Living faith 2 “Do No Harm” – James 3:1-12
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We are talking about living faith this month, reading the book of James. Thinking of how our faith can be alive in all that we say and do, we will look at John Wesley’s General Rule. John Wesley is a founder of the Methodists and as a leader he was always trying to keep their faith tied to their theology, which means matching what they believe to what they do. He might have worried that the Christians of his day were not very concerned about following Jesus. They might be just coming to worship once a week. So John Wesley wanted them to focus on renewing their faith instead of forming the institution, the church. So, whenever he saw anyone who wanted to commit their lives to God, he would connect them with a group of people, which was called a United Society. And Wesley gave them three rules to follow in their society; Do no harm, do good, and stay in love with God by practicing your faith. He believed that this was a good place to start living out their faith. So with these three simple rules, they would know where to start, what to do, if they are a new believer, new to Christian faith or if they wanted to renew their faith for the rest of their days.
And this simple rule became so important to the early Methodists and now United Methodism here in the United states. And when we
are ordained, the bishop asks historical questions of our faith to those coming to be ordained. And one of those questions is “Do you know the General Rules?” “Will you keep the General Rules?”