This sermon begins with Acts 4:31 - and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit.
Explained as two types of gifts. i) extraordinary gifts of the spirit that not many people received. These allowed for the gifts of miracles, healing and speaking in tongues. ii) Ordinary gifts of the spirit given to all Christians that allowed them to function with love, joy, peace. long-suffering, gentleness and goodness. "Christianity was not a set of opinions or a system of doctrines, but referred to men's hearts and minds."
How does Christianity begin to exist in individuals? By repentance of sins and a changed heart that believed in Jesus. Faith in the operation of God. Instead of emphasizing what that meant a person would do, Wesley instead said the result of this meant it would be impossible to knowingly and designedly do harm to any one. " He put away lying, falsehood and fraud; neither was guile found in his mouth. He spake evil of no man; nor did an unkind word ever come out of his lips." Daily growing in grace, increasing in strength, in the knowledge and love of God.
He asked where are the Christians now? He challenged the ability to find even one Christian Country on earth. He raised concern over the whereabouts of Christian Leaders of Governments, Universities etc and challenged both the leaders and students who were his listeners at Oxford to step up and make a difference.
Not your typical "feel good" sermon!
Text: Genesis 6:5 The wickedness of men was great in the world.
His purpose was to show what man was like before the great flood and afterwards. To draw some inferences from that.
He began by suggesting that man thinks he is pretty self-sufficient and ok. Many examples were used to show that he believed this to be far from true. He concluded "that the imaginations" of man's heart was evil before the flood and is the same now. He believed that we lived as atheists in the world without God's intervention in our lives.
He stressed that we love ourselves and the world and like to do our will and not Gods.
Without knowledge of God we can have no love for God and like Adam in the OT it is by doing our will and using free choice badly that we fall. He saw Christ as the new Adam.
He said to know your disease and know your cure. You were born in sin you need to be born again. By nature we are not good, by grace we are renewed and made good.
Sin is in falling short of the mark in terms of our own relationships and our relationship with God. Grace is the essential ingredient.