The examination

A list of questions taken from the end of John Wesley’s sermon “The Almost Christian“:

  • Is the love of God shed abroad in your heart?
  • Can you cry out, “My God, and my All”?
  • Do you desire nothing but him?
  • Are you happy in God?
  • Is he your glory, your delight, your crown of rejoicing?
  • And is this commandment written in your heart, “That he who loveth God love his brother also”?
  • Do you then love your neighbour as yourself?
  • Do you love every man, even your enemies, even the enemies of God, as your own soul? as Christ loved you?
  • Yea, dost thou believe that Christ loved thee, and gave himself for thee? Hast thou faith in his blood?
  • Believest thou the Lamb of God hath taken away thy sins, and cast them as a stone into the depth of the sea? that he hath blotted out the handwriting that was against thee, taking it out of the way, nailing it to his cross?
  • Hast thou indeed redemption through his blood, even the remission of thy sins?
  • And doth his Spirit bear witness with thy spirit, that thou art a child of God?

5 thoughts on “The examination

  1. What would happen if every United Methodist had to answer these questions on a weekly basis?

    1. From the sermon, Wesley says then to this:

      [C]all upon thy God: call in the day when he may be found. [Do] not rest, till he make his “goodness to pass before thee;” till he proclaim unto thee the name of the Lord, “The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity, and transgression, and sin.” Let no man persuade thee, by vain words, to rest short of this prize of thy high calling. But cry unto him day and night, who, “while we were without strength, died for the ungodly,” until thou knowest in whom thou hast believed, and canst say, “My Lord, and my God!” Remember, “always to pray, and not to faint,” till thou also canst lift up thy hand unto heaven, and declare to him that liveth for ever and ever, “Lord, Thou knowest all things, Thou knowest that I love Thee.”

    2. The more complete response — going beyond the sermon — I think is that those questions are meant to convict us and encourage to call out to God for grace. They also are meant to stir us up to work out our own salvation. Some scholars argue that Wesley mixes up in this list justification and sanctification, but I’m not convinced that is a fault here. He is holding out the ultimate goal of holiness of heart and life while also putting questions to us that move us toward that.

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