The proper solution of the sin problem involves more than readiness for heaven. It must be agreed that such preparation is the ultimate objective of salvation and we heartily agree with Curtis in his The Christian Faith that God is building a new race of men. But to attain that end man must learn how to live out the application of holiness in this present life for this life is our school of training and probation. And true it is that the solution of the sin problem fits one for maximum living here and also prepares him for eternal relationships — “Godliness is profitable unto all things, having the promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come” (I Tim. 4:8). Holiness is normalcy. Holiness works in actual experience. How strange this sounds on untutored ears. So many are under the misapprehension that holiness is restrictive, constrictive. The very opposite is the fact. Holiness is expansive and liberating in its effects upon the entire being of man. A new world opens before him. The experience of holiness elevates the workaday life to the highest planes of capacity and expression. It is, in other words, a workable experience in a workaday world. This, therefore, is the motive of this chapter: to help you in some measure to realize and appreciate the wonderful reality of the life of holiness — the essence of real living.
Our powers of body, mind, and spirit willingly consecrated to God in the crisis of entire sanctification, are now handed back to be held in trust by us as faithful stewards.
The physical powers, once the instruments of unrighteousness, are now dedicated unto righteousness and to the glory of God. Our legitimate appetites and desires, once so clamorous in their demands for self-expression, are now under the control of a sanctified will. And being thus regulated they contribute to our general well-being. The power to enjoy life is not quickly vitiated by overindulgence in even legitimate realms, rather a . moderation in all things becomes the daily mode of living. Do we seek recreation? It is that we may better fit our minds and bodies for His service. Questionable or unwholesome recreations are never considered. There are plenty of legitimate activities, consistent with a holy life, in which we may engage with delight and enthusiasm that bring invigoration to both mind and body.
Our carnal pride gone, we possess a wholesome self-respect and a God-given desire to adorn the gospel which keeps us from being careless in personal appearance and modifies the natural instinct to merely appear physically attractive. Interest henceforth is centered in inward beauty and strength of character rather than in an abnormal regard for outward beauty and show.
The mental powers, too, come within the ennobling influence of holiness. Mind so closely related to spirit cannot help but feel the effects of purity. The mind, cleansed from the poison of fitful, angry passions, rules the body with a majesty hitherto unknown. Free from unwholesome dissipations, the mental faculties are kept alert, clear, responsive to all the demands made upon them. The best way to substantiate the benefit of holiness in the mental sphere is simply to call attention to the results of Christian education in a holiness college. The common observation of one who has been privileged to “look on” for a long time shows beyond question that the young people who have gone from such institutions
Oh, how satisfactorily holiness fits life in all its phases. It vindicates its adequacy whether it be in trials, adversities, or in the joys of life, providing a wholesomeness and sanity that will stand out in marked contrast to the heated rush and fever manifested by those around us. It grants a poise which is equal to any test. Poise means to weigh out, to balance, to maintain an equilibrium. And this is exactly what holiness of heart does in the personal life. It maintains a balance and equilibrium that baffles and defeats the opposition of the enemy of the soul. It grants peace, patience, and perspective. As G. H. Morrison says, “Peace is the possession of adequate resources.” There is an inner sense of adequacy through the dominion of the Holy Spirit. And conscious of this fact, one no longer feels that he is fighting his battles alone, for he knows that “When the enemy would come in like a flood the Spirit of the Lord will lift up a standard against him.” Thus one calmly holds his soul in readiness for whatever may be his lot. Because of this poise of spirit one may be patient when plans do not carry through, when motives are questioned, when disappointments come. And one possesses that happy perspective which enables him to see things in their true light and to weigh values with proper balances. He will also be enabled to follow the admonition of Paul to “know no man after the flesh” and to measure men by spiritual standards rather than by the estimates of this age. Such an inner application of holiness will color both the trials and joys of life. Trials will be shot through with a sturdy faith and a confidence because one realizes that trials bring an opportunity for the cultivation of patience which in the end will result in an exceeding great reward. The joys of life, instead of producing a reckless and careless spirit, will beget a deeper appreciation of God for His constant benefactions, and bring to the heart life a loyalty and constancy to Christ.
With the life actuated by such a spirit, how could home relationships be aught but happy and delightful. Thank God for an experience of holiness that will help solve the problems of the home. In spite of our humanity, and the conflict of personalities in those close and intimate ties, perfect love will provide a buffer of patience and consideration for one another. And we are constrained to add that if holiness does not find a workable application in the home what hope is there for its efficiency in the other relationships of life? No part of life is more influential than the home and it is here that holiness must prove its adequacy and power if the world is to be convinced. But it does work, for it instinctively causes the husband to esteem his companion as the weaker vessel, and she in turn grants to him a sweet and holy deference in leadership. Children will not be needlessly provoked to anger but rather will be reared in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. And out of these divinely ordained relationships will radiate a holy atmosphere. Long after children have grown to manhood and womanhood they will look back with quickening hearts to the influences begotten there.
To carry holy living across the sacred threshold and privacy of the home into a busy, greed-driven world is another matter. To be compelled to constantly face the bemeaning influences of a world blinded to all good but gold, is an acid test indeed. But thanks be unto God, holiness works here as well as in the home. It settles once and for all carnal aspirations and unholy ambitions. Predominant in the life of the sanctified is the constant sense and delight of the responsibility of stewardship to his Lord. All the duties and tasks of life will be carried forward with God’s glory in view. If position or promotion be the problem, it will be unhesitatingly judged for acceptance or rejection in the secret place of prayer. One will not sell his soul for mere promotion or self-aggrandizement. If bidden to sully his soul or sear his conscience he will reject such solicitation with holy scorn. He will render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and unto God the things that are God’s. Life, in short, holds for such a man the clean challenge of a livelihood sufficient for his needs and a constant ambition to better himself in every legitimate manner in order that he may be a more profitable servant of God. And thus he will leave behind him in office, store, and shop an influence which will enrich heaven and ennoble humanity.
Heartfelt religion is dogmatic. Superficial is that modern trend which asks one to deliberately lay aside the convictions of his heart under a plausible cloak of belief in the Fatherhood of God and brotherhood of man. Such an attitude strikes at the very heart of true godliness. Yet in full frankness we must admit that there are attendant liabilities at this very point. Unless religion is checked and mellowed by perfect love, there is always a tendency for one to be narrow in his interpretation and grasp of things divine. One’s personal opinions may sometimes be mistaken for convictions born of the Holy Spirit, and if it were not for the correcting and directing influence of the heart under full control of God’s Spirit, they would lead to a pugnacious opposition of others who disagree. And here again holiness finds a ready fitness to the field of human relations. What more can we say than to remind one that, “Love suffereth long and is kind; love envieth not; love vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not provoked, thinketh no evil; rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Love never fails” (I Cor. 13:4-8).