The Wesley Understanding Of Human Salvation Analysis

2214 Words 9 Pages
The Wesley Understand of Human Salvation
What is salvation? The salvation which is here spoken of is not what is frequently understood by the word, the going to heaven, eternal happiness. ……It is not a blessing which lies on the other side of death….it is a present thing….[it] might be extended to the entire work of God , from the first dawning of grace in the soul till it is consummated in glory (Maddox 143).
Albert C. Outler noted that this sermon has the most extensive history of oral preaching behind it of any of the written sermons; therefore, he recommended it as the best single essay by which to judge Wesley’s soteriology (Maddox 323). Wesley denied here that human salvation is only a future hope; Wesley was also denying that it is
…show more content…
In order to accentuate our absolute our absolute dependence upon God’s grace, he now sharply rejected any suggestion of requisite good works or holiness prior to justification, characterizing all human efforts prior to saving acceptance by God as sin. However, it was not long before he became uncomfortable with implications that some drew from this theme of faith alone (Maddox 149). Wesley’s writing abound with affirmations of the provenience and indispensability of God’s pardoning / empowering grace for human salvation, particularly after 1738. However, such affirmations were tied to recognition that humans may (regrettably) resist God’s gracious salvific overtures, for God’s restoring grace is co-operant (Maddox 147). The co-operant nature of grace entails that we must “put it to work,” as Wesley phrased it in his classic articulation of the co-operant nature of salvation: the 1785 sermon on Philippians 2:12-13, “On Working Out Our Own Salvation” (Maddox 147). The reason for our requisite participation in the process of salvation is not a deficiency in God’s grace, but a quality of God’s character: the God we know in Christ is a God of love who respects our integrity and will not force salvation upon us (Maddox 148). One of the major implications of the co-operant nature of grace is Wesley’s concession of the possibility of Christians becoming apostate, which is in direct contrast to predestination opponents. It is Just as God’s empowering grace does not work irresistibly in initiating our Christian life, so we may resist or slight God’s gracious work within the Christian life, gradually weakening and ultimately dissolving our responsive relationship with God (Maddox

Related Documents