In sermon 14 (from the 144 sermons)* Wesley nicely sums up the life and attitudes of being a Christian. Under the title “what is it to be born of God” Wesley uses the structure of faith, hope and love from 1 Corinthians 13, but taking a lot of his material from Romans 5-8.
What is it to be born of God? Such, if the appeal be made to the oracles of God, is “every one that is born of the Spirit.” This it is, in the judgment of the Spirit of God, to be a son or a child of God: It is, so to believe in God, through Christ, as “not to commit sin,” and to enjoy at all times, and in all places, that “peace of God which passeth all understanding.” It is, so to hope in God through the Son of his love, as to have not only the “testimony of a good conscience,” but also the Spirit of God “bearing witness with your spirits, that ye are the children of God;” whence cannot but spring the rejoicing in Him, through whom ye “have received the atonement.” It is, so to love God, who hath thus loved you, as you never did love any creature: So that ye are constrained to love all men as yourselves; with a love not only ever burning in your hearts, but flaming out in all your actions and conversations, and making your whole life one “labour of love,” one continued obedience to those commands, “Be ye merciful, as God is merciful;” “Be ye holy, as I the Lord am holy:” “Be ye perfect, as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” (XIV.iv.1)
So, he says, you are born of god if you demonstrate (inwardly) these things: Faith in the death of Christ revealling itself in a humility before God and a peace with him; Hope in what God is doing and will do; and love for oneself, for God’s creation and for all around. These things, he claims, go to the heart and cannot simply be kept by following a few commandments. They demand that we continually come back to God, as his children, to re-receive God’s blessings.
May every one who prepareth his heart yet again to seek thy face, receive again that Spirit of adoption, and cry out, “Abba, Father!” Let him now again have power so to believe in thy name as to become a child of God; as to know and feel he hath “redemption in thy blood, even the forgiveness of sins;” and that he “cannot commit sin, because he is born of God.” Let him be now “begotten again unto a living hope,” so as to “purify himself as thou art pure;” and “because he is a son,” let the Spirit of love and of glory rest upon him, cleansing him “from all filthiness of flesh and spirit,” and teaching him to “perfect holiness in the fear of God!” (XIV.iv.5)
In other words, come to Jesus every day to renew our love and commitment to him.
* (In my copy, published by Epworth 1944, 23rd edition 2009, this is listed as sermon 14. ON the United Methodist global ministries website, it is listed as sermon 18. I don’t know why the numbering is different.)