Living a holy life
The longing for holiness is not about wanting to be ‘holier than thou’. It is about wanting the love of God to permeate all of our life, and for that love to be shown through our lives to other people.
God gives us the Holy Spirit, and when we respond, there is no limit to what the grace of God is able to do in a human life. John Wesley taught about ‘Christian perfection.’ He believed that a mature Christian can reach a state where the love of God reigns supreme in our heart. We can’t be perfect in an absolute way, as God is. But we can be made perfect in love.
However we do not become holy all on our own. Methodists believe in what John Wesley called ‘social holiness’. It is vital to meet and worship with other Christians in order to grow in the Christian life and to understand what is God’s will for us and for our community.
The Methodist movement began in the eighteenth century when John and Charles Wesley got together with like-minded friends in Oxford to meet regularly for prayer, Bible study and Holy Communion, and to visit prisons and workhouses. It was called the Holy Club.
Holiness is not just about personal spirituality and prayer. It will also be expressed through a commitment to social justice and to enabling other people to become followers of Jesus.