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Saturday, March 08, 2014

John Wesley's Biblical support for teaching holiness

John Wesley should be known for several things, such as his concern for the poor. During his last days, he supported William Wilberforce's eventually successful fight to make the slave trade illegal. One thing that he is known for is his belief in holiness, his proposal that Christians should be entirely sanctified. His idea of holiness, sanctification, or Christian perfection, didn't mean that Christians, including himself, would never make mistakes. It did mean that it was possible for a Christian, with the help of the Holy Spirit, to refrain from deliberately disobeying God, and to love God appropriately.

A recent post lists Biblical references to what the poster calls Wesley's thirty texts in support of this doctrine. I have used that list, and fleshed it out, from the public domain World English Bible. Here is the list, fleshed out by quotations from that Bible:

Ezekiel 36:25 I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean. I will cleanse you from all your filthiness, and from all your idols. 26 I will also give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit within you. I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh. 29 I will save you from all your uncleanness. I will call for the grain, and will multiply it, and lay no famine on you.
Matthew 5:8 Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they shall see God.
48 Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.
6:10 Let your Kingdom come. Let your will be done, as in heaven, so on earth.
22:37 Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ (Quoting Deuteronomy 6:5)

John 8:34 Jesus answered them, “Most certainly I tell you, everyone who commits sin is the bondservant of sin. 35 A bondservant doesn’t live in the house forever. A son remains forever. 36 If therefore the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.
17:7  Sanctify them in your truth. Your word is truth. 20 Not for these only do I pray, but for those also who will believe in me through their word, 21 that they may all be one; even as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be one in us; that the world may believe that you sent me. 22 The glory which you have given me, I have given to them; that they may be one, even as we are one; 23 I in them, and you in me, that they may be perfected into one; that the world may know that you sent me, and loved them, even as you loved me.

Romans 2:29 but he is a Jew who is one inwardly, and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit not in the letter; whose praise is not from men, but from God.
12:1 Therefore I urge you, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service. 2 Don’t be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what is the good, well-pleasing, and perfect will of God.

2 Corinthians 7:1 Having therefore these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.

Galatians  2:20 I have been crucified with Christ, and it is no longer I that live, but Christ living in me. That life which I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself up for me.

Ephesians 3:14 For this cause, I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, 3:15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, 3:16 that he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, that you may be strengthened with power through his Spirit in the inward man; 3:17 that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; to the end that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 3:18 may be strengthened to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 3:19 and to know Christ’s love which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
5:27 that he might present the assembly to himself gloriously, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.

Philippians 3:15 Let us therefore, as many as are perfect, think this way. If in anything you think otherwise, God will also reveal that to you.

1 Thessalonians 5:23 May the God of peace himself sanctify you completely. May your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Titus 2:11 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, 2:12 instructing us to the intent that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we would live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world; 2:13 looking for the blessed hope and appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ; 2:14 who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify for himself a people for his own possession, zealous for good works.

Hebrews 6:1 Therefore leaving the teaching of the first principles of Christ, let us press on to perfection—not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works, of faith toward God,
7:25 Therefore he is also able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, seeing that he lives forever to make intercession for them.
10:14 For by one offering he has perfected forever those who are being sanctified.
12:14 Follow after peace with all men, and the sanctification without which no man will see the Lord,

James 1:4 Let endurance have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

1 John 1:5 This is the message which we have heard from him and announce to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. 1:6 If we say that we have fellowship with him and walk in the darkness, we lie, and don’t tell the truth. 1:7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ, his Son, cleanses us from all sin. 1:8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous to forgive us the sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
 3:3 Everyone who has this hope set on him purifies himself, even as he is pure.
 3:8 He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. To this end the Son of God was revealed, that he might destroy the works of the devil. 3:9 Whoever is born of God doesn’t commit sin, because his seed remains in him; and he can’t sin, because he is born of God. 3:10 In this the children of God are revealed, and the children of the devil. Whoever doesn’t do righteousness is not of God, neither is he who doesn’t love his brother.
 5:13 These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God.

Thanks for reading!

2 comments:

i am Grateful... Kerry i am. said...

God words Martin. Appreciate your life.

Martin LaBar said...

Thanks, Kerry i am.

As you know, you pointed out the post that is referred to above.