Here is where multiplied thousands fall into error. They have confounded two separate and distinct things. By insisting that perfect holiness and growth in grace are the same, they have made the work of man and the work of God identical. It is a very grave error. It is more than grave — it is calamitous. So long as ministers believe that sanctification is a gradual growth in grace, so long will God’s people be kept out of the blessing of a holy heart.
That entire sanctification is not a growth in grace appears from several facts or considerations. First, the words themselves — they are entirely different. One is “hagiasmos,” and the other, “auxanete de en chariti.” This fact alone should convince us. Again, the meanings of the words are different. If the meanings were the same, why would the Spirit of God use different words? One means holiness, the other does not. One refers to a state, the other to a growth. One refers to a removal, the other to an addition. One signifies a death, the other a life. One is an impartation, the other an expansion and development. One takes away uncleanness and impurity, the other is the growth of purity. One refers to a completed work and the other to an indefinite progress.
Lest the two expressions be misunderstood, we amplify by saying that the complete work of sanctification is the death of indwelling sin or depravity caused by the fall of our first parents. Paul states in Romans 5:12, “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.” The “indefinite progress” is the “growing holier” all the days of the sanctified life. Sanctification is purity, but growth in grace is the “maturing” of purity.
It is a striking fact in connection with Christian testimony that all the people who really had the experience of perfect holiness testify that they obtained it instantaneously by faith in the cleansing blood of Jesus. Sanctification is not a growth in grace.
God sanctifies us by applying the cleansing blood of Jesus to the heart by His Spirit; and His Spirit, also called the Comforter, takes possession of us. This work of cleansing utterly destroys the work of Satan (depravity in the heart). You will be filled with God’s Holy Spirit and you will have a supreme love for God and his will. This depravity in the regenerated soul is called by different names in the Bible — “the body of sin,” “the law of sin and death,” “the flesh,” “the carnal mind” and the “old man.” Call it what you will, this is the thing that is destroyed in sanctification, which is not destroyed in regeneration. Regeneration gives the Christian power over indwelling depravity, but sanctification kills it. Sanctification is a cleansing and purification. – Author unknown.
Sanctification Is Not a Growth in Grace was condensed and revised. Permission was given for anyone to reproduce and distribute this article.
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