Sunday, October 18, 2009
Assurance before confidence
"It is by this faith . . . that we receive Christ . . . But is this the faith of assurance, or faith of adherence? The Scripture mentions no such distinction . . . And it is certain, this faith necessarily implies an assurance . . . that Christ loved me, and gave Himself for me. For 'he that believeth' with the true living faith 'hath the witness in himself': 'the Spirit witnesseth with his spirit that he is a child of God.' 'Because he is a son, God hath sent forth the Spirit of His Son into his heart, crying, Abba, Father'; giving him an assurance that he is so, and a childlike confidence in Him. But let it be observed, that, in the very nature of the thing, the assurance goes before the confidence. For a man cannot have a childlike confidence in God till he knows he is a child of God. Therefore, confidence, trust, reliance, adherence, or whatever else it be called, is not the first, as some have supposed, but the second, branch or act of faith. " ~ John Wesley in "The Scripture Way of Salvation"