Sunday, November 21, 2010

Barren, notional faith

On January 16, 1751, John Wesley received a letter from a friend that addressed a subject of concern to them both:

~ VERY DEAR SIR, All our preaching at first was pointed at the heart, and almost all our private conversation. "Do you feel the love of God in your heart? Does his Spirit reign there? Do you walk in the Spirit? Is that mind in you which was in Christ?" were frequent questions among us.

But while these Preachers to the heart were going on gloriously in the work of Christ, the false Apostles stepped in, laughed at all heart work, and laughed many of us out of our spiritual senses: For, according to them, we were neither to see, hear, feel, nor taste the powers of the world to come; but to rest contented with what was done for us seventeen hundred years ago.

"The dear Lamb," said they, "has done all for us: We have nothing to do, but to believe." Here was a stroke at the whole work of God in the heart! And ever since this German spirit has . . . caused many to rest in a barren, notional faith, void of that inward power of God unto salvation. ~

Sunday, November 14, 2010

The loss of wresting scripture

“The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God,” Romans 8:16.

~ How many vain men, not understanding what they spake, neither whereof they affirmed, have wrested this Scripture to the great loss, if not the destruction, of their souls! How many have mistaken the voice of their own imagination for this witness of the Spirit of God, and thence idly presumed they were the children of God . . . with what difficulty are they convinced thereof, especially if they have drank deep into that spirit of error! All endeavors to bring them to the knowledge of themselves, they will then account fighting against God; and that vehemence and impetuosity of spirit, which they call "contending earnestly for the faith" sets them so far above all the usual methods of conviction, that we may well say, "With men it is impossible." ~ John Wesley