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If entire sanctification were simultaneous with pardon, it would be used interchangeably with it and regeneration. It would be enjoined upon sinners and connected with repentance like conversion. We never read of sinners commended to repent and be sanctified. This grace is always enjoined upon such as had already been justified, hence it is distinct from, and subsequent to justification.
The only place, to my knowledge, where the second grace is spoken of in connection with repentance is Acts 2:28, and there baptism is interposed between the two and the uniform order of the Bible is that pardon must precede baptism; then, or course, the promise of the Father is attainable. That a “wayfaring man, though a fool,” and even “he that runneth may read” the distinction between “first love” and “second grace.” I will place them side-by-side. It will be seen in most cases that the two experiences are affirmed of the same individuals at different times.
The reader should read the left hand column of a single paragraph, and then the opposite column.
CALL TO SINNERS
CALL TO BELIEVERS
Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. Isaiah 55:7
Awake, awake; put on thy strength, O Zion; put on thy beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city . . . Shake thyself from the dust; arise, and sit down, O Jerusalem: loose thyself from the bands of thy neck. Isaiah 52:1-2
I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. Mark 2:17
To all that be in Rome , beloved of God, called to be saints (holy ones): Grace to you and peace from God our Father. Romans 1:7
And he (Paul) went into the synagogue (at Ephesus ), and spake boldly for the space of three months, disputing and persuading the things concerning the kingdom of God . . . And many that believed came, and confessed, and showed their deeds. Acts 19:8, 18
Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers; That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ . . . may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints. Ephesians 1:16-18
Repent ye for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. Matthew 3:2
Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect. Matthew 5:48
From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. Matthew 4:17
And they went out, and preached that men should repent. Mark 6:12
Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom. Matthew 18:3
Marvel not that I say unto thee, ye must be born again. John 3:7
A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you. John 13:34
And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem , but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me. For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence. Acts 1:4-5
Then Peter said unto them (sinners), Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. Acts 2:38
Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out. Acts 3:19
Peter’ s command to the church:
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. 1 Peter 1:15-16
Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved. Acts 16:31
He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? Acts 19:2
And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent. Acts 17:30
For ye know what commandments we gave you by the Lord Jesus. For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication. 1 Thessalonians 4:2-3
PROMISES MADE TO AND RECEIVED BY SINNERS
PROMISES MADE TO AND REALIZED BY CHRISTIANS
And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations. Luke 24:47
The disciple is not above his master: but every one that is perfect shall be as his master. Luke 6:40 (Margin)
Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria , and preached Christ unto them. . . But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God , and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women . . . And there was great joy in that city Acts 8:5, 8, 12
Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John: Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost . . . Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost. Acts 8:14-17
Among whom are ye also the called of Jesus Christ. Romans 1:6
For I long to see you, that I may impart unto you some spiritual gift, to the end ye may be established. Romans 1:11
Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Romans 5:1
By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand. Romans 5:2
Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. Romans 3:24
For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. Romans 8:15
Now present your members bound to righteousness, for sanctification. Romans 6:19 (Emphatic Diaglott)
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. Romans 12:1-2
For your obedience is come abroad unto all men. Romans 16:19
And I myself also am persuaded of you, my brethren, that ye also are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, able also to admonish one another. Romans 15:14
Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost. Romans 15:13
When I come unto you, I shall come in the fullness of the blessing of the gospel of Christ. Romans 15:29
And many of the Corinthians hearing believed, and were baptized. Acts 18:8
ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building. 1 Corinthians 3:9
Ye are Christ’s. 1 Corinthians 3:23
In all things ye have approved yourselves to be clear in this matter. 2 Corinthians 7:11
Therefore, as ye abound in every thing, in faith, and utterance, and knowledge, and in all diligence. 2 Corinthians 8:7
Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. 2 Corinthians 7:1
And this also we wish, even your perfection. 2 Corinthians 13:9
Finally brethren, farewell. Be perfect. 2 Corinthians 13:11
I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. John 17:14
Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. John 17:17
Rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven. Luke 10:20
Ye which have followed me, in the regeneration. Matthew 19:28
The Spirit of your Father speaketh in you. Matthew 10:20
If ye love me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. John 14:15-17
And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins. Ephesians 2:1
For by grace are ye saved through faith. Ephesians 2:8
Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God. Ephesians 2:19
For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. . . That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit . . . [and]. . filled with all the fullness of God. Ephesians 3:14-19
That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man . . . And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. Ephesians 4:22-24
And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled. Colossians 1:21
We heard of your faith in Christ Jesus, and of the love which ye have to all the saints. Colossians 1:4
For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding . . . with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness. Colossians 1:9-11
But ye are come unto mount Sion , and unto the city of the living God . . .To the church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven . . . And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling. Hebrews 12:22-24
Go on unto perfection. Hebrews 6:1
Now the God of peace . . .through the blood of the everlasting covenant, Make you perfect. Hebrews 13:20-21
For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified. Hebrews 10:14
Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling. Hebrews 3:1
This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. 1 Timothy 1:15
Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us. Hebrews 12:1
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. Ephesians 5:25-27
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: Therefore, brethren, we were comforted over you in all our affliction and distress by your faith. 1 Thessalonians 3:6-7
Night and day praying exceedingly that we might see your face, and might perfect that which is lacking in your faith?
Now God himself and our Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, direct our way unto you . . . 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. 1 Thessalonians 3:10-13
These two classes of Scripture addressed to different characters and teaching two separate and distinct experiences in the economy of grace might be greatly extended. Whoever will take the pains to examine the matter will find that, in the New Testament, the several terms that express the higher life occur more than as often again as those do that teach the first state of grace. And yet, to many, this more excellent way is hid by the veil of their own wisdom and prudence (Matthew 11:25).
I once heard a minister undertake to prove that regeneration and sanctification were identical; his main argument was based on the fact that both were attributed to the same instrumentalities and suspended upon the same condition. His premises were correct, but the conclusion an egregious mistake. He should have noticed that entire sanctification is always enjoined and invoked upon such as already had the former experience.
It is true that the blood of Christ is the procuring cause of both pardon and sanctification (Matthew 26:28; Hebrews 13:12). The Word of God the instrumental cause (1 Thessalonians 2:13; 1 Peter 1:23; John 17:17; 2 Corinthians 7:1). The Holy Spirit the direct, efficient cause in both cases (John 3:8; Romans 15:16). And faith the condition (Romans 5:1-2; Acts 15:8-9). What do we infer from this? Namely, that regeneration and entire sanctification are both moral changes. What then becomes of the assertion that sanctification, when enjoined upon believers, denotes a growth when it is always ascribed to those means that produce transformation and not development. How erroneous the teaching that makes perfection a development when the Word says that God “makes us perfect through the blood of the everlasting covenant.”
Again, what nonsense to talk about gradual sanctification when the Bible always conditions it upon faith, the same as it does justification. It must, therefore, be instantaneous because appropriating faith is that simple act of the soul by which it takes the things that God holds out to us in the promises. The operation of the Spirit by which we discover our need and the divine provisions, is usually gradual, but there must be an instant of time when the hand of faith grasps the needed blessing, when the object of faith becomes the fruition of the soul. Hence, I repeat, what is received by faith is purely a gift from God, and must be received instantaneously, or not at all.
If we were to sum up the confused teaching of many in the wilderness, we would only learn that sanctification is an inexplicable something, which everybody receives in conversion, subsequently attains by growth, and which no one, after all, can experience until death comes to accomplish that which the Son of God failed to do. This is no exaggeration of the theology taught in the terrible regions of Sinai. Surely there is a dense fog in the wilderness: “A day of darkness, and of gloominess, a day of clouds and of thick darkness, as the morning spread upon the mountains (Joel 2:2). Let us thank the Lord that it is not the dusk of eventide, but the dawning of a brighter day. The “Sun of righteousness” is fast driving from the mountains—the churches—the morning fogs of the past night of error, and filling the world with the glorious light of the Gospel, and the rapturous songs of full salvation.
Ever since the dispensation of the Holy Spirit, those who have known most of God, and possessed in the largest degree the mind and Spirit of Jesus, have, with few exceptions, acknowledged an attainment in grace beyond justification. This Bible experience written by the Spirit upon the heart, often attains a strong under-current in the mind and affections, sweetens the whole life, endues with power from on high, and brings forth abundant fruit without being definitely professed. This is owning to the fact that sanctification, not having been taught as a definite provision in the will of God; they seek it in an indefinite manner being moved only by the common experience of a great want in the heart. Not having had definite teaching, their faith is only general and their profession will likewise be indefinite. Nevertheless these possess, with some modification, the elements of “perfect holiness” and they largely adapt the language peculiar to this higher Christian experience. It is true that without the presentation of holiness to the mind as a definite object of pursuit, few possess concentration of faith enough to apprehend it. In this class we find Elder J. Winebrenner. In his work on regeneration, page 224, he speaks as follows: “It is not enough, you perceive, to be born again, but such are required likewise to grow in grace, to add to their faith and to ‘perfect holiness in the fear of God,’ and thus be made conformable to the image of little children. And where there is no such advancement and conformity, there can be no admission into heaven. Many newborn souls, I fear, lose sight of this requirement. The covetousness, pride and bigotry which exists among professors, is decisive proof of this fact.”
Had the above come from some professed advocate of distinct holiness, it would be looked upon as quite radical. “It is not enough to be born again,” says Elder Winebrenner, but salvation proceeds still farther. He gives three things that are to follow.
• Add to your faith.
• Grow in grace.
• Perfect holiness.
With the fist two points all Christians agree. The third is just what is now contended for by all engaged in the great holiness reform, and is opposed by all who antagonize this special work. According to Elder Winebrenner’s theology, to be born again is not to be made perfectly holy. In describing the grace yet needed, he quotes 2 Corinthians 7:1 and here the Apostle identifies “perfecting holiness” with “cleansing from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit.” Hence, Paul and Brother Winebrenner both concur in teaching a work of purification after regeneration. Though Paul here commands believers to cleanse themselves, this can only be done by coming to the “fountain opened for sin;” for nothing but the blood of Christ can wash away sin and cleanse from all unrighteousness. That a moral change was in the mind of Elder Winebrenner is evident from the fact that he speaks of “conformity to the image of little children” as the result of perfecting holiness. This implies a change of nature. “Where there is no such advancement and conformity, there can be no admission into heaven.” Pretty strong, but so says the Word: “Nothing unclean shall enter therein.” Observe that Elder Winebrenner does not ascribe the covetousness, pride and bigotry that exist among professors to a want of regeneration, but to the fact that newborn souls lose sight of the requirement to “perfect holiness in the fear of God.” But now can we expect believers to seek this perfect heart purity when they are taught that regeneration exhausts the cleansing power of the blood of Christ?
In his New Testament Dictionary, Elder Winebrenner defines sanctification as a “perfect conformity of heart and life to the will of God” and for example cites 1 Thessalonians 4:3. Here again, Christians are admonished to undergo a cleansing which will perfectly conform their hearts and lives to the will of God. Thus this holy and fruitful saint of God acknowledged a degree of grace beyond regeneration.
In the light of the Bible, it is just as consistent to teach that a sinner can grow into a Christian as that a justified soul can grow into heart purity—grow sin out of his heart: in other words, there is just as much Scripture for regeneration by gradual development as for sanctification by any gradual process; for the latter is just as much the immediate effect of the Holy Spirit as the former, and just as much the direct gift of God, through faith, and the cleansing blood.
The media and conditions of justification and entire sanctification being the same, corroborates the Scriptures cited in chapter second in teaching that the latter, as well as the former, is a moral transformation. And since the two columns we have here presented, as will as many other Scriptures, show that the first is an experience for sinners, and the second an experience for Christians, it follows that there are two successive moral changes, two divine works of grace.