By J. B. Chapman
Man, since his fall, and as we find him now without grace, is a sinner by practice and is sinful by nature. In order to please God and live happily with Him here and in heaven, man must be holy; and this requires that he shall be saved from guilt for sins committed and cleansed from sinful defilement within. Two distinct acts are involved here — one is pardon and the other is cleansing. Both of these necessitate the grace and power of God.
God is able to do both these miracles for and in everyone who will come to Him through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. When we say that sanctification is invariably subsequent to justification, we are stating a fact, the basis of which is in the human limitation and not in the power or will of God. Men cannot meet the conditions for being sanctified until after they have been freely justified.
When God justifies, He justifies fully and freely. When He sanctifies, He likewise sanctifies freely and fully. When He justifies there is no sin as guilt left, and when He sanctifies there is no sin as pollution left. When one is justified freely, and sanctified wholly, he is free from all sin without and within. But just as the obtainment of this state and grace is dependent entirely upon the response of God to our human needs, so the continuation of such a state is dependent upon our keeping the conditions for the abiding presence of the indwelling Spirit. For if we grieve the Spirit away, our spiritual dilapidation will follow without fail. There is no holiness apart from the presence and ministry of the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit is our Sanctifier, and while He dwells and reigns within, the devil and sin must stay out. But if He is grieved away, we are then no match for our enemies. This whole life — right on until death or until Jesus comes the second time, is a probation — a test period; and our choice is not fixed, our character is not established unchangeably, and our destiny is not sealed until we actually get to heaven. Keep persistently in the heavenly race until you actually win the prize. Do not rest at any halfway house. The race is not finished until we get to heaven.
“Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.” – 1 Cor. 9:24
Extracts from Holiness – The Heart of Christian Experience was very slightly revised and may be reproduced and distributed.