Some folks think of it as a one time decision, but as Wesleyan’s and Methodists, we consider the Christian life as a series of daily decisions to follow Jesus. John Wesley, the founder of the Methodist Movement, understood and taught salvation and the Christian life as a continual encounter with God’s grace.
God’s grace comes upon us preveniently, before we believe in Jesus. Through the love of others, the wonder of creation, every good and perfect gift from above is intended to point us towards saving faith in Christ. These are God’s efforts to woo us, to release our free will to chose Him.
Upon our choosing, our saying yes to God’s offer of redeeming love, we experience justifying grace. The moment we are restored into relationship with God. Our sin, past-present-and future, is absorbed in the work of Christ on the cross.
While a real and clear change occurs with our soul at the moment of justification; a real and noticeable change begins to happen in our heart and mind, this is sanctifying grace. As our hearts turn towards God, we begin to care for the things He adores, enjoy the things that pleases Him, and cry for the things that break His heart.
We explain it as a process that is clear and understandable. First we come to KNOW God and experience redemption through faith in Christ. With this new life, we begin to GROW in our understanding of faith and this new relationship. As we grow, our hearts begin to change as we begin to LOVE like Jesus loves. Eventually this love is our own as we LIVE in Christ.
Throughout this process, we develop habits that keep us connected to God and one another. Gathering together in large and small groups, growing as disciples in our relationship with Jesus, one another, and our community; and finally going out into the world as messengers of this Good News that has changed our lives.