Because the use of language changes with the passage of time, the wording in these excerpts has been slightly updated, based on the adaptation found in Renew My Heart (Barbour Books, 2011).
The following is from John Wesley’s sermon, “Salvation by Faith.” A link to the full text of the original sermon is included in the links below.
|For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves;
it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9 NKJV)
Salvation by faith must be preached as the first doctrine, and it must be preached to all. The Holy Spirit says, through St. Paul, “No other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 3:11).
“Whoever believes on Him shall be saved” is, and must be, the foundation to all else. That is, it must be preached first, and it must be preached to all. We must exclude no one. Not the poor. Not the unlearned. Not the young. For our commission is, “Go and preach the gospel to every creature.”
Never has maintaining the doctrine of salvation by faith been more seasonable that at this day. Nothing but this doctrine can effectually prevent the increase of delusions among us. Attacking one by one all the errors that assail us would be endless. But salvation by faith strikes at the root, and all errors fall at once where this truth is established.
It is this doctrine, justly called the strong rock and foundation of the Christian religion, that first established Christianity on this continent. It is this alone that can save us now.Nothing but this can give a check to the immorality which has overspread the land as a flood.
Can you empty the ocean drop by drop? But let the righteousness which is of God by faith be brought in and the waves shall be stayed.
Nothing but this can stop the mouths of those who “glory in their shame” and openly deny the Lord that bought them.
Bring in the gospel. Begin with the righteousness of faith, with Christ, “the end of the law” to everyone who believes (Romans 10:4).
Declaring salvation by faith strikes at the very foundations of hell. For this reason, our adversary stirred up earth and hell to destroy those who first preached it.
[But do not fear.] Even though you are as helpless and weak as a young infant, the strong man, Satan, will not be able to stand before you. You will prevail over him and subdue him, and overthrow him, and trample him under your feet.
March on, under the great captain of your salvation, conquering and to conquer, until all your enemies are destroyed, and “death is swallowed up in victory” (1 Corinthians 15:54). Thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!
Adapted in part from Renew My Heart,
published by Barbour Publishing, Inc. Used by permission.
|•||A word from Mr. Wesley: ‘Salvation by faith’|
|•||Podcast: John Wesley on ‘The New Birth’|
|•||Podcast: Donald English — Aldersgate Day address, 1988|
|•||Podcast: Bishop Gerald Kennedy on ‘The Marks of a Methodist’|
|•||Podcast: Billy Abraham on ‘Connecting Doctrine and Evangelism’|
Related articles and information
|•||Salvation by faith (full text) | The Rev. John Wesley (1738) (from The Sermons of John Wesley, 1872 Edition — Thomas Jackson, editor)|
|•||‘By grace are ye saved through faith’ | John Meunier (June 24, 2010)|
|•||This still new doctrine of salvation by faith | John Meunier (Sept. 28, 2010)|