What we Believe
. The doctrinal standards of the Methodist Church are as follows:
The Methodist Church claims and cherishes its place in the Holy Catholic Church which is the Body of Christ. It rejoices in the inheritance of the apostolic faith and loyally accepts the fundamental principles of the historic creeds and of the Protestant Reformation. It ever remembers that in the providence of God Methodism was raised up to spread scriptural holiness through the land by the proclamation of the evangelical faith and declares its unfaltering resolve to be true to its divinely appointed mission.
The doctrines of the evangelical faith which Methodism has held from the beginning and still holds are based upon the divine revelation recorded in the Holy Scriptures. The Methodist Church acknowledges this revelation as the supreme rule of faith and practice. These evangelical doctrines to which the preachers of the Methodist Church are pledged are contained in Wesley's Notes on the New Testament and the first four volumes of his sermons.
The Notes on the New Testament and the 44 Sermons are not intended to impose a system of formal or speculative theology on Methodist preachers, but to set up standards of preaching and belief which should secure loyalty to the fundamental truths of the gospel of redemption and ensure the continued witness of the Church to the realities of the Christian experience of salvation.
John Wesley's 'four alls'.
24 May is a special anniversary for Methodists and other Christians as we remember John Wesley's heart-warming experience of God in a church on Aldersgate Street. Wesley was already a priest in the Church of England and had travelled to America as a missionary, which had not gone at all well. On the voyage there his ship was caught up in a storm and he was impressed by the calm faith of a group of Moravian Christians, who prayed and sang and showed no fear amidst such danger.
Not long afterwards he felt led, reluctantly, to attend worship at a Moravian church on Aldersgate Street in London. Despite his reluctance, it was during this service he felt his heart strangely warmed. Until then he had known God in his mind but not in his heart, now he understood the value of a personal experience of God that would bring assurance to the believer. Wesley, who began the Methodist movement, was convinced that all people could know the love of God. This is clear through the "Four alls" that are still quoted by Methodist people today.
All people need to be saved.
All people can be saved.
All people can know they are saved.
All people can be saved to the uttermost.
Paul has something similar to say in the book of Romans, making it clear that Jesus did not die just for those who were righteous but that he "died for the ungodly" (5. v6). All people fall within the scope of God's love and Christ's saving action, and all people can experience this for themselves as God's love fills their hearts with love through the Holy Spirit.