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Wesley's View of Faith

June 13, 2024

In my last blog I related the experience John Wesley had on May 24, 1738. It was when Wesley had some "inward" assurance that God in Christ had forgiven him.

The journey to this experience surely has caused some serious attempts to understand its features. Was Wesley devoid of saving faith before this experience? Was Wesley too introspective? These and other questions have been the source of much debate.

What is clear is that after Aldersgate Wesley had a new assurance about being right with God as well as bouts of acute spiritual depression (Outler, John Wesley, 51). This may have been due to Wesley's view of faith. Wesley believed that faith was not only a belief in all the articles of religion but a personal confidence in Christ that issued forth in assurance.

Wesley's view of faith was similar to that of many of the English Puritans as they taught about a "lively faith." This was a faith that "takes hold" of one's heart and makes a difference in how one lives, not simply a set of beliefs one believes. So, faith to Wesley and others was one that issued forth in personal adherence, assurance and application to life.

REFLECT: How might faith in our lives be reduced to simply an adherence to the articles or truths of The Christian Faith? How does our faith affect our lives in our affections and actions?