FUMC Pascagoula is comprised of a diverse group of individuals made up of different race, age, and backgrounds who collectively worship and serve our God and Church in Pascagoula, Mississippi, surrounding areas, and worldwide missions. This is what we together believe:
God is the Creator, Sustainer, and Ruler of all that is. God is infinite in wisdom, power and love. God is all-powerful, righteous and just. God has eternally existed in three indivisible “persons”: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. These three are co-equal and are one God. Genesis 1:1, 26, 27, 27; 3:22; Psalm 90:2, Matt. 28:19; 1 Peter 1:2, 2 Cor. 3:14
About Jesus Christ
Jesus is the Christ, the promised Messiah and Deliverer, our Savior and the Savior of the world. We believe that Jesus lived a life that was truly human and truly divine. We believe that the unmatched depth of God’s love is revealed within the life and ministry of Jesus’ preaching, teaching, and healing; and in his suffering, death and resurrection. Jesus lived a sinless human life and offered Himself as the perfect sacrifice for the sins of all people, by dying on the cross. He rose from the dead to demonstrate his power over sin and death. He ascended into heaven’s glory and will return again someday to earth to consummate God’s kingdom on earth. For now we believe the living Christ is with us through the Holy Spirit. Through faith in Christ we experience the joy of salvation. Matt. 1:22,23; Isaiah 9:6; John 1:1-5, 14:10-30, Heb. 4:14,15; 1 Cor. 15:3,4; Rom. 1:3,4; Acts 1:9-11; 1 Tim. 6:14-15, Titus 2:13.
About the Holy Spirit
We believe in the Holy Spirit as God present with us for guidance, comfort and strength. We affirm the Holy Spirit’s presence in our lives as God’s touch, God’s personal activity in the church, among Christian friends, and with each of us individually. The Holy Spirit’s work in our lives produces spiritual gifts and the “fruit of the Spirit”: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Gal. 5:22-23, 25; Rom. 8:26; 2 Cor. 3:17; John 16:7-13, 14:16-17; Acts. 1:8; 1 Cor. 2:12, 3:16; Eph. 1:13, 5:18.
About the Bible
The Bible is God’s word to us, our primary source of belief, and our primary authority for action. Human authors wrote the Bible as God inspired them. We believe God guided the early church in selecting the most faithful and useful books as Holy Scripture (Canon). We believe God is at work in us today in our thoughtful reading, meditation and interpretation of Scripture, individually and with others. We interpret the ancient witness in light of both its original meaning and its message for us today. 2 Timothy 1:13, 3:16; 2 Peter 1:20, 21; Psalm 119:105, 160, 12:6; Prov. 30:5
About Human Beings
God created humans in God’s own spiritual image, that we might be like God in character. Humans are the supreme object of God’s creation. Although every person has tremendous potential for good, all are inclined to disobedience toward God. We often turn our backs on God, separate ourselves from Him, and put our own will at the center. We also separate ourselves from other people, from God’s created order, and from our own best selves. This disobedience is called “sin.” Sin separates people from God and causes many problems in life. We yearn for reunion with God, for redemption, for salvation. Genesis 1:27; Ps. 8:3-6; Is. 53:6a, 59:1,2; Romans 3:23; Rom. 7:15.
Salvation is God’s free gift to us but we must accept it. We can never make up for our sin by self-improvement or good works. Only by trusting in Jesus Christ as God’s offer of forgiveness can anyone be saved from sin’s penalty. When we turn from our self-ruled, self-centered life and turn to Jesus in faith, we are saved. Eternal life begins the moment we receive Jesus Christ into our life by faith. When we are saved we are given a new nature, we are turned around and set on a new course, reborn to a new life in Christ. We call this “eternal life.” Rom. 5:1, 6:23; Eph. 2:8,9; John 14:6, 1:12;l Titus 3:5; Gal. 3:26.
About the Church
In the New Testament, the Greek ekklesia, translated “church,” means a “called out” group, or “assembly.” Thus, the church means “those who have been called out to Jesus Christ.” The church can be thought of in two ways. First, there is the church universal which includes all believers in every place and time, both living and dead. This is what the Apostle’s Creed means when it refers to “the holy catholic (‘little c’) church.” Second, there is the local church through which the universal church is evident. In the local church people unite themselves voluntarily together in accordance with Christ’s will under the guidance of the Holy Spirit to accomplish God’s purposes. Note that neither of these definitions mentions anything about a place, a building, or an institution. The church is present when we come together as a gathered community and express our faith in worship, nurture, discipleship, outreach and witness.
About the Kingdom of God
The Kingdom of God refers to God’s reign, the manifestation of God’s purpose and will. We believe the kingdom is already here (Mark 1:15); it is also yet to come. It is both a present reality and a future hope. God calls us as individuals and as communities of faith into ministries of compassion, reconciliation and justice. As we faithfully respond to God’s grace and the various ministries God provides and calls us to, we begin to live and model kingdom lives.