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The Hamilton Methodist Church is a community of believers living under the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Those who become members of The Hamilton Methodist Church join in our mission of transforming lives by making disciples of Jesus Christ who are empowered by the Holy Spirit, The Hamilton Methodist Church seeks to glorify God through our shared ministries and life together in order to reach our lost and broken world. The Hamilton Methodist Church stands in the long tradition of Wesleyan ministry extending the invitation of God’s grace to all people. As Wesleyan Christians, our life together consists of the following disciplines experienced through the Wesleyan way of serving Christ: 1) Corporate worship where God is exalted, fellowship is experienced, gifts are given, the Holy Scripture is proclaimed, and the sacraments duly administered. 2) Fellowship and discipleship ministries where people can learn to live the truth of God’s Word, grow in the fruit of the Spirit, experience loving accountability, and share in the daily lives of fellow disciples. 3) Outreach opportunities where we both show God’s love in practical ways through strategic missional ministries and declare God’s goodness through evangelistic ministries. 4) Work with The Church (Body of Christ) to spread the good news of Jesus Christ to the entire world.

Doctrinal Standards

Doctrinal standards provide unity and clarity in our teaching and living. The Hamilton Methodist Church affirms the historic Wesleyan Christian faith that has been taught through the generations. To ground our teaching and Christian living, we affirm the following doctrinal standards:

The Apostle’s Creed

I believe in God, the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth; And in Jesus Christ his only Son, our Lord; who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried; the third day he rose from the dead; he ascended into heaven, and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from there he shall come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy universal church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.

The Nicene Creed

We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is, seen and unseen. We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, of one Being with the Father; through him all things were made. For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven, was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary and became truly human. For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered death and was buried. On the third day he rose again in accordance with the Scriptures; he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end. We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son, who with the Father and the Son is worshiped and glorified, who has spoken through the prophets. We believe in one holy universal and apostolic church. We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.

The Standard Sermons and the Explanatory Notes upon the New Testament of John Wesley.

The Articles of Religion

Article 1: The Trinity

We understand the Trinity to be the very essence of God. The concept of the Trinity means that there is one God, but there are three ways that we understand to experience that one God. We understand the Godhead to be revealed in 3 roles: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit (Matthew 3:13- 17). We believe that the Godhead is a “community of equals” and that the Church should strive for similar relationships. The church is to be a counter-culture community of people that was not placed on earth to criticize and judge, but to demonstrate the unity God wants to bring about in healing the family of God. Therefore, 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 (the Godhead) of one essential nature, power and eternity.

Article 2: God

We believe in one true, eternal, living God. He is unchanging and infinite. He is the Source, the Creator, and the Sustainer of all life. He is all powerful, all knowing, all loving, and all-wise. With the Son and the Holy Spirit, God made humans, male and female, in His image. He created the heavens and the earth including all life by direct action (Genesis 1:1, John 1:3). Jesus calls God, Father, and describes God as being revealed to humankind as a loving father and is certainly Father to those who become children of God through Jesus (Genesis 1:1, Jeremiah 10:10, Matthew 6:9). In love, He both seeks and receives penitent sinners.


Article 3: Jesus

We believe God sent his only Son, Jesus, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born from a virgin named Mary. Jesus is God in the flesh and became human at a particular time and place to redeem humankind and save us from original sin from all human transgressions, and to reconcile us to God. He lived a life without sin, performed many miracles, and gave up his life to die on the cross to atone for the sins of all humankind. He physically rose from the grave three days later. His appearance was witnessed by hundreds of people (1 Cor. 15:6) and he ascended into heaven, and there intercedes for us at the Father’s right hand until He returns to judge all humanity.


Article 4: Holy Spirit

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. Promised to come to all believers, the Holy Spirit lives and dwells inside of believers. The Holy Spirit, God’s presence in us, brings new life into our bodies. The Holy Spirit in us empowers us and gives us grace to do good works and unites believers together into one Church, the Body of Christ. (John 3:3-8, John 14:16-17, John 16:7-11, 1 Cor. 12:19) Spiritual gifts also accompany the Holy Spirit’s presence in the life of a believer and operate at different times in the life of the believer (1 Cor. 12, 14). He is ever present, assuring, preserving, guiding, and enabling the believer.


Article 5: Scripture

We believe that all Scripture, the written word, is given from inspiration of God and written by the hands of people, uniquely inspired by the Holy Spirit. (1 Thessalonians 2:13) It is helpful for teaching, leading, guidance, wisdom, correction, etc. (2 Timothy 3:16) The Bible manifests witness to Jesus Christ, the living Word. The Scriptures have come to us and been preserved through church tradition, in the language and literary forms of their times. God continues, by the insight of the Holy Spirit, to speak through Scripture to each generation and culture. Scripture, the Bible, is 66 books about the nature of God, the nature of humanity, and humanity’s relationship with God. We believe that the Bible is the “rule of Christian faith and practice” and contains all things necessary for salvation, so that whatever is not read therein, nor may be proved thereby, is not to be required of any man or woman that it should be believed as an article of faith or be thought requisite or necessary for salvation. We believe that the books of the Old and New Testaments constitute the Holy Scriptures. 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, 1 Samuel, 2 Samuel, 1 Kings, 2 Kings, 1 Chronicles, 2 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. 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. The books of the New Testament are: Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Acts, Romans, 1 Corinthians, 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 Thessalonians, 2 Thessalonians, 1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon, Hebrews, James, 1 Peter, 2 Peter, 1 John, 2 John, 3 John, Jude, Revelation.


Article 6: Humankind

We believe that humans were created male and female and that humanity’s creation in the image of God included ability to choose between right and wrong. Thus, individuals were made morally responsible for their choices. However, humankind lives in a fallen condition from the result of Adam and Eve’s sin (Genesis 3) and people are unable in their own strength to do what is right. All of us are affected by it and all of us have sinned against God. We cannot save ourselves from this fallen state (Romans 3:23). This is not simply the following of Adam and Eve’s example, but rather the corruption of the nature of each mortal and is reproduced naturally in Adam and Eve’s descendants. Because of it, humans are very far gone from original righteousness, and by nature are continually inclined to evil. They cannot, of themselves, even call upon God or exercise faith for salvation. But through Jesus Christ the prevenient grace of God makes possible what humans in self-effort cannot do. This grace is bestowed freely upon all, enabling all who will to turn and be saved.


Article 7: Sin

We believe that through the disobedience of Adam and Eve sin entered the world and all creation suffered its consequences. The effects of sin include disruption of the relationship between God and humanity, deterioration of the natural order of creation, and exploitation of persons by evil or misguided social systems. The whole of creation groans for redemption. Each person is born with a proclivity toward sin, manifested in an inordinate orientation toward self and independence from God, leading to deliberate acts of unrighteousness (Genesis 3, Romans 3:23). The consequences of sin include a loss of fellowship with God, a self-absorption with one’s own interests rather than love and concern for others, a bondage to things which distort the divine image, a persistent inability to live righteously, and ultimately everlasting misery and separation from God. The atoning work of Christ is the only remedy for sin, whether original, willful or involuntary.


Article 8: Atonement

For Sin Because our sin separates us from God and because we have no righteousness on our own, we deserve death due to our rebellion (Romans 3:10, 6:23). We cannot correct our sins on our own. BUT, since Jesus was sacrificed on the cross as God's Son, his death paid for our sins and his pure righteousness was given to us. No other satisfaction for sin is necessary; none other can atone.


Article 9: Justification, Regeneration, and Adoption

We believe that salvation comes through repenting of personal sin and confessing and believing that Jesus Christ is Lord, that He is God’s son, and that He not only died for our sins on the cross but rose from the grave and ascended into heaven (Romans 10:9-13). We believe salvation happens instantly. We are justified before God because of Christ. It is at this point that we believe that we are regenerated, adopted into the family of God, and assured of personal salvation through the witness of the Holy Spirit. We believe that justification is the judicial act of God whereby a person is accounted righteous, granted full pardon of all sin, delivered from guilt, completely released from the penalty of sins committed, by the merit of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, by faith alone, not on the basis of works. We believe that regeneration, or the new birth, is that work of the Holy Spirit whereby, when one truly repents and believes, one’s moral nature is given a distinctively spiritual life with the capacity for love and obedience. This new life is received by faith in Jesus Christ, it enables the pardoned sinner to serve God with the will and affections of the heart, and by it the regenerated are delivered from the power of sin which reigns over all the unregenerated. We believe that adoption is the act of God by which the justified and regenerated believer becomes a partaker of all the rights, privileges, and responsibilities of a child of God.


Article 10: Good Works

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 its fruit (Matt. 21:18-19; Matt. 25:31-46; Rev. 20:12).


Article 11: Sanctification

We believe that while Salvation happens instantly (justification), sanctification is a process that takes place after a person comes to salvation (accepts Christ as Lord). It is that saving work of God beginning with new life in Christ, whereby the Holy Spirit renews His people after the likeness of God, changing them through crisis and process, from one degree of glory to another, and conforming them to the image of Christ. It is a process that unfolds for the rest of our lives as we strive to become more and more like Jesus (Colossians 3:1-10). The Holy Spirit works inside of us and gives us grace to pursue Jesus and holiness. Sin should consistently be repented of as God perfects us daily (1 John 1:9). From the moment after justification 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 sanctifying relationship with God remedies the divided mind, redirects the heart to God, and empowers believers to please and serve God in their daily lives. Thus, God sets His people free to love Him with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength, and to love their neighbor as themselves.


Article 12: The Church

We believe that the church is created by God through Jesus (Matt 16:13-20) and was inaugurated on the Day of Pentecost in response to Peter’s pentecostal sermon (Acts 2:41, 47). It is made up of the children of God, followers of Jesus. Christ Jesus is its Lord and Head. The Holy Spirit is its life and power. The Church 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.


Article 13: The Sacraments

We believe that water Baptism and the Lord’s Supper/Holy Communion are the sacraments of the church commanded by Jesus 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. The Sacrament of water Baptism signifies acceptance of the benefits of the atonement of Jesus Christ to be administered to believers as declaration of their faith in Jesus Christ as Savior. We understand the definition of grace to be the unmerited favor of God freely bestowed upon those totally unable to return the favor. 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/Holy Communion is a sacrament of our redemption by Jesus’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 Lord’s Supper/Holy Communion 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 juice 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.


Article 14: Marriage

Although not a Sacrament, we also believe that marriage is a sacred institution, a covenant. We affirm the sanctity of the marriage covenant that is expressed in love, mutual support, personal commitment, and shared fidelity between a man and a woman. We believe that God’s blessing rests upon such marriage, whether or not there are children of the union.


Article 15: The Second Coming of Christ

We believe that the certainty of the personal and imminent return of Christ inspires holy living and zeal for the evangelization of the world. At His return He will fulfill all prophecies made concerning His final and complete triumph over evil.


Article 16: The Resurrection of the Dead

We believe in the resurrection from the dead of all people— of the just unto the resurrection of life, and of the unjust unto the resurrection of damnation. The resurrection of Jesus is God’s ‘Amen!’ to Jesus’ teachings and the guarantee of the resurrection which will occur at Christ’s Second Coming. The raised body will be a spiritual body, but the person will be whole and identifiable (1 Cor.15:35-38, 42-44).


Article 17: Judgment of All People

We believe that the Scriptures reveal God through Jesus as the Judge of all 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 all persons before His throne of great majesty and power, where records will be examined, and final rewards and punishments will be administered (Rev. 20:11-15).

Adopted: 10/19/2023

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