John Wesley’s beliefs were not very different to other Christian churches and he never wanted to start a new denomination within the church but rather to revive and reform it.

His emphasis was distinctive however, and we have taken this on board in our way of doing things! There were some beliefs which were particularly close to his heart and they featured quite often in sermons, (of which he preached over 40,000!)  Understanding them may help you to understand us! 

Inclusiveness – The four ALLS……

All people need to be saved

We all get swept off by waves of materialism, power lust or self indulgence. We just do, we’re human! …..So, we need to be rescued by Jesus, drawn out of trouble into the calm understanding of what’s important and ultimately to live with Him, as children of God, in the safe harbours of Heaven. (See Romans 3 v 23)

All people can be saved

History has come up with ideas that only specially chosen people or good people, or people who fulfil certain criteria can be accepted into God’s family. Others think some people are beyond saving because of things they have done. 

John Wesley refused to believe either! Indeed, he felt so strongly about it that he and his friends would hop up on prison wagons bringing condemned criminals to the gallows for the death penalty. They would explain the love and grace of God on the journey through city streets, while “upright citizens” threw rotten eggs and fruit at them! (See1 Timothy 2 v 4, John 3 v16 and 1 John 2 v2)

All people can know that they are saved

John Wesley recognised that fear is the greatest enemy of faith. When travelling to America as a young preacher a severe storm had John petrified by fear. He noticed that a group of Moravian Christians were happily singing and worshipping God, despite the storm. He wanted that assurance too and eventually found it. He preached that we can be confident of God’s commitment to us just as a child can be confident in the love of a good parent, even as he or she continues to make mistakes and grow. The key to this confidence in God’s saving grace is having a relationship with Him! (See Hebrews 11:1)

“By salvation I mean not barely according to the vulgar notion deliverance from hell or going to heaven but a present deliverance from sin, a restoration of the soul to its primitive health its original purity, a recovery of the divine nature, the renewal of our souls after the image of God in righteousness and true holiness, in justice, mercy and truth.”
 John Wesley

All people can be saved to perfection

Okay, if Heaven is a place for the utterly pure then we humans could never qualify! But though we are still “works in progress” Jesus has promised to make us perfect and that when we die, we can live with Him in that place of joy. Wesley urged all his followers to strive towards this perfection in this life though, through prayer, Bible Study and going out into the community to help others. Being saved was for him much better than a promise. it was a way of life for us to enjoy now. (1 Thessalonians 5:23, Matthew 5:48 and 1 John 4:18)