Thursday, May 30, 2013

Why Methodism?

Christian Perfection: The Reason for Methodism
Wesley argued for and preached on entire sanctification, full sanctification, or Christian perfection (these are all synonyms) throughout his ministry. In the essay “The Principles of a Methodist Farther Explained”, which was published in 1746, Wesley argued that “holiness… is religion itself” (Works, 9:227). Forty years later in “Thoughts upon Methodism”, he described Methodism as follows, “Methodism… is only plain scriptural religion, guarded by a few prudential regulations. The essence of it is holiness of heart and life” (Works, 9:529).

Wesley defined Christian perfection in “A Plain Account of Christian Perfection” (1777) as follows:

In one view, it is purity of intention, dedicating all the life to God. It is the giving God all our heart; it is one desire and design ruling all our tempers. It is the devoting, not a part, but all our soul, body, and substance to God. In another view, it is all the mind which was in Christ, enabling us to walk as Christ walked. It is the circumcision of the heart from all filthiness, all inward as well as outward pollution. It is a renewal of the heart in the whole image of God, the full likeness of Him that created it. In yet another, it is the loving God with all our heart, and our neighbour as ourselves (Works, Jackson, 11:444).
Read the whole thing.

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