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Saturday, June 15th, 2024
the Week of Proper 5 / Ordinary 10
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Bible Commentaries

Wesley's Explanatory NotesWesley's Notes

   

Old Testament

New Testament

John Wesley
John Wesley

John Wesley, born on June 17, 1703, in Epworth, Lincolnshire, England, was an Anglican cleric, theologian, and evangelist who co-founded Methodism, a movement that has had a profound impact on Christianity worldwide. Wesley's early life, marked by strict religious upbringing under the guidance of his mother, Susanna Wesley, laid the foundation for his deep theological inquiry and the formation of his methodical approach to Bible study and Christian living-hence the term "Methodism."

Educated at Christ Church, Oxford, Wesley was ordained first as a deacon and then as a priest in the Church of England. His time at Oxford, especially his leadership of the "Holy Club," was pivotal. This group, derisively named for its methodical spiritual practices, fostered his development of a rigorous and disciplined approach to religious study and outreach.

Wesley's evangelical conversion, famously described as his heart being "strangely warmed" at a meeting in Aldersgate Street, London, in 1738, marked a significant turn in his ministry. It propelled him into a tireless career of preaching, which was characterized by open-air sermons that brought the gospel to the masses, often reaching those outside the traditional church setting.

John Wesley's theology emphasized salvation by faith, the witness of the Spirit, and sanctification. He was a prolific writer, producing sermons, theological treatises, and hymns that enriched Christian literature and music. His organizational genius not only established Methodist societies but also laid the groundwork for the structured Methodist Church after his death.

Wesley's impact extends beyond Methodism. His advocacy for social issues, including prison reform, the abolition of slavery, and the establishment of lending societies for the poor, demonstrated his belief in the practical application of Christian principles to societal problems.

John Wesley died on March 2, 1791, leaving behind a legacy of faith in action. His life and work continue to inspire millions around the world, embodying a commitment to evangelism, education, and the transformative power of God's love in society.

 
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