(Bible reference, as associated with a testimony: Psalms 68:12-13: “And she that tarried at home divided the spoil. Though ye have lien among the pots, yet shall ye be as the wings of a dove covered with silver, and her feathers with yellow gold.”)
First, I want you to note that the Trinity, the Triunity of the Godhead, is engaged in this question of our sanctification; and a matter that is of sufficient importance to interest and engage the Trinity should certainly be of sufficient importance to engage our attention.
I Thes. 4:3: “For this is the will of God, even your sanctification.” “This is the will of God, your sanctification.” The word even is supplied. “Your sanctification.” To the obedient child the will of the parent is law. To the obedient child of God the will of God is paramount to everything else. If sanctification is the will of God concerning me, than I am not what God would have me to be until I measure up to that experience. God the Father wills our sanctification.
There are so many passages that I could give along the same line of thought, but I must he brief. The next thought is, Christ the Son died to provide our sanctification; turn to:
Heb. 13:12: “Wherefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people with His Own blood, suffered without the gate.” God the Father willed our sanctification, and Christ died to provide our sanctification. The same thought is in:
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.” “God so loved the world;” Christ, also, loved the church, and gave “Himself for it that He might sanctify and cleanse it.”
Next you may turn to: Romans 15:16: “That I should be the 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.” “Being sanctified by the Holy Ghost.” God wills our sanctification; Christ died to make it possible and to provide our sanctification, and the Holy Ghost is here to execute and accomplish our sanctification. There is another reference on this same point:
2 Thes. 2:13: “But we are bound to give thanks to God alway for you brethren, beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth.” “Chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit.” Note that the word Spirit there has a capital “S,” signifying the “Holy Spirit.” Now it seems to me that if God wills our sanctification, and Christ died to provide our sanctification, and the Holy Spirit is here to accomplish our sanctification, that a man might get sanctified. No man can make an honest pretense of believing the Bible and not believe in sanctification.
The words sanctify, sanctified, and sanctification occur no less than one hundred and fifty-two times; the words cleansing and purity occur no less than six hundred times; the words perfect, perfected, and perfection occur fully one hundred and fifty times; the words holy and holiness occur no less than six hundred times. These terms, all having reference to this identical grace, — representing different phases of the experience, perhaps, but all treat of the same experience; not less that fifteen hundred references at least upon this subject. When a man says he does not believe in sanctification, he simply says he does not believe the Bible, or else he expresses his ignorance concerning the Bible. Certainly a man might say, “I do not understand it as you do,” but you are bound to believe in some sort of sanctification if you believe the Bible.
There are five or six different theories regarding this subject. The first theory is that sanctification occurs simultaneously with regeneration. Second, that sanctification is obtained by a gradual development after you are justified. A third theory is that sanctification occurs at the moment of death, and cannot be experienced until you die. The fourth theory is that sanctification is a sort of post-mortem affair, and takes place after death. The fifth theory, — more properly the first, is that sanctification is a definite experience subsequent to regeneration, conditioned upon entire consecration and faith, — the privilege of every believer as pardon is the privilege of every penitent-to be experienced and enjoyed in this life.
Now these five theories cover the consensus of opinion of the religious world concerning this subject. We want to investigate and carefully review these theories. First that sanctification does not occur simultaneously with regeneration but that sanctification is a second experience. Now to prove that we will take a passage that we read a moment ago:
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.” “Christ also loved the church.” Who constitutes the church? It is the family of God. How do you get into a family, join it? No. You are born into it; so the members of this family, the church, are born of the Spirit, born again, horn from above. All members of this church are horn from above. There is a difference, you see, between belonging to a church and belonging to the church. Multitudes belong to a church, so-called, a religious organization, — a sort of mutual admiration society, who do not belong to the church at all. The register of the church is kept in the skies. And it was for this company, this class, — the church, the ecclesia, or called-out ones, Christ gave Himself, that He might sanctify it and cleanse it. A man becomes a member of the church when he is born again, and not until then does he become eligible to this experience. “Christ also loved the church, and gave Himself for it, that He might sanctify and cleanse it.”
Take the seventeenth chapter of John. In this chapter Jesus is testifying concerning the disciples. First, “they are not of the world;” three times he repeats that statement. Second, “they are Thine and they are Mine; they are Mine and they are Thine.” Third, “they have kept Thy Word.” Fourth, “I have kept them.” Fifth, “None of them is lost” — excepting Judas. Sixth, “I am glorified in them.” Seventh, “they have known surely that I came out from thee.” To know Him is to have life eternal, based on that third verse. I have not given the references here, because I have done so in a former lesson. He is praying for them, as stated clearly in the ninth verse: “I pray for them, I pray not for the world.” He is not praying for the world. He says in the seventeenth verse: “Sanctify them through Thy truth; Thy Word is truth.” So Jesus evidently believed in sanctification, and He did not believe that they were sanctified when they were converted, for He certainly would not pray for something they already had. We learn from this prayer that Jesus believed that Sanctification was a second experience.
I Thes. 4:3: “This is the will of God, even your sanctification.” To whom does that apply; to sinners? To backsliders? Let us see what kind of people the Thessalonians were. Turn to the first chapter, — we will read the entire chapter:
I Thes. 1:1: “Paul and Sylvanus, and Timotheus, unto the church of the Thessalonians which is in God the Father and in the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace be unto you, and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.” We note that this epistle was addressed to the church “which is in God our Father” — not to sinners, but to the church.
I Thes. 1:2, 3: “We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers. Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labor of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father.” “Work of faith, labor of love, patience of hope;” would that indicate that they are sinners?
I Thes. 1:4: “Knowing brethren, beloved, your election of God.” They were elected of God. Some people are afraid of the doctrine of election; but I believe in it. However, a man cannot be elected unless he becomes a candidate. As it was in my case, the Holy Spirit nominated me, and I accepted the nomination and became a candidate; then God the Father, and God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost elected me by a sweeping majority. “Elected of God.”
I Thes. 1:5, 6: “For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake. And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the Word in much affliction, with joy of the ‘Holy Ghost.” Followers of the apostles, and followers of the Lord; “received the Word in much affliction, with joy.”
1 Thes. 1:7: “So that ye were ensamples to all that believe in Macedonia and Achaia.”
Not ensamples only to sinners ‘ but “ensamples to all that believe.” They were most exemplary Christians, and “ensamples to all that believe in ‘Macedonia and Achaia.” I Thes. 1:8. “For from you sounded out the Word of the Lord not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith to God-ward is spread abroad; so that we need not to speak anything.” “In every place your faith to God-ward is spread abroad.” There was no need of telling people that they have been converted; the thing is out; and it is astonishing how it will get out when a man gets converted in the old fashioned way.
I was converted about nine-thirty Sunday night, and went home, and thought I would start out the next morning and tell the folks about it; but the thing had been all over town before breakfast; and before I could get the privilege of telling them, they took me by the hand, and greeted me warmly, and said: “Glad to hear it.” You get a good case and it will get out. With some people, the first intimation you get that they ever have been converted is at their funeral, when the preacher announces that they have gone to heaven; the preacher had found some old dusty, rusty, musty church record, and found that they had been members of church, and so concluded they had gone to heaven too, when there had not been the slightest suspicion in the neighborhood that they ever had religion.
Beloved, it is like the measles; if you keep warm, it will break out, and the community will know about it; it is a little contagious then, but I would not mind if there came an epidemic of it in this neighborhood. We need not tell them that you are followers of Christ, — the thing is out; the thing is commented upon, spoken of in every place.
I Thes. 1:9: “For they themselves show of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God.” They had turned to God from idols, to serve the living and true God.”
I Thes. 1:10: “And to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, even Jesus Christ, which delivered us from the wrath to come.” “Delivered us from the wrath to come.”
Let us recapitulate just a moment:
First: They constituted the church at Thessalonica.
Second: Paul rejoiced in them.
Third: They had “works of faith,” “labor of love,” “patience of hope.”
Fourth: “Elected of God.”
Fifth: They had received the Word with much joy through much affliction.
Sixth: They were followers of the Apostles and of the Lord.
Seventh: They were “ensamples to all that believe in Macedonia and Achaia.”
Eighth: Their faith was generally acknowledged and commented upon.
Ninth: They had turned from idols to serve and worship the true and living God.
Tenth: They had been delivered from the wrath to come.
Were they Christians? Were they converted? To that class He says: This is the will of God, even your sanctification.” But, you say, possibly they are backslidden; so turn to:
I Thes. 3:6: “But now when Timotheus came from you unto us, and brought us good tidings of your faith and charity, and that ye have good remembrance of us always, desiring greatly to see us, as we also to see you.” Brother Timotheus had paid them a visit, and Paul had wanted to know his opinion about them. He brought us good tidings of your “Martha Washington Tea Party,” and your “Oyster Supper,” and your “Broom Drill,” and your “Ice Cream festival,” and your “necktie-socials.” All that sounds too modern! That is the report that would suit some churches, no doubt. But Timotheus “brought us good tiding of your faith and charity,” — the two cardinal graces.
I Thes. 3:7, 8, 9, 10: “Therefore, brethren, we were comforted over you in all our affliction and distress by your faith; for now we live, if ye stand fast in the Lord. For what thanks can we render to God again for you, for all the joy wherewith we joy for your sake before our God; night and day praying exceedingly that we might see your face, and might perfect that which is lacking in your faith.” What does he want to see their faces for, and praying so earnestly, “by night and by day exceedingly,” — what for? Something still “lacking in your faith.” They evidently did not get all at conversion.
I Thes. 3:13: “To the end He may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, with all His saints.” “To the end that He might stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness.” They did not get it when they were converted; and, to show that they were not backslidden, take:
I Thes. 5:5: “Ye are all the children of light and the children of the day; we are not of the night, nor of the darkness.” “Ye are ALL the children of light and children of the day.” According to that there was not a single backslider among them.
He concludes the epistle by a prayer:
I Thes. 5:23:24: 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.” Not, “Who also did do it?” “Who also will do it.” Would Paul pray for something they already had? It would seem to me that nothing could be clearer than that they were not sanctified when they were converted. Paul believed sanctification was a second experience. “The very God of peace sanctify you wholly, — and preserve you blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” “Faithful is He that calleth you, Who also will do it.”
I am not particular as to when you get the blessing, where nor how, just so you get it. But a man who says he was sanctified when he was converted claims an experience contrary to Scripture, and contrary to universal experience and testimony. The facts are that no man would think of claiming sanctification unless he obtained it as a second experience, unless he be caught in a “second blessing” meeting. He says: “I was sanctified when I was converted, and I have been converted forty years and over.” He never said so before, and nobody ever suspected that he was sanctified; it comes as news to the community that he is sanctified; it is the first time he has ever told it; his next door neighbors never suspected it.
Sometimes there are ministers who preach that we are sanctified when we are converted, and yet they would not be heard to say to sinners: You come to the altar and let the Lord sanctify you. Not a preacher would think of inviting sinners to come to the altar to seek sanctification; it does not come to sinners.
The next theory is, that you may obtain it by growth. There is a growth in the grace of justification, and there is a growth in the grace of sanctification, but there is not a growing into either. Why may you not grow into justification or regeneration? Because it is something which God must do for you, — a divine act. Why may not a man grow into sanctification? For the same reason: it is a divine act, the act of divine grace: “The very God of peace sanctify you wholly.”
“Jesus, also, that He might sanctify the people, suffered without the gate.” You cannot grow into something which God must do for you.
If it were by growth, then time would be a factor, for it requires time to grow. If time is a factor in our sanctification, the question would naturally arise: how much time is required? Suppose that men might grow into sanctification in two years; this would be a very short period; very well. That man has been growing just one year into sanctification, and, at the expiration of one year, he dies; just grew half way there; then what about the other half? The Lord would have to fix the other half up instantaneously. If He had to fix up the last half instantaneously, why not fix up the first half instantaneously. And again, if by growth, there must be degrees in sanctification: some would be a little sanctified, some would be more sanctified, and some would be most sanctified, determined by the length of time they had been growing; it would be hard to tell the class to which they belong.
Did you ever meet persons who testified that they had been growing so many years and had grown into sanctification? Did you ever meet such a person? Or did you ever see a person who had met a person who testified he had grown into sanctification? Did you ever see a person that had met a person that had ever heard of a person that had grown into sanctification? No, and you never will. They cannot be found.
Some one may say, “A man said he thought he had about gotten there.” But he was not there, evidently. Friends, the answer simply is that you cannot grow into something which God must do for you. There is a gradual approach to sanctification on the human side: there is the consecration, the yielding to God, and seeking the blessing, just as the gradual approach to the experience of justification. But when a man comes to the point, and meets the conditions, and, when he believes that God does the work, God does it instantaneously.
The third theory: We obtain it at death. That death has any saving power we deny. Death has no saving power. Death is an enemy, a result of sin; death can never sanctify you. Now that some people have been sanctified at the moment of death we admit; but, if they were sanctified at death, they were sanctified as a second experience; and, if they were sanctified at death, it was the blood that sanctified them. Well, has the blood more power at death than when a man is living? If the blood can cleanse me when I AM dying, why not while I am living?
Do you remember the circumstances of that death-bed scene? You remember just before he died, how he struggled to give up, give up his family, give up his possessions and consent to the will of God. The preacher came and prayed; the saints gathered and sang and prayed, then he got so happy? In former years they called it “dying grace.” Would you like to know what happened to him then? I will tell you how you may find out; just do what he did; make a death-bed consecration, and you will find out just what happened. Give up to God as you would on your death-bed, and you will find out what others got; they got nothing but sanctification, by faith in the blood. Death is no saviour.
If death will make a Christian free from sin, why not let death make a sinner free from sin? We would not need any Saviour at all, — let death do it. Satan is the father of sin, and sin is the cause, or the father of death; that makes death the devil’s grandchild. Now what is the good of people going about expecting that the devil’s grandchild is going to sanctify them? Well, I don’t expect anything from the devil nor any of his kin-folks.
“The blood, the blood is all my plea,
Hallelujah! now it cleanseth me.”
Now if you insist that you get it when you die, and cannot get it before, turn to: Jude 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.” “Sanctified by death?” No. “Sanctified by God the Father?” Exactly. If they did not get sanctified until they died, this letter must have been written after they were dead, and addressed to their tomb-stones and forwarded to some cemetery. For, if it was written after they were sanctified, and if they were not sanctified until they were dead, we must conclude that this letter was written to be put on their tomb-stones, and set up in some graveyard. Do you believe that? I don’t. According to this letter some folks have it before they die.
Then we come to the other theory: It is a postmortem experience, — you get it after death. That is the theory of our Catholic friends. They believe in a second blessing, — all of them. They believe that in going to the confessional, and confessing their sins to the priest they will be absolved from guilt. But there is something which the priest cannot do, so, in view of that, they have fixed up the purgatory theory. But the difficulty about purgatory is to locate it; nobody seems to know where the place is. And I notice that the time they leave a person in purgatory depends somewhat upon the size of his purse; if one has plenty of money, I notice they will pray him through more quickly, while they will let the other fellow sweat awhile. I am too poor to go that route, — I am afraid they would let me sweat.
It is nonsense. There is not a word in scriptures to hold out such a thought. But in that very theory they recognize the fact that there is something more needed than pardon; they need a purging; while the priest may forgive, it takes purgatory fires to purge them. I believe in purging, but with the fire of the Holy Ghost.
We are getting into close quarters: You say you got it when you were converted. That is unscriptural. If I had time I would prove to you that the Thessalonians did not get it when they were converted, but as a second experience; that the Corinthians did not get it when they were converted, but as a second experience; that the Galatians, the Ephesians, the Samaritans, did not get it when they were converted, but as a second experience. Father Abraham did not get it when. converted, but as a second experience; Jacob did not get it when converted, but as a second experience. If you claim that you got it when you were converted, that is contrary to the Word of God; He does not do things contrary to His Word. God does not sanctify a man when he is converted. If it were a mere question of power I suppose He could. He could make silver dollars grow on trees, if it were a mere question of power; I suppose if He did, we would all be up a tree. God has method and system, and wisdom in His work; so in this work of sanctification, it is not according to His plan or method to sanctify at conversion.
We might give many reasons why we are not sanctified when we are converted. You say you grow into sanctification. I answer it is a divine act; God must do it for you. You say you must get it when you die; I will show you that some folks got it before they died. You say you get it in purgatory; you have no scripture. This leaves us but one theory, namely, that sanctification is an experience subsequent to regeneration, conditioned upon entire consecration and faith. How do you prove that?
Matt. 23:19: “Ye fools and blind; for whether is greater, the gift, or the altar that sanctifieth the gift?” It is the altar that sanctifieth the gift. That is taken from the Old Testament: Exodus 29:37: “Seven days thou shalt make an atonement for the altar, and sanctify it; and it shall be an altar most holy; whatsoever toucheth the altar shall be holy.” “Whatsoever toucheth the altar shall be holy.” The thought is that we do not offer on altars of wood and stone; Christ is our altar. We do not bring lambs, and goats, etc., we bring ourselves, — laying ourselves upon the altar of God, “Which is your reasonable service. Anything short of that is unreasonable. This is consecration.
Acts 26:18: “To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.” “Sanctified by f-a-i-t-h growth?” F-a-i-t-h death? F-a-i-t-h purgatory? “Sanctified by f-a-i-t-h, FAITH.” “The altar sanctifieth the gift,” then I must lay all upon the altar; what then? By faith trust God to do the work.
Just a few points as to what sanctification. is not: It is not an experience where you could not sin if you wanted to; we do not say that the possibility to sin is removed; we do not say that a man has not power to sin, but we do say that he may have power not to sin.
It is not an experience where a man is exempt from temptation. Temptation is not sin; to be tempted is no sin; it is the yielding to the temptation that brings sin.
I Cor. 10:13: “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man; but God is faithful, Who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able, but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” We know we are tempted, and we believe “God is faithful, and will make a way of escape that we may be able to bear it.” To be tempted is no sin. Christ was tempted; but why should we yield, since “God is faithful and makes a way of escape?”
Again: Sanctification is not an experience where we become infallible and cease to make mistakes. Only today or yesterday a lady said to me: “Do you believe sanctified people cease to make mistakes?” I have heard of only one man in all the world who claims to be infallible, and he was on the other side of the ocean, thank God! but I noticed that when he died they burned a good many candles, and said masses, etc., and they seemed to question even his infallibility.
We are sorry to admit sanctified people make mistakes. We need to distinguish between mistake and sin: a mistake is a thing of the head, not of the heart, while a sin is a thing of the heart. A mistake is a thing you did when you knew no better; a sin is a thing you did when you did know better. A mistake is not a sin. The motive determines the morality of the act. So you see how one man might do a certain act and be wholly innocent, and another man do exactly the same thing and be guilty: A mother by mistake administers a deadly poison to her sick babe, thinking it was a curative, a remedy; it was purely, wholly a mistake. The child dies, and she is frantic with grief, and is an object of pity. That same mother might administer the poison with intent, and she is a murderess. The motive determines the morality of the act.
Again, Sanctification is not Come-out-ism. In some places this doctrine has become associated with some other things — associated with a movement known as “Come-out-ism.”
“Come-outers” are a sect that try to dissect a sect, and any sect, that is dissected by such a sect is the most dissectable sort of a sect. We are not Come-outers. In some places we may be “Fired-outers,” “Put-outers,” but we are “Go-inners,” and “Stay-inners” by the grace ‘of God. We believe in organized effort. We have no mission nor commission against the church, although we cannot excuse sin even in the church. We love the church, and her ministry.
Now, a few of the advantages accruing from this blessing. The benefits of sanctification are innumerable.
Take: I 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.”‘ I want you to see that the sanctifying grace precedes the preserving grace. That the preserving grace is coupled with sanctifying grace.
Jude 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.” “Sanctified by God the Father, and preserved.” Notice that the preserving grace is coupled with the sanctifying grace. Preserved means: “you are done up so that you will keep.” That is the object of preserving. So many folks don’t keep. The fact is logical, as well as scriptural. Preserved. The Lord puts up His preserves just as you folks put up your preserves. You would not think of preserving fruit that was partly decayed; you pare around it, pick out all the spots, and see that it is sound before you preserve it. If you don’t preserve it properly, when you step into the pantry the next day you hear something sizz; then you say, “‘There is a can working,” and you have to stew it all over again. That is the trouble: people want to be preserved without being made whole. God wants to take out all carnality, all unsoundness. Then it takes fire to be preserved, to get to the boiling point. People want to get preserved with the old man in them. Before long you hear something sizz; it has begun to work; it foams, then it blows the lid off, then you have to get stewed over again at the next revival meeting, — it doesn’t keep. God wants to preserve you so that you will keep in any climate; not pickled, but preserved. Preserved includes the thought of firmness, constancy, stability, steadfastness. What is the thing that causes fluctuation, vacillation, and the up and down experience. God means to get you where you will stand, by removing the thing that causes that up and down life.
Take another passage to show the advantage of sanctification:
Mark 8:22, 23, 24: “And He cometh to Bethsaida; and they bring a blind man unto Him, and besought Him to touch him. 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.” Yes, he had one touch, he could see, but he saw men as trees walking. Suppose you preach a second blessing to him. My, he had such a powerful experience t he saw men as trees, and they were walking. If one touch would make men as tall as trees, two touches might make them twice as tall. How could that be?
Mark 8:25: “After that He put His hands again upon his eyes, and made him look up, and he was restored, and saw every man clearly.”
“Clearly!” He did not see men twice as tall as trees, but saw every man clearly. He got the second touch. People say they don’t believe in a half-way work. Well, that first touch looks like half-way work. He could have opened those eyes with one touch, but He wanted to show that it was necessary to have a second touch in order to see clearly, and that the second touch gives a clarified vision.
“The pure in heart shall see God.” “If thine eye be single thy whole body shall be full of light.” It requires a second touch in order to see clearly. When you get the second blessing you can see it taught everywhere, and before you got it you could not see it anywhere.
People sometimes wonder why I preach so much about it. I am like the brother who preached on immersion in every sermon, and the congregation becoming wearied finally asked him if he would not preach about something else. He told them that he could not see anything else in the Bible. But they were inclined to think that there was something else in the Bible. So it was agreed that they would select the text for him for the following Sunday, and the minister was not to know what it was until he entered the pulpit. And they had a text that had no immersion in it, — they were sure about that; they had decided upon a sentence in one of the minor prophets in connection with the temple outfit: “And there were nine and twenty knives.” The minister announced his text, “And there were nine and twenty knives,” and then he said: “I don’t see what they wanted with that many knives unless it was to cut the ice to immerse someone. He could not see anything else but immersion in the Bible. Well, when you get the second blessing you will be able to see it all through the Book. That is why I preach on this subject so often. It clarifies the vision.
I might multiply this, but I must stop; I want you to get one more of the advantages and benefits accruing out of sanctification:
2 Timothy 2:21: “If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honor, sanctified and meet for the Master’s use, and prepared unto every good work.” The thought is: Sanctified and meet for the Master’s use — and prepared unto every good work.” It is a preparation and qualification for service. One more:
Hebrews 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.” “He that sanctifieth.” According to that there is some one engaged in the work. “He that sanctifieth and they that are sanctified.” According to that there are some that are sanctified. And “they are all of one.” That is the beauty of sanctification; it means unity, and oneness with Him. “For which cause He is not ashamed to call them brethren.” Some people will be ashamed to call you brother and sister after you have been sanctified; but He is not ashamed; why? Because you have the family resemblance. Praise God! Unity, oneness with Him. O, the benefits of sanctification are innumerable.
The words “sanctify” and “sanctification” are made from the Latin adjective sanctus (meaning “holy”) and the Latin verb facere (meaning “to make”) and the suffix “tion” always meaning “the act of.” So the root meaning of the word plainly means and signifies the act of making holy.
Standard Dictionary: Sanctify: — “To make holy; rendered sacred or morally or spiritually pure; cleansed from sin . . . sanctification; specifically in Theology, the gracious work of the Holy Spirit whereby the believer is freed from sin and exalted to holiness of heart and life.”
“Whereby the believer is freed from sin.” According to this, sanctification is an experience for believers — not for sinners. This would make sanctification a second experience. “The gracious work of the Holy Spirit” — not of works, nor growth, nor death, nor purgatory, but a work of God divinely inwrought by the Holy Spirit.