OUR BASIC BELIEFS
Summary of our basic beliefs
The First Ministries of Western Kentucky in a Word of Faith Interdenominational Ministry. This means that all are welcome to partake of this ministry regardless of their denominational background. Hills Chapel Crofton and Miles Chapel Paducah are Christian Methodist Episcopal Churches.The beliefs below summarize the Christian doctrine of First Ministries members.
The basic beliefs of our congregations include:
Triune God. God is one God in three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
- Scripture. The writings in the Old
Testament and New Testament are the inspired word of God.
While human beings were intended to bear the image of God, all humans are
sinners for whom that image is distorted. Sin estranges people from God and
corrupts human nature such that we cannot heal or save ourselves.
- Salvation through Jesus Christ. God's redeeming love is active to save sinners through Jesus' incarnate life and teachings, through his atoning death, his resurrection, his sovereign presence through history, and his promised return.
- Sanctification. The grace of sanctification draws one toward the gift of Christian perfection, which Wesley described as a heart "habitually filled with the love of God and neighbor" and as "having the mind of
Christ and walking as he walked."
- Sacraments. Our Congregation recognizes two sacraments: Holy Baptism and Holy
Communion. Other rites such as Confirmation, Ordination, Holy Matrimony, Funerals, and Anointing
of the Sick are performed but are not considered sacraments. In Holy Baptism, the Church believes that "Baptism is not only a sign of profession and mark of difference whereby Christians are distinguished from others that are not baptized; but it is also a sign of regeneration or the new birth.We believes that Baptism is a sacrament in which God initiates a covenant with individuals, people become a part of the Church, is not to be repeated, and is a means of grace. Our Church generally practices Baptism by sprinkling, pouring, or immersion and recognizes Trinitarian formula baptisms from other Christian denominations. Our Church affirms the real presence of Christ in Holy Communion, but does not hold to
transubstantiation.The church believes that the bread is an effectual sign of His body crucified on the cross and the cup is an effectual sign of His blood shed for humanity. Through the outward and visible signs of bread and wine, the inward and
spiritual reality of the Body and Blood of Christ are offered to believers. The church holds that the celebration of the Eucharist is an anamnesis of Jesus’ death, and believes the sacrament to be a means of grace, and practices open communion.
- Free will. We believe that people, while corrupted by sin, are free to make their own choices because
of God's divine grace enabling them, and that people are truly accountable before God for their choices.
- Grace. Our Congregations believes that God gives unmerited favor freely to all people, though it may be resisted.
The key emphasis of Wesley's theology relates to how Divine grace operates within the individual. Wesley defined the Way of
Salvation as the operation of grace in at least three parts: Prevenient Grace, Justifying Grace, and Sanctifying Grace.
Prevenient grace, or the grace that "goes before" us, is given to all people. It is that power which enables us to love and
motivates us to seek a relationship with God through Jesus Christ.This grace is the present work of God to turn us from our sin-corrupted human will to the loving will of the Father. In this work, God desires that we might sense both our sinfulness before God and God’s offer of salvation. Prevenient grace allows those tainted by sin to nevertheless make a truly free choice to accept
or reject God's salvation in Christ.
Justifying Grace or Accepting Grace is that grace, offered by God to all people, that we receive by faith and trust in
Christ, through which God pardons the believer of sin. It is in justifying grace we are received by God, in spite of our sin. In this reception, we are forgiven through the atoning work of Jesus Christ on the cross. The justifying grace cancels our guilt and empowers us to resist the power of sin and to fully love God and neighbor. Today, justifying grace is also known as conversion,
"accepting Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior," or being "born again". John Wesley originally called this experience the New
Birth.This experience can occur in different ways; it can be one transforming moment, such as an altar
call experience, or it may involve a series of decisions across a period of time.
Sanctifying Grace is that grace of God which sustains the believers in the journey toward Christian Perfection: a genuine love of God with heart, soul, mind, and strength, and a genuine love of our neighbors as ourselves. Sanctifying grace enables us to respond to God by leading a Spirit-filled and Christ-like life aimed toward love. Wesley never claimed this state of perfection for himself but instead insisted the attainment of perfection was possible for all Christians. Here the English Reformer parted company with both Luther and Calvin, who denied that a man would ever reach a state in this life in which he could not fall into sin. Such a man can lose all inclination to evil and can gain perfection in this life.
The Baptism of the Holy Ghost We believe that the Baptism of the Holy Ghost is an experience subsequent to conversion and sanctification and that tongue-speaking is the consequence of the baptism in the Holy Ghost with the manifestations of the fruit of the spirit (Galatians 5:22-23; Acts 10:46, 19:1-6). We believe that we are not baptized with the Holy Ghost in order to be saved (Acts 19:1-6; John 3:5). When one receives a baptismal Holy Ghost experience, we believe one will speak with a tongue unknown to oneself according to the sovereign will of Christ. To be filled with the Spirit means to be Spirit controlled as expressed by Paul in Ephesians 5:18-19. Since the charismatic demonstrations were necessary to help the early church to be successful in implementing the command of Christ, we therefore, believe that a Holy Ghost experience is mandatory for all men today.
Wesleyan theology maintains that salvation is the act of God's grace entirely, from invitation, to pardon, to growth in holiness. Furthermore, God's prevenient, justifying, and sanctifying grace interact dynamically in the lives of
Christians from birth to death.
According to Wesleyan understanding, good works were the fruit of one's salvation, not the way in which that salvation was earned. Faith and good works go hand in hand in Methodist theology: a living tree naturally and inevitably
bears fruit. Wesleyan theology rejects the doctrine of eternal security, believing that salvation can be rejected.
Wesley emphasized that believers must continue to grow in their relationship with Christ, through the process of Sanctification.
You can receive Christ right now by faith through prayer!
(Prayer is talking with God)
God knows your heart and is not so concerned with your words as He is with the
attitude of your heart. The following is a suggested prayer:
Lord Jesus, I need you. Thank You for dying on the
cross for my sins. I open the door
of my life and receive You as my Savior
and Lord. Thank You for forgiving my sins and giving
me eternal life. Take control of the throne of my life. Make me the kind of
person You want me to be.
Does this prayer express the desire of your
If it does, pray this prayer right now, and Christ will come
into your life, just as He promised.