Wednesday, February 25, 2009
JOHN WESLEY TAUGHT THE HERESY OF BAPTISMAL REGENERATION
That are the benefits we receive by baptism, is the next point to be considered. And the first of these is, the washing away the guilt of original sin, by the application of the merits of Christ’s death. … By baptism, we who were “by nature children of wrath” are made the children of God. And this regeneration which our Church in so many places ascribes to baptism is more than barely being admitted into the Church, though commonly connected therewith; being “grafted into the body of Christ’s Church, we are made the children of God by adoption and grace.” This is grounded on the plain words of our Lord: “Except a man be born again of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.” (John iii. 5.) By water, then, as a means, the water of baptism, we are regenerated or born again; whence it is also called by the Apostle, “the washing of regeneration.” … Herein a principle of grace is infused, which will not be wholly taken away, unless we quench the Holy Spirit by long-continued wickedness.
(The Works of John Wesley) (Baker Book House, Grand Rapids, MI) (1996); (Volume:10 Page:192)