It may not have been John Wesley’s first delivered sermon, but it was #1 as he organized his most important ones. And it certainly lays out a foundational scriptural truth that remains a core doctrinal principle for us today: by God’s grace we are “saved” through faith. Not our own works, but the only condition is simply faith, trust in God through Jesus Christ. See Ephesians 2:8. Wesley wrote that “grace is the source; faith is the condition of salvation.”
I’m not a great theologian, so I’ll let others expound on the details of this. But it’s a pretty basic idea at the heart of Christianity – from Paul, through Wesley, to us – and many others along the way.
What do you think of when you hear the words “salvation”, “grace”, “faith”, or “justification”? How do those concepts impact people’s lives today? As leaders in the church, we must be able to understand and articulate the foundational principle of “Salvation by Faith”. Take a look at Wesley’s Sermon #1 – and let’s put this doctrinal standard to work as we lead.