An Wesleyan Way Of Salvation Theology Religion Essay Example
An Wesleyan Way Of Salvation Theology Religion Essay Example

An Wesleyan Way Of Salvation Theology Religion Essay Example

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  • Pages: 14 (3608 words)
  • Published: October 14, 2017
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In order to fully understand the Wesleyan Way of Salvation, it is important to have knowledge about the individuals who influenced this doctrine. These individuals, known as followers of Methodism or Wesley, emerged from a combination of two prominent Christian denominations in the early 1800s: evangelical and holiness. The originator of this movement is believed by theologians to be Susanna Wesley, daughter of a non-conformist clergyman in London. When she was 13 years old, Susanna joined the church and later married Samuel Wesley, an educator at Oxford University. Together, they had 19 children whom Susanna homeschooled before sending them off to college, dedicating significant time to nurturing their God-given talents.

However, it is Susanna's son John Wesley who is most closely associated with the philosophy of Methodism that is rooted in both Wesleyan and Arminian


beliefs. John passed away at the age of 88 and grew up during a period of reconciliation between conflicting religious teachings. He attended Charter House School until he turned 17 and then continued his studies at Christ Church College in Oxford starting in 1720. After completing his formal education and spending some time at Lincoln College, John accepted a teaching position that included housing and a stipend.

In 1728, he was ordained as a priest while also being offered a Curate position in London by his father. Throughout his life, John struggled with contradictory religious teachings;He did not want to separate from the Church of England but started attending meetings with his brother Charles. These gatherings gradually turned into regular occasions for reading the Bible and engaging in worship with praise. It was during this time that they realized that true fait

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resides within the heart. When John was no longer allowed to speak from the pulpit of the Church of England, he began preaching on the streets, focusing on internal piety and purity of heart, searching for ways to outwardly display this inner purity. This emphasis on purity is based on a comprehensive understanding of Scripture, personal experience, oral tradition, and reason. Together, these principles make up what is known as the Methodist Analogy of Faith, which emphasizes allowing Scripture to interpret Scripture when delivering a message, whether written or spoken. As members of the Methodist Church, we adhere to John Wesley's teachings and follow The Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church's Doctrinal Standards. The Wesleyan Way of Salvation has deep roots in the creation narrative and encompasses various concepts such as the Fall, total corruption,moral compass,and anticipatory grace,the cross justifying grace consecrating grace ,and refining grace.These beliefs and forms of grace are considered essential within Methodism's belief system.According to God's plan for redemption, the process begins with Genesis 1:27 - "God created man in His own image." He created both male and female and declared everything He made as good. However, this state of goodness was disrupted when humanity disobeyed God by eating from the forbidden tree in the Garden of Eden. This event, known as The Fall, introduced sin into the world. Total Depravity refers to the separation from God that resulted from this disobedience, which is considered humanity's most severe affliction.

Despite not desiring a world filled with sin, God originally intended for mankind to live as they were created. In an act of grace, He chose to create a universe without

evil - one that He deemed good. After humanity fell into sin, another act of grace came through undeserved forgiveness called Prevenient Grace. This grace is necessary to free us from wickedness.

The Bible states that "all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23) and "the wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 6:23). It also reveals that "God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8). Throughout life, it is crucial to remember that "the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 6:23). This gift has been bestowed upon us;Even though we must accept it, if we embrace the Analogy of Faith, which suggests that the Bible should interpret itself, we come to understand that natural free will is not within our possession. Methodists do not believe in natural free will when it comes to choosing to follow Christ; however, we do have the freedom to accept Him because of prevenient grace bestowed upon us through Christ's death on the cross. Anticipatory grace refers to God's grace that comes before our belief in Christ (Essay Footnote Citation 6), and it is available to everyone regardless of their belief or lack thereof in Christ. This grace is universally offered rather than being limited only to a select few as seen in other belief systems. From birth, God works in individuals' lives guiding them towards salvation. Nonetheless, accepting Christ as Lord and Savior and acknowledging Him as the only son of God who died

for humanity's sins while also repenting for our own sins are essential for obtaining salvation. It is crucially important to realize that we do not come to this realization on our own accord. As stated in Article 8, Methodists reject the concept of natural free will since it implies that humans can save themselves—an idea which is false. Due to mankind's fall from grace, we are incapable of choosing God and trapped within this understanding. However, the sacrifice of Christ has restored our ability to connect with divinity.Anticipatory grace has opened our hearts and minds, enabling us to align with God's will. This grace is responsible for our free will, as Methodists believe it is not inherent in nature but a result of God's grace. Methodists also emphasize that humanity is created in the image of God. When we lose connection with the divine, understanding God morally becomes a struggle, and distinguishing between good and evil becomes difficult, making us vulnerable to un-Christlike influences. Furthermore, without recognizing God's image within ourselves, advocating for societal justice or fighting against injustice becomes impossible. However, when we embrace faith in Christ, repentance follows characterized by deep remorse and sorrow leading to an awakening or revelation. Our fall caused us to lose sight of God's image encompassing moral, natural, and political dimensions. Without acknowledging the natural image bestowed upon us by God, our freedom diminishes along with our ability to discern right from wrong. Our actions no longer reflect divinity as intended until we regain what was lost. Once restored though, we become aware of all the sins and wrongful behaviors we have engaged in during this period of

separation from God's image. There are various ways available for us to regain our senses. The Holy Spirit (also known as God's presence) was observed in historical camp meetings through outward signs like shouting, groaning or swayingThrough Christ's sacrifice, humanity can reconstruct ethical, natural, and political values. Flawlessness is a goal that all Methodists strive for but is not easily achieved. Salvation comes from restoring moral, natural, and political values. Wesley taught that sanctification leads to regaining perfection. The cross symbolizes anticipatory grace in a Christian's life according to Wesley. Jesus embodies the roles of prophet, priest, and king within Christology. The prophet communicates God's will while the priest intercedes for forgiveness on behalf of the people before God for their sins. Lastly, the king guides people along God's desired path for them.

Redemption among Methodists relies on establishing a relationship or agreement between people and God to obtain redemption. Methodists believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross as a ransom for the sins of the entire world since he is God's only son. They also have faith in his resurrection after three days when he triumphed over death and the grave.

Although Christ's sacrifice forgives sins,it is necessary for individuals to accept this truth to receive salvation.Methodists do not believe that salvation can be earned through good deeds.Instead, they acknowledge that Christ willingly died on the cross and instructed his followers to take up their own crosses as a representation of the ongoing battle between good and evil.Saints experience a daily struggle between their old selves and the new creation brought about by the Holy SpiritOnce an individual accepts Christ, they are embraced back into

the community of believers. The primary objective for Christians is to steer clear of sin; however, God's boundless love compelled Him to sacrifice His only son for our sins even before we were born. This love serves as the fundamental basis for all other Methodist beliefs. According to John 3:16-17, "For God loved the universe so much that He gave His only begotten Son so that whoever believes in Him shall not die but have eternal life." This verse exemplifies the immense love God has for us and His desire for our redemption from sin. The Methodist denomination, which includes various churches such as the World Methodist Council, AME Church, AME Zion Church, Church of the Nazarene, CME Church, Free Methodist Church, and Methodist Church of Southern Africa, is currently one of the largest worldwide. As someone interested in ordination within the United Methodist Church Universal specifically, I find this denomination particularly appealing. However, non-denominational churches have contributed to a decline in the number of Methodists in recent years. Despite this trend though, Methodist principles continue to exert significant influence globally. While Wesley's Way of Salvation may appear challenging at first glance; when considering humanity's state and ongoing faith journey after salvation it becomes worthwhile. Additionally, once an individual acknowledges Christ as their personal savior temptations to commit sins become more powerful.Satan actively works to deprive individuals of their identity in Christ and hinder their commitment to the specific denomination. In Part Two: Directions, participants are given three options for writing an essay spanning 4-5 pages. Option 1 involves describing one's personal experience with God and understanding God based on scriptural, theological historical perspectives along

with Methodist doctrinal origins. As clergy or members of any religious organization face uncertainties, challenges, and problems throughout life, they must eventually take a stand for their own beliefs about God. This means disregarding worldly opinions and teachings in order to share their understanding of God with all people. For me, this marked not the end but the beginning of my faith journey. My comprehension of God started when a friend questioned my choice to be United Methodist and attend that particular church. While my family's history played a role in my affiliation with the United Methodist Church and being baptized there, it was through reciting the Affirmation of Faith from the United Methodist Hymnal that I truly understood my personal beliefs. I affirmed my belief in God the Father Almighty, Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, and the Holy Spirit. This affirmation prompted me to learn about Jesus' life on Earth - performing miracles, teaching in temples, interacting with sinners, willingly dying on a cross, and rising from the grave on the third day to cleanse us of our sins.Despite my denomination's influence, I questioned why I only accepted teachings from my denomination. However, my relationship with God was greatly shaped by my upbringing. From a young age, I learned the importance of attending church and engaging in activities that helped me understand God better. Immersing myself in children's Bible stories, I developed a deep appreciation for loving both God and others.

But it wasn't until I turned 25 years old that I truly felt God's presence in my daily life. During a challenging time when divorce seemed like an option, fear of judgment based

on biblical teachings prevented me from discussing this decision with my grandmother. Instead, I confided in my mother who advised me to pray and seek understanding from God. Taking her advice seriously this time, I engaged in a sincere conversation with Him.

At first, finding the right words to express myself honestly was difficult. But eventually, God reassured me that everything would be alright. Prior to this experience, anger used to consume me easily leading to constant arguing and cursing whenever upset or angry. It's worth mentioning that despite knowing about God and Jesus, I had little familiarity with the Holy Spirit.

Due to my anger towards my husband and the difficult situation he put our child and me in, I completely avoided himHowever, everything changed at the hospital one day when I was accompanying my father after his surgery. Unexpectedly, my husband walked in and seeing him made me realize that he was no longer the person I once knew; he was just a man. In that moment of clarity, all the anger and pain from months of accumulation disappeared completely. Inviting him for a walk calmly made me realize that filing for divorce was the right decision. That's when it became clear to me that my prayers had been answered – God, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit were actively shaping my life together. Surprisingly enough, there wasn't even enough anger left within me to shed tears; instead, an unusual sense of tranquility overwhelmed me – so much so that it scared me.It felt like I was observing everything from outside myself – realizing it wasn't solely my doing but rather God or the Holy

Spirit working through me.The extent of this change became so obvious that upon returning to my parents' room after our walk together, both my mother and father believed security might need to intervene between us due to our history. Fortunately, my demeanor had significantly changed, which was initially startling for my mother.Sometimes,I am still scared by the fact that something ordinary could have such a transformative effect on someone as out of control as I once was.All I did was pray and ask God to help change my behavior,and He answered.It is important to understand that this does not mean I am now perfect;I acknowledge that I still have sins and flaws, but I can confidently say that if anyone has overcome obstacles or challenges, it is me. Fortunately, my fellow believers have provided me with strength. As stated in Matthew 18:20, wherever two or three gather in His name, He is present among them. This presence extends to every mission as well (Matthew 28:20). The significance of prayer lies in our belief that Christ is omnipresent and listens to us. Ephesians 1:23 affirms that He fills all things and every place. However, this all-encompassing presence only applies to God. Therefore, I can trust Jesus wholeheartedly to guide me through any challenges I face.

Even when feelings of defeat arise within me, the words of my aunt quoting 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 bring comfort: "So we do not give up. How could we?" Although external circumstances may seem like they are falling apart, internally God is creating a new life where His grace unfolds each day. These challenging times are temporary compared to the joyful celebration awaiting

us. There is more than meets the eye; what we see now will fade away eventually, but what cannot be seen will endure forever.

At present, I find contentment in knowing that I am not just a conqueror but more than a conqueror. My reliance on Paul's teachings in Romans, particularly chapter 8 sustains me during life's storms.
In verse 37, it is stated that we are more than conquerors in all things. This promise applies to believers in Jesus. Recognizing this truth and having faith in Him, as well as following His commandments (John 14:15), will not only help us overcome obstacles but also triumph over them. Furthermore, everything will work together for our benefit.

I faced doubts during my initial semester at Columbia College about continuing my education. These fears were almost confirmed when I experienced constant struggles after transferring to Hood College within nine months of each other, both my father and oldest brother passed away unexpectedly. As a result, I had to sell my house and move back home while also taking on the responsibility of caring for my goddaughter.

Doubts about leading others in faith started to arise and I considered giving up on my pursuit and trying something different. However, a friend asked me an important question: Who was I working for - people or God? This reminded me that the same God who wakes me up every morning is also the one who will guide me through life's ups and downs. The presence of God brings comfort even in the darkest times (Psalm 23:4).Although I didn't have much material wealth, my appreciation for my inheritance as a believer in Jesus Christ has

grown. My time at Hood University has deepened my understanding and solidified my decision to remain a Christian. While I was with my partner, who followed The Five-Percent Nation, I learned about divinity and Christianity through his involvement in this movement founded by Clarence 13X in Harlem during the 1960s. Reciting creeds like the Nicene Creed or Apostles' Creed during Sunday worship services helped me develop an understanding, but it wasn't until I studied at HOOD Theological Seminary with Dr.Six-Means that I truly grasped their significance and historical context. On October 2, 2010, Dr.Six-Means gave a lecture on the Council of Nicene which enhanced my understanding of Christianity's foundational teachings. This lecture focused on Constantine and the controversy among approximately three hundred Bishops regarding Jesus Christ's dual nature as fully divine and fully human. In response to Christian rebellion, Constantine summoned leaders of the Christian Church to Nicea where they developed the Nicene Creed through nine-month-long debates. Eventually, Constantine threatened to withdraw support from the conference, leaving Bishops responsible for covering their own expenses.A total of 397 Bishops voted affirmatively for the notion that Jesus Christ must possess both human and divine qualities. The central theme of this text revolves around understanding God's experience through humanity. With Jesus' presence among us, he can empathize with our struggles. On Calvary's cross, he paid for all sins committed by humans. Regarding personal beliefs, the author struggled to reconcile two divinities due to influences from their Methodist upbringing and teachings from the Five Percenters group. Unlike traditional conceptions of God or a creator, the Five Percenters emphasize Supreme Mathematics as a means to comprehend humanity's relationship with existence.

Their viewpoint considers Asiatic Blackman as God and Asiatic Woman as mother Earth.

After getting married, it took me some time to adapt. During this period, I familiarized myself with various concepts such as Supreme Mathematics, Supreme Alphabet, Twelve Jewels, and 120 Lessons. In these teachings, Allah is associated with different aspects of the human body. I spent years comparing the two deities and concluded that their similarities were limited in scope. The idea of leading a moral life and advocating for social justice led to a redefinition of my concept of God.Nowadays when we refer to "God," it encompasses much more than just a legal statement; it signifies that everything we do is connected to God.Culture reflects the customs and principles followed by people during specific erasWhen comparing the two deities mentioned earlier, certain drawbacks arise. Each group had its own rules and ideas regarding worship or lack thereof. It felt more like belonging to a social club rather than practicing religion, which contradicted my Christian upbringing. Nevertheless, my belief in Jesus Christ as the Son of God and in the Holy Spirit as our advocate remained an integral part of my life. I continued praying and worshiping even without my partner by my side.

However, when I decided to pursue ministry as called by Christ, additional challenges arose. Being divorced and a single mother caused disagreement within my local church about my path in ministry. According to prevailing beliefs rooted in depictions from the Hebrew Bible, it was believed that I needed male authority over me - mirroring female figures depicted therein.

Opposition to having a female minister was common among many churches in our area,

particularly concerning for me as an under 40-year-old African American single woman. Like my home church, numerous small rural churches prohibited women from holding any formal role except being Sunday school teachers.

The belief that women should not have authority over men or speak in churches can be traced back to passages such as 1 Timothy 2:11-12 and 1 Corinthians 14:34-36. These passages state that women should remain quiet, submissive, and seek information from their husbands.
Although many Southern churches still hold this belief, there has been progress with over 12,000 women now serving in various roles in United Methodist churches. These changes are guided by the Book of Discipline and the Book of Resolutions, which undergo updates every four years. Nevertheless, my faith in Rev. John Wesley's teachings and his founding of Methodism remains steadfast. The United Methodist philosophy serves as a framework for mission and demonstrates how the church testifies to Jesus Christ's lordship. Through baptism, God calls all Christians to serve in ministry in the world. Therefore, anyone who answers God's call by lovingly engaging in acts of service towards others deserves to be called a "minister." Being a Methodist allows me to participate in community missions and connect with fellow members, which I find exciting. I value that the Methodist tradition offers more freedom by avoiding formal church services similar to those found in Europe or Paris. Overall, I wouldn't change anything about my relationship with Christ because having faith is significantly better than not having it.

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