Wednesday with the Wesleys

Q. 1. What is it to be justified?

A. To be pardoned and received into God’s favour and into such a state that, if we continue therein, we shall be finally saved.

Q. 2. Is faith the condition of justification?

A. Yes, for everyone who believeth not is condemned and everyone who believes is justified.

Q. 3. But must not repentance and works meet for repentance go before faith?

A. Without doubt, if by repentance you mean conviction of sin, and by works meet for repentance, obeying God as far as we can, forgiving our brother, leaving off from evil, doing good and using his ordinances according to the power we have received.

Q. 4. What is faith?

A. Faith, in general, is a divine supernatural έλεγχος[“evidence,” “manifestation”] of things not seen, i.e. of past, future, or spiritual things.’Tis a spiritual sight of God and the things of God.4 Therefore, repentance is a low species of faith, i.e. a supernatural sense of an offended God. Justifying faith is a supernatural inward sense or sight of God in Christ reconciling the world unto himself. First, a sinner is convinced by the Holy Ghost: “Christ loved me and gave himself for me.” This is that faith by which he is justified, or pardoned, the moment he receives it. Immediately the same Spirit bears witness, “Thou art pardoned, thou hast redemption in his blood.” And this is saving faith, whereby the love of God is shed abroad in his heart.

Q. 5. Have all true Christians this faith? May not a man be justified and not know it?

A. That all true Christians have this faith, even such a faith as implies an assurance of God’s love, appears from Rom. 8:15, Eph. 4:32, 2 Cor. 13:5, Heb. 8:10, 1 Jn. 4:10 and 19.5 And that no man can be justified and not know it appears farther from the very nature of things —for faith after repentance is ease after pain, rest after toil, light after darkness —and from the immediate as well as distant fruits.

“Minutes of 1744” the first Methodist conference

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