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Wesley on Justification

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Focus on the insights of John Wesley on practical theology. Wesley teaches that people are justified by faith alone and that conviction of sin and repentance comes before justification. Conviction and repentance are important in the salvation process but not in the same sense or the same degree as faith. Wesley refers to the grace from which salvation comes as being, “free in all,” meaning that it does not depend on human power or merit. A person can be redeemed if he will, but not when he will. Wesley views the process of salvation as the conjunction of cooperant and free grace. The faith that justifies goes beyond believing that God exists and the knowledge of God’s character. It is also more than the faith of a devil. It is more than the faith of the apostles while Jesus was on earth. The nature of faith is a spiritual sense by which we understand spiritual things. Faith requires both, “belief that” and “belief in”


I. Introduction

II. Works Prior to Justification

A. Cooperant Grace

B. Free Grace

III. Definition of Justifying Faith

A. Not just believing that God exists

B. More than the faith of a devil

C. More than the faith of the apostles while Jesus was on earth

D. It is faith in Christ

E. It is a disposition of the heart

F. It acknowledges the necessity and merit of Christ's death and the power of his resurrection

G. The nature of faith is a spiritual sense

IV. Summary

A. Faith requires an intellectual assent to who Christ is and what he did

B. Faith requires a personal trust in Christ

C. Faith is a spiritual sense

V. Questions and Answers

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