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Holiness & The Means of Grace





Wesley&Sanctification-bk
From an old (1946) study of the theology of John Wesley (emphasis mine):

"We see that Wesley gives the order of salvation the form of a process aiming at the perfection of man. With this teleological aim his conception of salvation must obviously be determined principally by the idea of sanctification.

"If we turn now to his view of the means of grace, we shall again see that the emphasis is laid on sanctification.
The means of grace are regarded as the usual channels by which God accords to man His prevenient, justifying, and sanctifying grace. Wesley is insistent that the means of grace should be used, but at the same time he is careful to warn against their misuse. They are means and must not be turned into ends. As means they must be vigorously subordinated to their ends, the chief of which is the ethical change of man. The function of the means of grace is to 'advance inward holiness,' to 'conduce to the knowledge and love of God.' They are ordained 'not for their own sake, but in order to the renewal of your soul in righteousness and true holiness.' The stress is put on sanctification, not on favor Dei and forgiveness. Grace is here seen primarily as a gratia infusa, which effects a real, inherent change in the human soul. It is not the idea of solace, but the idea of power that moulds Wesley's conception of grace."

— Harald Lindström, Wesley and Sanctification: A Study in the Doctrine of Salvation (1946)
Chapter 3 "Sanctification and the Order of Salvation".
(This is toward the end of the chapter.)






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