Friday, May 24, 2019

Wesley: why the gifts declined

Friday, May 24, 2019
    Feast of John and Charles Wesley, Priests, Poets, Teachers, 1791 & 1788
    But eagerly desire the greater gifts. And now I will show you the most excellent way.
    —1 Corinthians 12:31 (NIV)
    The cause of [the cessation of the extraordinary gifts of the Holy Ghost] was not, ... “because there was no more occasion for them,” because all the world was become Christians... The real cause was, “the love of many,” almost of all Christians, so called, was “waxed cold.” The Christians had no more of the Spirit of Christ, than the other heathens. The Son of man, when he came to examine his church, could hardly “find faith upon earth.” This was the real cause, why the extraordinary gifts of the Holy Ghost were no longer to be found in the Christian church; because the Christians were turned heathens again, and had only a dead form left.
    ... John Wesley (1703-1791), Sermons on Several Occasions, v. II, New York: Carlton & Phillips, 1855, Sermon XCIV. “The More Excellent Way,” vol. 2, p. 266 (see the book)
    See also Matt. 24:12-13; 1 Cor. 12:1-7,31; 14:1; Phil. 3:8
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, we turn away from dead tradition towards Your living word.
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