Not I, but Christ who lives

Henry Scougal’s Life of God in the Soul of Man was read and admired by the Wesleys and George Whitfield.

Scougal’s basic contention will sound familiar to readers of John Wesley’s sermons. True religion does not consist in holding orthodox opinions or attending to the outward rituals and trapping of religion. It is not the working up of emotions. It is none of these things. It is nothing more or less than having our soul take on the image of Christ.

Everything else in religion is either helpful to this end or not. This, for instance, is why Wesley preached justification by faith. It was not because he was convinced that the system of Christian doctrine rose or fell with justification by faith — although he certainly believed it was right doctrine. He preached it because it was instrumental in forming Christ in the souls of Christians.

It suggests to me that my ministry needs to attend much more closely to what it looks like for a person to have Christ stamped on his or her soul, and what means might be at hand for us to help foster this supernatural process along.

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7 thoughts on “Not I, but Christ who lives

  1. It’s amazing how many “church planting movements” consider the convert’s willingness to immediately live out what they learn an essential trait of their movement. We stagnant Westerners consider it optional….

  2. “It suggests to me that my ministry needs to attend much more closely to what it looks like for a person to have Christ stamped on his or her soul, and what means might be at hand for us to help foster this supernatural process along.”

    If we do not yearn and pray and expect God to stretch out His hand and do the supernatural, it will not happen. That is the simple truth of the matter….What we really lack is the passion to call upon the Lord until He opens the heavens and shows Himself powerful…..

    As we personally and corporately call out for God, as desperate people hungering and thirsting for more of Him, He will respond to us. Let us cry out to God, broken by our sins….cleansed by the blood of Jesus Christ….built up in our most holy faith and empowered by His Holy Spirit….carry on the ministry of Jesus Christ, the ministry of demonstrating how much God loves His created ones.

    God will manifest Himself in direct proportion to our passion for Him. The principle He laid down long ago is still true…..”You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart.” Jer. 19:13

    1. “God does nothing except in response to believing prayer.” John Wesley
      “I have so much to do that I shall spend the first three hours in prayer.”
      ― Martin Luther

      It is written Martin Luther spent 2-3 hours a day in prayer and Wesley spent two hours a day in prayer.
      One listener to Luther’s prayers said no one prayed like Luther.
      (I don’t recall the author)

        1. If I would have to guess, based on all that I’ve read about him as of late….I would say that he prayed from a posture of utter dependency on God. Striving to follow the example of Jesus and doing nothing that His Father was not doing. I would guess that he did so with an understanding that escapes many….and that is just how profoundly and unbelievably much God loves the lost and desperate and hurting people he encountered every single day of his ministry. And from that posture……and that heart…..God most certainly answered.

        2. He prayed sincerely and Luther really believed. The confidence heard in writings and sermons of leaders like Luther and John Wesley is inescapable and gives confidence to those that read their writings.

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