God’s part and our part

In his fourth sermon on the Sermon on the Mount, John Wesley has one of the lines that I find representative of his attitudes and ministry. The line comes in response to a supposed objection that it is pointless to strive to save souls because it is God who does the actual saving. Wesley responds thusly:

Though it is God only changes hearts, yet he generally doth it by man. It is our part to do all that in us lies, as diligently as if we could change them ourselves, and then to leave the event to him.

God changes hearts, but that is no reason for us to relax, Wesley argues. God does the work, but that should not stop us from doing ours as well. God gets all the credit, but God often uses people like you and me.

Here is Wesley the energetic, pragmatic, and warm-hearted Christian pastor.