JANUARY 17, 2018

A Word from John Wesley
And first let us inquire, What is salvation? The salvation which is here spoken of is not what is frequently understood by that word, the going to heaven, eternal happiness. It is not the soul’s going to paradise, termed by our Lord, ‘Abraham’s bosom’. It is not a blessing which lies on the other side death, or (as we usually speak) in the other world. The very words of the text itself put this beyond all question. ‘Ye are saved.’ It is not something at a distance: it is a present thing, a blessing which, through the free mercy of God, ye are now in possession of. Nay, the words may be rendered, and that with equal propriety, ‘Ye have been saved.’ So that the salvation which is here spoken of might be extended to the entire work of God, from the first dawning of grace in the soul till it is consummated in glory. – Sermon 43: “The Scripture Way of Salvation,” § I.1.

A Hymn from Charles Wesley
Author of faith, eternal Word,
Whose Spirit breathes the active flame,
Faith, like its finisher and Lord,
Today as yesterday the same.

To thee our humble hearts aspire,
And ask the gift unspeakable:
Increase in us the kindled fire,
In us the work of faith fulfil.

By faith we know thee strong to save
(Save us, a present Saviour thou!)
Whate’er we hope, by faith we have,
Future and past subsisting now.
(Collection-1781, #92: 1, 2, 3)

Questions for Reflection:

  1. In John Wesley believed that salvation is “the entire work of God, from the first dawning of grace in the soul till it is consummated in glory.” Do you agree or disagree? Why?
  2. What is the meaning of Charles Wesley’s hymn for us today?
  3. Charles Wesley has a very strong understanding of faith. Do you agree that “Whate’er we hope, by faith we have, / Future and past subsisting now.”

Prayer*
Insistent God, by night and day you summon your slumbering people. So stir us with your voice and enlighten our lives with your grace that we give ourselves fully to Christ’s call to mission and ministry. Amen.

*The Wesley excerpts are from A Disciple’s Journal—2018: A Guide for Daily Prayer, Bible Reading, and Discipleship, by Steven W. Manskar. Copyright © 2018 Discipleship Resources, Nashville, Tennessee. All rights reserved. Used by permission.  The prayer is reprinted with permission from Revised Common Lectionary Prayers, copyright © 2002, Consultation on Common Texts.