Central Purpose of Redemption
A B C’s of Holiness
The Baptism with the Holy Spirit
The Christian Sabbath
Symbols of Pentecost Christian Security
holiness convention sponsored by the
It was unanimously voted by the convention that this sermon be printed and made available to our entire membership for their own edification and for distribution to others. The Publishing House was happy to accede to these requests and before the convention closed orders were received for more than 2,000 copies to be sent in quantities to various districts.
The author needs no commendation or introduction to our own Nazarene people. His able editorship of our church paper has made his name a household one throughout our connection. His masterly messages, especially on holiness and related themes have won for him a place as one of the outstanding preachers of the holiness movement today.
P. H. Lunn, Assistant Manager, Nazarene Publishing House
CENTRAL PURPOSE OF REDEMPTION
Text: “Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate. Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp bearing his reproach” (Hebrews 13:12, 13).
the darkest and most tragic experiences of life come some of our greatest
blessings. The greatest tragedy of this world is the death of Jesus Christ. The
darkest blot on the pages of human history is the rejection and crucifixion of
the Son of God. But God turns man’s greatest tragedy into the mightiest work
of redemption, and man’s blackest crime He transforms into the greatest
revelation of sacrificial, undying love; a divine love that would suffer for man
that He might bring him to God. The suffering of the Son of God without the gate
The Hebrew Christians, to whom this message was addressed originally, would immediately relate this statement to the Day of Atonement of the old Jewish economy. It was on this annual day of atonement when the bodies of those beasts, whose blood was brought into the sanctuary by the high priest and sprinkled on and before the mercy seat for sin, were burned without the camp. Thus the inspired writer adds to the many better things already enumerated in this book of Hebrews the fact that Christians have a better sin offering—Christ himself. He, our great High Priest, who put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself outside the gate, has entered the heavenly sanctuary, now to appear in the presence of God for us. Thus He has opened the new and living way for us into the holiest of all through His own blood. But He is actively at work among men, through His Spirit, preparing them through salvation, the forgiveness of sins and the cleansing of the heart, to enjoy fellowship with God here, and to participate in eternal bliss hereafter.
We shall consider the message of this scripture under three main thoughts; First, The act, “Jesus . . . suffered without the gate”; second, The Purpose, “That he might sanctify the people with his own blood”; and third, The Appeal, “Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp bearing his reproach.”
. . . suffered without the gate.” This is a plain statement of a fact of
history. A fact which is as substantial and as undeniable as is any other fact
of history. For history actually proves that Jesus, the Nazarene, died on a
Roman cross on a hill outside of the city of
What makes this fact so outstanding? The Person involved in the statement; Jesus who suffered outside the gate.
Who is He? Let us permit the writer of this letter to the Hebrews to tell us who He is.
Who is He? He is the Son of God through whom God has spoken in these last days. The Revealer of God to men. He is the Heir of all things. By Him the ages have been fashioned. He is the brightness of the Father’s glory, and the express image of His person. He upholds all things by the word of His power.
He is better than angels, having obtained a more excellent name than they; better than Moses, better than Joshua, better than Aaron.
He is all this, but this does not fully state the fact. Who is He? Jesus is a name of a man -Joshua was its Hebrew equivalent. He is the Man, the second Man, the man Christ Jesus, by whose righteousness the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life; by whose obedience many shall be made righteous. He who in His nature is better than angels, became for a little time lower than angels for the suffering of death, that He by the grace of God should taste death for every man.
greatness of this historic fact consists in this; that this Jesus who suffered
without the gate was the Son of God, the unique character of history, the Word
who became flesh and dwelt among men—the God-man. He suffered without the gate
of the city of
The historic fact that this Jesus, the Son of God, suffered.
No more cruel means of punishment has been invented than the Roman cross. Did not all suffer who died upon a cross? Most assuredly; it brought suffering of the intensest sort. But suffering of this kind does not fully describe what is stated in this text—Jesus . . . suffered. Just as He was unique in His nature, so were His sufferings unique. He suffered as any other man would suffer upon a cruel Roman cross; but He suffered as no other man could suffer.
is significant to note that eye-witnesses of His crucifixion do not speak of the
cross -they speak of His sufferings. The Apostle Paul speaks much of the cross;
but Peter speaks always of His sufferings, of the fact that he was a witness of
these sufferings. The fact about the scene on
His sufferings were voluntary. He lovingly and willingly tasted death—suffered for every man. Nothing but infinite love bound Him to the cross of suffering. He loved man and He would save him even if it meant suffering of this kind.
His sufferings were vicarious. He gave Himself for us. He suffered in our stead. The whole corrupt mass of our iniquities, the blackness of our guilt, the penalty of our sin, He took upon His own heart and suffered in our place. Because He suffered for us, we may be saved. He suffered the just for the unjust that He might bring us to God. He bore our sins in His own body upon the tree.
His sufferings were expiatory. He brought divine judgment upon all sin. Through His sufferings all barriers that stood between us and God have been broken down. That is why we sing so heartily: “Just as I am, Thy love unknown Has broken every barrier down; Now to be Thine, yea Thine alone, O Lamb of God, I come, I come.”
Through His sufferings, the shedding of His blood, a full atonement is made for all men.
“Jesus suffered . . . without the gate.”
Note the place of His suffering. “Jesus . . . suffered without the gate.”
the gate,” the gate of the city of
What does the city symbolize? It symbolizes man’s supreme efforts for his own betterment, the co-operative endeavors of society in cultural and refining enterprises. It represents the highest attainments of organized society in seeking its own advancement. Nothing about this that of itself is evil. It is all good and beneficial as far as it goes. But it does not go far enough to save individuals from sin, or to purge society from moral corruption.
Most of the life of Jesus was lived within the circle of human society, within the realm which is symbolized by the city.
Here He lived His spotless life which is forever an example of righteousness to all men. Here He gave forth many of His teachings which lift to the proper level the standard of all personal righteousness and human relationships. Here He wrought His mighty miracles which were manifestations of His power over the foes of mankind. Here His influence was felt in His associations with society in all of its moral stages. But as wonderful as are all of these, they are not sufficient to provide salvation for individuals or for society. We are not saved by His example, by His teachings, by His miracles, by His spotless life—we are saved because He became a lonely sufferer outside the gate—outside the very best of human effort in every realm. Alone, Jesus, that He might sanctify the people with His own blood, suffered without the gate.
Let us note further . . .
“That he might sanctify the people with his own blood.”
another great fact is stated—a redemptive fact: “Jesus . . . that he might
sanctify the people with his own blood suffered without the gate.” It is an
undeniable historic fact that Jesus died outside the gate of the city of
Already we have suggested in this message that the purpose of Jesus’ sufferings was to provide redemption for mankind—to make atonement for sin. But the specific and central object of this atoning work is here emphasized, “That he might sanctify the people with his own blood.”
Let us note some very important fact about this specific work:
The word “sanctify” is an inclusive one.
The word “sanctify” emphasizes the full purpose of initial salvation. By initial salvation we mean God’s work in bringing a complete solution for the personal sin problem in the hearts and lives of individuals here in this world as contrasted with the final salvation in eternal glory.
As the greater always includes the lesser so this word comprehends the work of redemption from the first stirring of God’s Spirit within the heart of a person up to and including the gracious experience of entire sanctification or heart purity.
This fact is stressed in the different biblical statements concerning the provisions brought by the blood of Jesus. Let us note some of these provisions:
“In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins” (Colossians 1:14).
“Being now justified by his blood” (Romans 5:9). He has “washed us from our sins in his own blood” (Revelation 1:5).
“Ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ” (Ephesians 2:13).
Glorious provision through His blood! Redemption! Forgiveness of sins! Justified by His blood! Washed us from our sins! Brought nigh to God by His blood! But the climax of them all, and inclusive of them all, is the fact being emphasized: “Wherefore Jesus also that he might sanctify the people with his own blood suffered without the gate.”
A person may be forgiven through the blood, but that of itself does not mean his entire sanctification. He may be justified but that does not bring him into the experience of heart purity. He may be “brought nigh by the blood of Christ,” he may enjoy the relation of sonship; but that is not being fully sanctified. But a person cannot be entirely sanctified without first being forgiven, without first being justified, without first being a son of God. To be eligible to become a partaker of this glorious redemptive fact, “sanctified by his blood” one must previously have been justified, and brought nigh by the blood.
Hence the term here used, “That he might sanctify the people with his own blood” is an inclusive term, comprehending all the work of initial salvation.
Let us note the inclusiveness of the word “sanctify” from another series of scriptures.
Two prayers of Christ emphasize the complete work of initial salvation. While suffering on the cross, He prayed for those who were crucifying and reviling Him, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34). For whom did He pray? For those who were rejecting Him, those who were crucifying Him—sinners. This is the only prayer He could offer for such a group; sinners must be forgiven before they are eligible for any of God’s special blessings.
But hear Him pray for another group, His disciples; those who were His very own, those who were His as were no other people of His day; who were not of the world even as He was not of the world. Does He pray, “Father, forgive them”? No! He prays, “Sanctify them through thy truth; thy word is truth.” Why did He not pray, “Father, forgive them”? They were already forgiven, hence they needed to be sanctified. Sinners must be forgiven, and Christ’s own children are to be sanctified.
Two objects of God’s love are stressed in the Scriptures:
wonderful Golden Text of the Bible,
But note another statement emphasizing the object of divine love: “Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; that he might sanctify and cleanse it . . . that it should be holy and without blemish” (Ephesians 5:25–27). Here another group entirely is mentioned as the special object of divine love—it is the church. This special object of divine love is for another purpose entirely than that mentioned for the world of sinful men; it is “that he might sanctify and cleanse it [the church] . . . that it should be holy and without blemish.”
One great divine gift, but for a twofold purpose, for two different groups, the world and the church, stressing two different experiences, saved from perishing, and sanctified, made holy and without blemish.
A twofold purpose of Christ’s atoning work is stated:
In the closing meeting with His disciples, when Jesus instituted the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper, He said concerning His blood: “This is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins” (Matthew 26:28). Here the purpose of the shedding of blood is stated as being for the remission, the forgiveness of sins. The forgiveness of sins makes a person at peace with God, makes him a child of God. Only sinners can enjoy this wonderful provision of Christ’s death—the remission of sins.
But note the second provision: “Wherefore Jesus also that he might sanctify the people with his own blood suffered without the gate.” Another quite different provision, to sanctify; for a quite different group of people, those who have been forgiven—who now enjoy the remission of sins.
One great atoning act with two distinct provisions to meet two distinct needs in two different groups of people: Remission of sins, forgiveness for the sins in the life of a sinner; to sanctify the people, those who are already enjoying the provision of remission of sins through His blood.
Hence the word “sanctify” is inclusive, the greater including the lesser, comprehending the work of God in forgiving the sinner, saving him from perishing, and the further work of heart cleansing or entire sanctification.
Sanctification, the central and inclusive purpose of the suffering of Jesus, is therefore a second distinct work of grace; an experience which only those who are forgiven, who are brought nigh to God, are eligible to enjoy. A second crisis experience in spiritual life which they may enjoy by a definite act of appropriating faith.
What is included in this work of sanctification?
scripture the word “sanctify” and its related word “holy” conveys one
primary idea, namely full devotedness to God. This is true whether spoken of
persons or things. The Sabbath is holy because it is God’s day—devoted to
God. The ground at the burning bush was holy because it was the place of God’s
Technically the word “sanctify” denotes the act of dedicating and of becoming fully devoted to God, while the word “holy” denotes the state of a life lived in unreserved devotion to God.
The purpose of God, through the sacrifice and death of Christ and the power of the living Lord is to bring into existence a people for His own possession, a holy nation, a chosen generation—a people so redeemed from all sin and iniquity as to be fully devoted to Him, and in practical life to give Him full loyalty in all things.
The word “sanctify” definitely includes the thought of consecration. Any dictionary or book of word studies will define the meaning of sanctify as “to consecrate, to dedicate, to devote to sacred or special uses.” That which is sanctified is devoted to God by a deliberate act of consecration by some person or persons. This is true both of things and persons—that which is holy has been dedicated to God.
Consecration presupposes an altar. The immediate context tells of our Christian altar; “We have an altar, whereof they have no right to eat which serve the tabernacle.” What, rather, who is this altar? Let us read on, “For the bodies of those beasts whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest for sin, are burned without the camp. Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate.” Who is the Christian’s altar? It is Jesus—He who suffered to sanctify the people with His own blood. He is the Christian’s altar. He, our sin offering, is our altar.
One of the old Hebrew words used for consecration meant “to fill the hands.” To consecrate, to place our lives upon the altar, means literally to fill the hands of Christ, who is the Christian’s altar, with a human life which He may use as His very own possession, a life which is a gift of love, deliberately and fully devoted to Him.
While it is true that God claims all of His redeemed children as His very own, that He has chosen them in Christ to be holy, that they are called to be saints, called unto holiness; it is likewise true that no Christian is actually sanctified who has not fully and deliberately consecrated himself to Christ, who has not placed his life wholly upon the altar for sacrifice or for service, for time and for eternity.
Thus we have the Old Testament statement, “Whatsoever touches the altar is holy,” is devoted to God, belongs to Him, is His very own property. And the other wonderful statement, “The altar sanctifies the gift”; stressing the acceptance of the gift, that the altar sets the gift apart as being holy, as being devoted to God.
But the word “sanctify” includes much more than our own act of consecration. Dictionaries and word study books also define sanctify to mean, to purify, to cleanse from moral defilement, to make holy.
As glorious as is this privilege and as blessed as is the fact that we may consecrate ourselves entirely to God, to be fully sanctified is something more; it is the work of Christ who sanctifies the people with His own blood—heart purity. He accepts the consecrated life and in response to our faith He cleanses the hearts of His children from all sin, from all impurities; He delivers the Christian from the inner condition of lawlessness, that inner something which is enmity to God, not subject to His law, neither indeed can be. He brings a full freedom from those inner conflicts between the flesh and the Spirit, those conditions which keep the Christian from being fully devoted to God.
To be sanctified is nothing more or less than this one thing, the complete removal from the heart of that which is enmity to God, not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be; and this enables the life to be fully devoted to God. Regardless of how perfect may be the consecration, no Christian is truly sanctified by Christ until the heart is made pure by His blood.
This is a definite experience, a mighty work of grace, wrought by God in response to the faith of the consecrated Christian in Christ the Sanctifier. This experience marks a definite second crisis in spiritual life, it is the perfection of a spiritual relationship with God, the cleansing from all sin, when God works within us the devotedness He desires.
Purity itself, as glorious and wonderful as it is, is not the full accomplishment of God’s purpose in Christ when He suffered without the gate that He might sanctify the people with His own blood. Purity is a negative excellence. Devotedness to God—sanctification—includes also a conscious inward fullness of the Holy Spirit dwelling within as the power of our lives, enabling us to live in fellowship with Christ and in full obedience to Him, giving us glorious victory in the many conflicts of life.
Purity is holiness, but it is not all of holiness. Purity alone is passive, holiness is active. Holiness as devotedness to God involves the subordination of all other purposes to the one great purpose—the joyous acceptance and the happy doing of the will of God.
Holiness is the active employment of the redeemed powers of life in the most intense service to God, a life of loyalty to Him—people possessed by Him, zealous of good works.
In practical living we demonstrate our devotion to God, our being sanctified by the blood of Christ, by the manner in which we employ our time, our lives, our opportunities to work out God’s purpose in our daily living.
“Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people—might bring people into full devotedness to God—by his own blood, suffered without the gate.” Let us parallel this text with another classic statement of redemption from the pen of the inspired Apostle Paul, “Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a people for his own possession, zealous of good works.” The purpose of Christ’s sufferings was to sanctify the people with His own blood.
This text also emphasizes a complete Work of Glorious Provision.
“That he might sanctify the people with his own blood . . . he suffered.”
Jesus suffered without the gate He made full provision for the sanctification of
His people. His suffering, His blood shedding, provided a complete cleansing
from all sin for all the people, it removed every barrier that stood between the
people and full devotedness to God. There never will be another such
sacrifice—no more such suffering. Not another
Sinners by the millions have turned to Christ, have repented and believed in Him—they have been saved. Why? When Christ died, their salvation, their forgiveness, was provided. Their faith in Christ has brought definite spiritual benefits to their hearts through what He provided for when He suffered without the gate.
Thousands upon thousands of earnest, obedient Christians have made a full consecration of their lives to God, have believed in Him for their sanctification and they have been sanctified wholly. Why? “Wherefore Jesus also that he might sanctify the people with his own blood suffered without the gate.”
Every sinner is forgiven; every Christian is sanctified in this glorious provision of redemption.
This provision for our sanctification was no accident—no after-thought. It was central in God’s purpose. Jesus realized this when He said, “For their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth” (John 17:19). Also the writer to the Hebrews states this truth in other places than in the text: “By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus once for all . . . For by one offering he hath perfected forever them that are sanctified” (Hebrews 10:10,14).
Commenting on these verses Dr. Whedon says: “He has once, fully and forever, potentially and conditionally, perfected all; but the full reality takes effect only in those who are sanctified through faith in Him.”
His power to sanctify is magnified.
“Wherefore Jesus also that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate.”
He suffered without the gate. An undeniable fact of history, a glorious fact of redemption. Wonderful, mighty truth! An absolute necessity to provide complete redemption for the world. A gracious fact of a finished redemption, a provision so vast and complete as to include all mankind in its scope, making possible a glorious work of salvation in the hearts and lives of people everywhere.
He died to provide this glorious experience. But He lives today. He lives, the Son of God with power. He lives that He “might” sanctify the people with His own blood. “He ever lives” said this same writer, therefore “He is able to save to the uttermost them that come to God by him.”
The true mission of Christ was to do a real and vital work in the hearts of men—to sanctify them, to bring them into full devotedness to God. The effect of the work of Christ outside the gate goes into the center of the moral and spiritual life and cleanses the very fountain head of our being. “The blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.” “How much more shall the blood of Christ purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God.”
Hear it! Hear it, you who are defeated by carnal dispositions and affections! Hear it, you who are having inward conflict between the flesh and Spirit! Hear it, all you who are living below the enjoyment of the Spirit-filled life! Hear it, all you who are struggling with impurities deep in your nature! Hear it, all you who are not fully devoted to God! The living, reigning, all glorious, all powerful Christ is able to sanctify. He who suffered without the gate, lives to do a spiritual work within your hearts that will cleanse you from all sin, that will bring you into a place of full devotedness to God, that will sanctify you wholly.
it if you will; He is able still to sanctify the people with His own blood.
There are not enough devils in hell, there are not enough skeptics on earth;
there are not enough holiness opposers in the church to diminish in any manner
His power to sanctify the people. Reject it, if you will, but the provision
remains unchanged. Spurn it and live on in your inner struggle, that struggle
between the flesh and the Spirit, but your act alters not
Let us note further . . .
“Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach.”
The writer makes a great appeal to all to whom this truth is given, an appeal to go to Him outside the realm of human effort, beyond its bounds of cultural and refining influences, without the camp of the very highest of human attainments in discipline and effort for self improvement—Go to Him, the lonely Sufferer—to Jesus, who suffered without the gate that He might sanctify the people with His own blood.
Here is an appeal based upon a deep human need—the great need of all Christians to be sanctified by the blood of Christ. What Christian has not been conscious of an inner struggle between the flesh and the Spirit? Who has not felt within a condition which was not satisfying to his own heart and likewise not glorifying to God? Who has not been condemned by the keenness of a sense of impurities within his heart, of the presence of carnal dispositions and affections, which he instinctively abhors and against which he continually struggles? How oft has he cried for deliverance from this distressing heart condition. The appeal of this text comes to you, Go forth therefore to Him outside the camp—to Jesus who suffered that He might sanctify you with His own blood.
Here is an appeal made by the crucified Christ, He who suffered without the gate that He might sanctify the people with His own blood. With nail scarred hand outstretched to His children He calls them to separate themselves from everything which may interfere with their being fully devoted to Him, and to go to Him outside the camp. Do you not hear His appeal now? You who are forgiven by His blood; you who are brought nigh to God through the blood of Christ; you who are enjoying the blood-bought privileges of sons of God. Hear Him! He calls you to holiness! He calls you to come to Himself outside the gate, out where He died as a lonely Sufferer that He might sanctify you with His own blood. There is no true sanctification without going to Him outside the camp in full consecration and death to all that is carnal and unclean within the heart.
Here is an appeal to a deeper heart union with Christ: “Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp.” Let us go forth outside the camp? No! No! Mere separation is not sufficient. Let us go forth unto Him—unto Jesus who suffered that He might sanctify us with His own blood. Nothing less than Christ Himself will satisfy the deepest longings of the heart. No one but Christ can bring us into a state of true heart blessedness; nothing short of a vital heart union with Him will bring us into true devotedness to God. There is no sanctification without the conscious presence of the Sanctifier within the soul.
This is a vital union with Him in blessedness and victory—a union in which we bear His reproach. But to the heart which is truly devoted to God, to the person who is fully sanctified, the reproaches of Christ are counted greater riches than the treasures of this old world.
Why should we hesitate? Why do we withhold and fail to go to Him outside the gate where He might sanctify us with His own precious blood? For our sakes He sanctified Himself—He suffered without the gate, that we may be sanctified by His own blood. Go to Him. Rather, come to Him. Come to Him now!
He is waiting to purify your heart, to destroy the old nature of sin within your being, to sanctify you wholly. He is waiting to pour His Spirit upon you as definitely as the Holy Spirit was poured out in His fullness upon the waiting group of believers at Pentecost. To give you His power for your weakness, His strength for your feebleness, His grace for your every need. To give you His purity for the pollution of your nature. He longs to pour His love into your heart, and all His sweetness into your sensitive spirit; to calm your anxieties, to deepen your blessedness, to expand everything that is good in you, to be a stay to you in the midst of the uncertain conditions of life, and a Light in the face of the gathering darkness of sin about you.
Come to Him without the camp; there He will sanctify you with His own blood! Come to Him now!