Wesley: “Know you not, that you can do nothing but sin, till you are reconciled to God?”

From a sermon entitled “The Righteousness of Faith” preached from Romans 10:5-8:

Whosoever therefore you are, who desires to be forgiven and reconciled to the favor of God, do not say in your heart, “I must first do this; I must first conquer every sin; break off every evil word and work, and do all good to all men; or, I must first go to church, receive the Lord’s Supper, hear more sermons, and say more prayers.” Alas, my brother! You are clean gone out of the way. You are still “ignorant of the righteousness of God,” and are “seeking to establish your own righteousness,” as the ground of your reconciliation. Know you not, that you can do nothing but sin, till you are reconciled to God? Wherefore, then, do you say, “I must do this and this first, and then I shall believe?” No, but first believe! Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, the Propitiation for your sins. Let this good foundation first be laid, and then you shall do all things well.

Neither say in your heart, “I cannot be accepted yet, because I am not good enough.” Who is good enough–who ever was–to merit acceptance at God’s hands? Was ever any child of Adam good enough for this? Or will any till the consummation of all things? And as for you, you are not good at all. There dwells in you no good thing. And you never will be, till you believe in Jesus. Rather, you will find yourself worse and worse. But is there any need of being worse, in order to be accepted? Are you not bad enough already? Indeed you are, and that God knows. And you yourself cannot deny it. Then delay not. All things are now ready. “Arise wash away your sins.” The fountain is open. Now is the time to wash you white in the blood of the Lamb. Now he shall “purge” you as “with hyssop,” and you shall “be clean”. He shall “wash” you , and you shall “be whiter than snow”.

John Wesley, The Works of John Wesley, vol. 5, p. 74-75

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About cteldridge

A beggar trying to tell other beggars were the Bread is.
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