Sermon Illustrations


John Wesley was an honor graduate of Oxford University, an ordained clergyman in the Church of England and orthodox in theology. He was active in practical good works, regularly visiting the inmates of prisons and workhouses in London and helping distribute food and clothing to slum children and orphans. He studied the Bible diligently and attended numerous Sunday services as well as various other services during the week. He generously gave offerings to the church and alms to the poor. He prayed and fasted and lived an exemplary moral life. He even spent several years as a missionary to American Indians in what was then the British colony of Georgia. Yet upon returning to England he confessed in his journal, "I who went to America to convert others was never myself converted to God." Later reflecting on his preconversion condition, he said. "I had even then the faith of a servant, though not that of a son."

Wesley tirelessly did everything he could to live a life acceptable to God, yet he knew something vital was missing. It was not until he went as he said "very unwillingly to a society in Aldersgate Street" one evening that he discovered and claimed true Christian life. "I felt my heart strangely warmed," he wrote. "I felt I did trust in Christ, Christ alone, for salvation; and an assurance was given me that He had taken away my sins, even mine, and saved me from the law of sin and death." Things were no longer elementary for Wesley. He had entered "the heavenlies."

From Matthew Kratz's Sermon "Son of God"

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