Saturday, October 11, 2014

Wesley Sermon #17

So is everyone that is born of the Spirit (John 3:8)

I propose to lay down the marks of the new birth in the plainest manner, just as I find them laid down in Scripture. The marks of the new birth are faith, hope, and love.

Faith is the foundational mark of the new birth. By faith we do not mean mere assent to the proposition ‘Jesus is the Christ,’ but also a disposition of the heart. It is a rejection of the flesh and an active trust in Christ. It yields power over sin, so that whoever is born of God does not commit sin. It also yields peace which passes understanding.

There is such a thing as false hope, but true hope is a mark of having been born again. This is the assurance of salvation. The Spirit bears witness that we are, indeed, children of God. Present sufferings cannot destroy such hope.

The greatest of these marks is love. Primarily, this is a love for God, but this produces a love for all people (neighbors and supposed enemies). We are willing to die for them. This love exists, first and foremost, in the heart. But if plays out in actions towards God and people.

Each of us knows if we are presently experiencing this faith, this hope, and this love. Is this your present experience? If so, you bear the marks of new birth.

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