Our Wesleyan Way

Method: Our Wesleyan Way - "Free Grace"

Here's the wrap-up to our 8 week series on Wesleyan beliefs, ending with the big one - GRACE.

It was a lot of fun to dig in here, it's a bit of a lecture on the four steps of grace - prevenient, justifying, sanctifying, and glorifying.  We crammed a lot in, but it was great to end things on a high note!

March 2, 2014 - Celebration from FUMC of Arlington on Vimeo.

Method: Our Wesleyan Way - "Upon Our Lord's Sermon on the Mount"

Last week we continued our sermon series Method: Our Wesleyan way with a glimpse into John Wesley's thought on the Sermon on the Mount, the Gospel Lectionary stream right now.

Wesley published 13 of his own sermons on this great discourse from Jesus in Matthew's Gospel, which goes to show how much we could say on this one (or many ...) message from Jesus.

We tackled what it means to be salty, what it means to be light, heading towards what Wesleyan Christians refer to as 'holiness of heart and life'.

February 9, 2014 - Celebration from FUMC of Arlington on Vimeo.

Upon Our Lord's Sermon on the Mount

If you've read this blog at all lately, you know that my church is in the midst of a preaching series on Wesleyan beliefs, Method: Our Wesleyan Way.  It's been great fun to preach, mostly has it's been a call to dig into the sermons of John Wesley as weekly inspiration.

This week, the text is Matthew 5:13-20, which encompass sermons 4 and 5 of John Wesley's preaching series, "Upon Our Lord's Sermon on the Mount".  As it's a lot to get through, I've mostly focused on sermon 4, which has a lot of wisdom to share on our Wesleyan drive to bring together a holiness of heart and life.  To be salt and light.

Just a few quotes that I dig:

First, I shall endeavour to show, that Christianity is essentially a social religion; and that to turn it into a solitary religion, is indeed to destroy it.

 "Ye" (Christians, ye that are lowly, serious and meek; ye that hunger after righteousness, that love God and man, that do good to all, and therefore suffer evil; ye) "are the salt of the earth:" It is your very nature to season whatever is round about you. It is the nature of the divine savour which is in you, to spread to whatsoever you touch; to diffuse itself, on every side, to all those among whom you are. This is the great reason why the providence of God has so mingled you together with other men, that whatever grace you have received of God may through you be communicated to others; that every holy temper, and word, and work of yours, may have an influence on lo them also. By this means a check will, in some measure, be given to the corruption which is in the world; and a small part, at least, saved from the general infection, and rendered holy and pure before God.

A believer may fall, and not fall away. He may fall and rise again. And if he should fall, even into sin, yet this case, dreadful as it is, is not desperate. For "we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; and he is the propitiation for our sins."
And finally ...
So impossible it is, to keep our religion from being seen, unless we cast it away; so vain is the thought of hiding the light, unless by putting it out! Sure it is, that a secret, unobserved religion, cannot be the religion of Jesus Christ. Whatever religion can be concealed, is not Christianity. If a Christian could be hid, he could not be compared to a city set upon an hill; to the light of the world, the sun shining from heaven, and seen by all the world below. Never, therefore, let it enter into the heart of him whom God hath renewed in the spirit of his mind, to hide that light, to keep his religion to himself; especially considering it is not only impossible to conceal true Christianity, but likewise absolutely contrary to the design of the great Author of it.

Method: Our Wesleyan Way - "The Way to the Kingdom"

Last week in worship we discussed heaven, or really, the Kingdom of Heaven (or of God depending on your gospel/version choice).

When Christ talks about Heaven, he speaks of it as if it was right next door to us, right now.  How do we find it?  When do we see it?  What does it take to get there?

January 26, 2014 - Celebration from FUMC of Arlington on Vimeo.

Method: Our Wesleyan Way - "The Difference Between Walking by Sight and Walking by Faith"

This week's message was the second in our sermon series Method: Our Wesleyan Way.  We're attempting to wade through the hot topics of our beliefs as United Methodist, turning to John Wesley and his sermons as inspiration in addition to the scriptures of the lectionary.

Last week was baptism, this week was faith.  We have a lot to learn from a few disciples that could just drop everything and follow, but I don't think we're called to that kind of blind faith anymore.  Faith is believing without seeing, but at the same time, can we not see Christ in one another?

I also briefly refer to a modern-day Saint of the church as we remember the life and message of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

January 19, 2014 - Celebration from FUMC of Arlington on Vimeo.