Nazarenes: Evangelicals in the Wesleyan Tradition
A Christian People
- We are not “The Church” but a part of the Church, which Christ opens to those of all ages, races and places. With the Church in all ages, we affirm one Lord, one Holy Faith, and one baptism.
- We believe that the Old and New Testaments reveal God’s will for all persons concerning sin, salvation, and new life in Christ.
- With other Christians—Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholic, and Protestant alike—we affirm the central creeds of the Early Church, with their robust affirmation of the Triune God, the divine-human mystery of the incarnate Christ, and the Holy Spirit’s abiding presence.
- Nazarenes are evangelical Protestants, oriented theologically to the broad Christian tradition through the English Reformation (Church of England).
- With other Protestants we affirm the priority of salvation by grace alone through faith in Christ, the priesthood of all believers, and the Bible as the final rule of Christian faith and practice.
- Ours is the Wesleyan heritage, rooted in England’s 18th-century Evangelical Revival led by preacher John Wesley and his songwriter brother Charles.
A Holy People
- John Wesley’s doctrine of entire sanctification drew upon ancient Christian themes of entire devotement to God. Exemplified in early and medieval monasticism. Thus, the quest for Christian perfection is no sectarian enthusiasm but a desire expressed across the Christian ages.
- Wesley’s unique genius included the affirmation that the pursuit of Christian holiness was not restricted to those with a special calling but a duty of all earnest Christians-clergy and laity alike.
- We affirm that Christ’s death atoned for the sins of all people, and that this grace is effective for the salvation of each person who accepts it.
- We believe that Christians are justified and sanctified by faith alone.
- We believe that Christ’s sanctifying grace is received initially in the New Birth (regeneration) when the Holy Spirit plants a new principle of spiritual life within, and that sanctifying grace increases as we live life through the Spirit. We affirm that entire sanctification is a gracious provision and possibility for all believers, in which the heart is cleansed of all sin and overflows with love for God and neighbor.
A People in Mission
- The Nazarenes are both a “Great Commission” and a “Great Commandment” people. Throughout our history, we have balanced the call to lead disciplined lives of holy love and service with a “mission to the world.”
- By intention, we are an international church with over 400 districts and over 1.5 million Nazarenes worldwide. Though originating on American soil, today a majority of Nazarenes and an overwhelming majority of districts are located in other nations.
- We seek to witness faithfully and attractively to all people, so that the Christ life within would draw others to the love, worship, and service of God.
- We are called, especially, to preach the Gospel to the poor.
- We believe in the social realities of holiness. Since we “who were enemies of God” have been reconciled to Him. We, too, seek reconciliation between the different members of the human family who are alienated one from another.
- The vehicles through which we carry out our mission include corporate worship, evangelism, compassionate ministry, Christian nurture, and education.
- We believe that each Christian is called to ministry by virtue of his or her baptism, and therefore has a role in carrying out the mission to which we are called as a body of believers.