Saturday, October 2, 2010

From servant to saint

"We are all agreed we may be saved from all sin before death - that is, from all sinful tempers and desires. The substance, then is settled. But as to the circumstances, is the change gradual or instantaneous? It is both the one and the other. 'But should we in preaching insist both on one and the other?' Certainly we should insist on the gradual change, and that earnestly
and continually.

And are there not reasons why we should insist on the instantaneous change? If there be such a blessed change before death, should we not encourage all believers to expect it? And the rather, because constant experience shows the more earnestly they expect this, the more swiftly and steadily does the gradual work of God go on in their souls, the more careful are they to grow in grace, the more zealous of good works and the more punctual in their attendance on all the ordinances of God.

Whereas, just the contrary effects are observed whenever this expectation ceases. They are saved by hope, by this hope of a total change, with a gradually increasing salvation. Destroy this hope, and that salvation stands still, or rather decreases daily. Therefore, whoever would advance the gradual change in believers should strongly insist on the instantaneous." ~ John Wesley