Three persons eternally share the Divine Nature. The Bible refers to these persons as the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit; God the Creator, God the Redeemer, and God the Sustainer. God is both self-existent and personal. (John 14:10, 26; 15:26)
There is but one living and true God, Creator and Ruler of the universe. He has eternally existed in three personalities: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit (Genesis 1:1, Romans 1:20).
Jesus Christ, the Son, is fully God and fully human. He is co-equal with the Father. He lived a sinless life, died for the sins of humankind, was resurrected bodily on the third day, ascended into heaven and is coming again as King and Judge. Jesus' life on earth also serves as the model for the Christian life. (John 14:6; Acts 4:12)
The Holy Spirit is of one substance, majesty and glory with the Father and the Son. The Holy Spirit is God. He indwells us at the moment we place our faith in Christ. He empowers us to live an effective Christian life by affirming our salvation, encouraging us and giving us the strength to live a life that is pleasing to God and personally fulfilling. The Holy Spirit also endows each believer with a unique spiritual ability to serve the church and the world. (John 14:16; Ephesians 1:19-20; 1 Corinthians 12:1-31)
Salvation is reconciliation with God through the atoning work of Jesus Christ. God offers us salvation by His grace alone and we receive it as a gift through personal faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ. This right standing before God must be received and cannot be earned. God freely offers salvation to all people, and our salvation is secure. (Ephesians 2:8, 9; Romans 8:38, 39; Ephesians 1:13; 2:4)
Human beings are created in the image of God. As such, we are unique among all of God's creation. Through the abuse of our God-given free will, we have turned against God and this has resulted in spiritual death for all humankind. Humanity lives in a state of alienation and profound need which can only be satisfied by reconciliation with God through Christ. Without this reconciliation, all people stand under God's righteous judgment. Humanity, although fallen, maintains the image of God and is, therefore, still dignified and unique. God continues to love us and reach out to us, even though we are hostile to Him. Believers in Jesus Christ receive a new nature that becomes the foundation for a process of transformation. (John 3:16; 2 Corinthians 5:17)
The church is composed of all those throughout history who place saving faith in Jesus Christ. The church is not an institution, but a people. God wants all Christians to live out their spiritual lives in a corporate context. This context of Christian love relationships is a crucial feature of our witness for Christ as it reflects God's character to the world. The church is God's chosen instrument through which the message of salvation is spread to all people. This mission is the central purpose for the church. We are to carry the good news locally and worldwide and demonstrate the gospel by relevant social action. (John 13:34, 35; 1 Corinthians 12:12-26; Matthew 28:19)
Satan is the personal, spiritual adversary of God and God's followers. Satan actively opposes the work of the church and the spiritual vitality of Christians. We therefore take seriously, but in a balanced way, the reality of personal, spiritual opposition. Satan is doomed to final defeat and judgment when Christ returns. (Ephesians 6:12; Revelation 20:7-10)
This age will conclude with the personal, bodily return of Christ. At that time, He will complete God's plan to reestablish His just and righteous rule over all humanity. (Matthew 24:29-41; John 14:1-3)
Heaven and Hell are real places of eternal existence. At the final judgment, God will assign all people their eternal destinies—either life or judgment. Those who have responded to Jesus Christ with saving faith will receive the eternal life they have already been promised (John 5:24), while others will live under eternal judgment. Therefore, because eternal issues are at stake, there is an urgency to communicate the gospel. (Matthew 25:46; 2 Thessalonians 1:5-10)
What We Believe About...
Scripture teaches that men and women are of equal value in the eyes of God. Accordingly, the church should treat women and men equally. We believe that both women and men are called to and gifted for ordained and licensed ministry, and both genders are able to hold any role of leadership within the church.
We believe that all persons are of sacred worth. Therefore, we gladly welcome all who seek to grow in their relationship with God to attend worship services and participate in the church’s ministries. No person shall be disqualified from becoming a member of a local congregation, holding a leadership position in the church, or becoming an ordained or licensed clergy based on race, color, nationality, national origin, marital status, or economic condition. Oakland United Methodist Church specifically renounces all racial and ethnic discrimination and commits itself to work toward full racial and ethnic equality in the church and in society.
Marriage and Sexuality
We believe marriage and sexual intimacy are good gifts from God. In keeping with Christian teaching through the ages and throughout the Church universal, we believe that marriage is the uniting of one man and one woman in a single, exclusive union. We believe that God intends faithfulness in marriage and celibacy in singleness.
We believe that every person must be afforded compassion, love, kindness, respect, and dignity. Hateful and harassing behavior or attitudes directed toward any individual or group are to be repudiated and are not in accord with Scripture nor the doctrines of our church.