Christian Perfection – 27: Entire Sanctification – Part 4The concept of Christian Perfection or Entire Sanctification is still before the attendees at the conference, who like us, don’t see all their sins being forgiven.
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 is still before the attendees at the conference, who like us, don’t see all their sins being forgiven.
The main problem, is that if our lifestyle adds to the corruption of creation, such as with the killing and eating of animals, we are not following the basic requirements of entire sanctification, for it 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 go on and look at more of the questions and answers.
“Q. But does any assertion answerable to this occur in the New Testament?
“A. There does, and that laid down in the plainest terms. So 1 John 3:8: ‘For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil’; the works of the devil, without any imitation or restriction; but all sin is the work of the devil. Parallel to which is the assertion of Saint Paul: ‘Christ loved the church, and gave Himself for it, that He might present it to Himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing, but that it might be holy and without blemish’ (Ephesians 5:25-27).
“And to the same effect is his assertion in the eighth of the Romans, verses 3, 4: ‘God sent His Son, that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.’
This brings us back to our opening statements in this section. Our perfection and our entire sanctification are brought about by the desire of our heart to be conformed back into the image of God. The Law is fulfilled in and through the perfect love of God (Mark 12:30-31):
30. ‘AND YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND, AND WITH ALL YOUR STRENGTH.’
31. “The second is this, “YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”
If we desire this perfect love of God, and truly believe that He can instill within us such love, which is an integral part of truly loving God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength, then we have the power to fulfill all of God’s commandments without even trying, for we will do so naturally.
“Q. Does the New Testament afford any further ground for expecting to be saved from all sin?
“A. Undoubtedly it does; both in those prayers and commands, which are equivalent to the strongest assertions.
“Q. What prayers do you mean?
“A. Prayers for entire sanctification; which, were there no such thing, would be mere mockery of God. Such in particular are
(1) ‘Deliver us from evil.’ Now, when this is done, when we are delivered from all evil, there can be no sin remaining;
(2) ‘Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also who shall believe on Me through their word; that they all may be one; as Thou. Father, art in Me and I in Thee, that they also may be one in Us; I in them, and Thou in Me, that they may be made perfect in one’ (John 17:20-23);
(3) ‘I bow my knees unto the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, that He would grant you that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend, with all saints, what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height, and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye may be filled with all the fullness of God’ (Eph. 3:14, etc.);
(4) ‘The very God of peace sanctify you wholly. And I pray God, your whole spirit, soul, and body may be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ’ (1 Thessalonians 5:23).
We will continue with these questions and answers in the next part.