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Continued Thoughts About Holiness

May 2, 2024

John Wesley's teaching about God's Great Salvation included both Justification and Sanctification, Holiness , Christian Perfection. His thoughts were that Justification is what God does FOR us and Sanctification, Holiness, Perfection is what God does IN us (April 11, 2024 blog). He uses these terms interchangably in his writings and preaching so I will use the term Holiness in referring to all 3.

Wesley was clear that the work of God was to bring about holiness of heart and life, in this life. He also believed that the reason God raised up the people called Methodist was to proclaim the doctrine of holiness and the "grand depositum" of the people called Methodist (1790 letter to Robert Brackenbury).

This doctrine of holiness was central to all of Wesley's teaching and hymns. In fact he continually affirmed that what he taught about holiness did not change as he edited and produced "A Plain Account of Christian Perfection."

So, what is Wesley's fundamental thinking about this matter of Holiness under these 3 words he used. Wesley believes that God can and will pour out His love within our hearts (Romans 5:5) in a way that produces a life of love and obedience to God.

This sequence of love and obedience is critical. Wesley would not invert the sequence so as to make obedience his primary concern; his primary concern was love so filling the heart that one's life was transformed and obedience would be the result and NOT the cause.

Reflection: How important in your thinking and living is Holiness? What role does God's love poured out into your heart occupy in the cause of obedience for you?