Sanctified???

I’ve struggled with this issue at some length now and I’ve just hit a revelation. I think it’s more due to the fact that I am learning more about the beliefs of the great spiritual leaders of the past. For instance, John Wesley believed that Sanctification had to do with pure motivation out of love. I agree and this is not where my revelation comes. Wesley believed that at initial salvation one stopped sinning. Willful sin ceases at salvation, not sanctification. That is something that a lot of pastors need to learn. The more I think and pray and read about this, the more I agree with it. If you read Paul and John, they seem to agree with the same thing. So if this is salvation, what is sanctification?
In the past I’ve heard that this is the definition of Entire Sanctification, or at least the big part of it. IT’S NOT!!! Sanctification has nothing to do with how you don’t act. Sanctification has everything to do with what is truly in your heart. It is easy for a “baby Christian” to abstain from things that they know are sinful things to do. It is not as easy for them to consecrate themselves entirely to God and allow Him to work this grace in them. I agree more with Wesley now, than I ever have. We cannot focus on the “absence” of sinful behavior. We have to focus on a heart of pure love. Am I sanctified? By no means can I claim entire Sanctification, but I can claim entire consecration, and claim that God is working in me. Maybe He’s preparing me, maybe not. I know that everything must happen in God’s timing and according to His plan so I’ll wait patiently, and actively.

2 thoughts on “Sanctified???

  1. Once someone asked John Wesley what would happen if both a husband and a wife were entirely sanctified. Would their children be born without original sin? Wesley quipped back that it would be highly unlikely to find *both* a husband *and* wife who were entirely sanctified. It is that rare for Wesley. In fact, he even indicates that St Paul, for much of his life, was not entirely sanctified (“Not that I have already attained it,” Paul says). Part of the problem is that some of the theology you are working with is not necessarily Wesleyan, but comes from Phoebe Palmer, one for whom Entire Sanctification is little more than a contractual agreement between two parties–God and the human. Her reasoning runs thus: God desires that I be sanctified; the only obstacle to my sanctification is my faith; therefore if I believe that God will sanctify me then God will sanctify me. Wesley was a bit more Augustinian than Palmer. He had a more profound appreciation for the complexities of human nature, that our will is not integrous but divided against itself. Palmer, on the other hand, is much more Pelagian. Wesley’s tropes are those of healing and correction. Palmer prefers images of sacrifice. One finds evidence for this in their terminology. Wesley prefers the term “Perfection” to Palmer’s more sacrificial “Consectration” or “Sanctification.” Randy Maddox is good on Wesly here (even though I think his book is wrong, he has some fundamental insights that are helpful).

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