The light of Christ comes to us and shines out of us as we put our faith in him. Our faith is comprised of two basic features: (1) our trust in Christ as the Way, Truth, and Life, and (2) our following him through obedience.
This is nothing short of a “new creation” (2Cor 5:17), which transforms us into beloved daughters and sons. It is all of grace, not works, lest the very egotism that led us into sin originally rear its head again in our Christianity. We “work” as a result of our salvation, not as a means to earn it or parade it.
The salvation experience is not a one-time thing. No matter the nature of our entrance into faith, it is only the beginning of an ongoing relationship with Christ that will continue beyond this life in heaven. Conversion is not a date to be remembered (although”the hour I first believed” is holy) so much as it is a launch to be celebrated from that day forward.
Pope Francis rightly describes it by writing, “Faith in Christ brings salvation because in him our lives become radically open to a love that precedes us, a love that transforms us from within, acting in and through us.” Through the Holy Spirit the risen Christ abides in us, and we abide in him (John 15).
Egotism is gone (“the old is past away” 2Cor 5:17). We no longer live as an “I” (what Galatians 2:20 literally says), but rather we live as those in whom Christ dwells. This indwelling expands and enriches us in every way. We now have the eyes to see and the ears to hear that God intended for us all along.
Sounds pretty Wesleyan to me. I appreciate these posts, Steve. I am getting a lot out of them.