I have been reading a great book called Paul the Traveller; St. Paul and his World by Ernle Bradford. In it there is a quote by John Wesley from just before he died. It really struck me so I thought I’d quote it here.
“In London alone I found 652 members of our society who were exceedingly clear in their experience, and whose testimony I could see no reason to doubt. And every one of these (without a single exception) has declared that his deliverance from sin was instantaneous; that the change was wrought in a moment. Had half of these, or one third, or one in twenty, declared that it was gradually wrought in them, I should have believed this, with regard to them, and thought that some of them were gradually sanctified and some instantaneously. But as I have not found, in so long a space of time, a single person speaking thus, I cannot but believe that sanctification is commonly, if not always, an instantaneous work.”
I’m fascinated by this idea. Deliverance I can understand, but sanctification, I’m not so sure. Or is deliverance what Wesley is referring to? Sanctification is a process, whereas salvation is instantaneous. I don’t know, it just really grabbed me.