Q. What benefits do believers receive from Christ at death?
A. The souls of believers are at their death made perfect in holiness (Hebrews 12:23),
and do immediately pass into glory (Philippians 1:23);
and their bodies, being still united to Christ (1 Thessalonians 4:14),
do rest in their graves (Isaiah 57:2) till the resurrection
I Know That My Redeemer Lives
#690, The Trinity Hymnal
Charles Wesley, 1742
I know that my Redeemer lives,
and ever prays for me;
a token of his love he gives,
a pledge of liberty.
I find him lifting up my head;
he brings salvation near;
his presence makes me free indeed
and he will soon appear.
He wills that I should holy be:
who can withstand his will?
The counsel of his grace in me
he surely shall fulfill.
Jesus, I hang upon your Word:
I steadfastly believe
you will return and claim me,
Lord, and to yourself receive.
“He wills that I should holy be:
who can withstand his will?”
I love Wesley’s hymns, but I don’t understand how he could write them, given his theology. I guess in his heart he was more theologically astute than he was sometimes willing to admit.
From what I hear, the Wesley’s weren’t consistent in their theology, sometimes sounding very Calvinistic, sometimes sounding very, very, well, Wesleyan, I suppose. I haven’t studied Wesleyan theology at all. I know John Wesley objected to the imputation of Christ’s righteousness, and I lump them in the Arminian camp in general, but do you know more that can fill in the blanks for me?
I’m certainly not an authority, but I know that they objected strenuously to the Calvinism of such men as Whitefield and Augustus Toplady (although they seem to have maintained something of a friendly relationship with Whitefield, from what I’ve heard). They also had an objectionable (in my opinion) view of sancitification, and believed in the possibility of total sanctification in this life (practically not just positionally). I think they had a few other quirks, like finding God’s specific will by “consulting the oracles,” that is, randomly opening the Bible, putting their finger on a verse, and drawing out some sort of typological meaning to apply to a particular situation.
Don’t quote me on any of this, or take it as rock-solid truth — it’s mostly just hearsay :). I do know that some of Charles Wesley’s hymns are among my favorites.
Those are certainly consistent with what I’ve heard myself, however, I guess if you can believe those things and still rate the analysis of “Confused Calvinist” from someone of Packer’s league, there must just be a serious lack of systematic structure to his theology. All I know is, in spite of what we may have learned from others, when we start interpreting the Word while left to our own devices, outside the Spirit working through his teachers and solid Christian literature, we’re going to lead ourselves astray every time.