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Most believers accept the truth that the life of Christ is at work within them. This general belief accomplishes little. The Christian must understand that this continual working of God is the only source for all spiritual good there is. The only thing godly in a believer, is what gets all its life from the Spirit of God living and breathing in him. He is to look and depend fully on it both for his thoughts and desires that can be holy and good. There is nothing good in the believer except the life and goodness of God.
God does not consider anything done by a person's self to have any righteousness. A person's life is not truly good until it proceeds from Him. God quickens His own life and nature within the believer. All possible goodness is in God alone. No one can have any goodness separate from Him. A believer can only worship in spirit and truth when he completely trusts in and relies only on the working of God within him. The workings of the flesh cannot make a person holy. The only reason that a believer is godly is that God is actively at work within him.
The new convert is usually too ignorant of himself and knows too little about Christ, to be confirmed in entire sanctification. He needs fresh conviction of sin, to see himself as truly needy. Then he needs to have Christ revealed to him and formed in him the hope of glory. This must take place before he will be steadfast, always abounding in the work of the Lord.
Many do not fully understand how needy they are until God places them in a circumstance that reveals it to them. One purpose for trials and temptations is to show a person his true need. When a person sees the need, and seeks God for the answer, then the Holy Spirit will reveal Christ. What the convert needs is a clear and powerful revelation of self. Then he needs Christ to awaken and develop all his weaknesses and needs concerning the relations of Christ. A convert will return to his selfish state unless he receives these revelations in such power to cause embracing faith.
To learn from Christ is something different from reading and hearing the teachings of Christ and His apostles. All people need the teaching of the Holy Spirit. No man will come to Christ unless the Holy Spirit enlightens him. The Holy Spirit offers to lead every man into all truth if a person believes He will.
Every person is responsible to know and do the whole truth as soon as it is possible for him to do so with the light of the Holy Spirit. A person must first experience a trial that clearly shows him his own weaknesses. There is not a role or relation of Christ that he will recognize and embrace until he sees his weakness. He may often fall under temptation and be in bondage until Christ is clearly and strongly revealed by the Holy Spirit. This has to be done in such a degree that self is put down and Christ is exalted in the heart.
Sin has so fooled the sinner that he never fully develops the alarming fact he is nothing without Christ until he fails one trial after another. Without this knowledge he will never receive Christ as his all and all. Christ then raises his will from its fallen state of death in trespasses and sin.
He raises it from its state of committal and voluntary enslavement to lust and to self, to a state of conformity to God's will.
Christ quickens the believer's will into obedience by pouring a stream of quickening truth to him. Christ strengthens and confirms the believer's by making fresh discoveries to him. The believer comes to know Christ in precious relations in which he had known nothing of Him before. As the believer discovers his real weaknesses, he sees that Christ meets his needs fully.
The believer's present duty is to embrace all he understands of Christ. As trials come, he will learn more of his own needs. He must learn more of Christ and take Him in new relations, or he will surely fall. The believer needs to expect to live without sin. If he does not expect to live without sin through Christ, it is unbelief and a rejection of Christ in this relation.
A person does not need first to know Christ in all His relations before entire sanctification can take place. Knowing Christ in these relations is the condition of the believer's perseverance in holiness under temptation. Temptation comes to the believer from time to time and nothing can guard him against falling but the revelation of Christ. The believer must continually take from Christ all that he needs by faith. The gospel promises that for every temptation there is a way of escape.
No person can have Christ or all his needs revealed at once. The sanctified believer when tempted sees his need revealed. The design of temptation is to show the believer his weakness in a given area at one specific time. The sanctified believer will see this need and receive a new revelation of Christ that fully meets the demands of that need. God does not require anyone to know all the relations of Christ at once.
The entirely sanctified believer expects to have his needs revealed by temptation from time to time. He expects new revelations from Christ to meet those needs. God promises that He will provide this gracious aid or revelation in time. The believer will overcome sin by laying hold on Christ in the present revealed relation. The believer may be preserved blameless through the furnace of temptation. This is the reason he can expect to live without sin. The design of the revelation causes a person's acceptance of Christ. If it does not do this, it has only increased his guilt, without at all providing the benefits of these relations.
The promises of God by themselves cannot sanctify any person. The promises of God do not promise things. They all point to the living and real person of Christ. Many people are fooled because they think that salvation, justification, sanctification, truth, peace, faith, righteousness, and joy are things that they can receive. These are not things at all. They only exist and are the results of Christ Himself in the exercise of His different roles and relations.
Christ Himself is the believer's salvation, justification, sanctification, truth, peace, faith, righteousness and joy. It is the person of Christ in all His relations and roles one is to receive. If one has a promise without the person of Christ, he has nothing.
When the believer has a need revealed, he must turn to Christ and receive of Him the very thing required. He should never search nor try to find this need met outside Christ. Doctrine, facts, ideas, mental images, or philosophy can never meet this need. Also seeking after promises can never meet this need. Jesus Christ is the promise giver, the gift Himself and source for all Spiritual righteousness.
The promise of entire sanctification does not by itself guarantee the believer's future obedience. Only Christ Himself can guarantee it because He is the guarantee Himself. A person should not worship a promise nor seek after promises. One is to seek the Lord Jesus who is the very essence of the promises made. Christ is the promise Himself.
One needs to realize that without Christ he is trying to stand and to build upon nothing. One needs clearly to see the complete emptiness and uselessness of his resolutions and self-originated efforts, to slay forever his self-dependence. If one does not know and see this as a fact, he will always rely on himself.
A person's personal responsibility and duty to Christ can never have too much stress or emphasis placed on it. Nothing is accomplished until Christ reveals a person's need and His fullness. Unless a person truly receives Christ, and commits himself to Him in this relation, he will find to his shame that nothing has been done. A person may see both his needs and Christ's fullness, and yet forget or neglect to take actively and personally receive Him in these relations. This is essential, for without this, a person would remain a sinner.
True sanctification consists in entire consecration to God. It is not the result of forming holy habits. This consecration comes about and continues by the Spirit of Christ. This does not mean that a believer can be idle or passive but on the contrary. He must actively take hold of Christ and use His strength in doing all the will of God.
A person needs clearly to see that his own will has been too long the slave of lust ever to control or master his appetites. He needs to see that his own will is so weak in the presence of temptation that there is no hope of victory unsupported by the strength from Christ. If he truly sees this then he will renounce forever his dependence on his own strength and cast himself totally on the strength of Christ. Christ himself is the strength of the true believer's heart. Psalm 73:26 "My flesh and my heart fails, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever."
A person can only receive Christ's strength on the condition of his refusal to rely on any of his own strength. Christ's strength is made perfect only in his entire weakness. The believer must give up all dependence on his own strength.
A person must renounce self in every respect in which he takes Christ.
Christ will not share the throne of the heart with anyone, nor anything. He cannot be put on by one, except as this person puts off self. A person is to lay aside all dependence on self, in every respect in which he would have Christ. Many people reject Christ by depending on self and seem not aware of their error. Every effort to walk without Christ will result in complete and instantaneous failure.
Christ in one is the hope of glory. The only true hope a believer can have is Christ's actual presence, living and reigning in him. To hope in Christ who just exists in the universe is to hope in vain. It is Christ working in the believer to will and to do of all His good pleasure. Christ is the initiator and maintainer of the believer's duty. Christ takes responsibility for the believer and pledges Himself as his security. Christ guarantees to fulfill for and in the believer all the conditions of salvation. Remember, before a person can experience the result of any promise, he must believe in and take Christ to do what he says.
A state of entire and permanent sanctification is nothing else than a state of entire and continual dependence on Christ and on the Holy Spirit. Christ is the believer's sanctification, not his sanctifier as if He made the believer holy in himself. Christ is the life and the holiness in the believer. It is His presence that produces holiness in him. This holiness only exists as His divine agency produces it.
The believer is not passive in holiness, nor does he receive Christ's holiness and righteousness by imputation. The believer by faith becomes a partaker of His holiness and His life. The entirely sanctified believer knows he does not have any life but in Christ nor does he expect to. He receives continual influence and constant leadings and guidings of the Spirit of Christ.
God has given the promise of entire sanctification to believers, not to unbelievers. Just as the promise of Christ is not automatic to all sinners, the promise of entire sanctification is not automatic to all believers. The requirement to sinners is to repent and take Christ as King. The requirement to the believer is to receive the results of the promise of entire sanctification. This is not an optional demand that a believer may reject. If a believer does not receive it, he will surely fall into bondage to the law and sin again.
Many born again believers fail to receive this blessing and are in danger. They live by human rules, methods and schemes and not by the simplicity of faith. They still have life in themselves and fail to draw fully from the life and power of Christ. They neglect the fact self can do nothing of self to free itself from the sin and power of selfishness. Have you received the results of this promise?