Wesley on Transformation

22 Dec

From Sermon 44: Original Sin
“Ye know that the great end of religion is, to renew our hearts in the image of God, to repair that total loss of righteousness and true holiness which we sustained by the sin of our first parent.”

John Wesley

I was recently telling someone that Calvinism and Arminianism are not theologies as much as they are perspectives. Calvinism views theology from above, that is from God’s vantage point. Arminianism views theology from below from humanity’s vantage point. So for the Calvinism the chief end of man is to glorify God. This is true. For the Arminian (as represented by Wesley), the chief goal is our renewal, our transformation into God’s image. I think they are both right. I think God is glorified when we are transformed into his image, the image of his Son.

Theodore Runyon in THE NEW CREATION: THE WESLEYAN DISTINCTIVE notes that Wesley had a relational and real change in his understand of salvation. In justification, there is a relational change, whereby our relationship is restored. In sanctification, there is a real change whereby the Holy Spirit renews us into the image of God. Runyon points out that this is more Trinitarian than the typical reformed Christ-centeredness.

I was thrilled to discover this in Wesley’s theology, because it fits with my own Trinitarian view of spiritual transformation as the Spirit’s work in transforming us into the image of Son for the Father’s joy. We need a renewed relationship with God, but we equally need a renewed heart that looks more like Jesus. We need not only the forgivness of our sins in a legal sense, but we need the Spirit to renew our sin-ridden hearts into the image of Jesus.

Have a Merry Christmas!

If you are in the Americus area join us Sunday morning at 10:30am. The kids will be singing and I preach a message entitled “He Made a Way in a Manger.” Come and hear the connections between Superman and the baby Jesus. Also don’t miss the candlelight worship service at 6:30 pm that night. See you then…


Posted by on December 22, 2006 in Theology



3 responses to “Wesley on Transformation

  1. KJV

    December 22, 2006 at 9:03 am

    “I think God is glorified when we are transformed into his image, the image of his Son.”
    AMEN…God Bless

  2. Patrick

    March 25, 2007 at 3:49 am

    About 3 years ago I dropped into a black hole – four months of absolute terror. I wanted to end my life, but somehow [Holy Spirit], I reached out to a friend who took me to hospital. I had three visits [hospital] in four months – I actually thought I was in hell. I imagine I was going through some sort of metamorphosis [mental, physical & spiritual]. I had been seeing a therapist [1994] on a regular basis, up until this point in time. I actually thought I would be locked away – but the hospital staff was very supportive [I had no control over my process]. I was released from hospital 16th September 1994, but my fear, pain & shame had only subsided a little. I remember this particular morning waking up [home] & my process would start up again [fear, pain, & shame]. No one could help me, not even my therapist [I was terrified]. I asked Jesus Christ to have mercy on me & forgive me my sins. Slowly, all my fear has dissipated & I believe Jesus delivered me from my “psychological prison.” I am a practicing Catholic & the Holy Spirit is my friend & strength; every day since then has been a joy & blessing. I deserve to go to hell for the life I have led, but Jesus through His sacrifice on the cross, delivered me from my inequities. John 3: 8, John 15: 26, are verses I can relate to, organically. He’s a real person who is with me all the time. I have so much joy & peace in my life, today, after a childhood spent in orphanages [England & Australia]. Fear, pain, & shame, are no longer my constant companions. I just wanted to share my experience with you [Luke 8: 16 – 17].

    Peace Be With You

  3. Chris Anthony

    May 11, 2010 at 2:24 am

    That’s what I am talking about. Preach it.(Ecc 7:18)


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