Friday, December 22, 2006

Reaching the Summit

If you're here then you haven't reached the summit.

Wesleyans need to understand that, even with entire sanctification, they will continue to grow, mature, learn, and struggle against temptation until they are with God. Weigh Wesley's words carefully on this matter:

"The highest perfection which man can attain, while the soul dwells in the body, does not exclude ignorance, and error, and a thousand other infirmities. Now, from wrong judgments, wrong words and actions will often necessarily flow: And, in some cases, wrong affections also may spring from the same source. I may judge wrong of you: I may think more or less highly of you than I ought to think; and this mistake in my judgment may not only occasion something wrong in my behaviour, but it may have a still deeper effect; it may occasion something wrong in my affection. From a wrong apprehension, I may love and esteem you either more or less than I ought. Nor can I be freed from a likableness to such a mistake while I remain in a corruptible body. A thousand infirmities, in consequence of this, will attend my spirit, till it returns to God who gave it. And, in numberless instances, it comes short of doing the will of God, as Adam did in paradise. Hence the best of men may say from the heart,

'Every moment, Lord, I need
The merit of thy death,

for innumerable violations of the Adamic as well as the angelic law.' It is well, therefore, for us, that we are not now under these, but under the law of love. 'Love is' now 'the fulfilling of the law,' which is given to fallen man. This is now, with respect to us, 'the perfect law.' But even against this, through the present weakness of our understanding, we are continually liable to transgress. Therefore every man living needs the blood of atonement, or he could not stand before God." (Sermons, #76, "On Perfection")

Please understand that Wesley wasn't saying a Christian couldn't help sinning. He defined sinning as willfully and consciously transgressing what a person knows to be right. Wesley did realize, however, that we will continue to make mistakes--thoughtless blunders based on imperfection--in this life.

Let me put it to you this way; if you are looking for a work of grace to take care of all of your problems then you are looking in vain. You have to just keep climing the mountain as all Christians do.