Methodism has at its roots one person whose vision, determination and faith inspired fellow seekers to re-assess their lives and renew their relationship with God. John Wesley (1703-1791) challenged the religious assumptions of his day, urging those to whom he preached to 'trust in Christ, Christ alone for salvation' for the assurance that we are all forgiven through Christ. When John Wesley was at Oxford University, he was part of a small group of students who met regularly and 'methodically' for prayer, Bible study and Holy Communion. This earned them the nickname 'The Holy Club' or 'Methodists'. Wesley became a priest in the Church of England, but in 1738 had a spiritual experience that he described as God working in his heart through faith in Christ. He launched a hugely influential preaching ministry and had a flair for organising people into small groups. These he named classes, with locally appointed preachers and leaders, which studied the gospels and prayed together. Wesley's new movement became a separate Church which grew rapidly throughout the 18th century and afterwards. One of the most important distinctions from Calvin and the doctrine of predestination was the doctrine of prevenient grace and its basis in the Arminian view of free will. The United Methodist Church in their book of discipline for 2004 said prevenient grace is "the divine love that surrounds all humanity and precedes any and all of our conscious impulses. This grace prompts our first wish to please God, our first glimmer of understanding concerning God's will, and our 'first slight transient conviction' of having sinned against God. God's grace also awakens in us an earnest longing for deliverance from sin and death and moves us toward repentance and faith." Wesley's theology often characterised by the four "alls" 1. All need to be saved. 2. All can be saved. 3. All can know they are saved. 4. All can be saved to the full, to the uttermost.

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