Wesley's Sermon 14: The Repentance of Believers

[This is part of the Getting to Know John series on John Wesley's Sermons. Click here to see the other posts.] Apparently in Wesley's day there were a lot of Christians who believed that once a person repented of their sin and came to faith in Christ, that their sin was completely wiped out and they would not ever need to repent again. Brother John provides a pretty convincing argument otherwise, pointing out a pretty thorough list of things that still rear their ugly heads even after we're assured that we are God's children; pride, self-will, idolatry, love of the world, desire to be praised by people, jealousy, envy, lust, selfishness, and helplessness are just some of the things he uses to make his point.

Then, after this long list of remaining effects of our sin and pointing out how utterly powerless we are to do anything about them, he makes that case that God can rid our lives of them, God wants to do so, and God wants to do it right now. 

I really like Paul Chilcote's closing paragraph in his prayer based on this sermon in [amazon_link id="0835809501" target="_blank" ]Praying in the Wesleyan Spirit[/amazon_link]:

When you accepted me as a part of your family through Christ, I felt as though I was born again. The change in my life was amazing. But I need to experience your life-changing love over and over again in order to grow into the fulness of your love. Amen.

Download and read my ePub file of the original text of the sermon by clicking here.

Or, just check out my outline of the sermon.

And a great Wesleyan hymn to go along with it:

Depth of Mercy Charles Wesley, 1740

Depth of mercy! Can there be mercy still reserved for me? Can my God his wrath forbear, me, the chief of sinners, spare?

I have long withstood his grace, long provoked him to his face, would not hearken to his calls, grieved him by a thousand falls.

I my Master have denied, I afresh have crucified, oft profaned his hallowed name, put him to an open shame.

There for me the Savior stands, shows his wounds and spreads his hands. God is love! I know, I feel; Jesus weeps and loves me still.

Now incline me to repent, let me now my sins lament, now my foul revolt deplore, weep, believe, and sin no more.