The Holy Spirit and Power by John Wesley
Posted December 10, 2011on:
THE HOLY SPIRIT AND POWER
Author: John Wesley
Published by Bridge-Logos
Paperback: 275 pages (with Audio Excerpts CD)
John Wesley (1703-1791), preacher, theologian and founder of the Methodist Church.
John’s education continued at Charter house School and at Oxford, where he studied at Christ Church and was elected (1726) fellow of Lincoln College. He was ordained in 1728.
After a brief absence (1727-29) to help his father at Epworth, John returned to Oxford to discover that his brother Charles, had founded a Holy Club composed of young men interested in spiritual growth. John quickly became a leading participant of this group, which was dubbed the Methodists. He continued throughout his life a regimen of personal discipline and ordered living. In 1784, however, he had given the Methodist societies a legal constitution.
He died at 88, still preaching, still travelling, and still a clergyman of the Church of England.
For what purpose was the Early Christians Filled with the Holy Spirit?
John Wesley states to paraphrase that “it was to give them the holy fruit of the Spirit, without which no-one is a Christian [but as] a result of that inward change, they would be able to fulfil all outward righteousness. These fruits are assured to all who are baptized with the Holy Spirit. They are to remain in the church throughout all ages. It is this great work of God in the lives of people which can be expressed by one word, true Christianity. Such Christianity does not simply imply a fixed set of opinions or a system of doctrines. True Christianity refers to peoples’ hearts and lives.” (extracted from ‘Scriptural Christianity’, Forty-Four Sermons, Sermon IV)
For in answer to: “Kind words bring life, but cruel words crush your spirit. (Proverbs 15:4)”
My reply is: “Nothing crushes the spirit for its ethereal, so no words can touch it, as the Holy Ghost protects it through his kind words.”
Lord who may dwell in your tabernacle?
Who may rest upon your holy hill?
Whoever leads an uncorrupt life
And does the thing that is right;
Who speaks the truth from the heart,
And bears no deceit on the tongue;
Who does no evil to a friend
And pours no scorn on a neighbour;
In whose sight the wicked are not esteemed
But who honours those who fear the Lord.
Whoever has sworn to a neighbour
And never goes back on that word;
Who does not lend money in hope of gain,
Nor takes a bribe against the innocent;
Whoever does things shall never fall.
(taken from the: ‘Common Worship Services & Prayers for the CofE’
on page 606, published by the Church House Publishing 2000)
Personal View of my Spiritual Journey
My spiritual journey has taken me this far, in the discovery of what I possess within myself, that makes me a ‘deep-felt’ person, sorry that’s the best explanation of what I’m trying to convey, of this expression of the internal divinity, that comes from the affinity towards the Holy Spirit, as his is a subtle power that possession is most endearing, that you’re left with and in an everlasting embrace. And such is my incorporeal growth that I’ve started linking the spiritual with the being of my person, using the Holy Spirit as my guide. That it and he has lead me to look into my Methodist faith, and research what the founder of that religion’s theology, John Wesley, had to say. And this is what I found and its revelation as it was revealed to me:
John Wesley states regarding the ‘Almost Christian’ whom possesses ‘Heathen Honesty’ which he explains on page 47 as “the first thing implied in being almost a Christian is simple ‘Heathen Honesty.’ No one should question this.
By ‘heathen honesty’, I mean that honesty [of which] common heathens expect [of] one another. It is an honesty that many of them usually practice. The rules of honesty teach them they ought not be unjust. They should not take their neighbour’s property either by robbery or theft. They are not to oppress the poor nor ever use extortion. They are not to cheat or over-reach anyone [which means not being outwardly ‘competitive’ as its not something pertaining to heathen honesty in civility, as it creates unnecessary stress-related situations and encourages unvirtuous traits. For the better character quality to cultivate is being ‘driven’ as its for more socially responsive in aspects to ones own internal development, as well as being a role model to others, as the Holy Ghost’s character has this ‘driven’ trait within his nature too, and its the Holy Spirit one should aspire to imitate in general. As the term ‘driven’ means a person gathers, thats as to be conative; mentally striving and expressing endeavour.] In all dealings, they are not to defraud no one and are to owe no man anything.
The common heathen also agrees that some attention should be paid to truth as well as justice. As a result, they shun those who lie and call God to witness to the lie. Also disdained is the slanderer of his neighbour and anyone who accuses another falsely. Indeed, they see wilful liars as a disgrace to humanity and pest of society.
In addition, there is a degree of love and assistance which they expect from each other. They expect whatever aid anyone can give another, without depriving himself. And this they extend not only in the little things which can be done without any expense or effort, but also to greater needs. This includes feeding the hungry, if they have food to spare, and clothing the naked from their excess. In general, they are expected to give to any that need from the things which they do not need themselves. The first thing implied in being almost a Christian is this basic kind of heathen love.”
Therefore, I do confess, I am an ‘Almost Christian with a Heathen Honesty’, that is, I recognise myself in this and have trod this plain path all my life to all intents and purposes.
And that is why I don’t profess to ‘love thy neighbour’ regarded in the New Testament of Jesus Christ, but adhere to the Old Testament of the commandment of: “You shall not covet your neighbour’s house; you shall not covet your neighbour’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbour’s.” As given by Moses on the tablets of stone written by the hand of God, okay its been updated for Modern Times, but the principles are there nonetheless.
And I believe more so in the ‘Heathen Honesty’ which is liken to that of the Old Testament doctrine of (Exodus 20:2-17 NKJV), rather than that broad sweeping generalization of the second commandment in being forced or imposed upon to ‘love thy neighbour’ stated by Jesus Christ. As nothing will ever persuade me to love in such an abandoned wanton manner to actually ‘love’ thy neighbour in acts of sensual gratification either for them or for myself, as to regard it as a ‘favourable’ appearance of questionable unseemly motives; which has absolutely no bearing of directly being respectful of God or Christ in dutiful worship.
Thus to me the ‘Heathen Honesty’ is far more Righteous, and seeks not heart-felt praise; which is the concept of love in its praisement for actions attributed to rationalised sentiments. For ‘Heathen Honesty’ is very much about a practical moral conduct, thus its a ‘Heathen Love’ which is the concept of respectful adherence attributed to functional sentiments. As the ‘Heathen Honesty’ teaches one piety, which is a modest gift from the Holy Spirit which grounds ones faith fervently.
As John Wesley states himself on page 48 “The second thing implied in being almost a Christian is having a form of godliness. This is the godliness which is prescribed in the gospel of Christ-having the outside of a real Christian. So the ‘Almost Christian’ does nothing which the gospel forbids. The ‘Almost Christian’ instructs the ignorant, comforts the afflicted, assures the wavering, quickens the good, and reproves the wicked. He works to awaken those who are asleep spiritually.”
Thus in my reasonable agreement with that of John Wesley stance, “so we see that the Almost Christian has a form of godliness. He, according to his opportunities, uses all the means of grace as often as possible.” And personally during my time living, this I have done, did and do, that is, as that the circumstances has allowed, that are shown within my life span endeavours.
For the point John Wesley makes on pages 210 and 211 is something I truly also base my Methodist belief on where he states two principles:
Seek things that last. The Christian aspires to more lasting pleasures. He is never a slave to fame. Worldly acclaim does not affect him. He stands steady and collected in himself. Because he seeks no praise, he does not fear criticism. Censure does not bother him, because he is conscious that he would not willingly offend. He knows that he has the approval of the Lord of all.
Likewise, he does not fear want. He knows in whose hands the earth and fruits rest, [and] in honour or shame, in abundance or want, in ease or in pain, in life or in death, the Christian has learned to be content and thankful in all things.
Happy in Knowing God. The Christian is happy in knowing there is a God. His God is an intelligent cause and Lord of all. He knows man is not a product of either blind chance or inexorable necessity. The Christian is happy in the full assurance that his God is the being of boundless wisdom. He is assured that God has the infinite power to execute all of the plans of His wisdom. [And he] observes the general providence of God extended over the whole creation. He watches the effects of this providence in all things, as a joyous spectator.”
That’s the kind of Christian, I being Mavarine Du-Marie, is, now, and forever shall be, as my living Faith accordingly, to the principle Tenets of a baptised Methodist soon to be confirmed as a church member of the congregation; and in the Fellowship of the Trinity.
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