38 Questions and Answers About Christian Perfection
as believed and taught by the Reverend Mr. John Wesley, from the year 1725, to the year 1777
These questions are exactly as John Wesley wrote them in A Plain Account of Christian Perfection. When you click on the link to each question, you will go to the answer in Wesley's book.
Christian Perfection, Christ, the Law, and Love
"QUESTION 1. How is 'Christ the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth?' (Rom. 10:4.)
"Q. 2. Are we then dead to the law?
"Q. 3. How, then, are we 'not without law to God, but under the law to Christ?' (1 Cor. 9:21.)
"Q. 4. Is love the fulfilling of this law?
"Q. 5. How is 'love the end of the commandment?' (1 Tim. 1:5.)
"Q. 6. What love is this?
"Q. 7. What are the fruits or properties of this love?
Christian Perfection, Sin, and Atonement
"Q. 8. But do we not 'in many things offend all,' yea, the best of us, even against this law?
"Q. 9. Do we not then need Christ, even on this account?
"Q. 10. May not, then, the very best of men adopt the dying Martyr's confession: 'I am in myself nothing but sin, darkness, hell; but thou art my light, my holiness, my heaven?'
"Q. 11. But if all this be consistent with Christian perfection, that perfection is not freedom from all sin; seeing sin is the transgression of the law:' And the perfect transgress the very law they are under. Besides, they need the atonement of Christ; and he is the atonement of nothing but sin. Is, then, the term sinless perfection, proper?
"Q. 12. Does then Christian perfection imply any more than sincerity?
"Q. 13. But if Christ has put an end to that law, what need of any atonement for their transgressing it?
"Q. 14. But can one that is saved from sin be tempted?
"Q. 15. However, what you call temptation, I call the corruption of my heart. And how will you distinguish one from the other?
Christian Perfection, Sanctification, and Justification
"Q. 16. But how do you know, that you are sanctified, saved from your inbred corruption?
"Q. 17. But what need is there of it, seeing sanctification is a real change, not a relative only, like justification?
"Q. 18. But does not sanctification shine by its own light?
"Q. 19. But what scripture makes mention of any such thing, or gives any reason to expect it?
"Q. 20. May not some of them have a testimony from the Spirit, that they shall not finally fall from God?
"Q. 21. But have any a testimony from the Spirit that they shall never sin?
"Q. 22. By what 'fruit of the Spirit' may we 'know that we are of God,' even in the highest sense?
"Q. 23. But what great matter is there in this? Have we not all this when we are justified?
"Q. 24. But some who are newly justified do. What then will you say to these?
"Q. 25. But is not this the case of all that are justified? Do they not gradually die to sin and grow in grace, till at, or perhaps a little before, death God perfects them in love?
"Q. 26. Does St. Paul mean any more by being 'sealed with the Spirit,' than being 'renewed in love?'
"Q. 27. But how can those who are thus sealed 'grieve the Holy Spirit of God?'
"Q. 28. What do you think of those in London, who seem to have been lately 'renewed in love?'
Christian Perfection and Growing or Falling in Grace
"Q. 29. Can those who are perfect grow in grace?
"Q. 30. Can they fall from it?
Q. 31. Can those who fall from this state recover it?
"Q. 32. What is the First advice that you would give them?
"Q. 33. What is the Second advice which you would give them?
"Q. 34. What is the Third?
"Q. 35. What is the Fourth?
"Q. 36. What is the Fifth?
"Q. 37. What is the Sixth?
"Q. 38. What is the last advice that you would give them?