John Wesley on Prayer Lesson 49

*Christ is All

Christ is all, and in all.

Colossians 3:11 NASB

We know that God is able to give His grace though there were no means on the face of the earth. In this sense, we may affirm that, with regard to God, there is no such thing as means, seeing He is equally able to work whatever pleases Him, by any means, or by none at all.

We know, further, that the use of all means whatever will never atone for one sin. It is the blood of Christ alone whereby any sinner can be reconciled to God. There is no other propitiation for our sins, no other fountain for sin and uncleanness.

Every believer in Christ is deeply convinced that there is no merit except in Him. There is no merit in any of their own works: not in uttering the prayer, or searching the scripture, or hearing the Word of God, or eating that bread and drinking of that cup of the Lord’s Supper. If those who say, “Christ is the only means of grace,” mean that He is the only meritorious cause of grace, it cannot be disputed by any who know the grace of God. For “Christ,” as the apostle said, “is all, and in all.”

*From How to Pray: The Best of John Wesley on Prayer, published by Barbour Publishing, Inc. Used by permission.

In this forty-ninth lesson on prayer, Wesley points to Jesus as the only meritorious cause of grace. Let us listen to the words of Jesus as He asserts this Himself in John 15:1-11:

“‘1I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. 2 ‘Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit. 3 ‘ You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. 4 ‘ Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. 5 ‘I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. 6 ‘If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned. 7 ‘If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 ‘My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples. 9 ‘Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love. 10’ If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. 11’ These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full’” (NASB).

The apostle Paul also makes known the all sufficient reconciling power of Christ when writing to the Colossians in chapter 1, verses 13-20:

13For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, 14in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. 15He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities– all things have been created through Him and for Him. 17He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. 18He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything. 19For it was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him, 20and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven” (NASB).

Wesley ends this lesson with, “Every believer in Christ is deeply convinced that there is no merit except in Him. There is no merit in any of their own works: not in uttering the prayer, or searching the scripture, or hearing the Word of God, or eating that bread and drinking of that cup of the Lord’s Supper. If those who say, ‘Christ is the only means of grace,’ mean that He is the only meritorious cause of grace, it cannot be disputed by any who know the grace of God. For ‘Christ,’ as the apostle said, ‘is all, and in all.’”

Published by doctorpaddy

An ordained minister, Christian communicator, and educator.

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