17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. 18 But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit. 2 Cor 3:17–18, NASB
George Whitefield and his ministry and the history of the Great Awakening of which he was a major part has always fascinated me. Wouldn’t another Great Awakening in our time based upon the same Law and Gospel preaching at core of his preaching be something to see! A study of George Whitefield will reveal that he had a close relationship with both John Wesley and Charles Wesley. At the beginning of their ministries none of them were well educated in doctrine, but they were devout believers and had a heart for the lost. However, their understanding of doctrine was no deeper than any other new believer’s. Over time Whitefield’s doctrine became more conformed to that of Jonathan Edwards’ after spending time with him in the Colonies. This changed his preaching drastically. However John Wesley stayed with his understanding of doctrine that he held from the day he was born again and that was Arminian. The reason Wesley was such a powerful revivalist, however, was not that he was an Arminian, but that he was a preacher of righteousness. He did preach that all men are dead in their trespasses and sins and would go to Hell if they did not repent and accept Jesus and Lord and Saviour. Whitefield was the Lightening Rod of the Great Awakening. He was also a preacher of righteousness, but his doctrine was centered in the doctrines of grace. As believers surrender more and more to the Lordship of Christ in every area of their lives they are also surrendering to the Sovereignty of God. This is a huge part of the process God uses to transform us unto the image of the Son. What is our part?