• read circumcision of the heart

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Week 1

Welcome to Week 1.
Welcome to Theology of John Wesley! In the weeks ahead you will learn about one of the most significant figures in the history of Western Civilization. Many historians believe that it was the Methodist Revival, led by Wesley, that spared the blood shed of the French Revolution from taking place in England.
His story is a very human one. He wanted assurance that he was pleasing to God and did everything he knew to do to attain it. Finally, he came to the end of himself and God broke into his experience and transformed his heart. Following this experience he developed a doctrine that is among the most hopeful in Christian theology. It is the idea that we can live lives free of the bondage of sin…that we can become the men and women God intends for us to be. The failures of the past no longer need dominate us, and our heart can be turned outward toward God and others.
As we go on this journey search your heart and reflect on your own path to Jesus. See if there is something that John Wesley discovered that you may have been searching for your whole life. You won’t regret it.
To prepare for this week’s learning, read/watch the items below:
• Read Chapters 1 and 2 in the Collins text
• Read John Wesley’s sermon Circumcision of the Heart
WK1 Devotional

1 Paul, called to be an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and our brother Sosthenes, 2 To the church of God in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be his holy people, together with all those everywhere who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ—their Lord and ours: 3 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
10 I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought. 11 My brothers and sisters, some from Chloe’s household have informed me that there are quarrels among you. 12 What I mean is this: One of you says, “I follow Paul”; another, “I follow Apollos”; another, “I follow Cephas”; still another, “I follow Christ.” 13 Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Were you baptized in the name of Paul?
1 Corinthians 1:1-3, 10-13 New International Version
A Reason For Hope
The Corinthian church was plagued with immorality and dissension…yet Paul refers to them as “sanctified.” One of the things to keep in mind is that God’s sanctifying grace (grace that sets us apart for God’s use) begins a work in our hearts subsequent to salvation, but it takes time to do its work in our lives.
Practically speaking, humans are a web of complexities and contradictions. Some we are aware of…and some we are not. It takes time for us to work with the Holy Spirit to untangle these things.
The good news is that there is nothing that is broken within us that the Holy Spirit cannot fix. We will always have distinctive personalities that sometimes come with “quirks.” However, the brokenness within you that keeps you from being the man/woman, husband/wife, father/mother, son/daughter that you feel in your heart that you were created to be can be healed and made new.
This is what makes John Wesley’s teaching on entire sanctification one of the most hopeful doctrines in Christian theology. It’s a hope worth pursuing. What is something that you would like to see Jesus do in your own heart as we study together in this class?
WK1 Wesley’s Early Years Discussion

Objective: Discuss John Wesley’s upbringing and influences.
Historical context is vital when discussing the thoughts of individuals in the distant past. In the case of John Wesley, he was profoundly influenced by his mother Suzanna Wesley. In this forum, after doing your research, discuss the upbringing and influences upon John Wesley’s life and how they contributed to his spiritual development.
• Read chapter 1 of your Collins text.
• Find at least one article about Suzanna Wesley.
WK1 “Circumcision of the Heart” Summary

Objective: Summarize Wesley’s Sermon 17, “The Circumcision of the Heart.”
In this sermon, Wesley talks about the radical internal change that can take place through the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Summarize his Scriptural foundation for this sermon and write a summary that follows the train of thought in his argument.
• Read Circumcision of the Heart
• Write a 1-2 page essay summarizing “Circumcision of the Heart” and ensure the following points are addressed.
o Scriptural foundations
o A paragraph summarizing Wesley’s main point
o An ordered summary of how he makes his case
All written assignments should be formatted using APA.
WK1 Wesley’s Early Spiritual Search Paper

Objective: Analyze Wesley’s Early Spiritual Journey.

Wesley was very human. He was more focused on his spiritual condition than most, but his early life (and even later life) has some ambiguity, inconsistency, and failure. After completing the reading and your own research, discuss Wesley’s journey highlighting the internal struggle and ways that struggle played out in both his thought and action during his time at Oxford University with his “Holy Club.”
• Read chapter 2 of your Collins text.
• Write a 1-2 page paper that summarizes this era of his life. What motivated him? What did he feel was missing in his
All written assignments should be formatted using APA.
WK1 Application to Christian Experience Reflection

Objective: Apply Wesley’s Writings to Christian Experience.
You read “The Circumcision of the Heart” for your previous discussion. Reflect on the sermon and apply it to a twenty-first-century context. How would this sermon “cash out” in the present? What might this kind of Christian life look like lived out? Be sure to reference the sermon for the points you are trying to make. Use at least three quotes from the sermon in your reflection paper.
• Read Circumcision of the Heart
• Write a two-page reflection paper.
All written assignments should be formatted using APA.

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