Need Of The Double Cure
Conversion is the first cure. It resurrects the dead soul. It forgives all past transgressions. It imparts to the soul spiritual life, spiritual consciousness, spiritual relationships, spiritual possessions, a spiritual appetite, spiritual discernment, spiritual aversions to all sin, actual and inbred, and spiritual loyalty to Christ, its spiritual King. It gives an appetite for spiritual food and thirst for spiritual drink. It checks the inbred sin within and keeps it under. It imparts God’s love to the soul. It plants all the graces of the spirit in the soul-garden, and it keeps the weeds of carnality under. That it does not, however, effect a complete cure is clear from the Word, from church creeds, and from the testimony of God’s children. 1. The Word. The Bible is replete with commandments for those who are already converted to “be perfect” (Matt. 5:48), “be holy” (1 Pet. 1:16), and to “be filled with the Spirit” (Eph. 5:18). These terms are simply Bible names for soul-health, and believers being urged to seek it proves that conversion does not give it to them.
The Word. is also full of inspired prayers for believers that they may receive the Double Cure. (See John 17:17; Eph. 3:16- 20; 1 Thess. 1:23.) Inspired men would not pray that their converts might receive what they were already possessed of. Bible promises, examples, and confessions all speak in like language on this plain point.
As a glance at the sun proves the existence of sunshine, so a look at the Word reveals the need of and provision for the Double Cure.
2. By church creeds. They all, Catholic and Protestant, agree with the Word that conversion does not effect the Double Cure.
“In the baptized there are remaining incentives to sin.” — Council of Trent.
“His Spirit dwells in us and the flesh struggles against the Spirit in renewed persons.” — Helvetic Confession.
“And this infection of nature doth remain, yea, in them that are regenerate.” — Article IX, Church of England.
“Even after baptism it is still of the nature of sin.” — Calvin.
In fact, there is no church creed that holds the unscriptural fallacy that conversion accomplishes the Double Cure. While creeds are at war on other points, at this one they chime beautifully with each other and with the Word of God.
TESTIMONY OF CONVERTED PEOPLE OF DIFFERENT DENOMINATIONS
“When we are born again, a new life, the life of God, is put into us by the Holy Spirit. But the old self-life, which is called in Scripture THE FLESH, is not taken away. The two may exist in the same heart. ‘The flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh.’ The presence of this old self-life within our heart may be detected by its risings, rufflings, chafings, and movings toward sin, when temptation calls to it from without. It may be still as death before the increasing power of the new life, but it will still be present in the depths of our nature, as a Samson in the dark dungeons of Philistia.” — Selected from F. B. Meyer by B. F. Mills, Presbyterian.
“I have peace, but it often is broken by the fear that giveth torment. I am conscious of loving God, but, like some sickly, flickering flame, I am expecting every moment too see it expire. I have joy, but, like a shallow brook, the draught exhausts it. The ordinances of religion yield comfort and strength, but I find often that all spirituality and power has departed from me.” — Rev. E. M. Levy, Baptist.
“But, some months after my conversion, although I saw souls continually saved, yet I felt the need of a deeper work of grace.” — Mrs. M. Baxter, Episcopalian.
“Until I had reached middle life my Christian experience was very unsteady and unsatisfactory. God was wonderfully good to me, but the carnal mind was very strong, and ever struggling against the movings of the Spirit. I was a Christian, but not a healthy one. — Dougan Clark, Friend.
“My chief besetments were, I thought, a speculative mind, a hasty temper, a too ready tongue, and a purpose to be a celebrated person.” — Frances Willard, Methodist.
I saw there was an essential defect in my experience and character as a Christian.” — Asa Mahan, Congregationalist.
“I never asked God once at this time for pardon that I had in my soul already, but it was cleansing, sin eradication that I craved. My prayer was for sanctification.” -Rev. B. Carradine, M. E. Church, South.
“During this period I was often convicted of remaining corruption in my heart, and of my need of purity. I desired to be a decided Christian, but I was often conscious of deep-rooted, inward evils and tendencies in my heart unfriendly to godliness. I found my bosom foes troubled me more than all my foes from without. They struggled for the ascendency….. I was more strongly convicted of my need of inward purity than I ever had been of my need of pardon.” — Rev. J A. Wood, Methodist.
These are only a few kernels from the great granary of a dual experience at this point.
Thus the Word, church creeds, and the individual experience of God’s children of different churches all unite in proclaiming with a Niagara voice that conversion is not complete cleansing, but that all believers who have not yet received it still need the Double Cure.
All who are not too busy to hear these voices, and are humble enough to heed them, will shortly be convinced of their truthfulness. If such will follow the flutterings of their longing hearts they soon will know the blessedness of full salvation, and then
With voices glad and hearts made pure,
Will magnify the Double Cure.