Commonplace Holiness Holiness woven into the fabric of life...

John Wesley: The Nature of Christian Salvation

John Wesley (1703 –1791)

John Wesley (1703 –1791)

Salvation begins with what is usually termed (and very properly) preventing grace; including the first wish to please God, the first dawn of light concerning his will, and the first slight transient conviction of having sinned against him. All these imply some tendency toward life; some degree of salvation; the beginning of a deliverance from a blind, unfeeling heart, quite insensible of God and the things of God. Salvation is carried on by convincing grace, usually in Scripture termed repentance; which brings a larger measure of self-knowledge, and a farther deliverance from the heart of stone. Afterwards we experience the proper Christian salvation; whereby, “through grace,” we “are saved by faith;” consisting of those two grand branches, justification and sanctification. By justification we are saved from the guilt of sin, and restored to the favour of God; by sanctification we are saved from the power and root of sin, and restored to the image of God. All experience, as well as Scripture, shows this salvation to be both instantaneous and gradual. It begins the moment we are justified, in the holy, humble, gentle, patient love of God and man. It gradually increases from that moment, as “a grain of mustard-seed, which, at first, is the least of all seeds,” but afterwards puts forth large branches, and becomes a great tree; till, in another instant, the heart is cleansed, from all sin, and filled with pure love to God and man. But even that love increases more and more, till we “grow up in all things into him that is our Head;” till we attain “the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.”

— John Wesley, Sermon #83: “On Working Out Our Own Salvation.”

Comments (1) | Trackback

One Response to “John Wesley: The Nature of Christian Salvation”

  1. David says:

    Thank you for the quote from Wesley on salvation. I am curious if you know how Wesley viewed the spiritual status of children. Did he hold to an “age of accountability” doctrine such as promoted by Anabaptists? As he supported infant baptism, did he view baptism (such as Luther’s view) as conferring saving grace on the child? Can a child grow up from infancy as a Christian without ever having a personal conversion experience? Thanks again for any insights.

Leave a Reply