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jlosinski
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Joined: 2006/9/11
Posts: 294
North Pole, Alaska

 Did John Wesley ever claim to be entirely sanctified?

Not trying to start an argument, just curious if he ever made this claim or not. If you know one way or the other, please provide references.
Joe

 2010/5/7 16:32Profile
twayneb
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Joined: 2009/4/5
Posts: 2007
Joplin, Missouri

 Re: Did John Wesley ever claim to be entirely sanctified?

But if there be no such second change; if there be no instantaneous change after justification; if there be none but a gradual work of God as well as we can, to remain full of sin till death.

As to the manner, (that there is a gradual work none denies), then we must be content, I believe this perfection is always wrought in the soul by a simple act of faith: consequently in an instant. Certainly sanctification (in the proper sense) is an instantaneous deliverance from all sin.
–Wesley, Sermons.

Not only sin, properly so-called, that is, a voluntary transgression of a divine law; but sin, improperly so-called, that is, involuntary transgression of a divine law, known or unknown, needs the atoning blood. I believe there is no such perfection in this life as excludes these involuntary transgressions, which I apprehend to be naturally consequent on the ignorance and mistakes inseparable from mortality.

Therefore, sinless perfection is a phrase I never use, lest I should seem to contradict myself. I believe a person filled with the love of God is still liable to involuntary transgressions.
–Wesley, Plain Account, p. 43.

But does not sanctification shine by its own light? And does not the new birth too? Sometimes it does, and so does sanctification; at others, it does not. In the hour of temptation, Satan clouds the work of God, and injects various doubts and reasonings, especially in those who have either very weak or very strong understandings.

At such times, there is absolute need of that witness, without which, the work of sanctification not only could not be discerned, but could no longer subsist. Were it not for this, the soul could not then abide in the love of God; much less could it rejoice evermore, and in everything give thanks. In these circumstances, therefore, a direct testimony that we are sanctified, is necessary in the highest degree.”
–Wesley, Plain Account, p. 75, 76.

I found these quotes doing a short search for John Wesley and Entire Sanctification.

Some may not know that modern American pentecostalism was birthed out of Wesleyan Methodism. Parham is often credited as being the father of pentecostalism in 20th century America. He was a Methodist. So the group I grew up in taught salvation by grace, entire sanctification as a second definite work of grace, and the baptism of the Holy Spirit accompanied by gifts as the Spirit wills and tongues.

Unfortunately, as you will probably find in researching this topic, many confused entire sanctification, meaning spirit, soul and body (1 Thess. 5:23) with a state of sinless perfection where we find ourselves never missing the mark. I don't find this teaching with Wesley. Quite the contrary, I find early Methodists teaching that entire sanctification causes in every believer a power to come that gives greater victory over sin.

Charles Parham believed a rather strange, I think, version of this that I don't believe Wesley taught. There may be some with more knowledge of Wesley than me that can correct or corroborate. Parham believed that a man was not truly born again until he was "sanctified" as a second work of grace. He taught justification as a separate work from re-birth and only gave us a "fire escape" provided we did not have any unrepentant sin after justification. He taught sanctification removed the sin nature that remained even after being forgiven of past sins because that was the poin at which our spirit was born again. So salvation dealt only with past sin and sanctification the point at which the spirit was reborn. Although I was taught this my whole life, I came to see that it did not pass Biblical muster if one really digs into what Jesus and the apostles taught about salvation. I think a great deal of the holiness pentecostal movement was influenced by Parham and later Seymore and stuck to these doctrines.

A man by the name of Durham was at Azusa street and taught what is called the "finished work" doctrine. He believed that the work of rebirth (sanctification of spirit) occurred at salvation and that the rest of our sanctification was a walking out of a reality in our spirit. The entire work of salvation, including rebirth, was finished at calvary, hence the name. This doctrine cause no small rift and split the work a Azusa. The Assemblies of God and other pentecostal movements came out of Durham's work. The difference in doctrine remains to this day.

I personally see Durham's teaching as more Biblically accurate than Parham's or Seymore's, although I am glad of my heritage as it instilled in me a desire to see the power of God manifest as it was in Parham's meetings and at Azusa Street. Isn't it cool that God will move among us in a powerful way even if we don't have our doctrine all figured out.



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Travis

 2010/5/8 9:29Profile









 Re:

Many people misinterpret Wesley so that they can find an excuse for their continuing sins, but he did not mean mistakes in the way they want it to mean :

"Q. But how can a liableness to mistake consist with perfect love? Is not a person who is perfected in love every moment under its influence? And can any mistake flow from pure love?

"A. I answer, (1.) Many mistakes may consist with pure love; (2.) Some may accidentally flow from it: I mean, love itself may incline us to mistake. The pure love of our neighbour, springing from the love of God, thinketh no evil, believeth and hopeth all things. Now, this very temper, unsuspicious, ready to believe and hope the best of all men, may occasion our thinking some men better than they really are. Here then is a manifest mistake, accidentally flowing from pure love.

For instance: Even one that is perfected in love may mistake with regard to another person, and may think him, in a particular case, to be more or less faulty than he really is. And hence he may speak to him with more or less severity than the truth requires. And in this sense, (though that be not the primary meaning of St. James,) 'in many things we offend all.' This therefore is no proof at all, that the person so speaking is not perfect."

Wesley is saying that mistakes are errors of judgement which we are liable to make as we cannot have perfect knowledge in this life. He is not saying that sins are no longer called sins if one has a `pure heart`. If one has a pure heart then one does not sin - period. We are speaking of obeying the sermon on the mount - all of the time. One cannot sin and remain entirely sanctified and there is no misnaming sin on God`s side - sin is sin and is not to be in the life of the saved.

Wesley said he did not like to use the term sinless perfection but that is what he teaches - mostly - there is one place that seems to contradict but many texts from the past have been interfered with and especially when it comes to this doctrine. He said he did not like to use the term because it was hotly debated by those who did not understand what it means. It does not mean that one can never sin again - we always can fall, but when we are in this blessed state we do not sin at all otherwise we fall from it.

I am not sure if Wesley was ES`ed but he certainly had done his reading on those who had. I think maybe he only got to the point of illumination which is the second stage and many today are in that level but they do not go on to the fullness which is union with Christ and a real deliverence from the sin nature.

I heard that he was ES`ed near the end of his life but I am still seeking for a ref.

Brenda

 2010/5/8 9:59
sojourner7
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Joined: 2007/6/27
Posts: 1573
Omaha, NE

 Re: Did John Wesley ever claim to be entirely sanctified?

What matters is Wesley believed that GOD will
sanctify us entirely by the work of His Holy
Spirit within. How many of us today are bold
enough to believe GOD will do as HE promised??

I think Wesley's consuming passion to seek and
save souls speaks volumes about His consecration!!


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Martin G. Smith

 2010/5/8 13:29Profile
jlosinski
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Joined: 2006/9/11
Posts: 294
North Pole, Alaska

 Re:

Thanks for the replies, still no definite answer on whether he claimed to have been or not?
Joe

 2010/5/9 3:57Profile
jlosinski
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Joined: 2006/9/11
Posts: 294
North Pole, Alaska

 Re:

I've heard that he never claimed to have been, but don't have a reference for that claim.

 2010/5/10 10:19Profile
twayneb
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Joined: 2009/4/5
Posts: 2007
Joplin, Missouri

 Re:

I find it a little hard to believe that someone who taught that doctrine so strongly would not claim to have experienced what he taught, but that is only surmising.

It is worthy of note that he did not equate entire sanctification with "christian perfection", or at least did not seem to from what I have read.


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Travis

 2010/5/10 16:48Profile
JoanM
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Joined: 2008/4/7
Posts: 797


 Re: Did John Wesley ever claim to be entirely sanctified?


A Plain Account of Christian Perfection by John Wesley can be found here:(http://wesley.nnu.edu/john_wesley/plain_account). #10 says "In this I described a perfect Christian, placing in the front, 'Not as though I had already attained.'" I understand that to mean he did not consider himself to have attained to being a perfect Christian. I leave it to you and others to discuss whether "entirely sanctified" and "a perfect Christian" are the same thing.

 2010/5/11 0:21Profile
jlosinski
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Joined: 2006/9/11
Posts: 294
North Pole, Alaska

 Re:

Hmm, will do.

 2010/5/11 12:53Profile
RobertW
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Joined: 2004/2/12
Posts: 4636
Independence, Missouri

 Re:

Quote:
I find it a little hard to believe that someone who taught that doctrine so strongly would not claim to have experienced what he taught, but that is only surmising



I think it is fair to say that Wesley's approach was such that he wanted to let God be true rather than his own experience.


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Robert Wurtz II

 2010/5/11 13:55Profile





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