The Free Methodist Church Articles of Religion
PREAMBLE
              
In order that we may wisely preserve and pass on to posterity the heritage of doctrine and principles of Christian living
transmitted to us as evangelicals in the Arminian Wesleyan tradition, ensure church order by sound principles and ecclesiastical
polity, and prepare the way for the evangelization of the world and more effective cooperation with other branches of the church of
Christ in the advancement of Christ’s kingdom, we, the ministers and lay members of The Free Methodist Church, in accordance
with constitutional procedure, do hereby ordain, establish, and set forth the following as the Constitution of The Free Methodist
Church.

THE ARTICLES OF RELIGION

GOD

THE HOLY TRINITY

There is but one living and true God, the maker and preserver of all things. And in the unity of this Godhead there are three
persons:  the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. These three are one in eternity, deity, and purpose; everlasting, of infinite
power, wisdom, and goodness.

THE SON

His Incarnation:  God was Himself in Jesus Christ to reconcile people to God. Conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin
Mary, He joined together the deity of God and the humanity of humankind. Jesus of Nazareth was God in human flesh, truly God
and truly human. He came to save us.
      
For us the Son of God suffered, was crucified, dead and buried. He poured out His life as a blameless sacrifice for our sin and
transgressions. We gratefully acknowledge that He is our Saviour, the one perfect mediator between God and us.

His Resurrection and Exaltation:    Jesus Christ is risen victorious from the dead. His resurrected body became more glorious,
not hindered by ordinary human limitations. Thus He ascended into heaven. There He sits as our exalted Lord at the right hand
of God the Father, where He intercedes for us until all His enemies shall be brought into complete subjection. He will return to
judge all people. Every knee will bow and every tongue confess Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

THE HOLY SPIRIT

His Person : The Holy Spirit is the third person of the Trinity. Proceeding from the Father and the Son, He is one with them, the
eternal Godhead; equal in deity, majesty, and power. He is God effective in creation, in life, and in the church. The incarnation
and ministry of Jesus Christ were accomplished by the Holy Spirit. He continues to reveal, interpret, and glorify the Son.

His Work in Salvation : The Holy Spirit is the administrator of the salvation planned by the Father and provided by the Son’s
death, resurrection, and ascension. He is the effective agent in our conviction, regeneration, sanctification, and glorification. He is
our Lord’s ever-present self, indwelling, assuring, and enabling the believer.

His Relation to the Church : The Holy Spirit is poured out upon the church by the Father and the Son. He is the church’s life and
witnessing power. He bestows the love of God and makes real the lordship of Jesus Christ in the believer so that both His gifts
of words and service may achieve the common good, and build and increase the church. In relation to the world He is the Spirit
of truth, and His instrument is the Word of God.

THE SCRIPTURES

AUTHORITY : The Bible is God’s written Word, uniquely inspired by the Holy Spirit. It bears unerring witness to Jesus Christ, the
living Word. As attested by the early church and subsequent councils, it is the trustworthy record of God’s revelation, completely
truthful in all it affirms. It has been faithfully preserved and proves itself true in human experience.
   The Scriptures have come to us through human authors who wrote, as God moved them, in the languages and literary forms
of their times. God continues, by the illumination of the Holy Spirit, to speak through this Word to each generation and culture.
   The Bible has authority over all human life. It teaches the truth about God, His creation, His people, His one and only Son, and
the destiny of all humankind. It also teaches the way of salvation and the life of faith. Whatever is not found in the Bible nor can be
proved by it is not to be required as an article of belief or as necessary to salvation.

AUTHORITY OF THE OLD TESTAMENT : The Old Testament is not contrary to the New. Both Testaments bear witness to God’s
salvation in Christ; both speak of God’s will for His people. The ancient laws for ceremonies and rites, and the civil precepts for
the nation Israel are not necessarily binding on Christians today. But, on the example of Jesus we are obligated to obey the
moral commandments of the Old Testament.
   The books of the Old Testament are Genesis, 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, Malachi.

AUTHORITY OF THE NEW TESTAMENT : The New Testament fulfills and interprets the Old Testament. It is the record of the
revelation of God in Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. It is God’s final word regarding humankind, sin, and salvation, the world and
its destiny.
   The books of the New Testament are Matthew, Mark, 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, Revelation.


HUMANKIND

A FREE MORAL PERSON : God created human beings in His own image, innocent, morally free and responsible to choose
between good and evil, right and wrong. By the sin of Adam, humans as the offspring of Adam are corrupted in their very nature
so that from birth they are inclined to sin. They are unable by their own strength and work to restore themselves in right
relationship with God and to merit eternal salvation. God, the Omnipotent, provides all the resources of the Trinity to make it
possible for humans to respond to His grace through faith in Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord. By God’s grace and help, people
are  enabled to do good works with a free will.

LAW OF LIFE AND LOVE : God’s law for all human life, personal and social, is expressed in two divine commands: Love the Lord
God with all your heart, and love your neighbour as yourself. These commands reveal what is best for persons in their
relationships with God, others, and society. They set forth the principles of human duty in both individual and social action. They
recognize God as the only Sovereign. All people as created by Him and in His image have the same inherent rights regardless of
sex, race, or colour. All should therefore give God absolute obedience in their individual, social, and political acts. They should
strive to secure to everyone respect for their person, their rights, and their greatest happiness in the possession and exercise of
the right within the moral law.

GOOD WORKS : Good works are the fruit of faith in Jesus Christ, but works cannot save us from our sins nor from God’s
judgment. As expressions of Christian faith and love, good works performed with reverence and humility are both acceptable and
pleasing to God. However, good works do not earn God’s grace.

SALVATION

CHRIST’S SACRIFICE : Christ offered once and for all the one perfect sacrifice for the sins of the whole world. No other
satisfaction for sin is necessary; none other can atone.

THE NEW LIFE IN CHRIST: A new life and a right relationship with God are made possible through the redemptive acts of God in
Jesus Christ. God, by His Spirit, acts to impart new life and put people into a relationship with Himself as they repent and their
faith responds to His grace. Justification, regeneration, and adoption speak significantly to entrance into and continuance in the
new life.

Justification:   Justification is a legal term that emphasizes that by a new relationship in Jesus Christ people are in fact
accounted righteous, being freed from both the guilt and the penalty of their sins.

Regeneration: Regeneration is a biological term which illustrates that by a new relationship in Christ one does in fact have a
new life and a new spiritual nature capable of faith, love, and obedience to Christ Jesus as Lord. The believer is born again and  
is a new creation. The old life is past; a new life is begun.

Adoption: Adoption is a filial term full of warmth, love, and acceptance. It denotes that by a new relationship in Christ, believers
have become His wanted children freed from the mastery of both sin and Satan. Believers have the witness of the Spirit that they
are children of God.

ENTIRE SANCTIFICATION :  Entire sanctification is that work of the Holy Spirit, subsequent to regeneration, by which  fully
consecrated believers, upon exercise of faith in the atoning blood of Christ, are cleansed in that moment from all inward sin and
empowered for service. The resulting relationship is attested by the witness of the Holy Spirit and is maintained by faith and
obedience. Entire sanctification enables believers to love God with all their hearts, souls, strength, and minds, and their
neighbors as themselves, and it prepares them for greater growth in grace.

RESTORATION : Christians may be sustained in a growing relationship with Jesus as Saviour and Lord. However, they may
grieve the Holy Spirit in the relationships of life without returning to the dominion of sin. When they do, they must humbly accept
the correction of the Holy Spirit, trust in the advocacy of Jesus, and mend their relationships.
    Christians can sin willfully and sever their relationship with Christ. Even so by repentance before God, forgiveness is granted
and the relationship with Christ restored, for not every sin is the sin against the Holy Spirit and unpardonable. God’s grace is
sufficient for those who truly repent and, by His enabling, amend their lives. However, forgiveness does not give the believer
liberty to sin and escape the consequences of sinning.  God has given responsibility and power to the church to restore a
penitent believer through loving reproof, counsel, and acceptance.

THE CHURCH

THE CHURCH : The church is created by God; it is the people of God. Christ Jesus is its Lord and Head; the Holy Spirit is its life
and power. It is both divine and human, heavenly and earthly, ideal and imperfect. It is an organism, not an unchanging
institution. It exists to fulfill the purposes of God in Christ. It redemptively ministers to persons. Christ loved the church and gave
Himself for it that it should be holy and without blemish. The church is a fellowship of the redeemed and the redeeming,
preaching the Word of God and administering the sacraments according to Christ’s instruction. The Free Methodist Church
purposes to be representative of what the church of Jesus Christ should be on earth. It therefore requires specific commitment
regarding the faith and life of its members. In its requirements it seeks to honour Christ and obey the written Word of God.

THE LANGUAGE OF WORSHIP : According to the Word of God and the custom of the early church, public worship and prayer and
the administration of the sacraments should be a language understood by the people. The Reformation applied this principle to
provide for the use of the common language of the people. It is likewise clear that the Apostle Paul places the strongest
emphasis upon rational and intelligible utterance in worship. We cannot endorse practices which plainly violate these scriptural
principles.

THE HOLY SACRAMENTS  Water baptism and the Lord’s Supper are the sacraments of the church commanded by Christ. They
are means of grace through faith, 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.

Baptism  Water baptism is a sacrament of the church, commanded by our Lord, signifying acceptance of the benefits of the
atonement of Jesus Christ to be administered to believers, as declaration of their faith in Jesus Christ as Saviour.  Baptism is a
symbol of the new covenant of grace as circumcision was the symbol of the old covenant; and, since infants are recognized as
being included in the atonement, they may be baptized upon the request of parents or guardians who shall give assurance for
them of necessary Christian training. They shall be required to affirm the vow for themselves before being accepted into church
membership.

The Lord’s Supper  The Lord’s Supper is a sacrament of our redemption by Christ’s death. To those who rightly, worthily, and
with faith receive it, the bread which we break is a partaking of the body of Christ; and likewise the cup of blessing is a partaking
of the blood of Christ. The supper is also a sign of the love and unity that Christians have among themselves.             
      Christ, according to His promise, is really present in the sacrament. But His body is given, taken, and eaten only after a
heavenly and spiritual manner. No change is effected in the element; the bread and wine are not literally the body and blood of
Christ. Nor is the body and blood of Christ literally present with the elements. The elements are never to be considered objects
of worship. The body of Christ is received and eaten in faith.

LAST THINGS

THE KINGDOM OF GOD The kingdom of God is a prominent Bible theme providing Christians with both their tasks and hope.
Jesus announced its presence. The kingdom is realized now as God’s reign is established in the hearts and lives of believers.
      The church by its prayers, example, and proclamation of the Gospel, is the appointed and appropriate instrument of God in
building His kingdom. But the kingdom is also future and is related to the return of Christ when judgment will fall upon the
present order. The enemies of Christ will be subdued; the reign of God will be established; a total cosmic renewal which is both
material and moral shall occur; and the hope of the redeemed will be fully realized.

THE RETURN OF CHRIST  The return of Christ is certain and may occur at any moment although it is not given us to know the
hour. At His return He will fulfill all prophecies concerning His final triumph over all evil. The believer’s response is joyous
expectation, watchfulness, readiness, and diligence.

RESURRECTION There will be a bodily resurrection from the dead of both the just and the unjust, they that have done good unto
the resurrection of life; they that have done evil unto the resurrection of damnation. The resurrected body will be a spiritual body,
but the person will be whole and identifiable. The resurrection of Christ is the guarantee of resurrection unto life to those who are
in Him.

JUDGMENT God has appointed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness in accordance with the Gospel and our
deeds in this life.

FINAL DESTINY Our eternal destiny is determined by God’s grace and our response, not by arbitrary decrees of God. For those
who trust Him and obediently follow Jesus as Saviour and Lord, there is a heaven of eternal glory and the blessedness of Christ’
s presence. But for the finally impenitent there is a hell of eternal suffering and of separation from God.