What is Wesley's concept of Entire Sanctification?
If that is the question that is posed, I will try to provide an answer. Wesley's brand of Christian perfection was a reviving of what he considered to be an Apostolic doctrine. "Perfect" (Grk.- telios) in simple terms means "complete". Wesley used 30 texts to defend this doctrine. The only OT text was in Ezekiel 36:25-27 which reads:
Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean; I
will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. 26
I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will
take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of
flesh. 27 I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My
statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them.
Wesley saw this verse as a New covenant promise of a clean heart (See also Psalm 51). One of the hinge texts in the New Testament, besides Matthew 5:48, is 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24:
Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your
whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of
our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful, who also will do
From these verses we plainly see that Wesley was talking about the work of God in man, not the work of man in God. God has called us, He is faithful to complete us.
Wesley would not agree with the Augsburg confession (1530) which states:
those who contend that some may attain to such perfection in this life
that they cannot sin.
Wesley wrote in His sermon on Christian Perfection:
Christian perfection, therefore, does not imply (as some men seem to
have imagined) an exemption either from ignorance or mistake, or
infirmities or temptations. Indeed, it is only another term for
holiness. They are two names for the same thing. Thus every one that
is perfect is holy, and every one that is holy is, in the Scripture
sense, perfect. Yet we may, lastly, observe, that neither in this
respect is there any absolute perfection on earth. There is no
perfection of degrees, as it is termed; none which does not admit of a
continual increase. So that how much soever any man hath attained, or
in how high a degree soever he is perfect, he hath still need to "grow
in grace," [2 Pet. 3:18] and daily to advance in the knowledge and
love of God his Saviour. [see Phil. 1:9]
Christian perfection comes by being filled with the Holy Spirit. This issues into the heart the abiding presence of
"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering,
kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against
such there is no law." (Galatians 5:22-23 NKJV)
And thank God for it!
Hope this helps!
As Wesley said in his last breath - "Best of all, God is with us!"