Love Under Fire


Harmony of Law and Gospel

To those who claimed that “the preaching of the gospel fulfills all the purposes of the law,” Wesley replied: “It does not fulfill the very first purpose of the law, which is to convict people of sin, awakening those who are still asleep on the brink of hell.... It is absurd, therefore, to offer a physician to those who are well, or who at least imagine that they are well. You must first convince them that they are sick; otherwise they will not appreciate your efforts. It is equally absurd to offer Christ to those whose hearts are whole, having never been broken.”15 LF 111.5

While preaching the gospel of the grace of God, Wesley, like Jesus his Master, tried to “exalt the law and make it honorable” (Isaiah 42:21). And he lived to see glorious results. At the close of more than half a century he spent in ministry, his followers numbered more than half a million. But we will not know how many people were lifted from the degradation of sin to a higher and purer life through his efforts until the whole family of the redeemed gather in the kingdom of God. His life presents a priceless lesson to every Christian. LF 111.6

If only the faith, untiring zeal, self-sacrifice, and devotion of this servant of Christ were reflected in the churches of today! LF 112.1