Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Wesley: "Means of Grace" 2

Paraphrasing Wesley's sermon, "Means of Grace" in contemporary English.

Part 1

Now Part 2

5. At the same time, in their zeal for the glory of God, in their attempt to recover souls from the fatal delusion that ritual acts are effective in themselves, isn't it strange that some of these individuals would speak as if "outward religion"--things like prayers, reading Scriptures, and communion--is completely meaningless and has no place in following Christ? Certainly it was because they were strongly convinced that the abuse of these "ordinances," these God-ordained activities, had spread across the whole church and almost driven true religion out of the world. It isn't surprising at all that they have not always been careful enough as they have expressed themselves. If you weren't careful, someone listening might think they were saying that all outward actions were completely useless and not actually designed by God to be the normal way God conveys his grace to our souls.

Indeed, it is possible that some of these holy voices did themselves fall extensively into this position. I'm thinking especially here of those who were cut off from these ordinances, not by choice, but in God's providence. Some  were forced to wander the earth with no place to live, even living in the caves and crannies of the earth. Since they were able to experience the grace of God directly, because they were deprived of these outward means in the Church, some might easily have jumped to the conclusion that grace would still be given to those who intentionally stay away from them...

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