This is the first "tract" written "through" John Wesley!
The only change was the word "Christian' instead of a Methodist is. . . "
And the addition of "scripture" references, within [Brackets] so you can look into the WORD, and see, that John Wesley, did not come up with any, of himself, BUT was from, by and through the SPIRIT of the LIVING WORD!
More was added at the end, for and by the WORD of GOD!
by John Wesley
Christian perfection is :
"It is that habitual disposition of soul which, in the sacred writings, is termed “holiness,” and which directly implies, the being cleansed from sin `from all filthiness both of flesh and spirit;' and, by consequence the being endued with those virtues which were in Christ Jesus the being so `renewed in the image of our mind,' as to be `perfect as our Father in heaven is perfect."' (Vol. V., p. 203 ; 2 Cor. 7: 1 ; 2Pet. 1: 4; Matt. 5: 48 ; Col 1: 28, 4: 12 ;
In the same sermon I observed, "`Love is the fulfilling of the law, the end of the commandment.' It is not only `the first and great' command, but all the commandments in one. `Whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, if there be any virtue, if there be any praise,' they are all comprised in this one word, love. In this is perfection, and glory, and happiness: The royal law of heaven and earth is this, `Thou shall love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength.' The one perfect good shall be your one ultimate end. One thing shall ye desire for its own sake, -- the fruition of Him who is all in all. One happiness shall ye propose to your souls, even an union with Him that made them, the having `fellowship with the Father and the Son,' the being `joined to the Lord in one spirit.' One design ye are to pursue to the end of time, -- the enjoyment of God in time and in eternity. Desire other things so far as they tend to this; love the creature, as it leads to the Creator. But in every step you take, be this the glorious point that terminates your view. Let every affection, and thought and word, and action, be subordinate to this. Whatever ye desire or fear, whatever ye seek or shun, whatever ye think speak, or do, be it in order to your happiness in God, the sole end, as well as source, of your being." (Ibid., pp. 207, 208.)
I concluded in these words: "Here is the sum of the perfect law, the circumcision of the heart. Let the spirit return to God that gave it, with the whole train of its affections. -- Other sacrifices from us he would not, but the living sacrifice of the heart hath he chosen. Let it be continually offered up to God through Christ, in flames of holy love. And let no creature be suffered to share with him; for He is a jealous God. His throne will he not divide with another; He will reign without a rival. Be no design, no desire admitted there, but what has Him for its ultimate object. This is the way wherein those children of God once walked, who being dead still speak to us: `Desire not to live but to praise His name; let all your thoughts, words, and works tend to His glory.' `Let your soul be filled with so entire a love to Him that you may love nothing but for His sake.' `Have a pure intention of heart, a steadfast regard to His glory in all you actions.' For then, and not till then, is that `mind in us, which was also in Christ Jesus,' when in every motion of our heart, in every word of our tongue, in every work of our hands, we `pursue nothing but in relation to Him, and in subordination to His plea sure;' when we too neither think, nor speak, nor act, to fulfill `our own will, but the will of Him that sent us;' when, `whether we eat or drink, or whatever we do,' we do it all `to the glory of God."' (Ibid., p. 211.)
"Repose in the blood of Christ; a firm confidence in God, and persuasion of His favor; the highest tranquility, serenity, and peace of mind, with a deliverance from every fleshly desire, and a cessation of all, even inward sins."
The first track of Christian perfection. [see Heb. 10:14; Phil. 3:15-16; Col. 1: 28 ] "A Methodist [a Christian] is one who loves the Lord his God with all his heart, with all his soul, with all his mind, and with all his strength. God is the joy of his heart, and the desire of his soul, which is continually crying, `Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth whom I desire besides thee.' My God and my all! `Thou art the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever.' He is therefore happy in God; yea, always happy, as having in him a well of water springing up unto everlasting life, and over-flowing his soul with peace and joy. Perfect love living now cast out fear, he rejoices evermore. Yea, his joy is full, and all his bones cry out, `Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who, according to His abundant mercy, hath begotten me again unto a living hope of an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled, reserved in heaven for me.'
"And he, who hath this hope, thus full of immortality, in everything gives thanks, as knowing this (whatsoever it is) is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning him. From him therefore he cheerfully receives all, saying, `Good is the will of the Lord;' and whether he giveth or taketh away, equally blessing the name of the Lord. Whether in ease or pain, whether in sickness or health, whether in life or death, he gives thanks from the ground of the heart to Him who orders it for good; into whose hands he hath wholly committed his body and soul, `as into the hands of a faithful Creator.' He is therefore anxiously `careful for nothing,' as having `cast all his care on Him that care for him;' and `in all things' resting on Him, after `making' his `request known to Him with thanksgiving.'
"For indeed he `prays without ceasing;' at all times the language of his heart is this, `Unto thee is my mouth, though without a voice; and my silence speak unto thee.' His heart is lifted up to God at all times, and in all places. In this he is never hindered, much less interrupted, by any person or thing. In retirement or company, in leisure, business, or conversation, his heart is ever with the Lord. Whether he lie down, or rise up, `God is in all his thoughts:' He walks with God continually; having the loving eye of his soul fixed on Him, and everywhere `seeing Him that is invisible.'
"And loving God, he `loves his neighbor as [before] himself;' he loves every man as his own soul. He loves his enemies, yea, and the enemies of God. And if it be not in his power to `do good to them that hate' him, yet he ceases not to `pray for them,' though they spurn his love, and still `despitefully use him, and persecute him.'
"For he is `pure in heart.' Love has purified his heart from envy, malice, wrath, and every unkind temper. It has cleansed him from pride, whereof `only comes contention;' and he has now `put on bowels [affections] of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, long-suffering.' And indeed all possible ground for contention, on his part, is cut off. For none can take from him what he desires, seeing he `loves not the world, nor any of the things of the world;' but `all his desire is unto God, and to the remembrance of His name.'
"Agreeable to this his one desire, is this one design of his life; namely, `to do, not his own will, but the will of Him that sent him.' His one intention at all times and in all places is, not to please himself, but Him whom his soul loves. He has a single eye; and because his `eye is single, his whole body is full of light. The whole is light, as when the bright shining of a candle does enlighten the house.' God reigns alone; all that is in the soul is `holiness to the Lord.' There is not a motion in his heart but is according to His will. Every thought that arises points to Him, and is in `obedience to the law of Christ.'
"And the tree is known by its fruits. For, as he loves God, so he `keeps His commandments,' not only some, nor most of them, but all, from the least to the greatest. He is not content to `keep the whole law and offend in one point,' but has all points `a conscience void of offence towards God, and towards man.' Whatever God has forbidden, he avoids; whatever God has enjoined, he does. `He runs the way of God's commandments,' now He has as set his heart at liberty. It is his glory and joy so to do; it is his daily crown of rejoicing, to `do the will of God on earth, as it is done in heaven.'
"All the commandments of God he accordingly keeps, and that with all his might; for his obedience is in proportion to his love, the source from whence it flows. And therefore, loving God with all his heart, he serves Him with all his strength; he continually presents his soul and `body a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God;' entirely and without reserve devoting himself, all he has, all he is, to His glory. All the talents he has, he constantly employs according to his Master's will; every power and faculty of his soul, every member of His body.
"By consequence, `whatsoever he does, it is all to the glory of God.' In all his employment’s of every kind, he not only aims at this, which is implied in having a single eye, but actually attains it; his business and his refreshments, as well as his prayers, all serve to this great end. Whether he `sit in the house, or walk by the way,' whether he lie down, or rise up, he is promoting, in all he speaks or does, the one business of his life. Whether he put on his apparel, or labor, or eat and drink, or divert himself from too wasting labor, it all tends to advance the glory of God, by peace and good-will among men. His one invariable rule is this: `Whatsoever you do, in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God, even the Father, through Him.'
"Nor do the customs of the world at all hinder his `running the race which is set before him.' He cannot therefore `lay up treasures upon earth,' no more than he can take fire into his bosom. He cannot speak evil of his neighbor, any more than he can lie either for God or man. He cannot utter an unkind word of any one; for love keeps the door of his lips. He cannot `speak idle words, no corrupt conversation' ever `comes out of his mouth;' as is all that is not `good to the use of edifying,' not fit to `minister grace to the hearers.' But `whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are' justly `of good report,' he thinks, speaks, and acts, `adorning the doctrine of God our Savior in all things.'"
…after a time, a cry arose, and, what a little surprised me, among religions men, who affirmed, not that I stated perfection wrong, but that "there is no perfection on earth;" nay, and fell vehemently on my brother and me for affirming the contrary. We scarcely expected so rough an attack from these, especially as we were clear on justification by faith, and careful to ascribe the whole of salvation to the mere grace of God. But what most surprised us, was, that we were said to "dishonor Christ," by asserting that he "saves to the uttermost;" by maintaining He will reign in our hearts alone, and subdue all things to Himself…
…`If two of the Apostles once committed sin, then all other Christians, in all ages, do and must commit sin as long as they live ?' Nay, God forbid we should thus speak. No necessity of sin was laid upon them, the grace of God was surely sufficient for them. And it is sufficient for us at this day. "But St. John himself says, `If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves;' and, `If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.' "I answer, (1.) The tenth verse fixes the sense of the eighth: `If we say we have no sin,' in the former, being explained by, `If we say we have not sinned,' in the latter, verse. (2.) The point under consideration is not, whether we have or have not sinned heretofore, and neither of these verses asserts that we did sin, or commit sin now. (3.) The ninth verse explains both the eighth and tenth: `If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.' As if he had said, `I have before affirmed, The blood of Christ cleansed from all sin.' And no man can say, `I need it not; I have 110 sins to be cleansed, from.' `If we say, we have no sin, that `we have not sinned, we deceive ourselves,' and make God a liar: But `if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just,' not only `to forgive us our sins,' but also `to cleanse us from all unrighteousness,' that we may `go and sin no more.' [ Jn. 8: 11 & 5: 14 ]
In conformity, therefore, both to the doctrine of St. John, and the whole tenor of the New Testament, we fix this conclusion: A Christian is so far perfect, as not to commit sin. This is the glorious privilege of every Christian, yea, though he be but a babe in Christ. But it is only of grown Christians it can be affirmed, they are in such a sense perfect, as, Secondly, to be freed from evil thoughts and evil tempers. First, from evil or sinful thoughts. Indeed, whence should they spring? `Out of the heart of man,' if at all, `proceed evil thoughts.' If, therefore, the heart be no longer evil, then evil thoughts no longer proceed out of it: For `a good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit.' "And as they are freed from evil thoughts, so likewise from evil tempers. Every one of these can say, with St. Paul, `I am crucified with Christ; nevertheless I live, yet not I, but Christ live[s] in - - words that manifestly describe a deliverance from inward as well as from outward sin. This is expressed both negatively, `I live not,' my evil nature, the body of sin, is destroyed; and positively, `Christ lives in me,' and therefore all that is holy, and just, and good. Indeed, both these, `Christ live[s] in me,' and, `I live not,' are inseparably connected.
For if the cleansing spoken of here, is no other than the cleansing us from the guilt of sin, then we are not cleansed from guilt, that is, not justified, unless on condition of walking `in the light, as He is in the light.' It remains, then, that Christians are saved in this world from all sin, from all unrighteousness; that they are now in such a sense perfect, as not to commit sin, and to be freed from evil thoughts and evil tempers." (see 1 Jn. 3: 3-9)
It could not be, but that a discourse of this kind, which directly contradicted the favorite opinion of many, who were esteemed by others, and possibly esteemed themselves, some of the best of Christians, (whereas, if these things were so, they were not Christians at all,) should give no small offence. Many answers or [angry speech] therefore, were expected, but I was agreeably disappointed. I do not know that any appeared, so I went quietly on my way. "This great gift of God, the salvation of our souls, is no other than the image of God fresh stamped on our hearts. It is a `renewal of believers” in the spirit of their minds, after the likeness of Him that created them.' God hath now laid `the axe unto the root of the tree, purifying their hearts by faith,' and `cleansing all the thoughts of their hearts by the inspiration of His Holy Spirit.' Having this hope, that they shall see God as He is, they `purify themselves even as he is pure,' and are `holy, as He that hath called them is holy, in all manner of conversation.' …
…"And `where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty;' such liberty `from the law of sin and death,' as the children of this world will not believe, though a man declare it unto them. `The Son hath made them free' who are thus `born of God,' from that great root of sin and bitterness, pride. They feel that all their `sufficiency is of God,' that it is He alone who `is in all their thoughts,' and ` work[s] in them both to will and to do of His good pleasure.' They feel that `it is not they' that `speak, but the Spirit of' their `Father who speak[s]' in them, and that whatsoever is done by their hands, ` the Father who is in them, He doeth the works.' So that God is to them all in all, and they are nothing in his sight. They are freed from self-will, as desiring nothing but the holy and perfect will of God; not supplies in want, not ease in pain, nor life, or death, or any creature; but continually crying in their Inmost soul, `Father, thy will be done.' They are freed from evil thoughts, so that they cannot enter into them, no, not for a moment.
Aforetime, when an evil thought came in, they hooked up, and it vanished away. But now it does not come in, there being no room for this, in a soul which is full of God. They are free from wanderings in prayer. When-so-ever they pour out their hearts in a more immediate manner before God, they have no thought of anything past,… or absent, or to come, but of God alone. In times past, they had wandering thoughts darted in, which yet fled away like smoke; but now that smoke does not rise at all. They have no fear or doubt, either as to their state in general, or as to any particular action… The `unction from the Holy One' teach[s] them every hour, what they shall do, and what they shall speak... nor therefore have they any need to reason concerning it. They are in one sense freed from temptations, for though numberless temptations fly about them, yet they trouble them not. At all times their souls are even and calm, their hearts are steadfast and unmovable. Their peace, flowing as a river, `passes all understanding,' and they `rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory.' For they `are sealed by the Spirit unto the day of redemption,' having the witness in themselves, that `there is laid up for' them a `crown of righteousness which the Lord will give' them `in that day.'
(the for going was written by the Spirit of HOLINESS thru John Wesley to every TRUE believer in the POWER of the Perfecting WORD. Items in brackets are edited for clarity only and NOT to change the subject matter of the text! Please use as a handout!)
Addition via the WORD of GOD about "Christian Perfection!"
And Jesus said, “… all things can be (are possible) to him who believes! Luke 1:37, For nothing is impossible with God." Mark 9: 23 The Spirit of Holiness states in Heb. 10: 14, ‘For by one offering He has perfected for ever them that He sanctified.” GOD in Phil. 3: 15-16, says ‘Let us as many be perfect be thus minded and if we be otherwise minded God shall revel even this unto you. Nevertheless we have already attained, let us walk by this same rule let us mind this same thing.’ Col. 1: 28 Christ states : ‘When we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom , that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus. The Prefect One said in Luke 6: 40 “The disciple is not above his Master but everyone that is perfect shall be as his Master.’ HE said in John 17:23, ‘I in them and them in Me, that they might be made perfect in One…’ GOD said in 2Cor. 13: 11 ‘…be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, be at peace…’ Again HE stated in Col. 4: 12 ‘… that you may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God.’ In 2Tim. 3: 17 GOD said “‘that the man of God may be perfect thoroughly furnished in all good works.’ In Heb. 7: 19, HE stated ‘For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in a better hope did.
A commandment (not a mere suggestion) of Jesus states in Matt. 5: 48 says; ‘Be you therefore perfect as your Father in heaven is perfect.” Titus 2: 12 HIS SPIRIT said “Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world.” Rom. 3: 25, “Whom God has set forth to be a propitiation [restoration] through faith in His blood, to declare His righteousness for the omission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God. To declare, I say, at this time HIS righteousness:” Matthew 12: 37 He said also “For by your words you shall be justified [innocent] and by your words your shall be condemned. Job 15: 6 “Your own mouth condemns you, and not I, Yes, your own lips testify against you “
Note, there are NOW living , many who live without sin, today, and it is possible for you to do so, also, because the WORD is the Sanctifier, and it is His ..’good pleasure to give you the kingdom’[/i] or the rule and reign, of the Spirit of Holiness, now, “in this present evil world,” but only to those who BELIEVE!
So ‘Be you [can] be perfect as you Father is perfect!’ or refrain from calling yourself a “Christian,” because [i]“…let every one that names the name of Christ departs from iniquity.” 2Tim. 2: 19 And… [i]“And they that belong to Christ have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.” Galatians 5: 24 Did you?
Jesus HIMSELF said to “. . Go and sin NO MORE. . . ” Jn. 5: 14 & 8: 11 This not a “if you feel like it, as it is a commandment of GOD, and HE said “If you love Me, keep My commandments.” John 14:15
. . ."And they that belong to Christ's HAVE crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts." Gal 5:24 "Who-so-ever sins belongs to the devil. . . " 1Jn.3:8 So do you really BELONG to Christ?