were wicked. 20 For everyone who does evil things hates the light and avoids it, so that his actions won’t be exposed. 21 But everyone who does what is true comes to the light, so that all may see that his actions are accomplished through God.”
    Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)
    Copyright © 1998 by David H. Stern. All rights reserved.

  4. I happen to be reading “ The Gospel ,Revised Edition, 2013” written by Ira Lane, a lay person who has a distinguished background in the health care field. He has written several books in hospital management one of which was adopted by 42 state hospital associations for distribution to their members. Mr. Ira M. Lane Jr. served as CEO of the Tennessee Hospital Association from 1960-1993.

    Despite his secular accomplishments, Ira Lane is also a lover of his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. He has a heart for evangelism and wrote a few Christian books.
    He demonstrated the same tenacity, research and resourcefulness in writing the spiritual books as he did with the business books. He said that the books were written through the guidance, prompting and teaching of the Holy Spirit. The Gospel, Revised Edition is 8 1/2 by 11 inches in size with 217 pages. It is a steal for $6.50. It is simple and written as a guide for lay persons. Mr Ira Lane is a faithful member of the First Southern Methodist Church in Nashville. For some reason or another, their church refused to merge with the EUB in 1968.

    I have a feeling that Reverends Talbot Davis, Pat Glazener-Cooney, d, leegshack , Stephen and possibly Jill-Ann too, will take interest in reading this book. I will recommend this book to my pastor as one of the materials to be used for our discipleship class after a one to one (personal) evangelism.

    Mr Ira Lane
    938 Downey Drive
    Nashville, Tennessee 37205

  5. Josh, I apologize for the delayed response.
    I thoroughly agree with you that the Peter epistles were written to a group of Jewish Christians who are undergoing persecutions. It is mostly for encouragement but Peter was able to insert a few doctrinal issues (in 1 Peter) in the midst of boosting and comforting words for their fearful and downtrodden spirits. I agree with you that Peter was writing to Jews who are already Christians.and that is the reason why the command to be born again is implied and not explicit. I believe Peter will say the same command that Jesus said to Nicodemus if he were addressing a group of unbelievers. It is inconceivable for me to think that Peter will contradict the words and teachings of Jesus Christ., his Lord & Master. In the book of Acts( 2:38), Peter emphasized repentance to a group of non-converted Jews in Jerusalem during Pentecost. He also told them to be baptized as a public declaration of their new found faith. Personally, I believe in a believer’s baptism or credobaptism. He wrote about repentance again in 2 Peter 3:9.

    I don’t regret copying and pasting the Word of God. It stand on its own and speaks for itself.

    This is the opinion of a simple minded Methodist lay person who rely on the leading and teachings of the Holy Spirit for guidance. Peace and blessings to you.

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