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“For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve a living God? And for this cause he is the mediator of a new testament.” Hebrews 9:13-15 The writer of the Hebrew letter is reminding the reader that the new covenant is a better covenant than the old, based on the better promises. He also compares the ceremonial cleansing, which was commanded, with the perfect cleansing by the blood of Jesus. He strongly emphasizes that the reason of Christ’s mediation of a new covenant is to purge your conscience, (That faculty by which person could regard himself as free from guilt. W.E. Vine) from dead works to serve a living God. God’s standard for man has in every dispensation been holiness of heart and life. In the eternal plan, “God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit an belief of the truth.” 2 Thessalonians 2:13 We are not writing to argue against the opponents of the doctrine of Holiness, for there are those who are willingly blinded and fail to come unto the knowledge of the truth. I write to point the wilderness wanderer to Canaan, the land of inheritance; to tell the thirsty pilgrim of the Upper and Nether Springs. I write to encourage the believer to go on into an experience that is real and satisfying; to the troubled soul who is searching for a fullness of experience. We seek to proclaim that there remaineth a rest for the people of God. We wish to point out to the hungry of heart that Jesus Christ not only justifies freely, but sanctifies wholly. We would proclaim with the Apostle, that “the law of the Spirit of the life in Christ hath made us free from the law of sin and death.”
Broken vows and disappointments, Thickly sprinkled all the way.
But the spirit led unerring To the land I hold today.” —Anon.
There has been much error propagated concerning this definite second work of grace. The first false doctrine from Satan in Eden was that one could be right with God and sin in thought, word, and deed. The serpent asks, “Hath God said thou shalt surely die?” God said, “The soul that sinneth it shall die.” “He that committeth sin is of the devil.” One cannot sin and be a Christian. Until that sin is forsaken and repented of, and by faith he is born again, he is not a Christian. Another error which has made shipwreck of the faith of multitudes, is that when one is born again he has received Christ’s baptism with the Holy Ghost. These are two definite experiences of divine grace, the latter subsequent to being justified by faith. The first work is repentance of and a remission of sins — Christ’s baptism is consecration and cleansing from the sinful nature. The new birth is for the unsaved — Christ’s baptism is for the Christian. The new birth is being delivered out of Egypt — Christ’s baptism brings us into Canaan. The new birth is deliverance from guilt — Christ’s baptism is deliverance from sin. The new birth is justification to the sinner — Jesus’ fiery baptism is entire sanctification to the believer. The new birth is betrothal — Christ’s baptism is marriage. The first baptism is the washing of regeneration — the second is “the renewing of the Holy Ghost.” the new birth begins what Christ’s baptism consummates. Both these wonderful experiences are received wholly independent of outward ordinances. Jesus said “John truly baptized you with water, but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence. Wait for the promise of the Father, which ye have heard of me.” The promise of the Father was that he would send a person to them; “the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost.” How much in error are those that propagate the doctrine of “one work”. “Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed?”
That Christ’s baptism was something more and beyond the experience of being born again, and becoming a believer, is proven as Jesus stood on the last day, the great day of one of the Jewish feasts and cried, “If any man thirst let him come unto me and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scriptures hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.” John 7:37-38 Then that the church may know in what experience such living water would flow from the believer, the writer puts in a parenthetical explanation, (“But this spake He of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive, for the Holy Ghost was not yet given, because that Jesus was not yet glorified.”) John 7:39 My dear reader, do not be turned aside by false teachers. Rather listen to the words of one that had shortly before received Christ’s baptism, “For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.” Acts 2:39 This promise is yours; This experience is for you. The false teachers tell the people that it is impossible to live above sin and therefore we cannot live a life of holiness.
Such doctrine is not only false but damning. As we seek God’s will for our life through the Word, the Holy Spirit teaches us that God not only commands us to be holy but provides through the death of Jesus, by the shedding of his blood and the offering of his body, a complete and thorough cleansing that enables us “to serve him without fear in holiness and righteousness before him all the days of our life.” Praise his Name! We no longer need to live enslaved to carnal lusts, passion and habits of sin with an inward warfare, but we may according to his oath be delivered out of the hands of all our enemies. “There is therefore now no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus who walk not after the flesh but after the spirit.” Let us thank God for the freedom of the soul which was purchased at Calvary.
For I’ve found a richer treasure One that fadeth not away.
The Roman writer introduces the reader to the gospel that “is the power of God unto salvation to all that believeth, and therein is the righteousness of God revealed by faith.” He insists that man will go to a state of total depravity, becoming reprobate, without the grace of God. Grace is not gained or merited by law or works. We are “justified by faith, and we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.” Romans 5:1-2 Peter endorses this truth by stating our hearts are purified by faith. Acts 15:9 The beloved John Wesley testifies, “Many years since I saw without holiness no man shall see the Lord, I began by following after it, and inciting all with whom I had any intercourse to do the same. Ten years after, God gave me a clearer view than I had before of the way how to attain it — namely, by faith in the Son of God. And immediately I declared to all, WE ARE SAVED FROM SIN, WE ARE MADE HOLY BY FAITH.
This I testified in private, in public, in print, and God confirmed it by a thousand witnesses.” Vol. 7, p. 38 Wesley’s Works We find in all references to sanctification our dictionaries proclaim that this is a work of Divine cleansing of the moral pollution of the soul. One states, “to set apart, to make free from sin: affections purified.” Another, “the act of God’s grace by which the affections of man are purified, and the soul is cleansed from sin and consecrated to God.” Another, “the act of sanctification, or purifying from the dominion of sin.” Yet another, “the gracious work of the Holy Spirit whereby the believer is freed from sin and exalted to holiness of heart and life.” Finally let us refer to the American Encyclopedia, “Technically an operation of the Spirit of God on those who are already in Jesus i.e. are united to him by faith, by which they are rendered increasingly holy, dying to sin and living to God, to righteousness, and to holiness.” Surely this should let those that hunger and thirst after righteousness see that God’s grace has been abundantly given, providing for their cleansing and filling. Let the hungry be fed. Let the thirsty drink and be satisfied. Jesus cried, “If any man thirst let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.” Dear reader, you may have his fullness! Some have erred from the truth and would teach that there is no such grace provided, but let God be true. “The oath which he sware unto our father Abraham, that he would grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the hands of our enemies might serve him without fear, in holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life.” Luke 1:73-74