FOCUS ON THE VISION
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:34-35
The Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church provides both law and doctrine. This week the relational passage of scripture in John 13:34-35 speaks to discipleship and the new commandment given to love others as Christ loves.
As we grow in our discipleship another term to use is sanctification and perfection. The discipline explains the United Methodist doctrinal belief:
Sanctification and Perfection
We hold that the wonder of God's acceptance and pardon does not end God’s saving work, which continues to nurture our growth in grace. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, we are enabled to increase in the knowledge and love of God and in love for our neighbor.
New birth is the first step in this process of sanctification. Sanctifying grace draws us toward the gift of Christian perfection, which Wesley described as a heart “habitually filled with the love of God and neighbor” and as “having the mind of Christ and walking as he walked.”
This gracious gift of God’s power and love, the hope and expectation of the faithful, is neither warranted by our efforts nor limited by our frailties. (Sanctification and Perfection taken from The United Methodist Book of Worship, 2012.)
How can you help members of your congregation(s) to view sanctification and perfection as a process of discipleship expressed in the John 13:34-35 commandment?
As you continue to explore the relational aspects of love, discipleship, and sanctification, the United Methodist Book of Discipline may prove to be a useful resource.
Rev. Denise Walton serves as the Assistant to the Bishop for Connectional Ministries. Contact her at email@example.com.