Wesleyan Methodist Church of Australia
I. Faith in the
103. We believe in
the one living and true God, both holy and loving, eternal, unlimited
in power, wisdom, and goodness, the Creator and Preserver of all
things. Within this unity there are three persons of one essential
nature, power, and eternity - the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
Gen. 1:1; Ex.
3:13-15; 33:20; Deut. 6:4; Ps. 90:2; Isa. 40:28-29; Matt. 3:16-17;
28:19; John 1:1-2; 4:24; 16:13; 17:3; Acts 5:3-4; 17:24-25; I Cor. 8:4,
6; Eph. 2:18; Phil. 2:6; Col. 1:16-17; I Tim. 1:17; Heb. 1:8; 1 John
104. We believe
the Father is the source of all that exists, whether of matter or
spirit. With the Son and the Holy Spirit, He made man in His image. By
intention He relates to man as Father, thereby forever declaring His
goodwill toward man. In love, He both seeks and receives penitent
Ps. 68:5; Isa.
64:8; Matt. 7:11; John 3:17; Rom. 8:15; I Peter 1:17.
III. The Son
105. We believe in
Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God. He was conceived by the
Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary, truly God and truly man. He
died on the cross and was buried, to be a sacrifice both for original
sin and for all the transgressions of men, and to reconcile us to God.
Christ rose bodily from the dead, and ascended into heaven, and there
intercedes for us at the Father's right hand until He returns to judge
all men at the last day.
Matt. 1:21, 23; 11:27; 16:28; 27:62-66; 28:5-9, 16-17; Mark 10:45; 15;
16:6-7; Luke 1:27, 31, 35; 24:4-8, 23; John 1:1, 14, 18; 3:16-17;
20:26-29; 21; Acts 1:2-3; 2:24-31; 4:12; 10:40; Rom. 5:10, 18; 8:34;
14:9; I Cor. 15:3-8, 14; II Cor. 5:18-19; Gal. 1:4; 2:20; 4:4-5; Eph.
5:2; I Tim. 1:15; Heb 2:17; 7:27; 9:14, 28; 10:12; 13:20; I Peter 2:24;
I John 2:2; 4:14.
IV. The Holy
106. We believe in
the Holy Spirit who proceeds from the Father and the Son, and is of the
same essential nature, majesty, and glory, as the Father and the Son,
truly and eternally God. He is the Administrator of grace to all
mankind, and is particularly the effective Agent in conviction for sin,
in regeneration, in sanctification, and in glorification. He is ever
present, assuring, preserving, guiding, and enabling the believer.
Job 33:4; Matt.
28:19; John 4:24; 14:16-17; 15:26; 16:13-15; Acts 5:3-4; Rom. 8:9; II
Cor. 3:17; Gal. 4:6.
Sufficiency and Full Authority of the Holy Scriptures for Salvation
107. We believe
that the books of the Old and New Testaments constitute the Holy
Scriptures. They are the inspired and infallibly written Word of God,
fully inerrant in their original manuscripts and superior to all human
authority, and have been transmitted to the present without corruption
of any essential doctrine. We believe that they contain all things
necessary to salvation; so that whatever is not read therein, nor may
be proved thereby, is not to be required of any man that it should be
believed as an article of faith, or be thought requisite or necessary
to salvation. Both in the Old and New Testaments life is offered to
mankind ultimately through Christ, who is the only Mediator between God
and man. The New Testament teaches Christians how to fulfil the moral
principles of the Old Testament, calling for loving obedience to God
made possible by the indwelling presence of His Holy Spirit.
books of the Old Testament are:
Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, Ruth, I
Samuel, II Samuel, I Kings, II Kings, I Chronicles, II Chronicles,
Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, The Song
of Solomon, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea,
Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai,
Zechariah, and Malachi.
books of the New Testament are:
Luke, John, Acts, Romans, I Corinthians, II Corinthians, Galatians,
Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, I Thessalonians, II Thessalonians,
I Timothy, II Timothy, Titus, Philemon, Hebrews, James, I Peter, II
Peter, I John, II John, III John, Jude, and Revelation.
Ps. 19:7; Matt.
5:17-19; 22:37-40; Luke 24:27, 44; John 1:45; 5:46; 17:17; Acts 17:2,
11; Rom. 1:2; 15:4, 8; 16:26; II Cor. 1:20; Gal.1:8; Eph. 2:15-16; I
Tim. 2:5; II Tim. 3:15-17; Heb. 4:12; 10:1; 11:39; James 1:21; I Peter
1:23; II Peter 1:19-21; 1John 2:3-7; Rev. 22:18-19.
Purpose for Man
108. We believe
that the two great commandments which require us to love the Lord our
God with all the heart, and our neighbours as ourselves, summarize the
divine law as it is revealed in the Scriptures. They are the perfect
measure and norm of human duty, both for the ordering and directing of
families and nations, and all other social bodies, and for individual
acts, by which we are required to acknowledge God as our only Supreme
Ruler, and all men as created by Him, equal in all natural rights.
Therefore all men should so order all their individual, social, and
political acts as to give to God entire and absolute obedience, and to
assure to all men the enjoyment of every natural right, as well as to
promote the fulfilment of each in the possession and exercise of such
Lev. 19:18, 34;
Deut. 1:16-17; Job 31:13-14; Jer 21:12; 22:3; Micah 6:8; Matt. 5:44-48;
7:12; Mark 12:28-31; Luke 6:27-29, 35; John 13:34-35; Acts 10:34-35;
17:26; Rom. 12:9; 13:1, 7-8, 10; Gal. 5:14; 6:10; Titus 3:1; James 2:8;
I Peter 2:17; I John 2:5; 4:12-13; II John 6.
Marriage and the Family
109. We believe
that man is created in the image of God, that human sexuality reflects
that image in terms of intimate love, communication, fellowship,
subordination of the self to the larger whole, and fulfilment. God's
Word makes use of the marriage relationship as the supreme metaphor for
His relationship with His covenant people and for revealing the truth
that that relationship is of one God with one people. Therefore God's
plan for human sexuality is that it is to be expressed only in a
monogamous lifelong relationship between one man and one woman within
the framework of marriage. This is the only relationship which is
divinely designed for the birth and rearing of children and is a
covenant union made in the sight of God, taking priority over every
other human relationship.
2:18, 20, 23, 24; Isa. 54: 4-8; 62:5b; Jer. 3:14; Ezek. 16:3ff.; Hosea
2; Mal. 2:14; Matt. 19:4-6; Mark 10:9; John 2:1-2, 11; I Tim. 5:14; I
Cor. 9:5; Eph. 5:23-32; Heb. 13:4; Rev. 19:7-8.
110. We believe
that man's creation in the image of God included ability to choose
between right and wrong. Thus man was made morally responsible for his
choices. But since the fall of Adam, man is unable in his own strength
to do the right. This is due to original sin, which is not simply the
following of Adam's example, but rather the corruption of the nature of
every man, and is reproduced naturally in Adam's descendants. Because
of it, man is very far gone from original righteousness, and of his own
nature is continually inclined to evil. He cannot of himself even call
upon God or exercise faith for salvation. But through Jesus Christ the
prevenient grace of God makes possible what man in himself cannot do.
It is bestowed freely upon all men, enabling all who will to turn and
Gen. 6:5; 8:21;
Deut. 30:19; Josh. 24:15; I Kings 20:40; Ps. 51:5; Isa. 64:6; Jer.
17:9; Mark 7:21-23; Luke 16:15; John 7:17; Rom. 3:10- 12; 5:12-21; I
Cor. 15:22; Eph. 2:1-3; I Tim. 2:5; Titus 3:5; Heb. 11:6; Rev. 22:17.
111. We believe
that Christ's offering of himself, once and for all, through His
sufferings and meritorious death on the cross, provides the perfect
redemption and atonement for the sins of the whole world, both original
and actual. There is no other ground of salvation from sin but that
alone. This atonement is sufficient for every individual of Adam's
race. It is unconditionally effective in the salvation of those
mentally incompetent from birth, of those converted persons who have
become mentally incompetent, and of children under the age of
accountability. But it is effective for the salvation of those who
reach the age of accountability only when they repent and exercise
faith in Christ.
52:13-53:12; Luke 24:46-47; John 3:16; Acts 3:18; 4:12; Rom. 3:20,
24-26; 5:8-11, 13, 18-20; 7:7; 8:34; I Cor. 6:11; 15:22; Gal. 2:16;
3:2-3; Eph. 1:7; 2:13, 16; I Tim. 2:5-6; Heb. 7:23-27; 9:11-15, 24-28;
10:14; I John 2:2; 4:10.
Repentance and Faith
112. We believe
that for man to appropriate what God's prevenient grace has made
possible, he must voluntarily respond in repentance and faith. The
ability comes from God, but the act is man's.
prompted by the convicting ministry of the Holy Spirit. It involves a
wilful change of mind that renounces sin and longs for righteousness, a
godly sorrow for and a confession of past sins, proper restitution for
wrongdoings, and a resolution to reform the life. Repentance is the
precondition for saving faith, and without it saving faith is
impossible. Faith, in turn, is the only condition of salvation. It
begins in the agreement of the mind and the consent of the will to the
truth of the gospel, but issues in a complete reliance by the whole
person in the saving ability of Jesus Christ and a complete trusting of
oneself to Him as Saviour and Lord. Saving faith is expressed in a
public acknowledgment of His Lordship and an identification with His
Mark 1:15; Luke
5:32; 13:3; 24:47; John 3:16; 17:20; 20:31; Acts 5:31; 10:43; 11:18;
16:31; 20:21; 26:20; Rom. 1:16; 2:4; 10:8-10, 17; Gal. 3:26; Eph. 2:8;
4:4-6; Phil. 3:9; II Thess. 2:13; II Tim. 2:25; Heb. 11:6; 12:2; I
Peter 1:9; II Peter 3:9.
Justification and Regeneration
113. We believe
that when man repents of his sin and believes on the Lord Jesus Christ,
he in the same moment is justified, regenerated, adopted into the
family of God, and assured of his salvation through the witness of the
We believe that
we are accounted righteous before God only on the basis of the merit of
our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, being justified by faith alone, and
not on the basis of our own works.
We believe that
regeneration is that work of the Holy Spirit by which the pardoned
sinner becomes a child of God. This new life is received through faith
in Jesus Christ, and by it the regenerate is delivered from the power
of sin which reigns over all the unregenerate, so that they love God
and through grace serve Him with the will and affections of the heart,
receiving the Spirit of Adoption.
Hab. 2:4; Acts 13:38-39; 15:11; 16:31; Rom. 1:17; 3:28; 4:2-5; 5:1-2;
Gal. 3:6-14; Eph. 2:8-9; Phil 3:9; Heb. 10:38.
John 1:12-13; 3:3; 5-8; 11 Cor. 5:17; Gal. 3:26; Eph. 2:5, 10, 19;
4:24; Col. 3:10; Titus 3:5; James 1:18; I Peter 1:3-4; II Peter 1:4; I
8:15; Gal. 4:5, 7; Eph. 1:5.
Witness of the
Spirit: Rom. 8:16-17; Gal. 4:6; John 2:3; 3:14; 18-19.
115. We believe
that although good works cannot save us from our sins or from God's
judgment, they are the fruit of faith and follow after regeneration.
Therefore they are pleasing and acceptable to God in Christ, and by
them a living faith may be as evidently known as a tree is discerned by
7:16-20; John 15:8: Rom. 3:20; 4:2, 4:6; Gal. 2:16; 5:6; Eph. 2:10;
Phil. 1:11; Col. 1:10; I Thess. 1:3; Titus 2:14; 3:5; James 2:18, 22; I
Peter 2:9, 12.
116. We believe
that after we have experienced regeneration, it is possible to fall
into sin, for in this life there is no such height or strength of
holiness from which it is impossible to fall. But by the grace of God
one who has fallen into sin may by true repentance and faith find
forgiveness and restoration.
Mal. 3:7; Matt.
18:21-22; John 15:4-6; I Tim. 4:1, 16; Heb. 10:35-39; I John 1:9; 2:1,
Sanctification: Initial, Progressive, Entire
117. We believe
that sanctification is that work of the Holy Spirit by which the child
of God is separated from sin unto God and is enabled to love God with
all his heart and to walk in all His holy commandments blameless.
Sanctification is initiated at the moment of justification and
regeneration. From that moment there is a gradual or progressive
sanctification as the believer walks with God and daily grows in grace
and in a more perfect obedience to God. This prepares for the crisis of
entire sanctification which is wrought instantaneously when the
believer presents himself a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to
God, through faith in Jesus Christ, being effected by the baptism with
the Holy Spirit who cleanses the heart from all inbred sin. The crisis
of entire sanctification perfects the believer in love and empowers him
for effective service. It is followed by lifelong growth in grace and
the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. The life of
holiness continues through faith in the sanctifying blood of Christ and
evidences itself by loving obedience to God's revealed will.
Deut. 30:6; Ps. 130:8; Isa. 6:1-6; Ezek. 36:25-29; Matt. 5:8, 48; Luke
1:74-75; 3:16-17; 24:49; John 17:1-26; Acts 1:4-5, 8; 2:1-4; 15:8-9;
26:18; Rom. 8:3-4; I Cor. 1:2; 6:11; II Cor. 7:1; Eph. 4:13, 24;
5:25-27; I Thess. 3:10, 12-13; 4:3, 7-8; 5:23-24; II Thess. 2:13; Titus
2:11-14; Heb. 10:14; 12:14; 13:12; James 3:17-18; 4:8; I Peter 1:2; II
Peter 1:4; I John 1:7, 9; 3:8-9; 4:17-18; Jude 24.
Gifts of the Spirit
118. We believe
that the Gift of the Holy Spirit is the Holy Spirit himself, and He is
to be desired more than the gifts of the Spirit which He in His wise
counsel bestows upon individual members of the Church to enable them
properly to fulfil their function as members of the body of Christ. The
gifts of the Spirit, although not always identifiable with natural
abilities, function through them for the edification of the whole
church. These gifts are to be exercised in love under the
administration of the Lord of the church, not through human volition.
The relative value of the gifts of the Spirit is to be tested by their
usefulness in the church and not by the ecstasy produced in the ones
24:49; Acts 1:4; 2:38-39; 8:19-20; 10:45; 11:17; Rom. 12:4-8; I Cor.
12:1-14:40; Eph. 4:7-8, 11-16; Heb. 2:4; 13:20-21; I Peter 4:8-11.
119. We believe
that the Christian church is the entire body of believers in Jesus
Christ, who is the founder and only Head of the church. The church
includes both those believers who have gone to be with the Lord and
those who remain on the earth, having renounced the world, the flesh,
and the devil, and having dedicated themselves to the work which Christ
committed unto His church until He comes. The church on earth is to
preach the pure Word of God, properly administer the sacraments
according to Christ's instructions, and live in obedience to all that
Christ commands. A local church is a body of believers formally
organized on gospel principles, meeting regularly for the purposes of
evangelism, nurture, fellowship, and worship. The Wesleyan Methodist
Church is a denomination consisting of those members within district
conferences and local churches who, as members of the body of Christ,
hold the faith set forth in these Articles of Religion and acknowledge
the ecclesiastical authority of its governing bodies.
18:17; Acts 2:41-47; 9:31; 11:22; 12:5; 14:23; 15:22; 20:28; I Cor.
1:2; 12:28; 16:1; II Cor. 1:1; Gal. 1:2; Eph. 1:22-23; 2:19-22; 3:9-10,
21; 5:22-33; Col. 1:18, 24; I Thess. 1:1; II Thess.1:1; I Tim. 3:15;
Heb. 12:23; James 5:14.
Sacraments: Baptism and the Lord's Supper
120. We believe
that water baptism and the Lord's Supper are the sacraments of the
church commanded by Christ and ordained as a means of grace when
received through faith. They are tokens of our profession of Christian
faith and signs of God's gracious ministry toward us. By them, He works
within us to quicken, strengthen, and confirm our faith.
We believe that
water baptism is a sacrament of the church, commanded by our Lord and
administered to believers. It is a symbol of the new covenant of grace
and signifies acceptance of the benefits of the atonement of Jesus
Christ. By means of this sacrament, believers declare their faith in
Jesus Christ as Saviour.
28:19; Mark 1:9-11; John 3:5, 22, 26; 4:1-2; Acts 2:38-39, 41; 8:12-17,
36-38; 9:18; 16:15, 33; 18:8; 19:5; 22:16; Rom 2:28-29; 4:11; 6:3-4; I
Cor. 12:13; Gal. 3:27-29; Col. 2:11-12; Titus 3:5.
We believe that
the Lord's Supper is a sacrament of our redemption by Christ's death
and of our hope in His victorious return, as well as a sign of the love
that Christians have for each other. To such as receive it humbly, with
a proper spirit and by faith, the Lord's Supper is made a means through
which God communicates grace to the heart.
Mark 14:22-24; Luke 22:19-20; John 6:48-58; I Cor. 5:7-8; 10:3-4,
Second Coming of Christ
123. We believe
that the certainty of the personal and imminent return of Christ
inspires holy living and zeal for the evangelisation of the world. At
His return He will fulfil all prophecies made concerning His final and
complete triumph over evil.
Isa. 11:1-12; Zech. 14:1-11; Matt. 24:1-51; 25; 26:64; Mark 13:1-37;
Luke 17:22-37; 21:5-36; John 14:1-3; Acts 1:6-11; I Cor. 1:7-8; I
Thess. 1:10; 2:19; 3:13; 4:13-18; 5:1-11, 23; II Thess.1:6-10; 2:1-12;
Titus 2:11-14; Heb. 9:27-28; James 5:7-8; II Peter 3:1-14; I John
3:2-3; Rev. 1:7; 19:11-16; 22:6-7, 12, 20.
Resurrection of the Dead
124. We believe in
the bodily resurrection from the dead of all mankind - of the just unto
the resurrection of life, and of the unjust unto the resurrection of
damnation. The resurrection of the righteous dead will occur at
Christ's Second Coming, and the resurrection of the wicked will occur
at a later time. The resurrection of Christ is the guarantee of the
resurrection of those who are in Christ. The raised body will be a
spiritual body, but the person will be whole and identifiable.
Dan. 12:2; Matt. 22:30-32; 28:1-20; Mark 16:1-8; Luke 14:14; 24:1-53;
John 5:28-29; 11:21-27; 20:1-21:25; Acts 1:3; Rom. 8:11; I Cor. 6:14;
15:1-58; II Cor. 4:14; 5:1-11; I Thess. 4:13-17; Rev. 20:4-6, 11-13.
Judgment of Mankind
125. We believe
that the Scriptures reveal God as the Judge of all mankind and the acts
of His judgment are based on His omniscience and eternal justice. His
administration of judgment will culminate in the final meeting of
mankind before His throne of great majesty and power, where records
will be examined and final rewards and punishments will be administered.
Eccl. 12:14; Matt.
10:15; 25:31-46; Luke 11:31-32; Acts 10:42; 17:31; Rom. 2:16; 14:10-12;
II Cor. 5:10; II Tim. 4:1; Heb. 9:27; II Peter 3:7; Rev. 20:11-13.
126. We believe
that the Scriptures clearly teach that there is a conscious personal
existence after death. The final destiny of man is determined by God's
grace and man's response, evidenced inevitably by his moral character
which results from his personal and volitional choices and not from any
arbitrary decree of God. Heaven with its eternal glory and the
blessedness of Christ's presence is the final abode of those who choose
the salvation which God provides through Jesus Christ, but hell with
its everlasting misery and separation from God is the final abode of
those who neglect this great salvation.
Matt. 25:34-46; Mark 9:43-48; Luke 13:3; John 8:21-23; 14:2-3; II Cor.
5:6, 8, 10; Heb. 2:1-3; 9:27-28; 10:26-31; Rev. 20:14-15; 21:1-22:5,
of the Wesleyan Methodist Church of Australia
1994 Wesleyan Methodist Church of Australia