“This is the glorious privilege of every Christian, yea, though he be but a babe in Christ. But it is only of grown Christian it can be affirmed, they are in such a sense perfect, as, Secondly, to be free from evil thoughts and evil tempers. First, from evil or sinful thoughts.
Indeed, whence ,should they spring? ‘Out of the heart of man’, if at all, ‘proceed evil thoughts’. If. therefore, the heart be no longer evil, then evil thoughts no longer proceed out of it: For ‘a good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit’.”
As the Christians are freed from evil thoughts, so likewise they are freed from the evil tempers.
Every one of us can say with St. Paul:
He who lives in the Christians has purified their hearts by faith.
“The full assurance of faith…” according to Arvid Gradin is to “Repose in the blood of Christ; a firm confidence in God, and persuasion of his favour; the highest tranquility, serenity, and peace of mind, with a deliverance from every fleshly desire, and a cessation of all, even inward sins.”
Every one that has Christ in him is purified from pride, for Christ was lowly in heart.
He is pure from desire and self-will, for Christ desired only to do the will of his Father.
And he is pure from anger for Christ was meek and gently.
He feels a displacency at every offence against God, but only tender compassion to the offender.
“Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because, as he is, so are we in this world.”
The Christians are saved in this world from all sin, from all unrighteousness.
We are now in such a sense perfect, as not to commit sin, and to be freed from evil thoughts and evil tempers.
This post is part of the Thursday Devotionals series. And it is the first part of The Full Assurance Of Faith - a reflection on the writings of John Wesley.
You can read the first part of the post - here.