1. Core Values: The ____________ of the Christian Faith
a. The ____________: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit
b. Jesus Christ and His Reign: ____________
c. The Work of the Holy ____________
2. John Wesley’s Understanding of Grace
a. “The undeserved, unmerited, and loving action of God in human existence through the ever‐present Holy Spirit.” (The Book of Discipline)
b. It has three ____________ expressions: prevenient, justifying, and sanctifying grace.
c. These were not separate types of grace; there is only ____________ grace, but Wesley saw grace manifest in different expressions.
“The salvation which is here spoken of is not what is frequently understood by that word, the going to heaven, eternal happiness. It is not the soul's going to paradise…It is not a blessing which lies on the other side of death…The very words of the text itself put this beyond all question: ‘Ye are saved.’ It is not something at a distance: it is a present thing; a blessing which, through the free mercy of God, ye are now in possession of. Nay, the words may be rendered, and that with equal propriety, ‘Ye have been saved’: so that the salvation which is here spoken of might be extended to the entire work of God, from the first dawning of grace in the soul, till it is consummated in glory.”
The Scripture Way of Salvation - 1765 - John Wesley
d. Salvation is both a ____________ and future reality.
e. It comes through ____________, but salvation is utterly dependent on God’s grace at work in us.
3. The Three Primary Expressions of Grace
a. Prevenient Grace…
“What do you think? If a shepherd has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go in search of the one that went astray? And if he finds it, truly I tell you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine that never went astray. So it is not the will of your Father in heaven that one of these little ones should be lost.” (Matthew 18:12-14)
i. Wesley called this expression of grace, the grace that comes before our ____________.
ii. God’s grace is at work in our lives, even ____________ we are aware of it, leading us, prodding us, urging us to repent and be saved.
“For the Son of Man came to seek out and to save the lost.” (Luke 19:10)
iii. He describes prevenient grace as the ____________ on a house.
b. Justifying Grace (Saving Grace)
i. He describes this grace as the ____________ into the house of God’s salvation!
ii. “Just as if” we had never ____________ or “Just as if I died.”
iii. Wesley taught that faith was the condition of justification and the _________ condition.
iv. This is when faith becomes personal and when God’s grace is experienced in the ___________.
> For example, on May 24, 1738, at Aldersgate Street in London, Wesley said he suddenly felt his heart “strangely warmed” by the assurance that Christ died, not just for all, but for ____________, that his sins were forgiven.
“For by grace you are saved through faith, and not of yourselves, it is a gift of God, not of works lest any person boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9)
c. Sanctifying Grace
i. The grace that makes us ____________.
ii. Wesley also called this “____________” grace.
ii. Perfection here doesn’t mean being without error or fault but becoming mature or ____________.
“Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (Matthew 5:48)
iv. Sanctification begins at the point of justification and continues on for the rest of our lives.
v. It is a process, guided by the ____________ Spirit, that helps us to grow in love of God and neighbor.
“God's grace seeks nothing less than a new creation in the likeness of Jesus Christ. It is God's freely given presence and power to restore the fullness of God's image in which we are created. Its aim is entire ‘holiness of heart and life.’” (John Wesley)
vi. It doesn’t ____________ the condition of sin, but it does help us to resist the power sin has over us.
4. Conclusion: Growing in Grace
a. “While the grace of God is undivided, it precedes salvation as ‘prevenient grace,' continues in ‘justifying grace,' and is brought to fruition in ‘sanctifying grace.’” (The Book of Discipline)
b. Grace, like faith itself, is a ____________. Each of us is somewhere on that journey.
c. The important thing is to keep living in God’s grace and growing in ____________.
“A lot of people get stuck in prevenient grace and never move beyond it. Others accept God’s justifying grace; they accept Christ and his saving work but never go on to sanctification. They’ve been born anew, but they’re content to remain infants.” (Revival by Rev. Adam Hamilton)
d. The journey of Christian faith is a ____________ change; it is not only about accepting God’s gift in Christ, but about charting a new course for life, saying no to self‐love and the priorities the world sets, and instead devoting oneself to loving God and others.