The Doctrines which the Methodist Church in the Caribbean and the Americas holds and teaches are “The Doctrines of the Evangelical Faith which Methodism has held from the beginning”. These doctrines are based on the Divine revelation recorded in the Holy Scriptures, which the Methodist Church acknowledges as the supreme rule of faith and practice. They are expounded “In Wesley’s Notes on the New Testament and in the first four volumes of his sermons”. The notes and sermons are intended to “set up standards of preaching and belief” in order to secure loyalty to the fundamental truths of the Gospel of Redemption and to ensure the continuing witness of the Church to the realities of the Christian experience of salvation.
The evangelical doctrines which are preached include the following:
The Sacraments- The Methodist Church recognizes two sacraments:
( 1 ) Baptism and (2) The Lord’s Supper, also called Holy Communion. We accept these “as of Divine appointment and perpetual obligation”, and we urge that it is the duty and privilege of all members of the Methodist Church to avail themselves of them.
(1) The Sacrament of Baptism, done by affusion or emersion is administered both to those who are not able to answer for themselves (infants) and to those who can (other children and adults). It is the initiatory sacrament which enters us into a covenant with God. It is not the new birth, but a sign of regeneration and a mark of Christian discipleship.
On the meaning and benefits of Baptism Wesley wrote:
“Baptism is the initiatory sacrament, which enters us into covenant with God. It was instituted by Christ, who alone has power to institute a proper sacrament, a sign, seal, pledge and means of grace, perpetually obligatory on all Christians. The matter of this sacrament is water; which as it has a natural power of cleansing, is more fit for this symbolic use. Baptism is performed by washing, dipping, or sprinkling the person in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost. By Baptism we are admitted into the Church, and consequently made members of Christ, its Head. As the Jews were admitted into the Church by circumcision, so are the Christians by Baptism. By baptism, we who were “by nature children of wrath”, are made the children of God… being grafted into the body of Christ’s Church, we are made (he children of God by adoption and grace”. (Treatise on Baptism). Baptism is not the new birth: They are not one and the same thing…and they do not constantly go together. (Sermon on “The New Birth”)
(2) The Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper: For Methodists, the Lord’s Supper is a representation of our redemption, a memorial of the sufferings and death of Christ, and a token of love and union which Christians have with Christ and with one another.” It is both a converting and confirming ordinance, administered in both kinds (that is, bread and wine) to all who sincerely desire to be saved from their sins through faith in Jesus Christ and who earnestly seek to become His faithful disciples.