Wesley’s Thoughts on Grace

From Ole Borgen’s book, John Wesley on the Sacraments, we learn that Wesley’s order of salvation (his ‘ordo salutis’) pre-supposes atonement, that is, that Jesus redeemed us and is always the spring of God’s perpetual grace.

On this basis, the stages on the way to salvation are of importance. Because atonement, that is to say, prevenient grace which is our natural conscience is given to all. Justifying grace is given to anyone who believes that Christ has redeemed us (it is the individual’s action of belief that is needed). And finally, sanctifying grace is the act of getting perfected in love, that is, living a life of Christian perfection, living honorably, in faith and with good works – always striving to perfection.

Wesley’s order represents his systematic understanding of how God dispenses salvation. It is dispensed to each person according to her need and situation – prevenient, convincing/converting (Wesley felt that communion could be a converting moment), justifying or sanctifying.

Hymns of Prevenient Grace can be found in The United Methodist Hymnal pages 337-359. See the heading on the upper-left-hand of the page. Hymns of Justifying Grace can be found in The United Methodist Hymnal pages 361-381. Hymns of Sanctifying and Perfecting Grace can be found in The United Methodist Hymnal pages 382-536. The concept of grace is often found in Eucharistic hymns too on pages 612-641 of the hymnal. UMC Hymnal