I desire to give you another reading on the subject of Entire Sanctification, but will present this reading in two sections. First, I desire to note that the triunity of the God-head is engaged in this question of sanctification. Second, I desire to mention some of the advantages accruing from this experience. — As our first reference you may read 1 Thess. 4:3: “For this is the will of God, even your sanctification.” Here God the Father is said to will our sanctification. Now read Heb. 13:12: “Wherefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate.” Also Eph. 5:25-27. — “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; that he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word; that he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.” Here we see that Christ died in order to provide for our sanctification — that it required the atonement in order to make our sanctification a possibility, And in reading 1 Cor, 1:30: “But of “him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification and redemption,” we see that he was divinely appointed for that purpose. While “God so loved the world,” “Christ also loved the church and gave himself for it.” Now according to 2nd Thess. 2:13: “God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth.” Also Rom. 15:16: “That the offering up of the Gentiles might be acceptable, being sanctified by the Holy Ghost.” The Holy Ghost is said to accomplish the work of our sanctification. — God the Father wills our sanctification; Christ the Son died to provide our sanctification, and the Holy Ghost the executive of the God-head is here to accomplish our sanctification. With these facts before us it would seem that there might be a hope of us being sanctified. A question of sufficient interest to engage the thought of the Trinity should be of sufficient interest to engage your and my attention. Many other references might be adduced touching each point but we will now take up the second section of this reading.
The advantages of sanctification are innumerable. We can only hope to point out a few and the first I will mention is preserving grace. Read 1st Thes. 5:23: “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;” and Jude 1:1: — “Jude the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to them that are sanctified by God the Father. And preserved in Jesus Christ, and called: ” You will notice that the sanctifying grace precedes the preserving grace. Preserving means done up so you keep. He does not say, “pickled,” but “preserved.” There are two ways of keeping things. (I think some people read this thing wrong, they read pickled instead of preserved). Sister, the Lord fixes up His preserves just as you would fix up your preserves. You do not preserve fruit that is partially decayed. You first cut out all the specks and spots and the core, then that which is whole and sound is that which you preserve. The difficulty is that people want to get preserved with “the old man” in them and the consequence is they don’t keep. After you have finished the work of preserving you step into the pantry a day or two later and listen and if the work has not been done properly you will hear something sizzle and you say, “there is a can working,” and then you take it up and have to do your work all over again. So when people try to get preserved with carnality in them you soon hear something sizzle because of the fermentation and it blows the lid off and then you have to stew them all over again at the next revival. The most prolific source of backsliding is carnality in the heart. This explains the vacillation and up and down life of the multitudes. When “the old man” is crucified, the heart cleansed from all sin, you at once hear people rejoice and praise God for the keeping power. They are delivered and kept, and go about as one of God’s great big preserves, While the possibility of backsliding is not removed the liability of backsliding is reduced to a minimum.
The second advantage of Sanctification is Soul Rest — the inward destroyer of the peace having been expelled and the soul having found rest in God, As a reference you may read Matt, 11:28-29: — “Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart; and ye shall find rest unto your souls.” You see there are two rests spoken of here. The first is a rest from guilt and condemnation. The second is a soul rest — rest from inward conflict, It is a cessation from worry and fret and undue anxiety; a cessation of the struggle with your unruly tempers and unholy ambitions; a cessation from your own works whereby you hope to merit the favor of God.
Read Heb. 4:10. — “For he that is entered into his rest, he also has ceased from his own works, as God did from his.” In reading the third verse you see that this rest is obtained by faith. It has been spoken of as “the rest of faith.” The soul gains its equilibrium so that where it cannot see it will trust and not be afraid. Read Isaiah 30:15: — “For thus saith the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel: “In returning and rest shall ye be saved; in quietness and confidence shall be your strength; and ye would not.” This soul quietness and restful confidence is the source of real strength. You may be surprised to find that I believe in quietness, but I certainly do; I often become so quiet it makes me shout.
The next advantage of sanctification is that of Clarified Vision — you may read Mark 8:23-25: “And he took the blind man by the hand, and led him out of the town; and when he had spit on his eyes, and put his hands upon him, he asked him if he saw ought. And he looked up and said, I see men as trees walking. After that he put his hands again upon his eyes, and made him look up: and he was restored, and saw every man clearly. You will notice that not until after he had received the second touch did this man see clearly. Our moral condition lends color to our vision. The pure in heart shall see God. It requires purity in order to see purity. Read Titus 1:15: — “Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled.” Having a pure heart you will see God in this world — see God in nature — God in His people — God in His providences, — indeed you will see God in everything and everything in God: and you will feel as though you had a new version of the Scriptures; whereas you were unable to see “the Second Blessing” anywhere before, now you will see it everywhere, This is the experience and testimony common to all such as have obtained the blessing.
The next advantage of Sanctification is fellowship — fellowship with God and fellowship one with another. 1st John 1:: — “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin,” also Heb. 2:11: “For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren,” and St. John 17:17, 21: “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth… That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.” You see that sanctification makes us one with Jesus for “he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one” and sanctification makes us one with each other for Jesus says that this is the object of sanctification “that they all may be one.”
The next advantage of sanctification is a readiness for service. Please read 2nd Tim. 2:21: — “If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work.” You see that not until you are sanctified are “you meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work.” Until you are sanctified the greater portion of your time and effort is spent upon yourself and you feel that you need the preacher and the church to help you, but after you obtain this blessing you are prepared to help others: not simply prepared to do one thing as a profession, but “prepared unto every good work.” You are ready to do whatever may need to be done. The minute the lips of Isaiah had been touched with a live coal and his iniquity taken away and sin purged he heard the voice of the Lord saying: “Whom shall I send and who will go for us.” He did not remain silent a long time and then arise and say, “I did not keep my seat because I had nothing to say, but I love to hear others talk” (as so many do today) but responded at once saying, “Here am I send me.” He was ready to accept the first opportunity. He did not wait to discuss matters or to inquire as. to what the nature of the mission might be, but seized his first opportunity to do His master’s bidding.
Another advantage of sanctification is that of holy boldness. How many Christians have constant trouble with a man-fearing spirit; they are afraid of what the people might say — afraid of criticism, of ridicule or censure, and so are in bondage to the people. Sanctification makes you “free indeed.” John 8:36: — “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.” I will give you the deed to your freedom with all the mortgages paid off, It will take you out of the realm of duty and place you into the realm of privilege. It will not be “must I Lord” but “may I Lord?”
Another advantage of sanctification is a fullness of joy. 1st John 1:4: — “And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full,” and St. John 16:24: — “Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full,” also Isaiah 35 10: “And the ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.” You will notice that it is not a spasmodic joy, nor an intermittent joy, but an everlasting joy that is the possession of those who walk in the way of holiness.
Another advantage of sanctification is a perfect readiness for the judgment. Read 1st John 4:17-18: — “Herein is our love made perfect, that we have boldness in the day of judgment, because as he is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment, He that feareth is not made perfect in love.” Men may say that they do not believe in holiness while in good health but when they come to die they invariably believe in holiness. Sanctification is the divine act of making holy; perfect love is the experience of such as have been made holy: the result of holiness. You have never heard of a man opposing holiness on his death-bed. You should ever remember that although this experience is a most luxurious experience, it is not simply a luxury but a necessity. The Holiness Line is the only Line that runs through trains right into the Grand Union Central depot without change of cars. If you are on any other line you will have to change cars to the Holiness Line before you go through the Gates of Pearl. Without holiness no man shall see the Lord, When a man does not want holiness I know he wants sin, When a man is done with sin he wants holiness, There is nothing else for him to want: and while holiness is not so popular in this country it is exceedingly popular in the country to which we are going. We all believe in holiness up yonder: and to be ready for the judgment and to be enabled to go to the judgment without fear, you will need perfect love or holiness in this life. Jesus taught, “Be ye also ready.” Not all the while getting ready but in a condition or experience where you are ready. Seeing that the Trinity of the God-head are interested and engaged in this question of your sanctification and that sanctification can be obtained by faith (Acts 26:18) why not have the experience now?