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OPEN HEARTS to ACCEPT JESUS

We believe living a life as a disciple of Jesus Christ begins with accepting him as Savior and Lord.

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OPEN MINDS to FOLLOW JESUS

We believe growing as a disciple of Jesus Christ involves following him in holy obedience.

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OPEN DOORS to SHARE JESUS

We believe serving as a disciple of Jesus Christ means sharing his grace, truth, love and power through faithful ministry.


Mission

God’s work on earth is to draw people into His grace through Jesus Christ (John 12:32).  The Church has been co-missioned by God to join Him in His work.  Our responsibility is to make disciples of Jesus Christ (Matthew 28:19).  At North Bend UMC we count it an honor to join God in His mission on earth.  We accomplish this work through the various ministries of the church as we serve in Christ’s name.

We believe grace and truth are at the heart of every ministry.  Jesus’s life on earth was full of grace and truth (John 1:14).  So the life of his church needs to be full of grace and truth as well.  That means we are committed to building genuine relationships of Christ-centered love with each other and with those around us.  Helping people discover that grace and truth is what North Bend UMC is all about.

Here is a closer look at the three important elements of our mission:

Jesus lived on earth about 2000 years ago.  He was a real person.  He ate, slept, cried, got angry and even was tempted.  But Jesus was more than fully human.  He was also fully God, completely divine.  As such, he was perfectly without sin – never thought, did or said anything wrong.  When Jesus was crucified, his death secured the forgiveness of our sins.  Three days later, his resurrection paved the way to eternal life for us.  “God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them” (2 Corinthians 5:19).

Jesus is the Son, second Person of the Trinity – Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  Jesus is the Lord, all authority in heaven and on earth belongs to him.  Jesus is our Savior, who alone forgives our sins and save our souls.  We have faith in Jesus Christ by whose grace we are redeemed, made whole and holy.

The word “disciple” is used in the Bible to describe people who believe in Jesus Christ.  It’s used far more than any other term (Christian- 3 times, Follower – 10 times, Believer – 60 times, Disciple – 300 times).  Many verses identify the characteristics of a disciple.  They can be summed up like this:

A disciple is someone who

Accepts Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord,
Follows Jesus Christ in holy obedience, and
Shares Jesus Christ in faithful ministry.

The Church, in its universal form, is the community of all past, present and future disciples of Jesus Christ.  The Church spans all traditional Christian denominations as we think of them today (Baptist, Catholic, United Methodist, etc).  The Church is called the Body of Christ, in which its parts (members) are empowered by the Holy Spirit, equipped to do ministry and mission, grow in the knowledge and love of God, and love one another in the name of Christ.

North Bend UMC is a local church that affiliates with the United Methodist denomination.  We believe that local churches are a primary place for people to connect with Jesus, grow stronger in faith, build genuine, encouraging relationships, and serve in ways that make an eternal difference in our community and around the world.

Beliefs

The United Methodist Church is a Protestant denomination.  John Wesley founded the Methodist movement in England in the 1700’s.  Our doctrine has a distinctive Wesleyan flavor.  The official statement of United Methodist beliefs are found in The Book of Discipline.  Here are some of our key beliefs:

God
Article I

There is but one living and true God, everlasting, without body or parts, of infinite power, wisdom, and goodness; the maker and preserver of all things, both visible and invisible.  And in unity of this Godhead there are three persons, of one substance, power, and eternity – the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

We believe…

  • God is Creator.  In the beginning God created the universe.  God created heaven and the earth and everything in it, including human beings.  From the whirling galaxies, to subatomic particles, to the unfathomable wonders of our own minds and bodies, God is the Master Designer and Maker of all things.
  • God is Redeemer.  Though perfectly created, life on earth is decaying.  Our sinfulness corrupts relationships with God, with each other, and with our environment.  Human self-centeredness leads to destruction in every dimension of our existence.  God reconciles individuals, groups, races, and nations that have been torn apart.  God’s redeeming work restores to eternal life what has been lost and broken.
  • God is Sustainer.  God not only created the universe but also maintains it.  The Creator is intimately involved in upholding the creation, providing as only God can all that is necessary for life.  The goodness of God’s very real Presence supplies strength in times of fear, violence, abuse, injustice, oppression, hunger, poverty, illness and grief.
  • God is Love.  Love is not God.  Love, in all its worldly glory, does not define God.  God defines love.  God’s definition goes like this: “God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).  The sacrificial nature of love is nowhere on display in greater depth and clarity than on the Cross.  “God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners” (Romans 5:8).  That love, though it cost God plenty, is a free gift received by faith.
  • God is Sovereign Lord.  God is on the throne of the universe, completely and totally in charge.  He is omnipotent – all powerful.  He is omniscient – all knowing.  He is omnipresent – everywhere all the time.  By God’s righteous standards all human behavior is judged, and not only the behavior itself but also the motive and intent.  The Day will come when God’s Kingdom will fully come and God’s Will will be fully done on earth as it is in heaven.
  • God is Personal.  God desires to have a relationship with us.  We are created in the image of God to facilitate that relationship.  Indeed, God is Almighty and Holy and moves in mysterious ways beyond what we can imagine.  However, we remember what the Lord promises: “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:13).
Jesus
Article II

We believe in Jesus Christ, truly God and truly man, in whom the divine and human natures are perfectly and inseparably united.  He is the eternal Word made flesh, the only begotten Son of the Father, born of the Virgin Mary by the power of the Holy Spirit.  As ministering Servant he lived, suffered and died on the cross.  He was buried, rose from the dead and ascended into heaven to be with the Father, from where he shall return.  He is eternal Savior and Mediator, who intercedes for us, and by him all will be judged.

Jesus is our Savior.  Salvation comes through Jesus Christ.  Through his life, death and resurrection God forgives our sins, removes our guilt and frees us from condemnation.

Jesus is also our Lord.  We give him our devoted allegiance.  We worship him, we follow him, we obey him, we surrender to him, we serve him, we praise him, we love him.  To proclaim Jesus is Lord is to freely submit our will to his, to trust our life to him, and to humbly acknowledge that it is he who is in charge of this world.  “At the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord” (Philippians 2:10-11).

Jesus Christ is God with skin and bones and hair and teeth.  He put a face and a name to God so we can relate to the Almighty.  He is our Teacher, our Friend, our Deliverer, our Hope, our Peace, our Light, our Life.  Someday he is coming back.  When he does we will see him face-to-face and we’ll be with him forever.

The Holy Spirit
Article III

We believe in the Holy Spirit who proceeds from and is one in being with the Father and the Son.  He convinces the world of sin, of righteousness and of judgment.  He leads persons through faithful response to the gospel into the fellowship of the Church.  He comforts, sustains and empowers the faithful and guides them into all truth.

The Holy Spirit is God present with us and within us.  When we sense God’s leading, God’s challenge, God’s strength, God’s comfort or inspiration, it is the Holy Spirit at work.

In Old Testament Hebrew, the words for spirit, wind, and breath are nearly identical.  The same is true in New Testament Greek.  In trying to describe God’s activity among them, the Biblical writers were saying that it was like God’s breath, like a sacred wind.  His presence could not be seen or held.  Jesus said, “The wind blows where it chooses, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes.  So it is with everyone born of the Spirit” (John 3:8).  The effect of God’s Spirit, like the wind, can be seen and felt and known.

The Holy Spirit lives within every Christian.  He shapes our thinking, our character and our behavior to align with Christ’s.   That formation-work produces in us what Galatians 5:22 calls the fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.  When we cooperate with the Spirit’s work within us those fruitful dimensions become evident.

The Holy Spirit works through every Christian.  He equips believers with tools for ministry so the church can accomplish God’s mission.  These tools (abilities, talents) in God’s tool belt are what 1 Corinthians 12:4-7 calls spiritual gifts.  Those gifts are listed in several passages of scripture and include: teaching, preaching, evangelism, prophecy, healing, wisdom, administration, leadership, helps, mercy, etc.  There are over twenty in all.  No one has every gift, but everyone has at least one gift.

If Jesus puts a name and a face to God, the Holy Spirit makes God real and personal.

The Bible
Article IV

We believe the Holy Bible, Old and New Testaments, reveals the Word of God so far as it is necessary for our salvation.  It is to be received through the Holy Spirit as the true rule and guide for faith and practice.  What is not revealed in or established by the Holy Scriptures is not to be made an article of faith nor is it to be taught as essential to salvation.

The Bible is a collection of sixty-six books, thirty-nine in the Old Testament and twenty-seven in the New Testament.

The books are of different lengths and different literary styles. We find ancient history, liturgies for worship, songs, proverbs, sermons, poetry, record of Jesus’s life (the four Gospels), the history of the early church (Acts), many letters, and apocalyptic writing (like Revelation).  Yet through it all the Bible is the story of the One True God, who stands in a covenant relationship with the people of God.

We say that God speaks to us through the Bible, that it’s God’s Word.  This authority derives from three sources:

  • The writers of the Bible were inspired by the Holy Spirit as they wrote the truth revealed to them by God.
  • God was at work in the process of canonization in the late fourth century AD, during which only the most faithful and credible books were adopted as Holy Scripture.
  • The Holy Spirit works in our reading and study of the Scriptures to help us understand and apply today what he first inspired long ago.

The Bible’s authority is nothing magical.  We believe what is written in Scripture is truth.  “You will know the truth and the truth will set you free,” said Jesus (John 8:32).  Not believing the Bible doesn’t make it untrue.  Not believing the Bible simply restricts the freedom of the unbeliever.

Find out more at umc.org.