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Wesley Theology Outline

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Wesleyan Theology in Outline Form

John Wesley is much like the Apostle Paul in the development of his theology in that it evolved as the needs arose rather than in an organized, systematic manner. The vast majority of Wesley's theological insights are found in his sermons directed to real human needs and existential concerns as he encountered them.

He is eclectic rather than original. Over a period of time, he borrowed theological insights from numerous sources to weave an evangelical theology. It is evangelical in that it is adamantly biblio centric and revolves around personal salvation in Jesus Christ, beginning with prevenient grace and concluding with final perfection.

I.     PREVENIENT GRACE AND UNIVERSAL ATONEMENT

A.    Prevenient Grace

1. God's love extends to all human beings, even those who neither love nor fear him.

2. Before the Gospel is ever heard. God's love is active in our lives.

3. Prevenient grace provokes a fundamental knowledge of the difference between good and evil which we know as conscience.

4. Prevenient grace marks the beginning of God's work of salvation and is present in all human beings.

B.     Universal Atonement

1. The atonement for Wesley is God's act in the death of Christ.

2. This act has provided the grace by which we can be restored to His favor through the death of Christ on the cross.

3. This atonement is universal in that its benefits are free and open to all human kind who accept God's offer of salvation in

 Jesus Christ.

II.    JUSTIFICATION BY GRACE THROUGH FAITH

1. Prevenient grace begins the movement of the soul toward the claims of the Gospel

2. Scriptural salvation is grace by faith, so that grace and faith stand in a dynamic relationship. This grace is known

as "Saving Grace."

3. This is the grace which enables us to accept what God wants to give us.

4. Faith is vitally related to grace, since faith is the gift of god which enables us to respond to grace.

5. Justification by grace through faith occurs once in a lifetime which marks the beginning of our spiritual pilgrimage culminating in final salvation.

III.    ASSURANCE

1. Christians can be assured of the forgiveness of sins and the release from guilt that is available to every person through the gift of prevenient grace.

2. Even with this assurance, there still exists the possibility for one to suffer a "relapse into sin and fear." This is "falling from grace."

3. Even though we can be sure of God's promises, human nature is weak and vulnerable.

IV.    SANCT1FICATION

1. Salvation begins at the moment of justification by grace through faith and extends to life beyond the grave.

2. Sanctification is a progressive, dynamic life-style which each day, puts us closer to what God would have us be.

3. Sometimes called perfection, sanctification does not refer to sinless perfection in this present life, but perfection of intent.

4. As we grow in "holiness of life," we become involved as disciples of Christ, applying His teachings to every facet of our existence.

5. Final salvation occurs when we leave this life and stand before our Lord. At that time we will be made perfect in the full sense of the word.

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