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The Theology Of Holiness by Sereno D. Clark


There is one expression in the epistle of Jude, which I purposely omitted in the preceding chapter, that it might have a more prominent place in the present one.

Nowhere else in the Bible are we expressly declared to be |sanctified by God the Father.| It is cause of rejoicing, however, that every person of the Godhead, every member of the adorable Trinity, is concerned in the sanctification of a human soul. And this fact, like many others, points to the extreme importance of the subject on which we are treating; for if the working of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit is required, and is brought into active operation in order to cleanse our hearts from the pollution of sin, and fit us for heaven, then it must be in the estimation of the triune God, a matter of prime necessity that we should be thus cleansed. If God, therefore, regards it as an essential that we be sanctified wholly, let us beware of the thought that it is only optional, that it is possible, if possible at all, only for the few and not for the many, and that it can be done without, or what is practically too nearly the same thing, postponed until we see, or think we see, the near approach of death. What every person of the Godhead is urging upon our acceptance now, let us not dare either to reject or postpone. |Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.|

Paul said to the Ephesian elders at Miletus, |And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified.|

Ah, beloved reader, we can never estimate the debt we owe to the unbounded grace of God. Grace means unmerited favor. Grace is God's infinite love in active working for the salvation of man. And, the source of our sanctification, just as of our justification, and indeed of every gospel blessing provided for us, is the grace of God. And when our souls are stirred up to ecstatic gratitude and love, by the thought of the |unspeakable gift| of the Lord Jesus Christ, and of the unspeakable blessings derived from and through Him, let us not forget that behind it all and over it all, is the broad and incomprehensible declaration, |God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son.|

Absolute sovereignty, authority, supremacy and paternity belong to God the Father. The Father sends the Son. The Father and the Son send the Holy Spirit. Neither the Son nor the Spirit, nor both together, ever send the Father. The Father |created all things by Jesus Christ.| Jesus Christ cast out devils |by the Spirit of God.| The Son reveals the Father, for |no man knoweth the Father save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal Him.| And the Holy Spirit reveals Jesus, for |no man can say that Jesus is Lord but by the Holy Ghost.| |He shall testify of Me.| |He shall take of Mine and show it unto you.| |He shall not speak of Himself; but what He shall hear| (from the Father and the Son) |that shall He speak.|

Thus the greatest gift that God the Father has given or could give to His creature man is the gift of His Son. The greatest gift that God the Son has given to man after He gave Himself for us is the gift of the Holy Ghost, for it is not only said, |I will pray the Father and He shall give you another Comforter,| and |whom the Father will send in My name,| but also, |If I depart I will send Him unto you,| so we may say in general terms, that the Holy Ghost as a personal sanctifier, energizer and Comforter, is the promise of the Father and the gift of the Son. And it may be added that the greatest gift of the Holy Spirit to man is the gift of entire sanctification or perfect love. Glory be to God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Ghost. Amen.

And thus when Jude tells us that we are sanctified by God the Father, He means not only that we are separated unto the gospel of life and salvation, set apart to God and His service, but, also, that God the Father has made ample provision in the death of His Son for all Christian believers to be cleansed from every stain of moral defilement, delivered from inbred sin, sanctified wholly, made perfect in love, and filled with the Spirit. We repeat, therefore, that it will be a matter of eternal thankfulness and gratitude to the redeemed soul, that the source of all these unspeakable blessings is in the infinite grace and love of God.

Everywhere throughout the Old Testament, the holiness of God is brought prominently forward and insisted upon. And His own holiness is presented as a sufficient reason why His people should be holy also. |Be ye holy, for I am holy,| which command and declaration are repeated and endorsed by the Apostle Peter in his first epistle, |But as He which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation, because it is written, Be ye holy, for I am holy.|

As God the Father, therefore, is Himself infinitely holy, and He requires all His children to be holy even in the present life, it goes without saying, as already shown, that He makes provision in His gospel for them to be made and kept holy. And it is precisely the standard of God's holiness which is set before us by the Saviour as the mark at which we also are to aim, and aim not vainly nor unsuccessfully. |Be ye perfect even as your Father in heaven is perfect.| Not that our perfection or our holiness can be equal to His in degree. That would make the finite equal to the infinite, and would be an impossibility and absurdity, but that we are to be perfect in our sphere as He is perfect in His, that we are to be holy with the same kind of holiness that appertains to Him, in a word, that we are to be perfect in love as He is perfect love, and that we are to be delivered from all sin, not by any effort or any merit of our own but by His unmerited grace in Christ Jesus. Let us rejoice and praise His name that we are sanctified by God the Father.

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