John Wesley/Methodist view on the thief on the cross

  • Christian Chat is a moderated online Christian community allowing Christians around the world to fellowship with each other in real time chat via webcam, voice, and text, with the Christian Chat app. You can also start or participate in a Bible-based discussion here in the Christian Chat Forums, where members can also share with each other their own videos, pictures, or favorite Christian music.

    If you are a Christian and need encouragement and fellowship, we're here for you! If you are not a Christian but interested in knowing more about Jesus our Lord, you're also welcome! Want to know what the Bible says, and how you can apply it to your life? Join us!

    To make new Christian friends now around the world, click here to join Christian Chat.

SIMON55

Active member
Feb 15, 2019
538
193
43
MO,OK,AR
#81
The reason it is said scripture Trump's experience is because it does. However the number of people who have experiences that are clearly not biblical or Godly is astronomical. I even know of people who say they met God and he is an alien, and then there is the whole Mormon deal about Joseph and the angel and the golden plates and all that jazz.
And I never said my experience trumps scripture that is just more of the same garbage being piled on me and attributed to me....
And I don't look to anyone else to validate my personal miracle.
Well and is that what you would tell a
 

SIMON55

Active member
Feb 15, 2019
538
193
43
MO,OK,AR
#82
The reason it is said scripture Trump's experience is because it does. However the number of people who have experiences that are clearly not biblical or Godly is astronomical. I even know of people who say they met God and he is an alien, and then there is the whole Mormon deal about Joseph and the angel and the golden plates and all that jazz.
 

JohnRH

Junior Member
Mar 5, 2018
359
159
43
#83
It appears that the Methodists believe that while salvation is by grace thru faith, you need to show works as proof that your faith is indeed genuine.

In my opinion, if one holds the view that salvation is free but sanctification is a work that we do, you have to have a suitable answer to the "thief on the cross". Jesus granted salvation to the thief but he clearly had no opportunity to perform any works to show that the faith he had was truly genuine and saving.

Here, John Wesley made a rather ingenious point in my opinion,

"But does not God command us to repent also? Yea, and to 'bring forth fruits meet for repentance'--to cease, for instance, from doing evil, and learn to do well? And is not both the one and the other of the utmost necessity, insomuch that if we willingly neglect either, we cannot reasonably expect to be justified at all? But if this be so, how can it be said that faith is the only condition of justification?" God does undoubtedly command us both to repent, and to bring forth fruits meet for repentance; which if we willingly neglect, we cannot reasonably expect to be justified at all: therefore both repentance, and fruits meet for repentance, are, in some sense, necessary to justification. But they are not necessary in the same sense with faith, nor in the same degree. Not in the same degree; for those fruits are only necessary conditionally; if there be time and opportunity for them. Otherwise a man may be justified without them, as was the thief upon the cross (if we may call him so; for a late writer has discovered that he was no thief, but a very honest and respectable person!) but he cannot be justified without faith; this is impossible. Likewise, let a man have ever so much repentance, or ever so many of the fruits meet for repentance, yet all this does not at all avail; he is not justified till he believes.

How John Wesley reconciled the thief on the cross, in my opinion, is based on this paragraph. Here is how I understand his argument:
  1. Both faith and works are necessary for justification.
  2. But faith is more necessary compared to works. Faith is necessary unconditionally/absolutely.
  3. Works are only necessary in a conditional sense, provided there is time and opportunity to do them.
  4. The thief on the cross had neither the time, nor the opportunity to do works, so he is excused from them.
  5. For the rest of us however, we do not have that excuse, so works become necessary for our justification.
This is a rather ingenious argument, I have to say. So, after examining John Wesley’s views, I can conclude that the Methodists believe that Jesus’s work on the cross grant all believers the garment of salvation but to be righteous, there is some dependence on human effort.

What do the rest think? Any Methodists in the house?
Salvation is by faith alone in all cases. The person who believes is born again and his new nature has the natural propensity to do the good works. Doing those good works is practical sanctification. Those works neither save nor cause a person to stay saved.
 
Jan 12, 2019
7,497
1,399
113
#84
Salvation is by faith alone in all cases. The person who believes is born again and his new nature has the natural propensity to do the good works. Doing those good works is practical sanctification. Those works neither save nor cause a person to stay saved.
Thanks for sharing your view. Do you think John Wesley believe otherwise?
 

SIMON55

Active member
Feb 15, 2019
538
193
43
MO,OK,AR
#85
The reason it is said scripture Trump's experience is because it does. However the number of people who have experiences that are clearly not biblical or Godly is astronomical. I even know of people who say they met God and he is an alien, and then there is the whole Mormon deal about Joseph and the angel and the golden plates and all that jazz.
My statements have been made because I had someone telling me the only way you can receive both grace and faith is by hearing which is only half biblical....
What you have heard is written about what was both seen and heard .
The eye that can't see God even today is blind because it is written the evidence is everywhere for the eye to behold....so to say someone can't come to faith without hearing and only seeing initially is a lie.....
Scripture says Eyes to see and ears to hear both validate understanding and faith on a personal and scriptural level.
 

SIMON55

Active member
Feb 15, 2019
538
193
43
MO,OK,AR
#86
Thank you for sharing your testimony. Once upon a time I would have put up a mental barrier to what you are saying. Not now though. I'm wondering if you had the chance to 'feel' anything. Did you feel something like limitless love or were you in a state of awe?
Most certainly the peace of unlimited love of the benevolant Father Abba That caused me to keep repeating father ......Just as described by Paul "we who have cried out Father Abba "
 

TMS

Senior Member
Mar 21, 2015
1,889
387
83
#87
It appears that the Methodists believe that while salvation is by grace thru faith, you need to show works as proof that your faith is indeed genuine.

In my opinion, if one holds the view that salvation is free but sanctification is a work that we do, you have to have a suitable answer to the "thief on the cross". Jesus granted salvation to the thief but he clearly had no opportunity to perform any works to show that the faith he had was truly genuine and saving.

Here, John Wesley made a rather ingenious point in my opinion,

"But does not God command us to repent also? Yea, and to 'bring forth fruits meet for repentance'--to cease, for instance, from doing evil, and learn to do well? And is not both the one and the other of the utmost necessity, insomuch that if we willingly neglect either, we cannot reasonably expect to be justified at all? But if this be so, how can it be said that faith is the only condition of justification?" God does undoubtedly command us both to repent, and to bring forth fruits meet for repentance; which if we willingly neglect, we cannot reasonably expect to be justified at all: therefore both repentance, and fruits meet for repentance, are, in some sense, necessary to justification. But they are not necessary in the same sense with faith, nor in the same degree. Not in the same degree; for those fruits are only necessary conditionally; if there be time and opportunity for them. Otherwise a man may be justified without them, as was the thief upon the cross (if we may call him so; for a late writer has discovered that he was no thief, but a very honest and respectable person!) but he cannot be justified without faith; this is impossible. Likewise, let a man have ever so much repentance, or ever so many of the fruits meet for repentance, yet all this does not at all avail; he is not justified till he believes.

How John Wesley reconciled the thief on the cross, in my opinion, is based on this paragraph. Here is how I understand his argument:
  1. Both faith and works are necessary for justification.
  2. But faith is more necessary compared to works. Faith is necessary unconditionally/absolutely.
  3. Works are only necessary in a conditional sense, provided there is time and opportunity to do them.
  4. The thief on the cross had neither the time, nor the opportunity to do works, so he is excused from them.
  5. For the rest of us however, we do not have that excuse, so works become necessary for our justification.
This is a rather ingenious argument, I have to say. So, after examining John Wesley’s views, I can conclude that the Methodists believe that Jesus’s work on the cross grant all believers the garment of salvation but to be righteous, there is some dependence on human effort.

What do the rest think? Any Methodists in the house?
Not a Methodist myself, i believe that faith and works go hand in hand. Justification is a free gift that can not be earnt or gained by works and when we realise that we are given this gift we act accordingly. Sanctification or works or fruits come as a natural result of Christ living in us. When we have a relationship with Jesus our lives will naturally reflect the changes that the Spirit has made in us.
We shouldn't try to separate the sanctification and Justification because they both come from Jesus as we allow Him to work in us.
By faith we are made new. by faith we work.
By faith we are saved from Sin, ... saved from the desire to sin(transformed and renewed),
... the results of sin (justified),
... and from the action of sinning (sanctification).
 

fredoheaven

Senior Member
Nov 17, 2015
3,337
757
113
#88
And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;
2Pe 1:6
And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;
2Pe 1:7
And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.
2Pe 1:8
For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
2Pe 1:9
But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.
2Pe 1:10
 

SIMON55

Active member
Feb 15, 2019
538
193
43
MO,OK,AR
#89
I fully expect @SIMON55 to break out singing "Midnight Rider" by the Allman Brothers hahahahahahha

Simon....you remind me of them......and a dude I used to work with in Missouri.........

.....And I am bound to keep on riding
And I've got one more silver dollar
But I'm not gonna let them catch me, no
Not gonna let them catch the midnight rider.......

HAHA
I will accept all of that as compliments😀
One of my homes is in MO
MO IS......the show me state.
God did show me before he began to teach me.
Southern rock is my preference.....
I like Whipping Post by ABB
Dreams I'll Never See
Melissa Win Lose or Draw
In MO now listening to
ABB
You must be prophetically psychic!
😀
 

Locoponydirtman

Well-known member
Oct 9, 2018
2,872
1,728
113
Texas
#90
My statements have been made because I had someone telling me the only way you can receive both grace and faith is by hearing which is only half biblical....
What you have heard is written about what was both seen and heard .
The eye that can't see God even today is blind because it is written the evidence is everywhere for the eye to behold....so to say someone can't come to faith without hearing and only seeing initially is a lie.....
Scripture says Eyes to see and ears to hear both validate understanding and faith on a personal and scriptural level.
True enough. I were only offering an explanation.
 

Ahwatukee

Senior Member
Mar 12, 2015
11,131
2,353
113
#91
It appears that the Methodists believe that while salvation is by grace thru faith, you need to show works as proof that your faith is indeed genuine.

In my opinion, if one holds the view that salvation is free but sanctification is a work that we do, you have to have a suitable answer to the "thief on the cross". Jesus granted salvation to the thief but he clearly had no opportunity to perform any works to show that the faith he had was truly genuine and saving.

Here, John Wesley made a rather ingenious point in my opinion,

"But does not God command us to repent also? Yea, and to 'bring forth fruits meet for repentance'--to cease, for instance, from doing evil, and learn to do well? And is not both the one and the other of the utmost necessity, insomuch that if we willingly neglect either, we cannot reasonably expect to be justified at all? But if this be so, how can it be said that faith is the only condition of justification?" God does undoubtedly command us both to repent, and to bring forth fruits meet for repentance; which if we willingly neglect, we cannot reasonably expect to be justified at all: therefore both repentance, and fruits meet for repentance, are, in some sense, necessary to justification. But they are not necessary in the same sense with faith, nor in the same degree. Not in the same degree; for those fruits are only necessary conditionally; if there be time and opportunity for them. Otherwise a man may be justified without them, as was the thief upon the cross (if we may call him so; for a late writer has discovered that he was no thief, but a very honest and respectable person!) but he cannot be justified without faith; this is impossible. Likewise, let a man have ever so much repentance, or ever so many of the fruits meet for repentance, yet all this does not at all avail; he is not justified till he believes.

How John Wesley reconciled the thief on the cross, in my opinion, is based on this paragraph. Here is how I understand his argument:
  1. Both faith and works are necessary for justification.
  2. But faith is more necessary compared to works. Faith is necessary unconditionally/absolutely.
  3. Works are only necessary in a conditional sense, provided there is time and opportunity to do them.
  4. The thief on the cross had neither the time, nor the opportunity to do works, so he is excused from them.
  5. For the rest of us however, we do not have that excuse, so works become necessary for our justification.
This is a rather ingenious argument, I have to say. So, after examining John Wesley’s views, I can conclude that the Methodists believe that Jesus’s work on the cross grant all believers the garment of salvation but to be righteous, there is some dependence on human effort.

What do the rest think? Any Methodists in the house?
Hello Guojing,

The bottom line to those who would try to bring us back under salvation by works, is this:

If anyone is trusting in anything other than the Lord's sacrifice as a means of salvation, then it is the same as saying that the Lord's sacrifice was insufficient. He gives us an example of those who will attempt to claim this in the scripture below:

"Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’

When they find out that they will not be able to enter into the kingdom of God, their first three words give away the reason as to why they will not be able to enter in "did we not."

We cannot enter into the kingdom of God by what we do. On the contrary, the correct response would be "Lord, Lord, did you not shed your blood for us?" Of course, if that was their faith, the Lord would not be telling them to depart in the first place. Clearly, the example above reveals those who will be trusting in their own works.

Another example of salvation by grace through faith, would be found in the event of Cornelius household, who while Peter was still speaking, the Holy Spirit fell upon all of them so that they spoke in languages and prophesied. And that without being baptized, no hands laid on them, no works done, no promise of keeping the law, etc. Regarding this Peter says, "He (God) made no distinction between us (those under the law) and them (Gentiles), for he cleansed their hearts through faith.

Salvation has already been obtained for everyone who believes. Good works will follow those who belong to Christ and that to the glory of God, not to obtain salvation.
 
Dec 28, 2016
9,171
2,715
113
#92
Same one you have heard of washes away afflictions with baptism causes 180 * psychic change gives peace comfort and understanding.
Sure. So you saw a set of hands and...?
 
Jan 12, 2019
7,497
1,399
113
#93
Hello Guojing,

Salvation has already been obtained for everyone who believes. Good works will follow those who belong to Christ and that to the glory of God, not to obtain salvation.
Thanks for sharing, yes I would agree with you there.

Just want to hear from Methodists out there, what do they think about this issue and do they agree with Wesley.
 

Lanolin

Well-known member
Dec 15, 2018
12,579
4,504
113
#94
Where are all the methodists? They must keep a low profile. Its funny because I dont really know any methodists either. Although there is a garden club that meets at a methodist church near me. Maybe if I go, might actually meet some methodists.

People dont really talk a lot about John wesley in other churches. Sometimes you get overwhelmed with people parroting John Calvin though in certain church circles.
 

Deuteronomy

Well-known member
Jun 11, 2018
2,413
2,663
113
65
#95
Hi @Guojing, here's a short article from Asbury University that may prove useful to you.

Wesleyan-Holiness Theology
WESLEYAN-HOLINESS THEOLOGY is grounded in the teaching of John Wesley (1703-1791). Wesley and his brother Charles were Oxford-trained, ordained clergymen in the Church of England. While at Oxford, they founded a small group of men who were derisively called by their peers the “Holy Club.” Around the same time they began to be called Methodists. Originally applied to an obscure ancient sect of physicians, it was the name that stuck; thus, Oxford Methodism was born. The sole design of these Methodists was, as Wesley put it, to be “downright Bible-Christians; taking the Bible, as interpreted by the primitive church [early church fathers] … for their whole and sole rule.”



John Wesley’s primary focus was upon the doctrine of salvation and the relationship between grace, faith, and holiness of heart and life. Wesley identified three doctrines in “A Short History of Methodism” (1765) that summed up the core of Methodist and Wesleyan-Holiness teaching.[ii] What he says there essentially reflects his thought at the outset of the Methodist revival contained in two key treatises, “Character of a Methodist” and “The Principles of a Methodist,” both published in 1742.

First, Wesley taught the classical doctrine of original sin and the absolute inability of human beings to save themselves through virtuous works.[iii] As with the Protestant Reformers, Luther and Calvin, Wesley held that Adam’s disobedience plunged the human race into a matrix of sin from which, barring divine intervention, there is no escape. Departing from the Reformers, however, Wesley rejected their notions of election, predestination, irresistible grace and the like as matters of opinion. He believed that these ideas not only did not reflect the teaching of the Bible and the early church, but also that they did not portray accurately the character or work of a loving God. Instead, following St. Paul’s discussions of law and gospel, sin and justification in Galatians and Romans, Wesley insisted that the grace of God is freely available to all who would hear the gospel, repent, and believe; grace precedes faith so that the choice to believe is uncoerced and free. The doctrine of prevenient grace (“grace that goes before”), which Wesley gleaned from the church fathers, points to a God who saves the lost without transgressing their moral freedom to choose. Such grace enables the individual to repent of their sins and to believe in Jesus Christ.

Secondly, Wesley taught that salvation, or justification as it is termed, comes by faith alone.[iv] He dismissed the notion that righteous works, even though good in themselves, accrue any merit whatsoever toward salvation. Wesley observed that there are three things that work together to produce salvation. The first is the infinite mercy and grace of God; the second is the satisfaction of God’s righteous judgment of sin based on the sacrificial and substitutionary death of Christ; the third is the individual’s personal faith in the merits of Jesus Christ. Wesley insisted that such faith is not merely giving cognitive assent, but it is heartfelt trust in Christ for forgiveness of sins and confidence that God saves those who truly believe. Wesleyans teach that the moment one believes, he/she is saved; and by believing they may expect to receive an inward witness of having been delivered from bondage to sin and eternal damnation to freedom from sin and eternal life. This witness is not merely a feeling: it is the work of the Holy Spirit and the beginning of the inward regeneration of character described metaphorically in the Gospel of John as the new birth.

Thirdly, Wesley taught that genuine faith produces inward and outward holiness. The regenerative process inwardly cannot help but find expression in an improved moral character outwardly. The doctrine of holiness is grounded in the command to be holy as God is holy (Lev. 19:2 and other Old Testament loci). Jesus commanded, “Be perfect therefore as your Father in heaven is perfect” (Mt. 5:48). Jesus also taught that true Christian discipleship requires loving God with all the heart, soul, mind, and strength, and loving neighbor as self (Mt. 22:34-40). Whereas Luther and Calvin tended to view perfection in the absolute sense (i.e., perfect performance), Wesley understood it in the theological sense as having to do with maturity of character and ever-increasing love for God. The New Testament word “perfection” translates from a Greek term that means maturity or completion: it does not mean flawlessness. Therefore, whenever Wesley discussed holiness, sanctification or perfection (all theologically synonymous), he preferred the expression “Christian perfection.” By appending the adjective Christian, he sought to avoid comparisons with the Reformers whose idealistic notions of perfection led them to believe that holiness or personal sanctify is not possible in this life. Christian perfection, for Wesley, is achievable in this present life because it has to do with the affections. When, by the grace of God infused into the soul through the Holy Spirit, one’s love for God and others is made pure and complete, their lifestyle cannot help but increase in virtue, finding expression in loving, selfless actions. Faith working outwardly through love was one of Wesley’s favorite biblical themes (Gal. 5:6).

One of the key debates within the Wesleyan-Holiness tradition is whether Christian perfection or, as it is often termed, “entire sanctification,” is an instantaneous second work of grace or the gradual working of the Spirit. Is it crisis or process? In fact, Wesley said it is both. Wesley consistently argued that salvation must produce holiness of heart and life, but he never viewed the process as a ladder of ascent of sorts, as ancient and medieval Christian mystics had. He never envisioned a stage in this life where one has arrived and can go no further. Instead, Wesley viewed Christian holiness biblically as a linear movement forward. He taught that despite the inner assurance and regeneration of character that results from justification, it is never too long before the new believer discovers that there is still a root of sin within. Unlike the Reformers, who had taught that sanctification only occurs at death, Wesley argued that he could see no reason why it could not occur ten, twenty, or even thirty years before death. Certainly, he said, there is no biblical evidence that would lead one to think otherwise. Though he never himself claimed to be entirely sanctified (he believed that claiming it was a fair sign that one was not so), Wesley recorded the experiences of others whom he had no doubt were delivered from all sin and filled entirely with the pure love of God. Some of these accounts are found in his treatise “A Plain Account of Christian Perfection” (1767).

Asbury University, with its roots in the American Methodist and holiness tradition, has followed Wesley’s teaching on entire sanctification. Believers may and should seek a subsequent work of God where through grace imparted by the Spirit, they are made full of the love of God. However, as Wesley cautioned, there is no state of Christian existence wherein there does not admit an increase in love for God and neighbor. For Wesley and for Christians in the Wesleyan-Holiness tradition, the Christian life of faith always holds out the potential of ever-increasing likeness to Christ in love through the gracious indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit.

—Dr Neil D. Anderson, Department of Bible and Theology, Asbury University

~Deut
 

Deuteronomy

Well-known member
Jun 11, 2018
2,413
2,663
113
65
#96
Further, John Calvin (& with nearly the exact same words, Martin Luther) made this very interesting statement concerning justification by faith alone, which may be worth your time to consider, as I believe it is Wesley's understanding as well.

"We are justified by faith alone, but the faith that justifies is never alone"

I believe that Wesley, Calvin and Luther all stood in harmony with James concerning the nature of 'saving' faith, who in his 2nd Chapter discussion concerning the two different "kinds" of faith that people (and demons) have, said the same thing, that one's claim of true "saving" faith can only be justifed/verified/proven to be true .. James 2:14-26 (to ourselves and to others) .. 2 Corinthians 13:5, by the things that accompany it, IOW, by what we do and say, and even how we think, as a result of coming to saving faith in Christ. If there is no resulting fruit, no apparent and lasting changes in the way a person acts/thinks since they made that claim, then chances are very good that their "claim" amounts to nothing more than that.

This is just a bit of conjecture, but it seems to me that the thief who was hanging on the cross next to Jesus may have performed a work related to the saving faith that he had just come to possess .. Luke 23:39-43, because he publicly testified concerning his guilt, as well concerning his faith in the innocent One hanging next to him on a cross and His ability to save him in the age to come.

~Deut

James 2
18 Someone may well say, “You have faith and I have works; show me your faith without the works, and I will show you my faith by my works.​
.
 

Chester

Senior Member
May 23, 2016
3,874
1,168
113
#97
Hi @Guojing, here's a short article from Asbury University that may prove useful to you.
Wesleyan-Holiness Theology
WESLEYAN-HOLINESS THEOLOGY is grounded in the teaching of John Wesley (1703-1791). Wesley and his brother Charles were Oxford-trained, ordained clergymen in the Church of England. While at Oxford, they founded a small group of men who were derisively called by their peers the “Holy Club.” Around the same time they began to be called Methodists. Originally applied to an obscure ancient sect of physicians, it was the name that stuck; thus, Oxford Methodism was born. The sole design of these Methodists was, as Wesley put it, to be “downright Bible-Christians; taking the Bible, as interpreted by the primitive church [early church fathers] … for their whole and sole rule.”​
John Wesley’s primary focus was upon the doctrine of salvation and the relationship between grace, faith, and holiness of heart and life. Wesley identified three doctrines in “A Short History of Methodism” (1765) that summed up the core of Methodist and Wesleyan-Holiness teaching.[ii] What he says there essentially reflects his thought at the outset of the Methodist revival contained in two key treatises, “Character of a Methodist” and “The Principles of a Methodist,” both published in 1742.
First, Wesley taught the classical doctrine of original sin and the absolute inability of human beings to save themselves through virtuous works.[iii] As with the Protestant Reformers, Luther and Calvin, Wesley held that Adam’s disobedience plunged the human race into a matrix of sin from which, barring divine intervention, there is no escape. Departing from the Reformers, however, Wesley rejected their notions of election, predestination, irresistible grace and the like as matters of opinion. He believed that these ideas not only did not reflect the teaching of the Bible and the early church, but also that they did not portray accurately the character or work of a loving God. Instead, following St. Paul’s discussions of law and gospel, sin and justification in Galatians and Romans, Wesley insisted that the grace of God is freely available to all who would hear the gospel, repent, and believe; grace precedes faith so that the choice to believe is uncoerced and free. The doctrine of prevenient grace (“grace that goes before”), which Wesley gleaned from the church fathers, points to a God who saves the lost without transgressing their moral freedom to choose. Such grace enables the individual to repent of their sins and to believe in Jesus Christ.
Secondly, Wesley taught that salvation, or justification as it is termed, comes by faith alone.[iv] He dismissed the notion that righteous works, even though good in themselves, accrue any merit whatsoever toward salvation. Wesley observed that there are three things that work together to produce salvation. The first is the infinite mercy and grace of God; the second is the satisfaction of God’s righteous judgment of sin based on the sacrificial and substitutionary death of Christ; the third is the individual’s personal faith in the merits of Jesus Christ. Wesley insisted that such faith is not merely giving cognitive assent, but it is heartfelt trust in Christ for forgiveness of sins and confidence that God saves those who truly believe. Wesleyans teach that the moment one believes, he/she is saved; and by believing they may expect to receive an inward witness of having been delivered from bondage to sin and eternal damnation to freedom from sin and eternal life. This witness is not merely a feeling: it is the work of the Holy Spirit and the beginning of the inward regeneration of character described metaphorically in the Gospel of John as the new birth.
Thirdly, Wesley taught that genuine faith produces inward and outward holiness. The regenerative process inwardly cannot help but find expression in an improved moral character outwardly. The doctrine of holiness is grounded in the command to be holy as God is holy (Lev. 19:2 and other Old Testament loci). Jesus commanded, “Be perfect therefore as your Father in heaven is perfect” (Mt. 5:48). Jesus also taught that true Christian discipleship requires loving God with all the heart, soul, mind, and strength, and loving neighbor as self (Mt. 22:34-40). Whereas Luther and Calvin tended to view perfection in the absolute sense (i.e., perfect performance), Wesley understood it in the theological sense as having to do with maturity of character and ever-increasing love for God. The New Testament word “perfection” translates from a Greek term that means maturity or completion: it does not mean flawlessness. Therefore, whenever Wesley discussed holiness, sanctification or perfection (all theologically synonymous), he preferred the expression “Christian perfection.” By appending the adjective Christian, he sought to avoid comparisons with the Reformers whose idealistic notions of perfection led them to believe that holiness or personal sanctify is not possible in this life. Christian perfection, for Wesley, is achievable in this present life because it has to do with the affections. When, by the grace of God infused into the soul through the Holy Spirit, one’s love for God and others is made pure and complete, their lifestyle cannot help but increase in virtue, finding expression in loving, selfless actions. Faith working outwardly through love was one of Wesley’s favorite biblical themes (Gal. 5:6).
One of the key debates within the Wesleyan-Holiness tradition is whether Christian perfection or, as it is often termed, “entire sanctification,” is an instantaneous second work of grace or the gradual working of the Spirit. Is it crisis or process? In fact, Wesley said it is both. Wesley consistently argued that salvation must produce holiness of heart and life, but he never viewed the process as a ladder of ascent of sorts, as ancient and medieval Christian mystics had. He never envisioned a stage in this life where one has arrived and can go no further. Instead, Wesley viewed Christian holiness biblically as a linear movement forward. He taught that despite the inner assurance and regeneration of character that results from justification, it is never too long before the new believer discovers that there is still a root of sin within. Unlike the Reformers, who had taught that sanctification only occurs at death, Wesley argued that he could see no reason why it could not occur ten, twenty, or even thirty years before death. Certainly, he said, there is no biblical evidence that would lead one to think otherwise. Though he never himself claimed to be entirely sanctified (he believed that claiming it was a fair sign that one was not so), Wesley recorded the experiences of others whom he had no doubt were delivered from all sin and filled entirely with the pure love of God. Some of these accounts are found in his treatise “A Plain Account of Christian Perfection” (1767).
Asbury University, with its roots in the American Methodist and holiness tradition, has followed Wesley’s teaching on entire sanctification. Believers may and should seek a subsequent work of God where through grace imparted by the Spirit, they are made full of the love of God. However, as Wesley cautioned, there is no state of Christian existence wherein there does not admit an increase in love for God and neighbor. For Wesley and for Christians in the Wesleyan-Holiness tradition, the Christian life of faith always holds out the potential of ever-increasing likeness to Christ in love through the gracious indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit.
—Dr Neil D. Anderson, Department of Bible and Theology, Asbury University

~Deut
Wonderfully well documented: I am not Methodist myself, but live in an area that is heavily Methodist. Not a one of them has ever said anything to me that makes me think they believe that salvation is by works.

When looked at carefully, the quote given by the OP matches exactly with the quote given here by Deuteronomy.

Methodists believe that salvation is by faith in Christ alone, but that this faith will produce works in a person in the process of sanctification. Holy living was a very important part of Wesley's teaching.
 
Jan 12, 2019
7,497
1,399
113
#98
Hi @Guojing, here's a short article from Asbury University that may prove useful to you.
One of the key debates within the Wesleyan-Holiness tradition is whether Christian perfection or, as it is often termed, “entire sanctification,” is an instantaneous second work of grace or the gradual working of the Spirit. Is it crisis or process? In fact, Wesley said it is both. Wesley consistently argued that salvation must produce holiness of heart and life, but he never viewed the process as a ladder of ascent of sorts, as ancient and medieval Christian mystics had. He never envisioned a stage in this life where one has arrived and can go no further. Instead, Wesley viewed Christian holiness biblically as a linear movement forward. He taught that despite the inner assurance and regeneration of character that results from justification, it is never too long before the new believer discovers that there is still a root of sin within. Unlike the Reformers, who had taught that sanctification only occurs at death, Wesley argued that he could see no reason why it could not occur ten, twenty, or even thirty years before death. Certainly, he said, there is no biblical evidence that would lead one to think otherwise. Though he never himself claimed to be entirely sanctified (he believed that claiming it was a fair sign that one was not so), Wesley recorded the experiences of others whom he had no doubt were delivered from all sin and filled entirely with the pure love of God. Some of these accounts are found in his treatise “A Plain Account of Christian Perfection” (1767).
Asbury University, with its roots in the American Methodist and holiness tradition, has followed Wesley’s teaching on entire sanctification. Believers may and should seek a subsequent work of God where through grace imparted by the Spirit, they are made full of the love of God. However, as Wesley cautioned, there is no state of Christian existence wherein there does not admit an increase in love for God and neighbor. For Wesley and for Christians in the Wesleyan-Holiness tradition, the Christian life of faith always holds out the potential of ever-increasing likeness to Christ in love through the gracious indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit.
—Dr Neil D. Anderson, Department of Bible and Theology, Asbury University

~Deut
Nice, can you also provide the hyperlink for me to reference? Thanks.
 
Jan 12, 2019
7,497
1,399
113
#99
Wonderfully well documented: I am not Methodist myself, but live in an area that is heavily Methodist. Not a one of them has ever said anything to me that makes me think they believe that salvation is by works.

When looked at carefully, the quote given by the OP matches exactly with the quote given here by Deuteronomy.

Methodists believe that salvation is by faith in Christ alone, but that this faith will produce works in a person in the process of sanctification. Holy living was a very important part of Wesley's teaching.
So do you think this view that True saving faith = Salvation + Works explains what most Methodists believe in?
 

Deuteronomy

Well-known member
Jun 11, 2018
2,413
2,663
113
65
Nice, can you also provide the hyperlink for me to reference? Thanks.
Yes. https://www.asbury.edu/about/spiritual-vitality/faith/wesleyan-holiness-theology/

Sorry about that, I must have forgotten to do so as I always try to link the articles that I post here if I've found them on the Internet.

So do you think this view that True saving faith = Salvation + Works explains what most Methodists believe in?
Yes. I've never known of a Methodist who believes that Saving Faith + Works = Salvation, like our Roman Catholic friends do.

~Deut