What is the Nazarene Church?
Coming from all kinds of backgrounds, Nazarenes represent many cultures, languages, and nationalities. Yet as members of the Church of the Nazarene, these Christian believers form a unified international community with a distinct history, organization, and set of beliefs. Nazarene faith has its roots in the Wesleyan belief that a person can be cleansed from sin through a relationship with Jesus Christ and filled with divine love for God and neighbor. This principle spurred the launch of the Church of the Nazarene in 1908. The founders of this church were united by a dream of a missional church in the Wesleyan tradition. But the following traits distinguished the Nazarene church from other denominations:
- We believe men and women are to work together in ministry. Since the beginning of the Nazarene church, women have served as leaders. It was no secondary issue. A ministry that is inclusive of women is apostolic, while one that excludes women from ministry is not apostolic according to Acts 2:16-17. Men and women share in proclaiming the gospel in the church that moves by the power of the Holy Spirit!
- The Nazarene church stands shoulder to shoulder with the poor and broken. Orphanages in North America and India, homes for unwed mothers, rescue missions for alcoholics – these were visible expressions of inward holiness. Holiness builds a church with a heart for the poor and broken.
- The early Nazarenes were energized by a vision of worldwide ministry. In 1908, Nazarenes were already ministering in Cape Verde, India, and Japan. Today, we have 702 missionaries from 35 world areas serving in 135 countries throughout the world. Our local churches support these missionaries through a portion of all we receive in tithes as well as through giving opportunities throughout the year. The Church of the Nazarene is on-scene internationally to aid with countries or people in crisis everyday. See how Nazarenes are reaching out globally here.
- The Christian college is an essential ingredient of a Wesleyan-Holiness church. Denominational colleges were created to support general education as well as doctrinal education. These colleges are well-respected and sought after by many Nazarenes for the rich education they offer as well as the spiritual growth and encouragement they supply.
- Personal devotion to living a life of faith is central to church life. The Nazarene prayer meeting, testimony service, and altar service were among the ways that the concern for personal, vital piety would be communicated to a new generation. The experience of God’s transforming grace lay at the heart of the Nazarene movement.
- Entire sanctification is the doctrinal capstone. The uniting core was the idea of a believers’ church in which God’s grace was real in human lives. Justifying and sanctifying grace were central in the experience and thought of the founders, who knew personally the transforming nature of this grace.
- Nazarenes share a commitment to righteous living. Nazarenes agree that holy living is an important part of Christian stewardship and witness. It requires a commitment daily to avoid the temptations of worldly and wicked lifestyles.
(all the above is from Our Church, Your Home: An Introduction to Church Membership)
We believe in one God-the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
We believe that the Old and New Testament Scriptures, given by plenary inspiration, contain all truth necessary to faith and Christian living.
We believe that man is born with a fallen nature, and is, therefore, inclined to evil, and that continually.
We believe that the finally impenitent are hopelessly and eternally lost.
We believe that the atonement through Jesus Christ is for the whole human race; and that whosoever repents and believes on the Lord Jesus Christ is justified and regenerated and saved from the dominion of sin.
We believe that believers are to be sanctified wholly, subsequent to regeneration, through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
We believe that the Holy Spirit bears witness to the new birth, and also to the entire sanctification of believers.
We believe that our Lord will return, the dead will be raised, and the final judgment will take place.
For more information on Nazarene beliefs, please visit the Church of the Nazarene website here.