Madeline Stickler
Reading Response #6
Rel 1350- Ryan
March 18, 2016

"Christians Are Not Perfect"

John Wesley was a great theologian who through his genius managed to blend two traditions or concerns together to produce a work that is to this day used and embraced by the Methodist Church. Wesley himself described his own journey as rigid and his faith in three steps via salutis. Given his past and the road he took; one might say that he may not have been as well organized a theologian as Luther or Calvin but this does not delineate the value of his work. The Reformation period strongly believed that all humans needed God\'s grace and that as humans we were unable to save ourselves.
The Arminianism view of salvation was based on a conditional election and Wesley was always in search and inquiring about the experiences of people involving their religious life and spirituality could not totally agree with either view but found a way to combine these two views together. It is most likely most prominent in the Methodist movement and found in various other evangelical circles today. It stands in contrast to Calvinism, with which it has a long history of debate. Arminians as well as Calvinists appeal to various Scriptures and the early church fathers to support their respective views, however the differences remain — particularly as related to the sovereignty of God in salvation and the ideas of election and predestination.
Wesley first identifies original sin as the culprit which is found in Genesis 1:27 which states that "God created humankind in his image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them".  Wesley points out that God created both male and female in a perfect state and based upon this at the time we were considered good. As good humans we were devoid of sin and filled with righteousness. However, we failed to remain in this state of goodness and righteousness. After being disobedient and committing the sin against God, humans fell and lost their righteous position and love from God. Wesley believed this death was a spiritual death and later transpired into a bodily death which left us separated from God with not hope. As Wesley said, "Christians are not perfect," but that Christians can purify their hearts through faith and can be made A growing relationship with God that allows the Christian to grow in maturity which allows God to shape our hearts and lives to become more holy like Jesus is what Methodists call sanctification. Wesley believes that sanctification changes the believer\'s life from sinfulness to holiness. As we continue to grow into holiness we become dead to sin and alive in God. This process of righteousness is channeled from Jesus Christ to God. It does not mean that we are perfect. We still are capable of making mistakes. This can be accomplished by surrounding ourselves within a community such as a prayer group, worship, and praying, like here at Baylor University. It should be noted, however, that this holiness of living and is distinct from the righteousness reckoned to us by God. Wesley\'s way of salvation for the Christian life sought transformation through God\'s grace and we should continue to seek this divine grace on our journey as well.

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