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Theology and Practice of Evangelism - Lesson 14

Wesley and Calvin

God closes doors as well as opens them. The Spirit goes ahead of us and does the work. We just need to show up and be obedient by being faithful and speaking the word. Most people don’t interpret their needs as spiritual. Prevenient grace refers to the work of the Spirit in your life between conception and conversion. Wesley talked about “grace” rather than “the Spirit” so he wouldn’t be labeled an “enthusiast.”

Robert Tuttle, Jr.
Theology and Practice of Evangelism
Lesson 14
Watching Now
Wesley and Calvin

I. Introduction to Wesley and Calvin

A. Historical Context

B. Their Impact on Evangelism

II. Theology and Practice of Evangelism in Wesley's Methodism

A. Wesley's Theological Framework

B. Methodism's Evangelistic Strategies

C. Impact on Evangelism in the Modern Church

III. Theology and Practice of Evangelism in Calvin's Reformed Tradition

A. Calvin's Theological Framework

B. Reformed Tradition's Evangelistic Strategies

C. Impact on Evangelism in the Modern Church

IV. Comparing and Contrasting Wesley and Calvin's Approaches

A. Key Similarities and Differences

B. Influence on Contemporary Evangelism


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Transcript
  • In order to share the Gospel, you must know what it meant, and how people are understanding what you are saying. The gospel core is the least you can believe and still be a Christian. If the least you can believe is sufficient to get you saved, then the least you can believe is the most you can require of anyone.
  • Christianity is the only world religion with an understanding of grace. Your most important ministry will be helping people understand how much God loves them. The heart of the gospel is that God loves you. Sin happens when we attempt to live as if there is no God. God, since the fall has done everything he can to establish relationship. God wants to make himself known to you in a way that you can understand.
  • At the Fall, Satan gained control of the world. Jesus takes it back in Revelation 5 because he meets the qualifications. The core elements of the sermons of the apostles are authoritative proofs, prophecies fulfilled, God’s activities described, apostolic eyewitnesses and miracles proclaimed. You will be heard with authority to the degree you are willing to put your life on the line. You die spiritually when you rationalize sin. Wind moves from high pressure to low pressure. We access the power of the Spirit by repenting and believing. Two sins mentioned throughout scripture are self-reliance and oppressing the poor.
  • The lesson tells the story of a professor who faces personal struggles and overcomes them with the help of faith, healing, and learning to overcome sin, ultimately showing that it's possible to prevail over life's challenges with God's guidance.
  • Through this lesson, you learn the core components of the gospel message, its theological themes, and how to effectively communicate it for evangelism purposes.
  • In this lesson, you gain insight into leveraging your personal, church, and wider spheres of influence to effectively share the Gospel, overcome challenges, and expand your evangelistic reach.
  • Gain insights into ministry experiences and the power of faith, prayer, personal testimony, and baptism stories to navigate emergency situations that are bigger than yourself.
  • You will learn from this lesson that you are uniquely equipped to minister to those in your sphere of influence and that the church is indispensable for your survival. By treating others with respect and recognizing each person's importance, the church can become the living, breathing body of Jesus Christ.
  • In this lesson, you will learn that people are often hurting, angry, lonely, or tired, ministry requires dependence on God and rejection is important, preaching the text is key, our weaknesses can be our strengths, and close community is crucial for doing the work of the kingdom, while leading someone to Christ without providing ample opportunity for growth and nurture is a mistake.
  • In this lesson, you will learn about Charlie Haley, a man with a pastoral background who is currently involved in retreat ministry and considering going into the mission field abroad. The lesson covers topics related to evangelism and ministry, including tract ministry, follow-up and discipleship, and the importance of love and forgiveness within one's sphere of influence. The lesson also discusses the importance of building relationships and addressing felt needs with spiritual solutions.
  • This lecture begins as Dr. Tuttle is relating a story about a lady he met on an airplane. Jesus chose people as disciples that he could demonstrate by showing and telling them, and then depend on them to reproduce what they had been shown and taught. When Jesus gets too close, we raise the religious question to change the subject. As a result of the sin in the garden, we lost our ability to perceive reality beyond the senses. The Holy Spirit came, not to compensate for the absence of Jesus, but to guarantee his presence. We hold the truth, but the world sets the agenda and has the right to ask its own questions.
  • Often, it is implied that once you commit your life to Christ, all your problems are solved. The Hebrew concept of soul is body, mind and spirit. The Greek concept is that soul and body are separate, and that soul is good and body is evil. Prophecy and spiritual gifts are essential for the body of Christ to function. In the teaching in mainline churches, there is sometimes a disconnect between faith and life.
  • Trusting the Spirit of God is the key in this lesson. By remembering and trusting the Spirit, one can be utterly dependent upon God and do the hard work in preaching. Dr. Tuttle shares his personal experience of trusting the Spirit and provides context for Paul's second missionary journey, including Paul's conversion and early ministry, Peter's vision, and the conversion of Gentiles. The Spirit of God also taught Saul how Jesus fulfilled all of the Old Testament prophecies about the Messiah.
  • Through a deep exploration of Wesley's Methodism and Calvin's Reformed tradition, you gain an understanding of their respective theological frameworks, evangelistic strategies, and lasting influences on modern evangelism.
  • Through this lesson, you grasp the significance of Wesley's Societies, their organizational structure, theological practices, and the lasting impact on modern church practices.
  • By exploring the Ethiopian Eunuch story, you gain insights on divine guidance, Scripture's role in evangelism, and early church inclusivity, while learning to apply practical evangelistic lessons.
  • Through this lesson, you learn to effectively share the gospel through action evangelism by understanding its theological basis, applying key principles, employing various methods, and overcoming common obstacles.
  • You gain insights into action evangelism's importance, principles, and various methods, while learning to overcome fears and obstacles, and equipping others for effective Gospel sharing.

Dr. Tuttle teaches three critical points around evangelism: how to share your faith story, what evangelism is and how to approach it, and that God has more invested in evangelism than we do – He is in control. God is at work. He wants us to, "show up and pay attention [to the Spirit]," and to care about people enough to "press" them by asking probing questions about what they think and what's going on in their lives.

Evangelism is essentially about the core of the Gospel, ministering in your sphere of influence and sustaining those you reach.

Recommended Books

Can We Talk: Sharing Your Faith in a Pre-Christian World

Can We Talk: Sharing Your Faith in a Pre-Christian World

Those who serve on mission fields in areas where Christian faith is not the dominant religion quickly come to understand a central truth: when one is sharing the gospel, one...

Can We Talk: Sharing Your Faith in a Pre-Christian World

Recommended Books

Can We Talk: Sharing Your Faith in a Pre-Christian World

Can We Talk: Sharing Your Faith in a Pre-Christian World

Those who serve on mission fields in areas where Christian faith is not the dominant religion quickly come to understand a central truth: when one is sharing the gospel, one...

Can We Talk: Sharing Your Faith in a Pre-Christian World

Dr. Robert Tuttle, Jr.
Theology and Practice of Evangelism
TH610-14
Wesley and Calvin
Lesson Transcript

[00:00:00] I'm going to go back just for a moment. Last night and that you'll see from the PowerPoint from last night. Friday, July. No, I mean Thursday, July 14. Meeting felt needs. The reason I didn't feel like I needed to go through all of that. I'd done some of that before. Remember, after all, that's unlike the church. We do ministry in the way we do people. Remember we talked about that last month. How Billy Graham views people as lost as ministry is basically salvation. Oral Roberts views people as ill and out of money. Robert Schuller views people with low self-esteem. James Cone views people as oppressed as ministries liberation. I view people as hot. I'll say here, be humble, but not too humble. We talked about that. What am I learning from those around me that informs my ministry and enables me to do what men do that ministry more effectively? Let me read it again. What? What am I learning from those around me? People can teach you about life and people can teach you about what's going on in their life to make you more effective. Administrators pay attention to what people are doing. I'm always asking people to pray for me. I got on the plane yesterday and sat down next to a man, Baptist preacher. But I didn't talk to him. I suspected he was a preacher. He was reading a little book. Heaven is real. And I suspect that he was a preacher. So I left him alone. I wanted him to have a bad time. But when the plane landed, I said. Do you enjoy that book? You said.

[00:01:55] Yeah, I enjoyed that book. I said, You know, that book helped me. I said, Well, you read that book. I read that book. Anyway, to make a long story short, we're already on the ground right before we leave the jetway. He's got his hands on my head praying for me and praying for this class. That takes, I imagine. Kneeling on the in the jetway. People going by is his Baptist preacher got I mean, he prayed around the world. I didn't care. But I said, help me. I've got to teach a class tonight. I get to teach. I didn't say got to get to teach a class tonight. Can't wait to do it. But I need help. I'm tired. Pray he promised him. And that man. I mean the man. I bet. I bet it made his day. Ask people to pray for you. That's in the jetway, going into the airport with people going around us. Who cares? Get all the help you can ask. People get in the habit of asking people to pray for you. Oh, right, ma'am. Bless me. Bless you. I got you a good blessed. I want some more. Give me a little more that way. Thank you. Thank you. That's good. Well, tell you what. So what I set up was. Yeah, I bet you do. If you're. You don't get some of that spiritual money. Most of the world does not interpret its need at a spiritual, at least initially. Most people do not see their needs in terms of a spiritual want. But I'm telling you, that is the most basic. Need. Everyone the world over has a need to measure up. What am I saying? That our priori innate within all of us? There's that need.

[00:04:01] There's. There's something going on that's making us making people open and receptive to the gospel. I'll give you an example. Today I was going to New Zealand. I may have told you that, but my daddy sitting in the plane next to me. I told you that story. But the landscape architect. What was the key that turned the lock? He made the mistake of asking me why would anyone want to be a minister? He said he was an atheist. Proud of it. Now, did he walk into that or what? All I had to do is say, May I ask you a question? You can know for sure. There really is a God who loves and cares for you and who makes a power available to sustain you in your life. Now, what about played into? Everybody has this need to measure up. You claim to be an atheist. Proud of it. I said, if you can know for sure, there really is a God who loves and cares for you and who makes the power available to sustain you in your life, would you be interested? He said, You bet. I said, That's why I'm a minister. I want to help folks. Just like, you know, there really is a God who loves and cares for you and who makes a power available to sustain you in your life. He said, Tell me more. I've had to be rude not to let it go. Only place it got to hide the toilet and had to be rude not to. Not to lead him to Jesus. Now, where does that come from? That's a spirit thing. I'm not smart enough to pull it off. I'll tell you about the woman on the plane from New York to Los Angeles.

[00:05:25] A very attractive woman dressed to the nines. Reading a book, looking after number one. I tell you about that. Remember about 20 years ago, You know, of course you don't remember. You're not old enough. But about 20, maybe maybe 25 years ago, there was a trilogy written by name, The man named Rinker. Looking out for want number one, Winning through Intimidation. Remember those books? Yeah. Yeah, I told him that. And I said, What do you think of that book? She said, It's the most wonderful book I ever read. I said, What do you do? I work for Gimbels. Tell me about the people who work for you. 30 women worked for her. I said, Tell me two of the of the 30 women who work for you. Describe those who who describe those who subscribe to the philosophy of that book. It's all she had. And then 30 minutes describing the women who work for her, who subscribed to the philosophy, that book, she couldn't turn her back on them. At the time we hit the ground, she left to collect the book on airplane. So she I mean, she just essentially argued against her. Yeah, I didn't have to say a word. All I did was of the. What do you do? I work the games. I'm a buyer for Gamble. I said, do you have people who work for you? 30 women work for me. Of the 30 women who work for you, describe those. That's the thought that described those who subscribe to the philosophy of that book and at 30 minutes and wrote to describing the women who work for her, who subscribe to the philosophy of that book, she realized she couldn't turn it back on them, she couldn't trust them.

[00:06:57] And and and she was completely turned off with this book, thinking it was the most wonderful book in the world. She left it on the airplane. I didn't. I didn't say a word. I just listened to her. This is not rocket science. And I did tell you about the guy who was I think I did watch me in the airport for 30 minutes before we got on the airplane. I got on an airplane and he's chewing on my hair pretty good. Finally he stops mid-sentence and says, What am I doing? I don't talk to people on airplanes. Why am I talking to you? I hadn't opened my mouth. I looked at him and said, I don't know why you're talking to me. Why are you talking to me? He said, you know. I watched you for 30 minutes before you got on an airplane. I'm saying, Whoa, where is this going? He said, I watched you get on an airplane. He was already sitting down. I watched as a big white airplane with, you know, aisles going down two sides. I said, I watched you go down that I watched you come back by the tallest, come back here and sit down next to me. And he said, as I was watching you, I realize nothing intimidates you. What? And he said, I think I know why. I said, Why do you think it means you didn't know my wife, you know? By the way, your wife ought to ought to intimidate you. That's what love is all about. But I said, Why? Why do you think nothing intimidates me? He said, You got lots of money. I laughed. Right. If I said, You're half right. Let me tell you why. Very few things intimidate me.

[00:08:52] This is a no brainer. He just. I mean, he just. He just lay it on me. Oh, this is too easy. This is the way too easy. Lord, what are you doing? Oh, I want to go to someone to take a nap. Please. Anyway, he said I want to meet you. You're talking about hurt. Angry, Lonely. Tired? Yep. A lot of people are hurt, angry, lonely and tired. And you wouldn't know it by looking at them. So it just kind of opened my mind to how it as well. The Navajos. I always assume your guest is hungry, lonely and tired. Always assume that. I know you hurt. And I pray that you get to be better. Feeling better. But I suspect there's something in you that's. Lonely and tired. You work hard. Maybe even angry for all I know. That's okay. I get mad at myself a lot. Very rarely get mad at people. Especially when I'm fussing, you know. Okay, let's move on. Allowing the spirit to work. There's a paper. In the center. God's initiative. Have you read that? I had a chance to look at that. Let me just give you a capsule of this paper. Those of you who have ever done a mass walk, many of you ever done in May as well, you'll recognize recognize this? But Minute Grace is the Holy Spirit at work and everyone between conception and conversion. The Holy Spirit woos or prevents us from moving so far from those so far toward disobedience that we finally understand the claims of the Gospel upon our lives. We are guaranteed the freedom to say yes. Grace, according to Wesley, is defined as the work of the Holy Spirit throughout the world. Should be one word, by the way, throughout.

[00:10:58] Romania. Grace, therefore, is the Holy Spirit at work in everyone between conception and conversion of conception and conversion. This Grace is working everyone the world over preparing him or her for the ministry of the church. Someone has said none can harm him, who does not harm himself. The problem is we have harmed ourselves fatally. Every one of us, by the corruption of our inmost nature is very far gone from righteous, original righteousness so far at this Wesley, so far that every person born into the world deserve both God's wrath and damnation that we, by nature, no power either to help ourselves or even to call upon God to help us. I remember or once I may have had this way. Oral once said a bob were corrupted from the neck down. Our minds. I said all I actually. I said, What? What? Corrupt it from the neck down. Oh. He said. Our minds are left free to reason with our heart. What? Every fiber of your being is corrupt. You crop in the top of your head. I can tell by looking at you to the tips of your toes. If it were not for Provine yet, Grace, you couldn't reason two plus two. By the way, there are now scientists who believe that two plus two no longer equals four. So you're going to talk scientists, you're going to talk size of science to me. As if it were exact. Don't put up with that. Be humble. Don't be too humble. God spears work and you, from the moment you were conceived. Wooing you, loving you. Keeping you from moving so far from the way when you finally understand the claim to the Gospel upon your life, the Holy Spirit guarantees your freedom to say yes.

[00:12:56] One of my earliest mentors described the Gospel as good news, bad news, good news. We've gone through that. So original righteousness comes to the fall. The original good news created the image of God. Righteousness. Brown. Remember? Bad news is we blow it. And the good news God is in Jesus Christ wrecking cell in the world, restoring us to our original righteousness. So it'll be easier to obey God than to disobey God. That's what it means to be a Christian. That's good news. Original writers succumbs to the fall in mark 1024 and five. Jesus name seems to describe the Kingdom of God is almost inaccessible. Then, just as the disciples begin to despair, he says these words with man, This is impossible, but not with God. All things are possible with God. Hallelujah. With God. That's the key and the drama of rescue. God will only play the principal role. God, the initiative. After all, we love God because God first loved us in the miracle of our salvation. Is it work? Is the work of the Spirit in preventing it? Grace. 17th century Scotsman Henrik Google wrote a book titled The Life of God in the Soul of Man. Their Google describes a work of the spirit from cradle to grave. That book so influenced Wesley that he included it and an abridgment of it and his own published works. By the way, that book led George Whitfield to Jesus. Heard of George Whitefield, who could slay thousands, by the way, pronounced Mesopotamia. He was the eloquent preacher. But he's the one who called Wesley to Bristol. He was who came back from Georgia to raise money. Money for his orphanage. The people of London said. If you want to go minister to the heathen, you don't have to go to Georgia, Go to Kingswood, just east of Bristol.

[00:14:49] These miners and there's no one on God's green earth. More heathen than these. These kings would colliers these miners. He said, Well, that's a good idea. I think I'll do it. He rides over to Bristol and the open air preaches to these miners as are coming out of the mines, and they get there. They're getting saved in the thousands. And and so he gets on a horn, calls up Wesley and says, get over here. I don't know how to disciple these folks. And he says, That's your gift. You're the one who you know how to organize people into classes and they are bad. There are no classes back there and the bands. And so Wesley has still has an even though it's after all, he still has that inordinate fear of dying. He thinks he's going to fall among robbers on his way on his horse going to Bristol. But he does it and he sucks it up like he thinks. I mean, I mean, he crossed the North Atlantic in a little boat. Not much bigger than a thimble. Not much bigger than this room. Two rooms together. That partition. I mean, you die crossing the North Atlantic and a little boat like that. But he sucked it up and did it. Bless his heart. He got on his horse. Roger the Bristol as It's April two, 1739. Preachers for the first time in the open air. And guess what? He. He reads his sermon so fast is all you can do to follow his logic. In the open air. Do these Colliers and Wesley SAS and people were slain as if by the finger of God, whereas that in the Bible, somewhere in the Bible I've read it, people were slain as if by the finger of God.

[00:16:27] And there are two societies in place in Bristol. Baldwin, St Nicholas Street. He combine the two laid the cornerstone for a chapel, a reading room. I made 12 month and ten days later, which became the oldest method of travel. That's where I did my work, living in the new room. I'm doing my research in this new room. Lived in Westchester, did my work in Wesley's study. Reading his books with his pencil pencil notes in the margin. You got the preaching at chapel, got preached in his pulpit. And it's not a preaching pulpit anymore. It's a museum. But they opened that pulpit on Advent and land. And I was there at Advent. Candles are there and lit. But they asked me to preach. I said. The very pulpit. Anyway, I date the beginning of the 18th century evangelical revival. April 2nd, 1739. That's when Wesley first preached in the open air and he began gathering these cultures and took into societies. He only preached 15 minutes in the open air, but he preached for hours in those society meetings. It's where he did his teaching. What feels as if it's Google's book, The Life of God in the Soul of Man Doesn't Lead It Lead you to Christ. You're just a stone. Their scholar describes the work of the Holy Spirit, cradle to grave. Wesley uses that expression a lot. Cradle to grave. The book was so influential, influential, Wesley, that he concluded his own works. John actually states that God begins at work and each of us, while we are still in the womb. Jeremiah, prophesied, Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you before you were born. I set you apart. Don't take my word for it. Read the Bible, Luke, because that John the Baptist would be filled with the Holy Spirit even from birth, while he was in his momma, that baby jumped.

[00:18:22] Did they? The 18th century of artist George Whitfield states that this was the book that led him to faith in Jesus Christ. Perhaps it's time for another more sympathetic, systematic approach to the work of the work of the spirit in the life of Christ. From conception to grow, that does not remove the issue solely to the academic cloister. John Wesley states that John the God begins a work, and each of us, while we are still in the womb and so forth. Spirit connect again with us. As with many theological issues, there's a question behind the question before we can discuss Wesley's understanding of preventing it are preventing grace. We must, by the way, Wesley, never use the term prevent it. Grace That's from Augustine. He's the one who first coined that phrase. Wesley used to refer to preventing grace as the spirit of God. Preventing us from moving so far toward bad are so fraught in the way that we finally understand the claims of the Gospel upon our life. The Holy Spirit guarantees our freedom to say Yes. If you cannot say no, your yes is meaningless. We can resist the spirit. The terms prevent justifying a sanctifying grace or simply different ways of describing the work of the Spirit at various points in the life of the same spirit. And you saw I'm in the witness of our own spirit. Wesley writes that by the grace of God is sometimes to be understood that free love, that unmerited mercy. Listen to this. In his sermon, the witness of our own Spirit, Wesley writes that by Grace is sometimes to be understood that free love, that unmerited mercy by which I ascended through the merits of Christ, am now reconciled to God, but in the place but in this actually this place, it rather means that power of God, the Holy Ghost, which work with and us both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

[00:20:06] John Fletcher. Now John Fletcher, Wesley's opponent successor had Wesley not outlived him, makes the same identification between grace and spirit. In fact, Fletcher attempted. By the way, you know who. Who first coined the phrase baptism of the Holy Spirit. I thought Charles Rennie did. I have that written in one of my book. Charles Bennett. I was wrong. John Fletcher first coined that phrase. It's a phrase. You can index it in his works and to Know Me checks against A.A. mechanism. Have you ever heard that? Heard it that checks against and to no mechanism. That was John Fletcher's famous theological treatise You can and there are four volumes checks against Atlanta no modernism and no mean ism against the law or cheap grace. Or are you where you say, but you don't feel like it's important for faith to manifest itself in self service? You know, Wesley says methods that don't fulfill all righteousness deserve the hottest place in the Lake of Fire. Faith has its inevitable fruit. That's why he changed his mind on the mistake later in life. He said there are of manifest fruit that only faith can produce, so they must have it without talking about it, even without understanding it. If your life manifest fruit, then only faith can produce. And you've got faith whether you like it or not, because faith has its inevitable fruit. Why, she said The mystics are the rock upon which I nearly made ship on shipwreck one day and use it their life to illustrate perfection in the next. You can't have it both ways, folks, unless you understand. That there's there's gold and dross within mysticism. Okay. In fact, Fletcher attempted to get West to use the language of the Spirit more openly. Why wouldn't Wesley do it? Why didn't Wesley? Why don't Wesley use the phrase baptism of the Holy Spirit? Are you interested? Because the 18th century was perhaps the most irreligious century in the last 2000 years, really the cesspool of the last two millenniums.

[00:22:09] It was the age of Sir Robert Walpole who said, I'm no saint. That was the understatement of the world. He would say he was debauched. He was the prime minister, you know, Robert Walpole. You could get drunk for a penny. Dead drunk for tuppence. Religion was the burden of a joke that was the age into which John Wesley was born. As a result of the revival, Wesley saw a nation turned around in one generation. But if anybody spoke about religion, you were instantly labeled an enthusiast. By the way, is the great book written by a man named Ronald Knox. No, John Knox. Ronald Knox's brother, Ronald Knox was editor of Punch magazine, which is kind of like The New Yorker. Kind of trendy, kind of intellectual kind of stuff. Wrote a book, Enthusiasm, where he said, Wesley, but the whole of his life remains but a hair's breadth out of his own movement. If you talked about religion, you recall an enthusiast. And since Wesley did not want the Methodist to be referred to as enthusiast, he forbade them to use the language of the spirit. The like the baptism of the Holy, Holy Ghost. And so he disguised as the language of the spirit. With a language of what? Grace. Grace literally means the work of the Holy Spirit, preeminent grace, the work of the Holy Spirit between conception and conversion. Justifying Grace. The work of the Holy Spirit at the point of conversion. Sanctifying grace. The work of the Spirit between conversion and death. So well. I think the sky is the language of the spirit with the language of grace. So the people call Methodists wouldn't be labeled enthusiast. They believed in the work of the spirit. John Fletcher. Various checks to enter.

[00:23:58] No means. Just read the index. Look up the baptism of the Holy Ghost. It's all over the place. And Fletcher tried to get whacked at the usual with the spirit. But he couldn't bring himself to do it. He writes sermons on the witness of the Spirit, but he wouldn't use the phrase permanent grace to find. I say it is not a term unique to John Wesley. In fact, I do not recall he ever used the term. Opting for the word preventing grace. Like the salvation. Ashley Right. Salvation begins with what is usually termed. And very properly prevent it preventing grace, including the first wish to please God. The first dawn of light concerning his will. Actual preventing, preventing, preventing aggression was coined by Agustin. Then the theologians, the old Franciscan School of School, referred to providing a grace as the law which convicted and thereby prepared one for real grace, which came only through the sacraments. The reformers objected. Luther in particular regarded the whole medieval concept of grace as too narrow a degradation or at best, a misapplication of the Word of God. The Reformation, by the way. Interestingly enough, you know what? The Reformation did the work of the Spirit. Calvin says, I don't I don't want Christians having revelations of God while snoring. So Calvin Associates, the work of the spirit, binds the work to the spirit of the Word of God. So the Spirit can only work through the Word of God. Was he reacting? Yeah, yeah, yeah. He was reacting to the fact that the Christians could not read the Bible. Let me read it to you here. The reform bars insisted that grace or God's unmerited favor was imparted not simply through the law, but through the entire Word of God, the Scriptures.

[00:25:57] We should not, therefore, find it surprising that the Spirit was also tied very closely, if not bound, to the Scriptures. I say early. The reformers objected. Luther in particular regarded the whole medieval concept of grace as too narrow. Degradation or at best, a misapplication of the Word of God. The Reformation bias insisted that grace or God's unmerited favor was imparted not simply through the law, as was taught by the church at that time, but through the entire Word of God, the Scriptures. We should not therefore find it surprising that the Spirit was also tied very closely, if not bound, to the Scriptures. To broaden our scope just a bit. Listen to the words of John Calvin as he writes, Wow. But while Paul urges the Thessalonians colonials not to quench the spirit, he does not loftily catch them up to empty speculations. Without the word certainly is a far different sobriety befits the children of God, who just as they see themselves without the Spirit of God, bereft of the whole light of truth, so are not unaware that the word is the instrument by which the Lord dispenses the illumination of His spirit to believers. He says the word, not just the church that dispenses the grace of God. Wesley, although no doubt aware of Calvin's admonition, expanding his own understanding of grace even beyond that of the reformers, to include any work of the spirit by whatever means in the life of the believer. Furthermore, Calvin not only limited the Spirit's work to the Scriptures, he insisted that the quickening of the Word of God and thereby the Spirit was imparted only to the elect. You know all that argument. In his treatise Predestination come to consider, Wesley argues. But you, the Calvinist no one your own conscience.

[00:27:45] God might justly have passed you by ad to not that God might justly, but my unfaithfulness to His permanent grace have given me up long ago, I grant, but that his confession supposes me to have had that provine at grace which you say a reprobate never had. You know what Wesley says? What she said Calvin took Grace to took freedom free will, too far. Well, that Calvin took freewill too far. Why? Because Calvin has this common grace which is available to everyone. Why, she says. And no such thing is common grace. Every fiber of our being a sin prone. If it were not for the Holy Spirit, none of us could say yes to God. He says Calvin takes free, free will too far. We both agree on the total depravity and they have the same. No, no. Close. Close. Total depravity for a reform in reform theology. Believe me, I know what I'm talking about here. I'll tell you when I don't know what I'm talking about. But having told a seminar at Fuller Seminary for those many years. Reform theology. Associate the original sin with Adam Sin. Where does not associate original sin with that on sand, but out of nature. As a result of the fall we become mortal and sin prone. For Calvin, we are condemned for Adam, Sin, wife, etc. condemned for original sin plus actual sin. It is our own sin that condemns us. So when we reach the age, we actually believe that babies who die go to heaven. You don't go to some kind of limbo. And Calvin believe they went to hell. But if you push Calvin too far, he will admit that. Adam's nature is mortal and sin prone baby at born, mortal and sin prone.

[00:29:29] But we're not condemn for Adam sand, but our own sin. So when a baby reaches the age of accountability and deliberately denies God, then that baby, then that child is accountable. But we're not condemned for Adamson. A baby is innocent until they reach the age of accountability. You understand? Your babies die. They're going to heaven, trust me. What do you think the scriptural basis for the age of accountability is? I mean, truly scriptural basis of that is. I've wondered about that. Yeah, that's a good question. It that's a group of. I think it's a great question. Off the top. I don't know that I can give you chapter and verse. I think there was a time in my life when I could off the top, I don't know. I can give you a chapter and verse, but I promise you that it's consistent with the tone of Scripture. We are accountable for our own sin. A member of the man born Blind Jesus, the disciple said, If this. Yeah. But for his own sin that is condemned Jesus, his attitude toward the children. To such belongs the Kingdom of God and their innocence. Seemed to imply that we're condemned for our own sin. Seems to be consistent with the tone of Scripture. Sam came into the world through one man. We know that. We became mortal. And then it just seems to be consistent with the overall tone of scripture. But that's an excellent point. When I when I go to bed at night, I wake up in the middle of night, probably in chapter and verse will occur to me and I will call you. I'll call Murry's what I'll do about 2:00 in the morning. I'm a calmer. I believe it. I just think it applies to.

[00:31:31] I don't see that there's much difference. Children that have never been exposed, that have an ability to know God's love to people that have never had a chance to be exposed. You've heard me say that if God's no respecter persons, if God does not love some people more than other people, then that means God gives every man, woman and child an equal opportunity to respond, if not to the name of the person of Jesus. Did you hear that? So the question is, how can you respond to the person of Jesus without knowing his name? I told you the story about the woman in Manchuria who said so. That's his name. Eternity in their hearts. Don Richardson had the same experience that year in jail here in Iowa. But what do you do with people who, because of abuse or because of a traumatic upbringing, have an inability to receive love? Like an extreme attachment disorder or something like that, and then that transfers over to God, I can't believe. Maybe with their mind they can believe that God loves them with that heart. You can't receive God's love. If I tell you something, we remember it forever. That probably will be your most important ministry working with people just like that because. Tons and tons of people out there. I've already told you that your first priority in ministry is to help people understand that God loves them. So many people. We have so messed them up. But it's almost impossible for them to believe that God loves them. And all you can do is just love them and love them. And love them and love them. And do it appropriately. I can tell a woman I love her as long as I never touch her.

[00:33:23] I've told you, I do a lot of hugging and kissing, but I don't do any hugging and kissing. And we do know the difference. Love people appropriately. Men and women, not just women. Love them appropriately. Some people, you can't tell them you love them. You can demonstrate it, but you cannot say it. You cannot say it because it packs too much. But you can show them love and you can tell them God loves them. But that'll be your most important ministry. Prayer helps a lot. There are tons of people out there. I assume that's the way I view people, not only heart. But this they assume that God does not love them. I had an experience once. I have two I've already told you about my when I was jogging around the Rose Bowl. That was an eye opener for me. When God told me that there was something about me that turns him on. But I remember I was preaching in Kalamazoo, and I forgive me for sharing this with you. But I was preaching in Kalamazoo, Michigan, at Western Michigan University at a big conference of pastors school. Or the bishop and all the pastors were there and. A couple of thousand people. For some reason. God. Just let me up. There's just. No mistake. I mean, what I said that evening occurred in the afternoon was so much bigger than I was. I was, um. I won't stop and take notes. I couldn't believe what was coming out of my mouth. It was so much bigger than I was. Was staying in a dormitory room. I went back to my dorm. I'll never forget looking out the window and said, God. How can you do that? How can you use such a worm? As may as I am.

[00:35:24] How can you do that? And, you know, I sense what God's saying. Don't hear voices, But I got this from Owen. Huh? You know what God said to me? Turtle, you're not much. But you. Some of the best I've got. Embarrasses me to share that with you. But I cannot tell you what that did for me. You're not much, but you're some of the best I've got. Excuse me one more time. I'm some of the What? There's something in me that wants to reject that. Does not want to hear that. I mean, I want to hear it, but I can't hear it. Some of the best you've got. Is the world in that bad a shape? That's what the old me wanted to say. But I heard that word in such a way that I could receive it. I wept like a baby. Well, maybe I can be an instrument of grace. Every one of you has got a story like that. And if you don't, you weren't listening. Pay attention. No. Are you some of the best God's God? Everyone in this room should hear that you're some of the best. God has. God get along without you. But God has chosen not to. God is going to do it in this world. God is going to do it through folks like your God. You're not going to do it. God's going to come back and all of God's own and reclaim God's own out of the rubble. God, I need you. But God has chosen. To use you. God's going to do it through you or God has chosen not to do it. Hell. Let's let Jesus pick up the pieces when he returns on a cloud. That's how much God loves you.

[00:37:26] You're some of the best gods. God. And God has chosen and God has a right to choose. Thank you very much. God is sovereign. We Wesleyan. That's our weakest link, is believing in the sovereignty of God. I want you to blame free will. But only because God's prévient at grace is at work in you. That's your only hope to be able to say yes to God without permanent grace. Your answer is inevitably. What? No, no, no. It's just like a snot nosed kid. No. Only because of the grace of God at work. I knew from the moment of conception can you say yes and God will pursue you to the very gates of hell when you're 95 years old. Determined to go to hell. God, God's spirit is going to be at the very gate. Michael Green says A great guy says churches ought to be rescue shops at the gates of hell. God will pursue you to the very gates of hell. And just before you make the final decision. To do it on your own. Got to make an appeal. I love you. I really do. And here's the wonderful thing. Are you listening? God has called you to ministry because God wants to use you an instrument of grace and effecting eternal change in the hearts and lives of others that will get you out of bed in the morning with a sense of sparkle and anticipation. That'll make life very, very interesting. Okay. Maybe we've had enough of this doctrine applied. Two primary purposes. First, to preserve the integrity of our freedom and of our human response. It guarantees the validity validity of an evangelistic appeal. Such prominent grace is universal. The Holy Spirit guaranteeing that every man, woman and child the world over has an equal opportunity to respond.

[00:39:45] Again in his predestination come to considered Wesley objected to Calvinism just along these lines make this make the case your own here you are a sinner convinced that you deserve the damnation of hell. Sorrow, therefore, and fear have filled your heart. And how should you be comforted by the promise of God? But perhaps you have no part there in. Or they belong only to the elect by the consideration of his love in a tender mercy. But what are these to you? If you are a reprobate? God does not love you at all. Wesley, by the way, could take election if you could. If you could take it without reformation. It's the doctrine of reformation that hung Wesley up. Who could believe that you could be predestined to heaven, but he could not believe you could be predestined to hell. But what are these to you if you are a reprobate? God does not love you at all. You like Esau? He has hit it even from eternity. What's up with that? He? I hate it. The whole context for that passage is covenant. Israel rejected the covenant. You're not saying you hated Thor. He said that Ethan had rejected the Covenant. I'm trying to put that together. But the sacrifice is not worthy. That's an image for rejecting the covenant. Yeah. It's covenant related. It's not that God hated his soul. That's the whole contact with that. Passages Covenant Esau rejected the Covenant. He says. What ground then, can you have for the least shadow of hope? Why? It is possible. And that is all that God's sovereign will may be on your side. Possibly God may save you because He will owe poor encouragement to despairing centers. I fear faith rarely comes by hearing this.

[00:41:37] Wesley's doctor, preeminent grace, gave God the initiative in the Drama of Rescue and his sermon working at our salvation. He said, God, work it. Then you, therefore you can work. Otherwise, it would not. It would be impossible. If he did not work, it would be impossible for you to work out your salvation. That's quote unquote. Without God's permanent grace, our answer to the Gospels claim upon our lives would be the inevitable. No. I might read you this story. I have a close friend named Betty. She happened to be my sister. She's a saint. I married her best friend. Betty loves me so much. It's embarrassing. I have a close friend named Betty who tells of experience in China as an opportunity for ministry. She and her husband had gone there to teach English as a second language. They did it for ten weeks. For ten years. Over the course of several weeks, she had gotten fairly well acquainted with several of her students. By the way, Betty, my sister was a French duke in three years for the University of North Carolina. She worked for Governor Hunt. For a while. She was a principal. Before she started working for the governor. And she goes to China and she's up at 5:00 in the morning. You know, the time change that works. And up at 5:00 in the morning, she hears that she's walking the streets of China. This is way, way long ago. And here's the children voices. So she follows the sound of the children's voices and happens upon a school. Now, the Chinese said, you cannot go to these schools. It's verboten. Verboten. And. But my sister. Believes God. She goes to the school. She finds this grammar school, walks in, it, walks into the school, finds the principal, and says, I'm a principal.

[00:43:33] May I? May I observe? And she said, Not only can you observe. Would you like to teach for us? So for ten weeks, she's up at 5:00 in the morning, going to the school and teaching these Chinese children. They said, you can't go into school. She's teaching in these school. The last day. This is my sister for you. The last day as she's leaving the school. The children serenade her. You know what they were singing? Jesus loves the little children. All the children of the world. Red and yellow. Black and white. They are precious in his eye. Jesus loves the little children of the world. That's my sister, Betty. I have a close friend named Betty who tells of an experience in China as an opportunity for ministry. She and her husband have gone there to teach English as a second language over the course of several weeks. She got fairly well acquainted with several of her students. One of these students was named caller Hannah, since to use her Chinese name would place her in jeopardy. But you cannot be have any religious affiliation in China to be a member of the Communist Party. I think I told you that one of these students will call her Hannah. Essentially, the user Chinese name would put pleasure in jeopardy, was especially resistant to the gospel, although the Temple of Heaven in Beijing might have given her at least some reference to God and the eternal, she would laugh and become argumentative with any reference to the name of Jesus. Among themselves. Betty and her husband began referring to her as hard hearted Hanna. It was Betty's custom to rise early and go to the dining room to pray. On one such occasion, she realized that Hannah, who was preparing the table for breakfast, had been watching.

[00:45:15] Somewhat rebellious surprise, surprised Hannah approached her and asked, Respectfully, Betty, what are you doing? Immediately, in spite of Hannah's formal resistance. Betty. That's it. This is the way stuff happens. Immediately. In spite of Hanna's formal resistance, Betty realized that the Holy Spirit was at work. Without apology, she said, I'm praying. And I ask What? Praying me. What's praying me? Betty added. It's talking to my Heavenly Father in Jesus name. This time Hannah did not resist. But ask further, What does. What does that mean? Talking to your Heavenly Father in Jesus name better then explain. It's just telling him what I need, asking for forgiveness and asking for his guidance and everything I do. He cares about our everyday activities, even my aches and pains. I pray in Jesus name because faith in him assures the forgiveness of my sins, and that seems to make my prayers more personal and gives them more power. Now, she's not a theologian. She's just talking out of her own experience. Jesus says in our Bible that anyone who has seen me has seen the Father and that I am in the father and the father is in me. No doubt this Bible quotation, along with caricatures for everyday activities, must have gotten had his attention. She then asked if Betty would pray to God and Jesus that name to protect her two brothers who were learning to drive a truck. A dangerous occupation in that part of China. Betty promised she would the next day after breakfast, Betty had an impulse. She said, Hannah. Hannah. I'm in real pain. My back is hurting. Would you pray to God to make my back better? Hannah said, I still do not know what prayer is. Once again, Betty explained that praying to God is just like talking to your best friend.

[00:47:06] Imagine Betty's delight when Hannah bout her head and prayed. Hello? God, this is Hannah speaking. You don't know me. I don't even know how to say these words. But please make Betty's back feel better. Please help our American teachers as they help our Chinese teachers to speak English. Help the Chinese teachers with their pronunciation so they can speak and understand the English words. In Jesus name, I pray this prayer. Amen. Smiling Hannah then asked if that was correct. Way to pray, and Betty assured her that it was the next day since Betty's back was better and her own brothers were safe, Hannah, quite unsolicited, asked if she could pray again. This time she prayed. Hello? God, this is Hannah again. Do you remember me? I'm Betty's friend. I spoke to you yesterday about bread is back. Now I want to talk about her daughter who is having a baby. By the way, are you only a Western god? Do I have to talk to you in English? Do you understand Chinese? In Jesus name, Amen. Betty smiled and gave her a hug. In a few short weeks, simply by remaining open to the spirit at work within her and talking to God if she would do a friend, Hannah not only learned how to pray, and in Chinese as well as in English, but came to know the personal person of Jesus Christ and acknowledged his name without further resistance. Hannah and Betty still correspond Berries had tons of Chinese women come live with her and put them through school. She has a missionary heart. I have no doubt that this encounter was the work of God leading hand to the Father through the Son by the Holy Spirit. Again, put this universal work of the Spirit together with a sensitivity to culture in order to communicate the Gospel.

[00:48:49] And one of the keys to communicating the Gospel. Even within the 1040 when it should become apparent. Let God arise. Okay. Okay, the. What's the chart? Let me give you that. Go. Go to your. Have you seen this chart? This is the way I describe the work of the Holy Spirit in the life of the believer. This is my creation. The good the gospel is. Good news. Bad news, Good news. This is one life cycle. If we have more than one, I think it would be important enough to be in the Bible. I don't believe in reincarnation. Good news. Bad news. Good news. Good news is created in the image of God, right? The bad news is that we blow it from the moment of conception. We are mortal and sin prone. And so original sin prevails, moves us away from obedience, down toward disobedience. Now immediate crisis work preventing us from moving so far toward bad that we finally understand the claims of the Gospel upon our life. The Holy Spirit guarantees our freedom to say yes, and baptism accelerates the effects of preventing it. GRACE So we're not moving so quickly. But there's a point of actual sin. Where we become accountable. This is the law of finished death. The law, the spirit of life, the law of sin and death is what The law without the spirit, without the power and all the inclination to obey it. We move from obedience down toward disobedience. At the point of conversion. Justifying grace. Prevailing at grace. Justifying grace. As we repent of our sins and put our faith and trust in Jesus. Holy Spirit moves from high pressure. Low pressure moves inside the circle. And the result of the new birth continues a sanctifying grace sin, although it remains of the carnal nature, moves outside the circle.

[00:50:56] Grace now prevails. Before conversion, original sin prevailed. Now grace prevails as a result of just fine grace, repentance and faith. Some people teach that before conversion. It seems like it's three steps back and no step forward. I think before conversion, it's just for every two steps forward, we have three steps back. We're moving toward disobedience. Similarly, some people think after conversion to three steps forward and no steps back. I think it's more like for two steps back, we had three steps forward. You see, we're reversing the process now, moving back toward obedience. And why they believed that just before you die, usually. Of love becomes devoid of self-interest. We've become perfected. So that really is step three steps forward and no steps back. But that usually happens just before you die. West said he saw no reason why it couldn't happen earlier, but he said usually it happens just before you die. You understand this chart? I think this will give you an a capsule. A pretty good understanding of Wesley's theology, of grace. Good news, bad news. Good news. Creating the image of God. Original, Right. But as a result of of out of nature, we move toward disobedience prevailing at grace for events that is at work prior to conversion. Wooing us, preventing us from moving through path toward the bitter debates that when finally understand the claims of the Gospel upon our lives, Holy Spirit guarantees our freedom to say Yes. Our Yes is repentance and faith. The Holy Spirit moves at preventing it. Grace. The work of the Spirit moves inside and continues as a sanctifying grace. Justification, a new birth justification. So are you ascribing to the Holy Spirit in every everyone? Yes. Everyone's universal. Rovenia Brock Calvin. Probably the greatest actual grace for Calvin is limited the elect and irresistible for Wesley.

[00:53:07] It's universal and it is resistible. Wesley thought you could send away every ounce of good that then you showed there was no longer any good left to respond to God, but that God was always after your right to the gates of right to you, die and go to hell. The spirit of God. Is wooing you, pursuing you. What do we make of Old Testament stories where it does appear your sin has gone so far? Yeah, that I think. You know, Joshua is always a problem. I can't keep writing in the margin NY email. You know what NY L stands for? Not yet enough light. Drives me nuts. So glad for Ruth. Ruth delivers me from Joshua and judges. I don't like judges either, because it's all cycle every 40 years. I think God's judgment on the land is the land has sent away every ounce of good that tenure. I think that's grieving the Holy Spirit. I think it's possible to send away every ounce of good that's genuine, but that's not very easily done. I've only met a couple of people in my life who I felt had send away every ounce of good that was in the till. There was no longer any good left to respond to God. God continues to pursue us, but there's nothing enough good enough to respond to God. And I think God allows us to go to hell. I had a prison minister for 12 years. I met a man named Richard Speck who murdered a bunch of nerve nurses. You guys, before you were born in Chicago, right? I was visiting one of my members in the Cook County Jail, and they were transferring him from one part of the jail to another big, tall guy.

[00:54:39] I literally ran into him. Just in a very narrow place and literally ran into the man and sensed an evil aura about him. Just looking at him. Never forget it. And I met another man in prison once. I suspected. Had seen the way around and privileged. Believe me, it did not intimidate me. I remember one of them shout at me, Hey, Preacher. God can't change me. Remember I told you this? I said, How long in an atheist haze. I'm not an atheist. I believe in God. Said, No, you don't. If your God can't change you, you don't have a God. What good your God who can make a difference? Grow up. And that's why I sat him down. He told me the story that when he was ten years old, his mother told him he was a bad boy. He needed to do a 180. Remember that? I say, No, you don't need to do a 180. You need to want to do about a one or two degrees. Did print good and bad, never 180 degrees. It's one or two degrees. That's the devil's lie. Devil would love for us to think that we're bad and we need to do a 180. Who here can do a 180? Not me. Go from bad to good out of your own steam. You go back to the bottle. I'm not talking your mother's womb either. Or your mama's breast. Never want a don't tell people. Don't. Don't cause people to despair. Give them hope. But it's possible to send away every ounce of good that you. That's the only way I can reconcile Joshua and judges. I mean, women and children destroy the animals. What's up with this? That's ethnic cleansing. You hate that. I hate that.

[00:56:28] I mean, I've taught Croatia. I've been to Bosnia Herzegovina. I've been to Serbia. I've been to Kosovo. I know that spirit. I've been. I've been to Palestine. I know that. I know that spirit. It'll break your heart. God, what are you thinking? So I write in a margin. Not yet enough light. Not yet. Anwar El Anwar. Al. Anwar Al Anwar Al. And as a theologian, I have to be able to explain that to my students. The only way I can do it, my only hope is to say, is it possible to send away every ounce of good the ten years so there's no longer any good left to respond to? You know what? The context for the father sending us? The grieving, the Holy Spirit. It's that very context where good becomes bad and bad becomes good. Remember that? Read it. That's the context for that. Everything good becomes bad. Everything bad becomes good. We live in a topsy turvy world where there's no longer any good left to respond to God. We think we're doing good by doing evil. That's the context. Just check it out. The Senate gets the Holy Spirit. Well, there's no forgiveness. It's living in a topsy turvy kind of a world where everything good becomes bad and everything bad becomes good. You actually think you're doing good by doing evil? That's in the Bible. I'm not making this up. Please help me. Tell me I'm right. I am right. Okay. You understand this loss and their loss of spirit of life, loss in a death, the law without the spirit, loss of life, same law. Romans eight two. Same law. The same law. Empowered by the spirit of now, by the by virtue of the work of the spirit, we have both the power and the indignation to measure up. This leads to death. This leads to life. Any questions? Move on.