by Adam Clarke
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“To be filled with God is a great thing, to be filled with the fullness of God is still greater;
to be filled with all the fullness of God is greatest of all,” Clarke writes in this brief essay.
In it, he defends John Wesley’s teaching of “Christian perfection,” the belief that living
free of voluntary sin is possible through a second work of God’s grace. In other words,
Christians can and ought to live completely holy, sinless lives following conversion. This
idea became hugely influential in the development of Methodism especially, and worked
to begin what became known as the “holiness movement.” While some Christians
criticize Clarke and Wesley’s view for reinforcing a “saved by works” mentality, others
embrace it as a call to faithfulness.