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. While the doctrines themselves are "unalterable, whether by Conference or otherwise", the Connexional Conference is the final authority within the Church on all questions concerning the interpretation of its doctrines (Constitution p. 30).
Methodist preachers, both ministerial and lay are committed to the evangelical doctrines as contained in Wesley's Notes on the New Testament and in the first four volumes of his sermons, and it is their solemn duty to preach these doctrines and nothing contrary to them. John Wesley helps us to understand what a doctrine is: A Theological doctrine is a body of teaching on a particular subject, which is grounded in the Holy Scriptures.
The evangelical doctrines which are preached include the following:
- The Holy Trinity
- The Divine creation of the world
- The universality of sin and its consequences
- The Incarnation and Atonement of Christ
- The universality and completeness of Salvation in Christ
- The witness and work of the Holy Spirit in the life of the Believer and the Church Conversion and the New Birth
- Christian Justification and the Assurance of Salvation
- The doctrine of Sanctification or Perfect Love
- The Church as the Body of Christ
- The Sacraments as Means of Grace
- The Resurrection, Judgment and the After Life
- The Kingdom of God
In all its teachings, the Methodist Church emphasises that all Christian doctrines must be based on the Holy Scriptures. However, we place more emphasis on true Christian living and practice-" practical divinity" as some scholars call it, or "true religion" as Wesley himself preferred to call it. True religion is the religion of love, "The love of God and of all of mankind", which produces both faith and good works in the believer.
It begins with repentance and regeneration, is motivated by the Holy Spirit and is manifested in a life of sanctification and service.