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Lindström: Faith & Final Salvation


"Thus the condition necessary to final salvation coincides fairly closely with that necessary to the maintenance of the Christian life in general. In both cases it is a matter of the faith active in love. This is because Wesley regards the Christian life as a process of salvation leading to perfection. If the Christian continues in faith he will also develop in faith. So the Christian life is seen as a ripening process and by passing through it man is qualified for glorification and final salvation. A gradual development begins after new birth. ‘From that time (unless he make shipwreck of the faith) salvation gradually increases in his soul. For 'so is the kingdom of God, as if a man should cast seed into the ground; and it springeth up, first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear'.’ When man begins to believe, sanctification begins too. ‘And as faith increases, holiness increases, till we are created anew.’

“In Wesley's opinion, then, the Christian need feel no anxiety over his final salvation, if he remains in faith. At the same time, however, the Christian life is directed towards perfection in a way typical of Wesley's teleological outlook. The Christian must leave the first milestones of his path well behind him and seek perfect sanctification. This is essential if we are to ‘see the Lord’ in glory, but ‘none who seeks it sincerely shall or can die without it; though possibly he may not attain it, till the very article of death.’"

— Harald Lindström, Wesley and Sanctification (1946), Chapter 6.

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