Transcript of Dr. Jim Lo on The Wesleyan Church
The name “Wesleyan” is in honor of John Wesley, the founder of the Methodist movement.
It was their disciplined routine of spiritual devotion that earned Wesley and a few of his friends in ministry the nickname “Methodists” in 1735.
They were disciplined in their prayer lives, reading the Bible and keeping one another accountable.
It was stated, “…they are so methodical in maintaining their spiritual fervor”.
The name “Methodist” stuck, describing the uniquely, new organizational structure Wesley designed to provide prayer and spiritual care for tens of thousands of converts who found Christ through their work and preaching ministry.
The History of The Wesleyan Church shows that a religious organization can be a powerful instrument for change.
It was while studying the Bible that Wesley received assurance of his own salvation through faith.
And it was the Bible which also motivated his vision to offer Christ to the common people of England in a way that led to that nation’s greatest spiritual revival.
It was what Wesley read in the Bible that inspired him to develop a school for orphans, job programs and medical assistance for the poor, efforts to reform inhumane prisons, and moved him to argue for the abolition of slavery, a great evil of his time.
For he saw slavery as being contrary to the Bible, even when defenders of that practice argued that it was an economic necessity for the British empire.
The vision statement of The Wesleyan Church today reads as follows: The Wesleyan Church is a Spirit-led, praying movement called to evangelize and make disciples of all people by equipping believers, developing leaders, multiplying churches, and transforming communities.
Although Wesleyans respect his life and example, John Wesley is not the person Wesleyans worship.
“A Methodist,” Wesley, himself said, “is . . . one who loves the Lord his God with all his heart, with all his soul, with all his mind, and with all his strength.”
Wesleyans believe in one God, who is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
We believe that the gift of eternal life in heaven is offered to all humankind; That Jesus Christ is the Savior of all who will put their faith in Him alone.
The way to become a Christian begins with the recognition that one is a sinner since The Bible tells us that all have sinned.
Because of sin we should be punished since God, who is holy, cannot allow sin into His heaven.
But He loves us so much that he does not want us to end up in Hell.
Thus God was faced with a dilemma.
The way he solved this was to send His Son, Jesus Christ, into the world to take our punishment.
This took place when He was crucified on a cross.
But Jesus did not remain dead.
He came alive after three days.
He now lives with God the Father in Heaven.
For us to enter into heaven we must do the following:
Believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God… that he died for our sins… and rose from the dead.
Confess that we have sinned… for the Bible tells us that if we confess our sins God is faithful and just to forgive us our sins.
Repent of our sins… which is making the decision that with God’s help we no longer want to do things that displease God….
But now, we want to surrender our wills to follow the Will of God, Almighty
We then need to receive Jesus into our lives, inviting him to be our Savior and Lord.
Wesleyans believe that those who are made new in Christ are called to be holy in character and conduct, and one can only live this way when they are filled with the Holy Spirit.
We believe in the Bible and its sufficiency to establish our faith and conduct.
We believe God wills for people everywhere to know Him and be made new in Christ.
We believe that the purpose of the Church is to worship God in spirit and in truth, and to reach a lost and fallen world with the good news of Jesus Christ through its worship, witness, and loving deeds.
Wesley, himself, demonstrated loving deeds by worked tirelessly for justice in all domains, including education, helping the poor and he sought for political reforms that would prevent the nobility from getting richer at the detriment of harming the poorer populous!
In fact, his ministry was largely focused upon social responsibility;
social action was an integral component of his theology.
For Wesley, works of mercy are a crucial dimension in the Christian life.
In other words, Wesleyans believe that salvation is not meant to make a person be self-focused but to be other focused… to have open eyes to see the needs of others and a heart to do things to meet those needs.
The following describes what Wesleyans seek to be:
Wesleyans seek to be CHRISTLIKE: we believe that Jesus Christ is the defining feature of God’s will and relationship with all humankind.
In Christ is found both newness of life and the highest and clearest example for godliness.
People made new in Christ find Him to be the source of faith, hope, and love in both the inner life and in our outward actions engaging a world desperate for hope and life.
Wesleyans seek to be DISCIPLEs since making disciples is a clear mandate from Christ.
This requires a strong focus on sharing God’s plan of salvation with others, and helping believers to grow spiritually, enabling them to live holy lives.
Done effectively, this training can produce and promote growth and health in and among our churches.
Wesleyans seek to be CHURCH CENTERED:
The Wesleyan denomination exists to help local congregations grow and multiply, be more healthy, and to more authentically reflect God’s plan.
We believe local churches are the most fundamental and strategic points of evangelism, discipleship and service.
Wesleyans seek to be SERVANTs:
In the Bible we read that Jesus came to serve.
We live in a world of need.
Christians are to be asking God to open our eyes to see the hurts and needs of those around us, and then move out to serve and then meet those needs.
Wesleyans seek to be United in DIVERSITY because we believe that there is intrinsic value in every person.
Biblical unity becomes all the more important and beautiful in the light of the wide-ranging differences in personalities, cultures, races, languages, talents, and perspectives.
Finding unity and mutual love in Christ eliminates devaluation and deprivation of life to one another.