The 25 Articles Of Religion - Methodist
The following articles were John Wesley’s adaptation of the Thirty-Nine
Articles of Religion from the Anglican Church in which Wesley had been
a priest. There are also included two provisions adopted by the Uniting
Conference of 1939 that produced the United Methodist Church.
I. Of Faith in the Holy
There is but one living and true God, everlasting, without body, parts,
or passions; of infinite power, wisdom, and goodness; the Maker and
Preserver of all things both visible and invisible. And in unity of
this Godhead there are three Persons of one substance, power, and
eternity; the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.
II. Of the Word, or Son of
God, who was made very Man.
The Son, who is the Word of the Father, begotten from everlasting of
the Father, the very and eternal God, of one substance with the Father,
took man's nature in the womb of the blessed Virgin: so that two whole
and perfect natures, that is to say, the Godhead and Manhood, were
joined together in one Person, never to be divided, whereof is one
Christ, very God, and very man, who truly suffered, was crucified,
dead, and buried, to reconcile his Father to us, and to be a sacrifice,
not only for original guilt, but also for actual sins of men.
III. Of the Resurrection
Christ did truly rise again from the dead, and took again his body,
with all things appertaining to the Perfection of Man's Nature,
wherewith he ascended into Heaven, and there sitteth until he return to
judge all men at the last day.
IV. Of the Holy Ghost.
The Holy Ghost, proceeding from the Father and the Son, is of one
Substance, Majesty, and Glory, with the Father and the Son, very and
V. Of the Sufficiency of
the Holy Scriptures for Salvation.
Holy Scripture containeth all things necessary to Salvation: so that
whatsoever is not read therein, or may be proved thereby, is not to be
required of any man, that it should be believed as an Article of the
Faith, or be thought requisite or necessary to salvation. In the
name of the Holy Scripture we do understand those Canonical Books of
the Old and New Testament, of whose authority was never any doubt in
Of the Names of the Canonical Books.
The First Book of Samuel,
The Second Book of Samuel,
The First Book of Kings,
The Second Book of Kings,
The First Book of Chronicles,
The Second Book of Chronicles,
The Book of Ezra,
The Book of Nehemiah,
The Book of Hester,
The Book of Job,
Ecclesiastes, or Preacher,
Cantica, or Songs of Solomon,
Four Prophets the greater,
Twelve Prophets the less.
All the Books of the New Testament, as they
are commonly received, we do receive and account Canonical.
Of the Old Testament.
The Old Testament is not contrary to the New; for both in the Old and
New Testament everlasting life is offered to mankind by Christ, who is
the only Mediator between God and Man, being both God and Man.
Wherefore they are not to be heard, who feign that the old Fathers did
look only for transitory promises. Although the law given from
God by Moses, as touching Ceremonies and Rites, doth not bind
Christians, nor ought the Civil Precepts thereof of necessity to be
received in any Commonwealth: yet notwithstanding, no Christian
whatsoever is free from the obedience of the commandments which are
VII. Of Original or
Original Sin standeth not in the following of Adam (as the Pelagians do
vainly talk), but it is the corruption of the nature of every man, that
naturally is ingendered of the offspring of Adam, whereby man is very
far gone from original righteousness, and of his own nature incline to
evil, and that continually.
VIII. Of Free-Will.
The condition of man after the fall of Adam is such that he cannot turn
and prepare himself by his own natural strength and works to faith, and
calling upon God: Wherefore we have no power to do good works pleasant
and acceptable to God, without the grace of God by Christ preventing
us, that we may have a good-will, and working with us, when we have
IX. Of the Justification of Man.
We are accounted righteous before God, only for the merit of our Lord
and Saviour Jesus Christ, by faith, and not for our own works or
deservings: wherefore, that we are justified by faith only, is a most
wholesome doctrine, and very full of comfort.
X. Of good Works.
Although good Works, which are the fruits of Faith, and follow after
Justification, cannot put away our sins, and endure the severity of
God's judgment; yet are they pleasing and acceptable to God in Christ,
and spring out of a true and lively Faith, insomuch that by them a
lively Faith may be as evidently known, as a tree discerned by its
XI. Of Works of
Voluntary Works, besides, over and above God's Commandments, which they
call Works of Supererogation, cannot be taught without arrogancy and
impiety. For by them men do declare, That they do not only render
unto God as much as they are bound to do, but that they do more for his
sake than of bounden duty is required: whereas Christ saith plainly,
When ye have done all that is commanded you, say, We are unprofitable
XII. Of Sin after
Not every sin willingly committed after Justification, is the sin
against the Holy Ghost, and unpardonable. Wherefore the grant of
repentance is not to be denied to such as fall into sin, after
justification: after we have received the Holy Ghost, we may depart
from grace given, and fall into sin, and by the grace of God rise
again, and amend our lives. And therefore they are to be
condemned who say they can no more sin as long as they live here, or
deny the place of forgiveness to such as truly repent.
XIII. Of the Church.
The visible Church of Christ is a Congregation of faithful men, in the
which the pure Word of God is preached, and the Sacraments duly
administered according to Christ's Ordinance, in all those things that
of necessity are requisite to the same.
XIV. Of Purgatory.
The Romish Doctrine concerning Purgatory, Pardons, Worshipping, and
Adoration, as well of Images, as of Reliques, and also Invocation of
Saints, is a fond thing vainly invented, and grounded upon no warrant
of Scripture, but repugnant to the Word of God.
[This Article condemns a cluster of Romish errors. The first is
that of purgatory. . .The second error is priestly absolution. . .The
third error is image-worship. . .The fourth is praying to departed
XV. Of Speaking in the
Congregation in Such a Tongue as the
It is a thing plainly repugnant to the Word of God, and the Custom of
the Primitive Church, to have Publick Prayer in the Church, or to
minister the Sacraments in a Tongue not understood by the People.
XVI. Of the Sacraments.
Sacraments ordained of Christ, are not only badges or tokens of
Christian Men's Profession; but rather they are certain Signs of Grace,
and God's good Will towards us, by the which he doth work invisibly in
us, and doth not only quicken, but also strengthen and confirm our
faith in him.
There are two Sacraments ordained of Christ
our Lord in the Gospel; that is to say, Baptism, and the Supper of the
Those five commonly called Sacraments; that is
to say, Confirmation, Penance, Orders, Matrimony, and extreme Unction,
are not to be counted for Sacraments of the Gospel, being such as have
grown, partly of the corrupt following of the Apostles, partly are
states of life allowed in the Scriptures: but yet have not the like
nature of Baptism and the Lord's Supper, because they have not any
visible Sign or Ceremony ordained of God. The Sacraments were not
ordained of Christ to
be gazed upon, or to be carried about; but that we should duly use
them. And in such only as worthily receive the same, they have a
wholesome effect or operation: but they that receive them unworthily,
purchase to themselves condemnation, as Saint Paul saith.
XVII. Of Baptism.
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. The
baptism of young children is to be retained in the church.
XVIII. Of the Lord's
The Supper of the Lord is not only a sign of the love that Christians
ought to have among themselves one to another, but rather is a
sacrament of our redemption by Christ's death: Insomuch that to
such as rightly worthily, and with faith receive the same, 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.
Transubstantiation, or the change of the
substance of bread and wine in the supper of the Lord, cannot be proved
by holy writ; but is repugnant to the plain words of Scripture,
overthroweth the nature of a sacrament, and hath given occasion to many
The body of Christ is given, taken, and eaten
in the supper, only after an heavenly and spiritual manner. And
the mean whereby the body of Christ is received and eaten in the
supper, is faith.
The sacrament of the Lord's supper was not by
Christ's ordinance reserved, carried about, lifted up, or worshipped.
XIX. Of both Kinds.
The cup of the Lord is not to be denied to the lay-people; for both the
parts of the Lord's Supper, by Christ's ordinance and commandment,
ought to be ministered to all Christians alike.
XX. Of the One Oblation of
Christ, finished upon the Cross.
The offering of Christ once made, is that perfect redemption,
propitiation, and satisfaction for all the sins of the whole world,
both original and actual; and there is none other satisfaction for
since but that alone. Wherefore the sacrifice of masses, in the
which it is commonly said that the priest doth offer Christ for the
quick and the dead, to have remission of pain or guilt, is a
blasphemous fable, and dangerous deceit.
XXI. Of the Marriage
The ministers of Christ are not commanded by God's law either to vow
the estate of single life, or to abstain from marriage; therefore it is
lawful for them, as for all other Christians, to marry at their own
discretion, as they shall judge the same to serve best to godliness.
Of the Rites and Ceremonies of Churches
It is not necessary that rites and
in all places be the same, or exactly alike; for they have been always
different, and may be changed according to the diversity of countries,
and men’s manners, so that nothing be ordained against God’s Word.
through his private judgment, willingly and purposely doth openly break
rites and ceremonies of the church to which he belongs, which are not
to the Word of God, and are ordained and approved by common authority,
be rebuked openly, that others may fear to do the like, as one that
against the common order of the church, and woundeth the consciences of
Every particular church may ordain,
abolish rites and ceremonies, so that all things may be done to
edification. Article 23 Of the Rulers
of the United States of America - The President, the Congress,
assemblies, the governors, and the councils of state, as the delegates
people, are the rulers of the United States of America, according to
division of power made to them by the Constitution of the United States
the constitutions of their respective states. And the said states are a
sovereign and independent nation, and ought not to be subject to any
XXIII. Of the Rulers of the United States of America
The President, the Congress, the general
the governors, and the councils of state, as the delegates of the
the rulers of the United States of America, according to the division
made to them by the Con-stitution of the United States and by the
of their respective states. And the said states are a sovereign and
nation, and ought not to be subject to any foreign jurisdiction.
XXIV. Of Christian Men’s Goods
The riches and goods of Christians are not
touching the right, title, and possession of the same, as some do
boast. Notwithstanding, every man
ought, of such things as he possesseth, liberally to give alms to the
according to his ability.
XXV. Of a Christian Man’s Oath
we confess that vain and rash
swearing is forbidden Christian men by our Lord Jesus Christ and James
apostle, so we judge that the Christian religion doth not prohibit, but
man may swear when the magistrate requireth, in a cause of faith and
so it be done according to the prophet’s teaching, in justice,
Two Additional Articles
were adopted by the Uniting Conference of 1939 that resulted in the
of the United Methodist Church. These
are not properly a part of the Articles of Religion, but are included
additional statements of belief. The article Of Sanctification
the Discipline of the Methodist Protestant Church, one of the three
groups that came together to form the United Methodist Church. The
preserved, but not adopted as a new Article of Religion. The article Of
Duty of Christians to the Civil Authority was adopted to clarify
interpret for worldwide Methodists Article 23, Of the Rulers of the
States of America.
Sanctification is that renewal of our
by the Holy Ghost, received through faith in Jesus Christ, whose blood
atonement cleanseth from all sin; whereby we are not only delivered
guilt of sin, but are washed from its pollution, saved from its power,
enabled, through grace, to love God with all our hearts and to walk in
Of the Duty of Christians to the Civil Authority
It is the duty of all Christians, and
all Christian ministers, to observe and obey the laws and commands of
governing or supreme authority of the country of which they are
subjects or in which they reside, and to use all laudable means to
and enjoin obedience to the powers that be.