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Lesson 7 The Nature of Entire Sanctification

 

Devotional Reading:   Malachi 3:1–4

 

Memory Verse:           Matthew 5:8

 

Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.

 

LESSON TEXT

 

Mark 9:33–34. And he came to Capernaum: and being in the house he asked them, What was it that ye disputed among yourselves by the way? 34But they held their peace: for by the way they had disputed among themselves, who should be the greatest.

 

Matthew 20:20, 21, 24. Then came to him the mother of Zebedee’s children with her sons, worshipping him, and desiring a certain thing of him. 21And he said unto her, What wilt thou? She saith unto him, Grant that these my two sons may sit, the one on thy right hand, and the other on the left, in thy kingdom. . . . 24And when the ten heard it, they were moved with indignation against the two brethren.

 

Luke 9:51–55. And it came to pass, when the time was come that he should be received up, he stedfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem, 52And sent messengers before his face: and they went, and entered into a village of the Samaritans, to make ready for him. 53And they did not receive him, because his face was as though he would go to Jerusalem. 54And when his disciples James and John saw this, they said, Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias did? 55But he turned, and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of.

 

Matthew 5:8. Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.

 

Acts 15:8–9. And God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as he did unto us; 9And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith.

 

COMMENTS ON THE LESSON TEXT

 

Mark 9:33, 34. A dispute, if in the right spirit is no proof of depravity nor is a desire to be truly great. It was their selfish rivalry of which they were ashamed and that Jesus rebuked.

Matthew 20:20, 21, 24. The ambition of James and John, for they were parties to the request (mark 10:35), was a selfish one. They wished to be exalted at the expense of their brethren. The indignation of the ten was born of jealousy and was likewise wrong.

Luke 9:51–54. The Samaritans hated the Jews so were not hospitable to Jesus when they saw he would go to Jerusalem. The resentment and desire for retaliation on the part of James and John is sharply rebuked by Jesus. These texts are proof of remaining depravity in the disciples.

Matthew 5:8. Heart purity is here made possible and its necessity is implied.

Acts 15:8, 9. The purification of the heart accompanied the baptism of the Holy Ghost. This experience is the same as that received by the disciples on Pentecost. They received the same Holy Ghost and the same purification.

 

LESSON TOPIC: THE NATURE OF ENTIRE SANCTIFICATION

 

I. IT IS A CLEANSING

 

1. Meaning of the term.

 

Whatever else may be included in sanctification, no definition is complete that does not include a thorough cleansing of the moral nature. It is to make holy in the fullest moral sense. This necessarily implies a moral cleansing.

 

2. The Jewish ritual taught a cleansing.

 

A) The offering must be perfect. A high standard of perfection was required of everything sanctified to God’s service. Physical blemishes or uncleanness was a bar to sanctification. B) The ceremony of sanctification included purification. The washing with water and the sprinkling with blood clearly shows a cleansing. C) These ceremonies can typify nothing less than a thorough moral cleansing in sanctification.

 

II. NEED OF CLEANSING FOUND IN DEPRAVITY

 

1. Depravity in general.

 

A) All men are naturally depraved. This is discussed in Lesson 10 of the first semester. All men need a moral cleansing. B) Sin exists in two forms. There are committed sins, or transgressions which are forgiven and washed away in justification; and inherited sin, or the depraved nature, which cannot be forgiven, but must be purified. C) This requires two cleansing. The two cleansings are different in nature; one removes guilt, the other removes moral corruption. We admit that both cleansings could occur at once, if that were the Lords’ plan of redemption, but the fact of two cleansings proves that there can be a cleansing in sanctification as a second work of grace.

 

2. Depravity in the regenerated.

 

A) The Apostles. These men were saved before Pentecost. (There is plenty of proof of this; some of which is given in the last lesson: let the student search for more). But they were still carnal. Proof of this is found in the lesson text. B) The common experience of Christians of all ages have felt the need of cleansing from depravity. Some have not thought such a cleansing possible and did not believe in a second work but nevertheless they confessed the need. Exceptions to this common belief are few and these have not demonstrated that they do not need a further cleansing.

 

III. REGENERATION AND SANCTIFICATION

 

Since both regeneration and sanctification are made necessary because of depravity it is well to consider the relation of both to depravity and to each other.

 

1. The sinner is both defiled and a slave.

 

Because of his moral depravity the natural man becomes a slave to sin. He has a law in him warring against his best interests (Romans 7:14–23), and cannot do as he should.

 

2. Regeneration frees the slave.

 

A) The servant to sin is made free from sin (John 8:31–36; Romans 6:16–18). He no more violates God’s law. B) This freedom is effected through a new life (Romans 8:2). This new life or regeneration makes one free from the law of the sinful nature discussed in chapter 7. The old nature is dethroned, the new life reigns.

 

3. Sanctification purifies the nature.

 

Sanctification is the removal of the natural depravity with which we are born. We are holy in heart as well as in act (1 Thessalonians 5:23, 24).

 

IV. THE SANCTIFIED EXPERIENCE

 

1. What is it?

 

A) Not power to quit sinning. Some seek to be sanctified that they may have power to cease sinning. Regeneration gives that power. B) Not the removal of a faculty. The carnal nature is not something to be removed, like a decayed tooth. It is a disease that affects the whole system. C) Not the removal of humanity. It is not the destruction of human appetites. D) Not perfecting humanity. We all have our weaknesses. E) It is the correction of the deformities of human nature and a dedication of our propensities to the service and glory of God.

 

2. How it works.

 

A) Pride destroyed. Self-respect remains. B) Desire for retaliation removed. To seek to avenge an injury is carnal. There is grace to suffer patiently for Christ’s sake and to gladly forgive. C) Jealousy overcome. We desire that which is good, but to be envious because someone has obtained, or desires to obtain is carnal. A sanctified heart rejoices with another that is honored. D) Hatred conquered. Sanctification does not remove temper so that one has no resistance against evil; it is directed against evil acts and not against people.

 

V. FRUITS OF SANCTIFICATION

 

1. Heart purity.

 

It is described as perfect love. It gets one ready for heaven. “The love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost” and we are pure.

 

2. Consecration.

 

Entire sanctification was evident in those on whom the Spirit had been poured out (Acts 4:32).

 

3. Unity.

 

This experience makes it possible for people to be “of one heart and of one soul.” Christ prayed for our sanctification so that we may be one. Those who are sanctified have the basis in the removal of depravity for oneness with Christ and with each other. Room is left for growth in unity, but the foundation is laid in a pure heart.