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Lesson 6 Sanctification A Second Cleansing


Devotional Reading:   John 17


Memory Verse:           John 17:17


Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.




John 15:1–2. I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. 2Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.


John 17:17, 19. Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. . . . 19And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.


Ephesians 5:25–26. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; 26That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word.


1 Thessalonians 5:23–24. And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.


2 Corinthians 7:1. Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of 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.


2 Thessalonians 2:13. But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth.


Ephesians 1:13. In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise.


Titus 3:5. Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost.




John 15:1–2. Under the figure of a vine Jesus teaches a second cleansing, for only regenerated people are branches. These need to be purged.

John 17:17. Jesus prays for the sanctification of his disciples. The context prove that they were already converted and were not of the world. V19. Jesus sanctified or dedicated himself as a sacrifice to make possible our sanctification. Sanctification is then a result of the atonement.

Ephesians 5:25, 26. Christ died that the church might be sanctified. This for the church, not the world, hence a second work.

1 Thessalonians 5:23, 24. Entire sanctification is for the church. These Thessalonians, though saved, did not possess it.

2 Corinthians 7:1. Perfect holiness is urged. We may purge ourselves outwardly, but only God can purify the spirit.

Acts 15:8, 9. The reception of the Holy Ghost, which is a second experience, is accompanied with a purifying of the heart, or sanctification.

2 Thessalonians 2:13. Sanctification is effected by the Holy Spirit. If sanctification may here mean the second cleansing this text agrees perfectly with the experience of Cornelius.

Ephesians 1:13. The sealing with the Holy Spirit is an after work.

Titus 3:5. Two distinct works are mentioned—regeneration and renewing of the Holy Ghost.




Definition: to sanctify means to make holy. The word is used in the Scriptures with much latitude. Sometimes it refers to acts of men and sometimes to those of God. It sometimes refers to the cleansing of salvation in purification of the heart. We use it in this last sense in this lesson.




1. It is taught in the Bible.


A) Titus 3:5. Two distinct works are here brought out, regeneration and the reception of the Holy Ghost. B) Ephesians 1:13. The sealing of the Holy Spirit comes after acceptance of Christ. C) Acts 19:2. Paul’s question implies two works. D) Old Testament types plainly prefigure two works.


2. It was experienced in Bible times.


 A) The Apostles. Acts 2:1–4. B) The church in Jerusalem. Acts 2:41; 4:31. C) The Samaritans. Acts 8:14–17. D) Paul. Acts 9. E) Cornelius. Acts 10. F) The Ephesians. Acts 19:1–6; Ephesians 1:13.


3. It is now possessed.


Thousands of earnest Christians testify to having received the experience.




1. Christ prayed for it for his disciples.


A) They were already converted. They were not of the world but had believed and received the message and had been preaching it. They were branches in Christ and had their names written in heaven. B) He included future believers who should receive their word. This includes all Christians. C) He did not pray for sinners, only for those god had given him (John 17:9).


2. It is for the church.


A) Christ died to sanctify the church (Ephesians 5:25, 26). B) The church contains only those who have been washed form their sins in the blood and born again, hence sanctification is a second experience. C) Other versions give a slightly different rendering. “That he might sanctify it, having cleansed it by the washing of water with the word.” (ASV) “So that he might sanctify having cleansed in the bath of the water by a word.” (Emphatic Diaglott) If these renderings be right we have first the washing in the bath (laver of regeneration, Titus 3:5) followed by sanctification.


3. It is a completing work.


A) 1 Thessalonians 5:23. This is entire sanctification rendering the whole man blameless. B) 2 Corinthians 7:1. Holiness begins in conversion but is perfected in entire sanctification.




The discussion of this point is reserved for the next lesson. It is evident that entire sanctification and perfect holiness must include the full import of the terms in their highest ethical and moral sense. Hence the experience is one of a full moral cleansing.




1. A cleansing accompanies the baptism.


A) In the case of those present at the house of Cornelius their hearts were purified at the time they received the Holy Ghost (Acts 15:8, 9). Thus the baptism and the cleansing are simultaneous. B) Sanctification is wrought by the Spirit (2 Thessalonians 2:13). The full presence of and possession by the Spirit necessarily includes a full cleansing.


2. These are two phases of the one work.


A) As in the first work we have the negative work of justification by which guilt is removed and the positive work of regeneration which imparts a new life, in the second work we have the negative work of the purifying of the nature in sanctification  and the positive infilling of the Holy Spirit. B) The purification of the moral nature is a necessary antecedent to the entire infilling and possession of the Holy Spirit, likewise the baptism of the Holy Spirit is the logical consequent of complete cleansing and entire consecration.

The two phases of this work—sanctification, or the inward cleansing; and the Holy Spirit baptism, or the infilling—will be discussed further in the two succeeding lessons.





1. Explain Christ’s illustration of the vine and branches.


2. Explain Titus 3:5.


3. What is implied in Paul’s question in Acts 19:2?


4. Give Bible examples of a second work.


5. Explain Ephesians 5:25, 26.


6. Explain 1 Thessalonians 5:23.


7. Prove there is a cleansing in sanctification.


8. Explain Acts 15:8, 9.


9. Why need sanctification and the baptism of the Holy Spirit be simultaneous?


10. Who may have the experience?