We Believe

Our beliefs are adapted from the Confession of Faith contained in the 2012 Book of Discipline of the United Methodist Church.


We believe in the One True, Holy and Living God, who is the Creator and Preserver of everything that exists. God is infinite in power, wisdom, justice, goodness and love, and God rules with gracious regard for the well-being and salvation of all people. We believe God is revealed to humans as the Trinity: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, distinct but inseparable, eternally one in essence and power.  God desires to be worshiped and glorified by all people.

Jesus Christ

We believe in Jesus Christ, who is fully God and fully man. His 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. He came to earth to teach people how to be reconciled to God, and please God. He suffered and died on a cross, a Roman instrument of torture & execution. He was buried, rose from the dead 3 days later, and ascended into heaven.  He is the Savior of the world, our friend and intercessor, and He shall return in the future to judge the deeds of all people.

The Holy Spirit

We believe in the Holy Spirit who proceeds from and is one in being with God the Father and Jesus the Son. The Holy Spirit convinces us that we are sinners, shows us that we need the righteousness of Jesus, and convinces us that without faith in Christ we face the judgment of God. He leads people through a faithful response to Christ’s Gospel into the fellowship of the Church. He comforts, sustains, and empowers all who trust Jesus for salvation, and guides us into all truth.

The Holy Bible

We believe that the Holy Bible, the Old (Hebrew) and New Testaments, reveal the Word of God so far as it is necessary for our salvation. We read and study the Bible with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and trust it as the authority and guide for the practice of Christian faith. The Bible is the first and most important source of wisdom and knowledge for all Christian teaching; whatever is not revealed in or established by the Holy Bible is not to be taught as essential to salvation.

The Church

We believe the Christian Church is the community of all true believers under the Lordship of Christ. We believe it is one, holy, apostolic and universal.  With the Holy Spirit as our guide, the Church exists to worship God, to build the faith of all believers, and is in mission to spread the Gospel of Christ to the world.

The Sacraments

We believe the Sacraments, Baptism and Holy Communion (the Lord’s Supper), are ordained by Christ and are real manifestations of God’s love toward us. They are means of grace: ordinary means that God works through invisibly to strengthen us spiritually, and confirm our faith.

We believe Baptism is the public witness of one’s entrance into the Christian Church, and is a symbol of repentance and inner cleansing from sin.  It represents the new birth in Jesus Christ.

We believe children are covered by Christ’s sacrificial death on the cross, and as heirs of the Kingdom of God are welcome to receive Christian Baptism. Baptized Children of believing parents are to be raised in the faith by the whole Church. They are to be nurtured and led to a personal acceptance of faith in Christ, and are to be encouraged to confirm their Baptism by professing their faith when they are of age to do so.

We believe Holy Communion is a representation of our redemption from sin, and is a memorial of the suffering, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  The Lord’s Supper is a communal sacrament that demonstrates the union which Christians have with Christ and with one another. Those who humbly, with reverence for and faith in Christ, eat the broken bread and drink the blessed cup, partake of the body and blood of Christ in a spiritual manner.

Sin and Free Will

We believe that all humans have fallen away from a right relationship with God because of a natural inclination toward sinful behavior.  God offers all humans grace and forgiveness for our sins; yet we remain free to choose to accept God’s grace, or not.  We believe that apart from the grace of God, we remain inclined toward doing evil and we cannot achieve holiness. Unless we are spiritually reborn by trusting Jesus Christ for our salvation, we cannot enter the Kingdom of God.

Reconciliation Through Christ

We believe God came to earth in the form of the Son, Jesus Christ, to reconcile the world to Himself. The self-sacrifice that Christ freely made on the cross perfectly and sufficiently satisfies the human debt to God for all the sins of every person, reconciling humans to God.  Therefore, no other satisfaction of that debt is required.

Justification and Regeneration

We believe that our good works have no power to make us righteous before God.  We are forgiven, justified and made right with God only when we repent (reject and turn away from our sins) and begin to trust Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior of the world.  By placing our trust in Jesus, we are spiritually reborn – we experience a regeneration (spiritual renewal) of our lives.  Through this new birth the believer is reconciled to God, and is enabled to serve others in ways that will please God.

We believe that although we have experienced regeneration, it is possible to turn away from God’s grace and fall back into sin; yet we may even then, by the grace of God, be made right with God once again through repentance.

Good Works

We believe that in our own strength, without divine grace, we cannot do good works that are pleasing and acceptable to God. We believe, however, that those who trust in Jesus as Lord and Savior are influenced and empowered by the Holy Spirit to freely exercise their will for good, in ways that please God.  We believe good works are necessary to demonstrate our faith in Jesus. Good works always follow our regeneration.  However, they do not remove our sins or save us from divine judgment.

Sanctification and Christian Perfection

We believe sanctification (being transformed by God, enabled to live like Jesus lived) is the work of God’s grace through the Word (Bible) and the Holy Spirit.  Through sanctification, those who have been spiritually reborn are cleansed from sin in their thoughts, words, and acts, and are enabled to live in accordance with God’s will, and strive to live a holy life. Entire sanctification is a state of perfect love, righteousness and true holiness which every regenerated believer may obtain by trusting Christ to be delivered from the power of sin, by loving God with all one’s heart, soul, mind and strength, and by loving (having compassion and doing good for) one’s neighbors. Through faith in Jesus Christ, this gracious gift may be received in this life both gradually and instantaneously, and should be sought earnestly by every child of God.

We believe the experience of sanctification does not deliver us from sickness, disease, ignorance, and mistakes that are common to all people, nor is it a guarantee against sinning.  Christians must continue to guard against spiritual pride and seek God’s help to resist the temptation to sin. Christians must respond wholly to the will of God, with the help of the Holy Spirit, so that sin, worldly evil, human selfishness, and the devil will have no power over us.

God’s Final Judgment and our Future

We believe all humans stand under the righteous judgment of Jesus Christ, both now and at the end of time. We believe in the resurrection of the dead at the second coming of Jesus Christ, when He will separate those who rejected God from those who chose to live for Christ. Those who trust Christ will be welcomed into God’s Heavenly Kingdom. Those who rejected Christ will experience a time of great suffering that the Bible calls weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Exley UMC

338 Lake St,
Wilson, NY 14172


Join Us Sunday!

Worship: 9:30 am
Children's Church: 9:30 am
Christian Education: 11 am