The Theology of Holiness byDougan Clark, M. D.Chapter IEntire sanctification A necessity.Science is a systematic presentation of truth. Theology is the most important of all sciences. It is the science that treats of God and of man in his relation to God. It is a systematic presentation of revealed truth. As the basis of Astronomy is the universe of worlds revealed by the telescope, and as the basis of Geology is the crust of the earth, so the basis of Theology is the Divine revelation found in the Holy Scriptures. The Theology of Entire Sanctification, therefore, is a systematic presentation of the doctrine of entire sanctification as derived from the written word of God. Such a presentation we hopewith the help of the Holy Spirit, which we here and now earnestly invoketo attempt to give in this book. May God bless the endeavor, and overrule our human weakness, to the glory of His Name. Amen.It is a lamentable fact that there is a large class of Christians to whom the subject of entire sanctification is a matter of indifference. They hope, with or without sufficient reason, that their sins are forgiven. They propose to live moral and useful lives, and trust, again with or without sufficient reason, that they will go to heaven when they die. The subject of holiness does not interest them. They suppose themselves to be doing well enough without it.There are others claiming to be Christians, to whom the subject is even positively distasteful. It is an offence to them. They do not want to hear it preached. They regard those who claim it as cranks. They look upon holiness meetings as being hotbeds of delusion and spiritual pride. They turn away from the whole subject not only with indifference, but with disdain.There are still others, and these Gods children, as we may charitably believe, who do not even regard holiness as a desirable thing. They assert that it is needful and salutary to retain some sin in the heart as long as we live, in order to keep us humble. It is true that they are never able to tell how much sin it takes to have this beneficial effect, but a certain amount they are bent on having.Another class takes the opposite view. They regard holiness as very desirable, and a very lovely thing to gaze upon and think upon, but they also regard it as quite impossible of attainment. They hope to grow towards it all the days of their lives, and to get it at the moment of death. Not sooner than the dying hour, do they believe any human being can be made holy. Not till death is separating the soul from the body can even God Himself separate sin from the soul. The whole doctrine of entire sanctification, therefore, they regard as a beautiful theory, but wholly impossible as an experience, and wholly impracticable as a life.In general terms, we may say that carnal Christians, as described by Paul in I. Corinthians 3:1-4, are opposed to the doctrine of entire sanctification. The carnal mind is enmity against God, and the carnal mind is irreconcilably opposed to holiness. This opposition may take one of the forms already described, or, possibly, some other forms which have been overlooked, but the root of the hostility is the same in all. Wherever our old man has his home in a Christians heart, there entire sanctification will be rejected.But we must not forget that there are many exceptions. There are thousands of sincere, believing hearts in all Christian denominations, in whom inbred sin still exists, but not with the consent of the will. They are tiredvery tired of the tyrant that rules them, or of the ceaseless struggles by which, with Gods added and assisting grace, they are enabled to keep him under. They long for deliverance. They are hungering for full salvation, and rejoice to hear the message of entire sanctification through the baptism with the Holy Ghost and fire. The Lord bless all these hungering multitudes, and give them the desire of their hearts by saving them to the uttermost, and may their numbers be vastly increased, so that the banner of Christs church may everywhere be unfurledthe banner on which is inscribed the glorious motto of Holiness to the Lord.Now we meet all objections to the doctrine of entire sanctification whether in the form of indifference, or dislike, or undesirableness, or impossibilitywith the simple proposition, It is necessary. If this proposition can be established, all objections, of whatever character, must fall to the ground, and the eager cry of every Christian heart must be, How can I obtain that priceless blessing which is essential to my eternal bliss, which is indispensable, and without which I shall never see the Lord?For this is the language of the Holy Ghost in Heb. 12:14, Follow peace with all men, and holiness without which no man shall see the Lord, and in the Revised Version, Follow after peace with all men, and the sanctification without which no man shall see the Lord. This can mean nothing short of entire sanctification, or the removal of inbred sin. And, surely, it is hardly necessary to argue the question as to the indispensableness of this blessed experience, in order to gain an entrance into heaven. Everyone will admit that God Himself is a perfectly and absolutely holy Being, and He has ever told His followers in all ages, Be ye holy for I am holy"making His own perfect and entire holiness the sufficient reason for requiring the same quality in His people. And, although the holiness of the highest created being will always fall infinitely short of that of the Infinite God, as regards quantity, it will be the same in quality, for Jesus tells us, Be ye perfect even as your Father in heaven is perfect, not, of course, with the unmeasurable amount of perfection which appertains to Him, but with the same kind of perfection so far as it goes. And again in Rev. 21:27, we are told that There shall in no wise enter into it (the heavenly city) anything that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination or maketh a lie. Heaven is a holy place, and occupied with none but holy inhabitants.But if holiness of heart is a necessity in order that we may reach the blissful abode of the glory land, when is this stupendous blessing to be obtained? It is by no means, thoughtlessly, that I write obtained and not attained. It is very generally spoken of as an attainment, and this form of expression has a tendency to discourage the seeker by magnifying the difficulty of receiving this blessing. The thought contained in the word attainment is that of something earnestly striven for, struggled after, persistently pursued with much labor and toil and effort, until, at last, the coveted prize is attained. A very few of the multitudes who went to California, soon after gold was discovered there, attained fortune; but it was after years of hard labor and privation and hardship. The majority died on the way, or while mining for the precious metal, or returned as poor as they went.On the other hand, the idea of an obtainment is simply that of a gift. And entire sanctification is precisely a gift, merely this and nothing more. It is not received by struggle, nor effort, nor merit of our own; it is not a great and laborious enterprise to be undertaken; not the fruit of a long journey or a perilous voyage; not by doing, nor trying, nor suffering, nor resolving, nor achieving, but by stretching out the hand of faith and taking. Praise the Lord.And, therefore, we ask again when is this indispensable gift to be obtained? The Roman Catholic and the Restorationist answer, in purgatorial fire, or in some kind of a second probation after death. But the Holy Scriptures tell us absolutely nothing either of a purgatory or a post-mortem probation. On the contrary, they clearly teach us that our destiny for all eternity is to be determined in one probation, which is allotted to us in the present life. Let no one suppose, for a moment, that he can be made fit for heaven at any time, nor in any place, nor by any means, after he has left this mundane sphere. Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.But all the Calvinistic churches by their creeds, and also a large portion of the membership of Arminian denominations, without regard to their creeds, if asked when are we to obtain entire sanctification as an essential meetness for heaven, would answer, at death. The prevailing idea on this subject, among Christian believers, seems to be as follows: First, through repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ, we are converted. Our past sins are pardoned, and we are born again. After that, our sole business is to grow in grace, and by this growth to approach nearer and nearer to the standard of entire sanctification, but never even suppose that we can reach that standard until the moment of death.Now, grace is the gift of God, and we cannot, possibly, grow in grace until we receive it. And we can never grow into grace, but grow in it after we get it. We can grow, it is true, in the grace of justification to a limited degree and for a limited time. The degree is limited because of the presence of inbred sin, which is the great, if indeed, not the only hindrance of growth. The time is limited in most cases, at least, because if the justified Christian is brought to see the need and the possibility of entire sanctification, and yet fails, as so many do, to enter into the blessing, because of unbelief, he is very prone either to backslide, in which case, of course, there will be a cessation of growth, or, like the Galatians, he will submit to the bondage of legalism, and after having begun in the Spirit, he will seek to be perfected in the flesh; in which case Pauls verdict to that beloved church was not ye are growing in grace, but, ye are fallen from grace.It is plain, therefore, that we can never grow into the blessing of entire sanctification. That blessing is to be received by faith, as the gift of God in Christ Jesus and through the Holy Spirit; and when the grace has once been obtained in this manner, then we can grow in it indefinitely and for a lifetime, possibly even for an eternity. Growth in grace is a most blessed thing in its right place, and when rightly understood and experienced, but it can never bring us to the death of the old man, nor to the experience of entire sanctification.And as growth cannot do this, neither can death. Death is nowhere mentioned in Scripture as a sanctifier. Death can separate the soul from the body, but to separate sin from the soul is a work which God can only do. Jesus Christ is our sanctification, and the Holy Spirit is our sanctifier, and even if the work is performed in the article of death, it is still the Holy Spirit and not death that performs it. And if He can perform it in the hour and article of death, where is the hindrance to His performing it a week, a month, a year, or forty years before deathif only the conditions are fulfilled on our part. Do we say that He cannot perform it before death; then where is His omnipotence? Do we say that He will not do it before death; then where is His own holiness? In either case, we dishonor God and rob ourselves of an inestimable and indispensable blessing. God save us from such folly.Scripture, reason and experience, therefore, all unite in the sentiment that entire sanctification is to be sought and obtained now, and if now, then it is to be obtained instantaneously, and if instantaneously and now, it follows, also, that it is to be obtained by faith, and from these premises the further conclusion is logically deducible, that we cannot make ourselves any better in order to receive it, but that we must take it as we are. And so we arrive at and adopt the pithy precept of John Wesley, Expect it by faithexpect it as you areexpect it now.In these remarks we have necessarily anticipated some things which belong more accurately to the next chapter; but we are not seeking so much for a perfectly methodical arrangement, as for a clear and Scriptural presentation of the subject. And we proceed to affirm now that entire sanctification is not only essential as the condition of entering heaven, but that it is also necessary for the highest results of the Christian life on earth. It is not only an indispensable blessing to die by, but, if we would fulfill our Fathers will in this world, it is indispensable to live by.But before leaving entirely the subject of growth in grace, having demonstrated, as we trust, that we can never grow into entire sanctification, we ought, perhaps, to explain what we mean by the statement that we can grow indefinitely in that precious grace after, and not before, we receive it. Entire sanctification has two sides or aspects. It has a positive side and a negative side. Its negative side is the removal of inbred sin, and is, therefore, a matter of subtraction. And herein, we may remark in passing, is a characteristic difference between entire sanctification and regeneration. The latter is a matter of addition, because it implies the impartation of a new life to the soul which has hitherto been dead in trespasses and sins. Now in this negative aspect of entire sanctification there can be no growth. If a heart is pure it cannot be more pure. If it is free from sin it cannot be more free from sin. An empty vessel, as some one has said, cannot be more empty. There can be no increase in purity.http://www.swartzentrover.com/cotor/E-Books/holiness/DouganClark/Theology/TTHindex.htm
But before leaving entirely the subject of growth in grace, having demonstrated, as we trust, that we can never grow into entire sanctification, we ought, perhaps, to explain what we mean by the statement that we can grow indefinitely in that precious grace after, and not before, we receive it. Entire sanctification has two sides or aspects. It has a positive side and a negative side. Its negative side is the removal of inbred sin, and is, therefore, a matter of subtraction. And herein, we may remark in passing, is a characteristic difference between entire sanctification and regeneration. The latter is a matter of addition, because it implies the impartation of a new life to the soul which has hitherto been dead in trespasses and sins. Now in this negative aspect of entire sanctification there can be no growth. If a heart is pure it cannot be more pure. If it is free from sin it cannot be more free from sin. An empty vessel, as some one has said, cannot be more empty. There can be no increase in purity.
Quote by armKelly: Apart from that it is the spirit which is born of the Spirit and thus is regenerated. The soul is not regenerated it is renewed in conduct through conformity or obedience. Ezekiel 36:26 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.The soul or heart (I can link the two through scripture if needed) is renewed but not through conformity or obedience. God promises he will take the heart of stone out of our flesh and he also promises to give us a heart of flesh. You can try and obey unto renewal until your blue in the face but the heart will never change until the spirit does that transforming work.. Quote by armKelly: Be you renewed in your minds that you may prove that perfect and acceptable will of God.It funny how we can quote things without really see what we are quoting.I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. Romans 12:1-2That quote you mention is tied in with scripture that deals with consecration, sanctification and holiness, but not only that it lets us know how it will be accomplished, through the renewing of the mind
So what is the mind, is it not a part of the soul? The soul is the mind will and emotions and again if needed I can show you that the heart in the bible is the exact same thing as your mind will and emotions. So with that said the renewing of our mind is not achieved through through conformity or obedience but because God has made us a promise to give us a new heart, and if we believe him then he will change our heart our mind will and emotions.Lets look at it a bit more closely we are renewed in our mind by a transformation (no mention of obedience or conformance). The greek work used here metamorphosis. Metamorphosis means a complete change of form, structure, or substance, as transformation by magic or witchcraft. In this case we know that its not magic or witchcraft but the Spirit of God transforming us because of the promise he gave us that he will take away the heart of stone and give us a heart of flesh.So to round up we are metamorphosed by being given a new heart.
That quote you mention is tied in with scripture that deals with consecration, sanctification and holiness, but not only that it lets us know how it will be accomplished, through the renewing of the mind
So what is the mind, is it not a part of the soul? The soul is the mind will and emotions and again if needed I can show you that the heart in the bible is the exact same thing as your mind will and emotions. So with that said the renewing of our mind is not achieved through through conformity or obedience but because God has made us a promise to give us a new heart, and if we believe him then he will change our heart our mind will and emotions. Colin
Colin wrote "Lets look at it a bit more closely we are renewed in our mind by a transformation (no mention of obedience or conformance). The greek work used here metamorphosis. Metamorphosis means a complete change of form, structure, or substance, as transformation by magic or witchcraft. In this case we know that its not magic or witchcraft but the Spirit of God transforming us because of the promise he gave us that he will take away the heart of stone and give us a heart of flesh.So to round up we are metamorphosed by being given a new heart."Amen!Andrew wrote "The soul on the other hand it largely neutral in the sense that it is capable of both good and evil deeds of itself apart from God."Agreed. The soul of man acts according to whatever he has chosen to submit his will to, either the Spirit of God which dwells in the spirit of man if he has chosen accordingly, or self will which is in opposition to God and therefore comes under the jurisdiction of Satan. We are under the ruling of one or the other. Man was made to serve another. In order to serve God we must have the new heart which has been transformed, made new but in the present tense of being in a transformed form, and not in a permanently changed form. Man is never permanently changed in this way, he can always revert back to self rule. "I would say it is because the experience which informs this doctrine of sinless perfection (where valid) is in reality revelation of the knowledge of God, giving rise to a conviction (feeling) that knowledge (gnosis) itself produces and makes certain it's meaning. True revelation of God, even Christ crucified for sin and our inclusion in His body, is a basis for repentance and not a basis for walking, of itself. The power to walk is not found in revelation it is the indwelling Spirit of God working through our own spirit."Agreed. It is not knowledge, it is only through the indwelling of the Spirit of God that the renewed heart, can now serve God and will only remain renewed so long so the power for its working is coming from the indwelling Spirit of God.
Quote by armkelly: The soul is not a spirit or even spiritual in nature.I agree that its not a Spirit but I disagree that its not spiritual in nature; I would go as far to say its highly spiritual in nature, the soul in a man is the gateway between the spiritual and the natural world. Quote: Did Adam lose his soul? Did he become an automaton? Did he forever lose his ability to feel emotions? No Adam continued to exercise his whole being; mind, heart and volition.Back to the garden of Eden, what did man eat in the garden the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, how did that affect man or the soul of man. With Adams spirit being dead what stepped up to plate, the soul which was empowered by eating of the fruit. So we went from being led by the spirit to being led by the soul.Quote by Armkelly: The soul cannot be born again because although the soul can choose to sin it cannot posses eternal life. The soul was always going to live forever, even in a state of sin. Those who are eventually found in the second death will not have eternal life as those who are born again have eternal life.You say it cant have eternal life but yet it suffers forever is that not eternal? Can something that is natural live for eternity?Quote by armkelly: The one born again can still do that which is sinful.Yes and the one who is born again can also remain addicted, when the born again addict is set free from the addiction what part changes? The desire is removed or we could say the lust. But where is that lust residing? Do they come from the source of defilement which is soul (heart)?Mans problem is twofold his spirit is dead while his soul (heart) is defiled by sin.Quote by Armkelly: As to the matter of a heart of flesh or stone it is written in the first instance to Israel and it has to do with their rejection of Christ and their eventual reception by God through delivering them from their hearts of stone.Its a new covenant promise, because the old covenant didnt deal with issue, in the old covenant if you obeyed Gods law then he promised to be your God. In the new covenant the promise is I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you and he will be our God. Quote by armkelly: Which brings me to your usage of the term magic or witchcraft.I used it because the dictionary used these words to describe metamorphosis if you think about the caterpillar and the butterfly as an example of the change that Paul sees taking place.Quote by armkeely: The soul on the other hand it largely neutral in the sense that it is capable of both good and evil deeds of itself apart from God. Thats not what scripture says, let me capture something you said earlier the body and the body can harm the soul by its lusts and soul on the other hand it largely neutral You seem to have it the wrong way around. You have the body having lusts and the soul in neutral.I put it to you that the soul (the heart) is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked Jeremiah 17:9, while the body is neutral
The Gnostics taught that the body was evil, just as you have done by claiming the body has lusts so lets be careful what we write.Let me say to this to end the new covenant promise is that he will cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments. So God has to make changes to us so that obedience that God has planned for us can be fulfilled. This obedience is beyond the work of man it is an obedience accomplished only by the Spirit of God within us. He must cause you to walk in His ways. We cannot cause ourselves to walk in His ways
not to the degree God is after.The level of love and obedience that Jesus came to produce in us by the Spirit is far beyond that of the first covenant. We need to take heed to the promises, lest we find ourselves deceived into thinking that we are pleasing Christ and obeying Him in fullness when we really are not. Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it.
Quote by Kartfu: Andrew wrote "The soul on the other hand it largely neutral in the sense that it is capable of both good and evil deeds of itself apart from God.""The heart in Scripture is sometimes used for the mind and understanding, sometimes for the will, sometimes for the affections, sometimes for the conscience, sometimes for the whole soul. Generally, it denotes the whole soul of man and all the faculties of it, as a principle of moral operations.The corruption of human nature is clearly taught in Scripture and brought into connection with the heart (soul). It is "uncircumcised" (Jeremiah 9:26 Ezekiel 44:7); and "hardened" (Exodus 4:21); "wicked" (Proverbs 26:23); "perverse" (Proverbs 11:20); "godless" (Job 36:13); "deceitful and desperately wicked" (Jeremiah 17:9). It defiles the whole man (Matthew 15:19, 20); resists, as in the case of Pharaoh, the repeated call of God (Exodus 7:13)The soul is far from being neutral
Colin wrote "The corruption of human nature is clearly taught in Scripture and brought into connection with the heart (soul)."Yes it is true that it is corrupt, but that is due to its serving Satan. In itself it is neutral. It becomes what it serves. When God performs the miracle of a new heart, and it is washed clean, then it is freed to serve God. Not everything in man's nature is corrupted though. The instincts God gave him are not sin. They can serve sin though.
I agree that its not a Spirit but I disagree that its not spiritual in nature; I would go as far to say its highly spiritual in nature, the soul in a man is the gateway between the spiritual and the natural world. Quote: Did Adam lose his soul? Did he become an automaton? Did he forever lose his ability to feel emotions? No Adam continued to exercise his whole being; mind, heart and volition.Back to the garden of Eden, what did man eat in the garden the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, how did that affect man or the soul of man. With Adams spirit being dead what stepped up to plate, the soul which was empowered by eating of the fruit. So we went from being led by the spirit to being led by the soul Colin
Quote by armkelly: What I am concerned with is not the first or the second but a third claim which has to do with a one time event, and which has been called the second blessing.The second blessing is simply a purifying the heart by faith it is a work of the Spirit, there is two sides of baptism of the Spirit one is the gifts while the other is cleansing of the heart. Unfortunately in the church today we focus on the gifts and not the cleansing from Sin and Self. Quote by armkelly: this teaching lies a number of very real and profound heresies. Like any truth the devil will always send his false ministers in to pervert the truth and to bring reproach.Quote by armkelly: To speak therefore of the heart being desperately wicked above all else is to speak of a condition arising from sin which makes all men permanently inclined to selfishness.In Gods Kingdom, Jesus is Lord, in the world satans kingdom self is lord.Quote by armkelly: In speaking about the evil heart we are really speaking about the self reliance and independent inclination which arise after the fall. Quote by armkelly: It is a body Thou hast prepared for me it is Christ own body crucified for sin. No one can annihilate the self inclinations of the soul.Now one word from our Lord Jesus (Matt. 22:37): "Jesus said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart."You can feed your kids, you can be good to your wife but can have a heart that doesnt love God
Then we can become a Christian and that selfish heart that independent inclination remains after conversion so you dont love God with all your heart.When you say the self-inclinations cant be annihilated, I ask myself what do you mean, the desire for food, the desire to be sustained then I would agree it cant be annihilated. If you mean the pride of life and the lust of the flesh then I would disagree with you because the Holy Spirit is more than able to transform us and to cause us to say with the whole heart I love you GodThis scripture is often limited -- "The love of God is shed abroad in our hearts." It has been understood it means the love of God to us. The love of God is always the love of God in its fullness, a love of God to me that leaps back to Him in love, and overflows to our fellow men in love
."The fruit of the Spirit is love." It is love that conquers and expels our selfishness.