John Wesley[ edit ] In traditional Calvinism and high church Anglicanism , perfection was viewed as a gift bestowed on righteous persons only after their death see Glorification. John Wesley , the founder of Methodism , was responsible for reviving the idea of spiritual perfection in Protestantism. According to Noble, Wesley transformed Christian perfection as found in church tradition by interpreting it through a Protestant lens that understood sanctification in light of justification by grace through faith working by love. In a sermon titled "Christian Perfection", Wesley preached that "A Christian is so far perfect as not to commit sin.
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Nearly every American claims to be a rugged individualist who is indifferent to the opinions of others. Their belief in personal autonomy frees them from those limits imposed by custom and even the regard of others—or so they say. The truth is that our culture is not comprised of self-reliant cowboys. He wrote to many people from all stations of life: from French nobility to ordinary people. Indeed, if the Duke had lived long enough to become king, it might have changed the entire course of Western history.
He also knew what it was like to be stripped of his influence and have those same friends abandon him. Shortly after being consecrated an Archbishop, he was sentenced to internal exile. He was able to overcome the loss of everything because he was, in the words of those who knew him, "dead to vanity.
They know that they are who and what God intends for them to be. This, and not what today we call personal autonomy, is where true freedom is found—no matter what our neighbors think. Reprinted with the permission of Prison Fellowship Ministries.
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Christian Perfection: Devotional Reflections on the Christian Life