The Doctrine of Entire Sanctification

The Scripture Basis for the Experience of Entire Sanctification

THE SCRIPTURE BASIS FOR THE EXPERIENCE OF ENTIRE SANCTIFICATION Christians of all ages agree that all doctrine must be explicity taught in God's Word. Doctrine cannot be established on isolated passages of scripture that may be taken out of context and given a meaning not supported by the Bible. According to 2Timothy3:16, "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, and for instruction in righteousness." If the doctrine of entire sanctification as an experience is found in the Bible, then each Christian must accept that truth just the same as he or she embraces any other truth found in the Scriptures. A. ENTIRE SANCTIFICATION IS A DOCTRINE TAUGHT BY GOD'S WORD. The following scriptures taken from the New Testament prove that entire sanctification is a Bible doctrine: 1.Acts26:18: "...that they may receive forgiveness of sins and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me." The Holy Spirit through the writer of the Book of Acts speaks of an experience that forgives sins and of another experience that gives the Christian an inheritance among the sanctified. 2.1Thessalonians5:23: "And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly, and I pray God you whole spirit, and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ." Paul prayed for the Christians in Thessalonica that they might be sanctified wholly. 3.Hebrews13:12: "Wherefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people with his own blood suffered without the gate." Here we find that sanctification is a part of Christ's atonement, even as the forgiveness of sins is a part of that plan. 4.1John1:9: "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." The Apostle talks of two works of God's grace-forgiveness of sins and cleansing from all unrighteousness. B.SANCTIFICATION IS AN INSTANTANEOUS WORK OF GOD'S GRACE. Many people accept the truth that sanctification is found in God's Word, but do not know how to claim this experience. Many Christians have confused Christian purity and maturity. They look on this part of a Christian's experience as a battlefield of constant conflict- a mixture of defeat and victory. They hope against hope that someday, someplace they will be able to find that victory that the soul longs for. God has a better way. No one has ever been able to obtain forgiveness of sins, except through Christ; likewise, no Christian can ever be sanctified wholly except through the blood of Christ and the infilling of the Holy Spirit. C.IS THERE A SCRIPTUAL BASIS FOR THE EXPERIENCE OF ENTIRE SANCTIFICATION. Throughout the Bible, wherever this experience is mentioned, the emphasis is that it is for living Christians already walking with God in the joy of a saved life. For example, Paul wrote in 1Thess5:5, "Ye are all the children of light and the children of day." This is language that speaks of people who already know they are saved and are walking with God. Yet in 1Thess5:23-24, he says, "And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is He that calleth you; who also will do it." Also, in Hebrews13:12, "Wherefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people with His own blood, suffered without the gate." Turn with me to Romans15:16: "That I should be a minister of Jesus Christ to the gentiles, ministering the gospel of God, that the offering up of the gentiles might be acceptable, being sanctified by the Holy Ghost." God wills our sanctification; Christ died to make it possible, and the Holy Ghost exists to execute and accomplish it. In the Bible, the words sanctify, sanctified, and sanctification occur some 152 times; the words cleansing, and purity are found 600 times, and the wordsperfect, perfected, and perfection occur 150 times, while the terms holy and holiness occur 600 times. If you believe the Bible, you must believe in sanctification for God's children. D.THEORIES REGARDING ENTIRE SANCTIFICATION. There are at least five or six theories on how a Christian can be sanctified wholly: 1.Sanctification occurs at the same time as regeneration. These experiences cannot happen at the same time since they deal with two different types of need. 1John1:9, "If we confess our sins he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all UNRIGHTEOUSNESS. Two elements exist here- sins to be forgiven and unrighteousness to be cleansed. 2.Sanctification is obtained through gradual growth and Christian development. In John17:17, Jesus' prayer for His disciples who were already believers "Sanctify them through Thy truth; Thy Word is truth." Paul stated in 1Thess4:3, "This is the will of God, even your sanctification." If we are to be sanctified by growth, then time is a factor in our sanctification. How much time? One year, 10 years, 25 years? No one has ever been able to witness that he had grown into entire sanctification. There may be a gradual understanding of the truth, but when God sanctifies, it is an instantaneous experience of God's cleansing. 3.Sanctification occurs at the moment of physical death. Paul states in 1Cor15:26, that "That the last enemy to be destroyed is death." How can we expect an enemy to do for us what Christ died on the cross to accomplish-sanctify us wholly. 4.Sanctification occurs after death in the fires of purgatorial cleansing. The Bible clearly teaches that the soul of man must be in grace before death, if he is to see God in peace. 5.Sanctification is a definite experience after regeneration and is conditioned upon entire consecration and faith in the cleansing power of Christ's blood. The Bible states in Acts 26:18, "To open their eyes and to turn them from darkness unto light, that they might receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among them that are sanctified by faith." E.THE EFFECTS OF ENTIRE SANCTIFICATION IN THE LIFE OF THE BELIEVER. When a believing child of God is sanctified wholly, several things happen which affect his/her experience and life: 1.The love of God is perfected in a mighty way. Romans5:1, "The love of God hath been shed abroad in our hearts through the Holy Ghost who was given unto us." 2.The filling of the Spirit brings a fuller persuasion to the soul. The effect of righteousness is assurance forever. 3.The work of entire sanctification is fullness of peace. In regeneration, the soul is at peace with God; in sanctification, the soul is filled with the boundless peace of God. 4.He or she receives a divine frame of mind that is contrary to human nature and keeps the child serene and sweet under all provocation. 5.The Holy Spirit in sanctifying power produces a peculiar sensitivity of conscience. The spirit-filled Christian needs only to know the will of God to know where he stands on any issue of life. 6.The Holy Spirit brings to the sanctified a clear appreciation of Bible truths. Jesus said, "The Holy Ghost, which the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things and bring all things to your rememberance whatsoever I have said unto you." 7.The sanctifying presence of the Holy Spirit makes Christians living witnesses for Christ. Acts1:8, "But ye shall receive power after the Holy Spirit is come upon you and ye shall be witnesses unto me...." 8.There will be constant growth in God's grace after you are sanctified wholly. "Grow in grace and in knowledge of God," is the rule for Christian growth. F.DOES GOD REQUIRE ALL CHRISTIANS TO BE SANCTIFIED BEFORE ENTERING HEAVEN? Hebrews12:14, "Follow peace with all men and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord." When Christians have light on this experience, God expects them to be sanctified now. If a Christian through no fault of his own comes to the moment of death without being sanctified wholly, then God will sanctify him before taking him to heaven. G.TESTIMONIES OF THOSE WHO HAVE BEEN SANCTIFIED WHOLLY. Here are a limited number of testimonies from Christians who have been sanctified: 1.Dr.Wilbur Chapman: tells how he went before God and consecrated his all. He then said to God, "My Father, I now claim the infilling of the Holy Spirit." He testified that from that moment on, sanctification had been a reality. 2.Dr. R.A.Torrey: "As to what this blessing has done, I could not begin to tell. It has brought a joy into my soul that I never knew before, a liberty in preaching, and opened a door of useful service. 3.John Wesley: After his enduement with power of the Holy Spirit, entered into a life of labor and fruit-bearing that lasted out his long career. 4.Dr.A.B.Earle(Baptist): "I had no special power as a preacher before the Holy Ghost fell on me." In his lifetime, after this experience, he led 157,000 souls to Christ. 5.Dwight L. Moody: "My God forgive me if I should speak in a boastful way, but I do not know of a sermon I have preached since then, but that God has given me a soul." 6.As a personal testimony, let me say that I became a Christian in 1974, and began my spiritual walk. The struggle inside me was a war. The problems of the flesh became a battle that I waged for years. When I heard of this doctrine I said oh Lord Jesus, please let it be so. I surrendered all to my loving Lord and Savior. He filled me with the Holy Spirit and removed inbred sin. The war was won. I praise His Holy name for it is by faith in His shed blood that I have been saved and sanctified wholly. H.AN EXHORTATION TO CHRISTIANS TO OBTAIN THIS GLORIOUS EXPERIENCE. The following is a suggested method for receiving this glorious experience: 1.Believe it is God's will for you.Bow your head and say, "Lord, I believe it is for me." 2.Be willing that God's blessed will be done in you-to the end that ye may be sanctified wholly. Lay all you are and will be on His altar. Say, "Lord, I surrender all to you. I hold not any part of my life from your will." 3.Offer your time, talent, service, and all that you have to God, without reservation. Say, "Lord, I present my body to you as a living sacrifice, your will is my will." 4.Exercise faith in the Lord Jesus Christ for His sanctifying power. Say, "Lord Jesus, I do receive the Holy Spirit for my sanctification NOW." 5.Begin to thank Him and praise Him for keeping His Word.If you walk quietly before God in faith, it will not be long before the feeling of the experience will break through upon your heart and you will rejoice with exceeding great joy. PRAISE HIS HOLY NAME JESUS!
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