Christian Perfection – 26: Entire Sanctification – Part 3
The concept of Christian Perfection or Entire Sanctification requires us to live in the heavenly will of our Father, where there is no pain, suffering, or death.
By: Frank L. Hoffman
Jesus said, “Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (Matthew 5:48)
(Wesley’s writings are in bold)
The concept of Christian Perfection or Entire Sanctification requires us to live in the heavenly will of our Father, where there is no pain, suffering, or death. We are to do everything in our power to free creation from its present corruption, even at the same time that we are maturing into the entire sanctification that John Wesley spoke and wrote about.
With this in mind, let’s look at more of the questions posed at the conferences.
“Q. What, then, is the point where we divide?
“A. It is this: Should we expect to be saved from all sin before the article of death?
There can be a huge difference between expecting and desiring to be saved from all sin before death. If we conclude that we cannot expect ourselves to be freed from all sin before death, then we tend to give in to those sins that entice us, because we conclude we have no control over them. The fact is, we do have control over sin, if we have the desire to overcome sin with unconditional and perfect love.
“Q. Is there any clear Scripture promise of this – that God will save us from all sin?
“A. There is: ‘He shall redeem Israel from all his sins’ (Psalm 130:8).
“This is more largely expressed in the prophecy of Ezekiel: ‘Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean; from all your filthiness and from all your idols will I cleanse you: I will also save you from all your uncleannesses’ (36:25, 29). No promise can be more clear. And to this the apostle plainly refers in that exhortation: ‘Having these promises, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.’ (2 Corinthians 7:1). Equally clear and express is that ancient promise: ‘The Lord thy God will circumcise thy heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul’ (Deuteronomy 30:6).
This is the positive way of looking at overcoming sin: “By the power of God, I can overcome all sin.” I believe that this is the emphasis of Scriptures quoted above. We are not to expect God simply to remove all sin from our lives, for we know that even our most sincere belief in the Lord does not remove all temptation, because we still live in a corrupt world. But the Lord can and does remove our desire for such sin, if we let Him.
We are to expect that God will instill His perfect love within us, and because of this perfect love, we can overcome all sin, and not be affected by its temptations. Furthermore, because perfect love also triggers a perfect repentant attitude, one in which we are truly sorry for any mistakes we have made, God is faithful to forgive us and redeem us from all unrighteousness.
But, in this present world, such redemption does not eliminate all temptation, though it does help us come closer to that time when it is eliminated.
If we truly and wholly love God, we will desire only to do those things that are pleasing to God, and we will reject all other things.
We will look at more of these questions and answers in the next part.