Monday, July 28, 2008


I’ve always believed that God commanded us to rest because he knew that our commitment to him and our love for the lost would drive us to work for him until we drop. I think that an annual holiday falls into the category of legitimate rest.

Of course people like Booth and Railton (who never took holidays) were constantly breaking down. Railton, in particular, was confined to bed as a result of nervous and physical exhaustion on more than one occasion (sometimes for months on end!).

Holidays are good for several reasons; the following are just a few of those reasons.

Like Christ’s frequent sojourns in the desert - holidays provide us with quality time when we can be alone with God – while the children build a sandcastle – we can close our eyes and meditate on God (with no interruption from a phone call or an email).

Holidays afford us time to read – we can chew over some solid stuff whilst sitting in a deckchair (I remember one year on holiday I got through Finney’s systematic theology).

From my experience our demons don’t follow us on holiday but are geographically bound – I have no biblical evidence for this it is an assumption made purely from experience. I’m still involved in spiritual warfare on holiday but the battles are invariably different.

So for the next two weeks I’m legitimately holidaying in Seasalter (just along the south coast from Whitstable). I’m reading Finney’s ‘Lectures to professing Christians’ and (hopefully) the same author’s ‘Revival Lectures’. I’m also expecting a positive time of close communion with God.

My good friend Carol Young told me once that during a time of prayer the number 8 came to her in relation to me – our last day on holiday will be 08-08-08 (rightly or wrongly) I’m expecting great things from this holiday J

Love and prayers


Thursday, July 17, 2008

The legal status of SA Officers :-)

I found out something recently that struck me as quite refrshing and liberating!

In the UK Salvation Army Officers are not ‘employees’ nor are they ‘volunteers’ the correct legal term for our function is ‘office holder’.

When we signed our declaration and our Covenant accepting that we have no legal relationship with the Army we were accepting our role as ‘officer holders’.

'Office holders' do not have a contract of employment and are not protected by employment law including the national minimum wage rules or the working time regulations.

Anglican priests (working as Parish Priests) are also ‘Office Holders’ and this status is something that the CoE recently decided to retain (the following quote is from their official webpage)

“The review of clergy terms of service concluded that the ministry of the Church was best enabled through the retention of the officer holder status of clergy. Whilst there are benefits to the integration of the majority of employee rights into the life of the Church, the classification of parochial clergy as employees would entail too significant an alteration to the basis on which ministry is provided. The key feature of an employer/employee relationship is the ability of the employer to direct the work of the employee. The nature of the parochial ministry of the Church of England makes such a relationship impossible without a radical change in how clergy are deployed.”

The police are also ‘office holders’ and are not entitled to the rights provided by employment law – for example a police officer can have their leave cancelled at the last moment or even be called back from their holiday, they can’t form a union or strike, they are not protected by the working time directive and they can be appointed to any location in their area without consultation. ‘Office Holders’ can take their ‘employers’ to employment tribunals BUT on the grounds of discrimination alone.

Any agreement that an ‘office holder’ enters into with his ‘employer’ is legally binding - in our case this would include adherence to O&R’s for Officers, not accepting a second income without consent and signing over publication rights. The only way we could gain access to the protection and rights afforded by employment law would be to have our status changed from ‘office holder’ to employee and I don’t think that is about to happen.
I relish the idea that I have no legal rights - it throws me onto the mercy of God rather than the mercy of the courts! I am covenanted warrior who has voluntarily surrendered his human rights to the Salvation Army and it feels great!

Love and prayers


The Salvation Army in the Body of Christ - Our Distinctives

Part two of my postings from the recently published statement "The Salvation Army in the Body of Chirst" - Issued under the authority of the General and written in full consultation with The Doctrine Council and The International Management Council as 'an eccelsiological statement'...

"5. WE BELIEVE that God raised up The Salvation Army according to his purposes for his glory and for the proclamation and demonstration of the gospel.

WE DO NOT BELIEVE that The Salvation Army's existence as an independent and distinctive Christian church, having no formal, structural ties with other Christian churches, is an affront to the gospel of Jesus Christ or self evidently contrary to God's will for the whole of his Body on earth.

6. WE BELIEVE that the practices of The Salvation Army have much in common with the practices of other churches, but that being raised up by God for a distinctive work, the Army has been led of God to adopt the following combination of characteristics:

a) its emphasis upon personal religion and individual spiritual regeneration through faith in Christ leading in turn to a commitment in mission to seek to win others to Christ;

b) its commitment to the unceasing proclamation of the gospel and its insistence that this gospel is for the whosoever;

c) its teaching concerning sanctification and holy living;

d) its teaching that the receiving of inward spiritual grace is not dependent upon any particular outward observance;

e) its worldwide tradition of service (arising out of the compassionate love of Christ for all persons) without discrimination or preconditions, to the distressed, needy and marginalised, together with appropriate advocacy in the public domain on matters of social justice;

f) its willingness to obey the 'great commission' of Jesus Christ, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, by ongoing expansion of Salvationist witness and service into new countries, with a consequential celebration, with thanksgiving to God, of its internationalism;

g) its preference for non-liturgical and flexible forms of worship, seeking to encourage spontaneity, for example in prayer and in spoken personal witness and testimony;

h) its tradition of inviting public response to the presentation of the gospel message, and its use of the mercy seat for this and other spiritual purposes;

i) its focus, in self-expression, on the biblical military metaphor of living in the world and of serving God as soldiers of Jesus Christ (2 Timothy 2:3; Ephesians 6: 11-17);


j) its requirement that adults and children wishing to become full members (soldiers and junior soldiers), and thereby wishing to make a commitment to formal membership of the Body of Christ on earth, should publicly confess their faith in Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord, the children making a simple statement of faith with promises as to lifestyle and the primary spiritual disciplines (see page 19), and the adults entering into formal doctrinal and ethical commitments, the latter focusing on the sacredness of human relationships, but including also the personal disciplines of abstention from alcohol, tobacco, and non-medical use of addictive drugs (see page 21);

k) its wearing of distinctive uniforms as a witness to belonging to Christ and as a signal of availability to others;

1) its encouragement into Salvation Army fellowship of those who do not wish to enter into the full commitment of soldiership (see j above), but are willing to become adherent members as a step in the journey of faith;

m) its recognition of the equal place within the Body of Christ of men and women in all aspects of Christian service, ministry and leadership including the holding of ecclesiological authority;

n) its readiness to use all forms of musical expression in worship and evangelism, and its encouragement in many cultures of the indigenisation of worship expressions and styles."

End of quote: Love and prayers - A

Monday, July 14, 2008

The Salvation Army in the Body of Christ- Part 1

The recently published statement "The Salvation Army in the Body of Chirst" makes excellent reading. Issued under the authority of the General and written in full consultation with The Doctrine Council and The International Management Council this is 'an eccelsiological statement' and makes some interesting, valid (and from my perspective) very encouraging statements. The document (which only costs £1.99) is too long to discuss in one sitting so I'm going to break it up into manageable sections and post quotes here.

I hope it leads to some good debate. The first section deals with TSA's definition of the word 'church' - as we debate, let's remember that this is an official TSA statement and reflects the Army's most up to date official line.

"WE BELIEVE that the Church, the Body of Christ on earth, often referred to in the New Testament as 'the saints' … includes all who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, confessing him as Saviour and Lord, and witnessing to that sacred commitment through loving mutual submission and sacrificial service...

WE DO NOT BELIEVE that the Church universal depends for its existence or validity upon any particular ecclesiastical structure, any particular form of worship, or any particular observance of ritual…

WE DO NOT BELIEVE that an adequate definition of the Body of Christ on earth, the Church universal, can be confined in terms of ecclesiastical structure, but must rather be stated in terms of a spiritual relationship of grace that must find expression in all ecclesiastical structures. Members of the Body are those who are incorporate in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 1: 1) and therefore reconciled to God through his Son. All such are in a spiritual relationship one with the other, which begins and continues regardless of externals, according to the prayer of Jesus that those who are his may be one (John 17:23). These words of Jesus ask for a oneness as is found in the oneness of Father, Son and Holy Spirit. This oneness IS spiritual, not organizational.

End of quote - Love and prayers A

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Holiness Part 7



These will be realized in his own inner experience, and will also be evident in his outward life, although in the case of those who have lived devotedly before obtaining the Blessing there may not appear to other people to be a very great difference .

2. AMONG THE GENERAL FRUITS OR RESULTS found in all entirely sanctified people, are —

(a) Perfect inward peace— the natural outcome of all controversy with God having ceased.

‘The peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through. Christ Jesus’ (Philippians iv.7).

(b) Usually a great deal of joy, and sometimes periods of heavenly rapture.

‘Ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory’ (I Peter i.8).

(c) A simple, constant trust in God; which relies upon Him in all the circumstances of life, and expects from Him great spiritual blessings.

‘He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief ; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God’ (Romans iv.20).

(d) A perfect and hearty agreement with the will of God, as to all we must do or suffer.

’That ye may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God’ (Colossians iv. 12).

‘I delight to do Thy will, O my God’ (Psalm xl. 8).

‘It is God that worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure’ (Philippians ii. 13).

(e) Steadfast love to God and man, manifesting itself in tenderness of heart towards both, with watchful eagerness to serve in every way possible.

‘Whoso keepeth His word, in him verily is the love of God perfected’ (I John ii. 5).

‘If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and His love is perfected in us’ (I John iv. I2).

(f) Progress in spiritual life and in usefulness.

‘That your love may abound yet more and more in know ledge and in all judgment’ (Philippians i. 9).

‘Forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus’ (Philippians iii. I3, I4).

(g) Devotion to the service of God, such as entirely does away with selfish ambition and love of worldly pleasure.

‘For the love of Christ constraineth us’ (2 Corinthians v. I4).

‘I will very gladly spend and be spent for you’ (2 Corinthians xii. I5).

(h) Readiness to witness for Christ and of Full Salvation, at every opportunity, both in public and private.

‘Ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye sha!l be witnesses unto Me’ (Acts i. 8).

‘That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ’ (I John i. 3).

‘We cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard’ (Acts iv. 20).

(i) Complete victory over every besetment, passion, or habit which previously was a cause of defeat or condemnation, and usually perfect deliverance from the besetment itself.

‘In all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us’ (Romans viii. 37).

(a) Sanctified Officers take an interest in their work in a way that is possible only to those who do what is customary with their whole heart.

(b) They show a careful, earnest love to all their people, without partiality or respect of persons.

(c) They are full of brotherly love to their comrade Officers, esteeming others better than themselves, and willing that others should be honoured equally with, or more than, themselves.

(d) They ever put the interests of God’s Kingdom and The Army before their own ease and advantage, and are, therefore, always to be relied upon to carry out instructions heartily.

(e) They are able calmly to trust God and fight on for victory amidst difficulties of every kind, and humbly to remain childlike amidst the greatest success.

(f) Their private, as well as their public life, proves that they are living for God alone, their spirit and their testimony tending to draw everyone around them nearer to God and to self-sacrifice for Him.

(Taken from the 1922 Doctrine Book complete and unabridged)

Monday, July 07, 2008

Sufficient evidence to prove belief?

A short break from holiness... part 4 tomorrow!

I decided to cycle to Mile End today from Dartford (and back!) to meet my eldest daughter for dinner – perhaps not the wisest method of transport but at least I did my bit for the environment!
We had an interesting discussion about women Bishops and homosexual priests. As I mulled the discussion over in my mind as I cycled back home I had something of an epiphany!

It's not the first time the challengs set out below have come before me nor the first time I have shared them but they seemed to present themselves more forcefully today.

If we take lifestyle as evidence of belief then we would have to conclude that the impact of belief upon the behaviour of Christians, is substantially limited – indeed one could put up a really strong case that dared to suggest that based on the evidence alone, most Christians don’t believe at all.
Let me provide a few examples.

If a child who lives next to our hall needed £5000 to go to the USA for a life saving operation I am quite sure that if we knew about their circumstances we would help with the fundraising. Yet, children die of diarrhoea by thousands every day in the developing world – the cost of a cure? Just 50p. The evidence seems to suggest that the demarcation of Christian compassion is determined by geography rather than by need and the ability to meet that need.

Another example: If Christians believe – even if they believe only a little bit – that those around them might (without the saving grace of God) go to hell – surely they would be more committed to saving them? If a Christian saw their neighbours in immediate danger they would do all they could to help. The evidence seems to suggest that the majority of Christians don’t really believe this.

One final example, if we believe that Jesus is Lord and longs to hear our prayers and our praises would we not pray and praise more. Again, the evidence seems to suggest a lack of real belief.

I have always felt a strong conviction that the issue of lifestyle would prove to be critical to the success (maybe even the survival) of the Christian church in the 21st century.

As I cycled up towards Shooters Hill (gasp) I found myself once again in one of those tight corners where the Holy Spirit seems to increasingly lead me – there seemed to be no way out but to agree with the logic of the argument being presented before me.

Love and prayers


Sunday, July 06, 2008

Holiness Part 6

5. THE FOURTH CONDITION OF ENTIRE SANCTIFICATION IS FAITH; that is, the act of simple heart-trust by which the soul commits itself to God and believes that He does now sanctify according to His promises.

‘If we confess our sins, He is faithful [to His own promise] and just [to the suffering and agony of His Son, which purchased the blessing] to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness’ (I John i. 9).

‘Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness and from all your idols will I cleanse you’ (Ezekiel xxxvi. 25).

‘He is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by Him, seeing He ever liveth to make inter cession for them’ (Hebrews vii. 25).

(a) Faith for Sanctification, or Sanctifying Faith, is of the same kind as Saving Faith. Neither new nor stronger faith is necessary, but the same faith exercised for a different object.

(b) Sanctifying Faith involves the intellectual belief that God is able, is willing, and has promised, to sanctify. But it goes beyond this to the heart-trust which believes that God does now sanctify. Thus it is present faith.

(c) Faith for deliverance from sin can manifestly only be exercised when the previous conditions are fully complied with, for without conviction of sin deliverance would not be sought, while any holding back in renunciation or consecration would naturally condemn, and

'If our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence towards God’(1 John iii. 21).

(d) Sanctifying Faith speaks somewhat as follows: ‘I do here and now commit myself fully to God; I believe that He receives me, that the Blood of Jesus Christ, according to God’s promise, does now cleanse me from all inward sin, making me pure in heart before Him, and I believe that He will keep that which I now commit to Him.’

(e) The foundation or ground of Sanctifying Faith is God’s promises and His faithfulness-not feelings, upon which many try to base it.

‘Blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed’ (John xx. 29).


‘Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is of God, that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God [Sanctification being one of these]’ (I Corinthians ii. 12).

‘Hereby know we that He abideth in us, by the Spirit which He hath given us’ (I John iii. 24).
‘Hereby we know that we dwell in Him, and He in us, because He hath given us of His Spirit’ (I John iv. 13).

Usually assurance is given as soon as faith is exercised, but sometimes faith is tested by assurance being withheld for a time. In such a case the person should maintain his consecration and his faith in God’s promises until the assurance comes, like Abraham, who patiently watched and protected his sacrifices until God rewarded his obedient faith by appearing to him in the form of fire (see Genesis xv.)

7. SANCTIFICATION IS THE WORK OF GOD. Man’s consecration and faith do not sanctify; they are simply conditions upon which God’s sanctifying grace is given.

8. ENTIRE SANCTIFICATION TAKES PLACE INSTANTANEOUSLY — in the same sense that death takes place instantaneously. A man may be dying for some time, but he does not die until the instant his soul is separated from his body; then he lives the life of eternity. So a person may be some time reaching the point of entire freedom from sin, but he is only dead to sin when sin is separated from his soul, and at that instant he lives the full life of love.

9. THE ENTIRELY SANCTIFIED ARE KEPT ONLY BY GOD, who, by His Spirit, dwells within them and produces ever increasingly in their lives His own blessed ‘fruits’ (see Galatians v. 22, 23). They must, however, do their part by continuing their consecration and trust, and by using God’s appointed means for spiritual growth, such as prayer, Bible-reading, testimony, responding to the Spirit’s voice within, and submitting in all things to God.

‘Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine no more can ye, except ye abide in Me’ (John xv. 4).

‘That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith’ (Ephesians iii. 17).

‘Being filled with all the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ’ (Philippians i. II).

‘Kept by the power of God through faith’ (I Peter i. 5).

(Taken from the 1922 Doctrine Book complete and unabridged)

Holiness Part 5


1. THE BESTOWAL OF ENTIRE SANCTIFICATION, as with every other gift of God’s grace, IS CONDITIONAL — it depends upon the whole-hearted co-operation of the person to be benefited.

Assuming that conversion has already taken place, the necessary conditions are: Conviction, Renunciation, Consecration, Faith.

2. THE FIRST CONDITION OF ENTIRE SANCTIFICATION IS CONVICTION; that is, seeing the need for being made holy.

(a) Conviction for holiness includes: realizing the inward sin that exists; hating it, no matter what form it may assume; believing its removal possible; seeing holiness to be both a duty and a privilege; and earnestly desiring deliverance.

(b) Such conviction is at first brought about by the Holy Spirit, but the soul must voluntarily respond to His promptings by facing its own sinfulness and by wholeheartedly seeking Holiness, if this great blessing is to be obtained.

‘When He is come, He will convict the world in respect of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment’ (John xvi. 8, R.V.).

(c) Conviction for Holiness leads the soul to realize and to sorrow over-not merely outward acts of sin, but its own inward evils, such as —
  • Pride, or an undue sense of one’s own importance, fostered by the consciousness of some real or fancied superiority.
  • Vanity, or love of display.
  • Selfish Ambition-the craving for position, power, wealth, or dignity, for its own sake.
  • Evil Temper, even though curbed and mastered.
  • Malice, together with hatred, bitterness, revenge.
  • Covetousness, or undue craving for possessions of any kind.
  • Lust, or bondage to bodily appetites.
  • Sloth, Love of the World, Selfishness, Envy, and want of thorough truthfulness.
  • An experience which reveals such evils, or some of them, in all their hideousness, is necessarily painful, as Isaiah found when he exclaimed:—

‘Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of Hosts’ (Isaiah vi. 5).

(d) Various means are used by the Holy Spirit to bring about Conviction for Holiness; for example, a fresh vision of God (as with Isaiah), a sense of unrest in the soul, a holy life, a Holiness testimony, the proclaiming of Holiness, a book or article.

(e) True conviction for Holiness is marked by self abasement and humility, and it leads naturally to compliance with the further conditions of Holiness — renunciation, consecration, and faith.

3. THE SECOND CONDITION OF ENTIRE SANCTIFICATION IS RENUNCIATION; that is, giving up everything opposed to the will of God.

(a) Renunciation must be forever, and it must be entire, including —

i. All that is known to be wrong.

’Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us’ (Hebrews xii. I).

ii. Everything that seems doubtful, for the Bible shows such to be sinful.

‘Happy is he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth’ (Romans xiv. 22).

‘He that doubteth is damned [or condemned]’ (Romans xiv. 23).

(b) Renunciation will include many common habits. For example: —

i. Strong Drink, even in moderation, must be given up, because the practice is wasteful, injurious, and productive of misery, wickedness, and damnation; because the influence of a moderate drinker may lead weaker people to drunkenness; and because the whole spirit of the Bible is against it (see (c) of this paragraph), many passages expressly condemning it.

ii. The use of Tobacco must be abandoned, because the practice is wasteful (of both time and money), injurious (nicotine being a poison), dirty, selfish (causing annoyance to others), unnecessary, contrary to the general teaching of the Bible (see (c) of this paragraph), and at best, doubtful.

iii. Fashionable dress and worldly adornment must be put off, because the practice tends to gratify and to encourage pride; it absorbs time, thought, and money which could be better employed; it is, at best, doubtful; and the general teaching of the Bible is against it (see (c) of this paragraph), several passages particularly condemning it.

‘Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, and of putting on of apparel’ (I Peter iii. 3).

‘Moreover the Lord saith, Because the daughters of Zion are haughty, and walk with stretched forth necks and wanton eyes, walking and mincing as they go, and making a tinkling with their feet: therefore the Lord will smite with a scab the crown of the head of the daughters of Zion, and the Lord will discover their secret parts’ (Isaiah iii. I6, I7).

‘I will therefore … that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with braided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; but (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works’ (I Timothy ii. 8-I0).

IV. Any doubtful practice must be left off, whether connected with mind, body, family, business, re creation, dealings with comrades, or anything else.

(c) The Bible clearly sets forth principles which should govern the daily conduct of God’s people, particularly with regard to such renunciations as those just referred to. For example, it teaches that —

i. God’s people should be separate from the world in spirit and conduct.

‘Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be My sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty’ (2 Corinthians vi. I7, I8).

ii. Habits which influence others wrongly ought to be given up, even though harmless to those who practise them.

‘But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumbling-block to them that are weak… And through thy knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died? ….Wherefore, if meat make my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while the world standeth, lest I make my brother to offend’ (I Corinthians viii. 9, 11, I3).

‘It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor anything whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak’ (Romans xiv. 2I).

iii. Everything, including the exercise of bodily appetites, such as eating and drinking, should be done to the glory of God.

‘Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God’ (I Corinthians x. 3I).

IV. The body is to be honoured and treated as God’s dwelling-place, and hence should not be polluted or injured.

‘What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God; and ye are not your own? (r Corinthians vi. 19).

‘If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are’ (I Corinthians iii. 17).

(d) It is but reasonable that seekers after Holiness should completely renounce everything wrong or doubtful. God could only rightly bestow so great a blessing upon those who separate themselves from all that is opposed to Him.

4. THE THIRD CONDITION OF ENTIRE SANCTIFICATION IS CONSECRATION; that is, the dedication to God of ourselves and all we possess, to live only to please Him and do His will.

(a) The need for consecration is seen when we remember that, at the Fall, Adam forsook his life of entire consecration to God; he set up, as it were, to be his own master instead of being God’s servant, and started pleasing himself instead of living to please God. All men are, by nature, in the same condition as that to which Adam fell. By consecration a man once again yields himself fully to God to live only to please Him.

(b) Consecration to God must be both entire and real.

i. To be entire it must include the body, with all its members and powers; the mind, with all its faculties; the heart, with all its capacities; also goods, money, family, influence, reputation, time, ability, life, indeed everything.

ii. To be real it must be not in imagination or sentiment merely, but everything must henceforth actually be used as belonging to God and not to ourselves. History has sometimes supplied illustrations of the kind of consecration required. Loyal subjects of a dethroned monarch have placed unreservedly at his disposal themselves, their goods, their families, their lives-in fact, their all-in order to help their sovereign to regain his lost throne. In the same way God’s true-hearted followers now place at His disposal themselves, and all they possess, in order to help Him to regain His rightful throne in the hearts of mankind.

(c) Consecration may, in some respects, be likened both to a sacrifice and to crucifixion.
i. Consecration is like a sacrifice because by it we give ourselves up to God as the animals were given up to Him in olden times, the difference being that ours is a living, not a dead sacrifice.

‘I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service’ (Romans xii. I).

ii. Consecration is like crucifixion because it involves painful dying to many things very precious to the natural man, such as undue love of self, the admiration of the world, the ownership of goods, inordinate love of kindred and friends, choosing one’s own way.

‘I am crucified with Christ; nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me’ (Galatians ii. 20).

‘God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world’ (Galatians vi. 14).

When once a man’s possessions have been consecrated to God, he will use them, as God directs him, in the way that seems most likely to advance God’s Kingdom, whether this be by selling all that he does not actually need, and devoting the proceeds to God’s cause right away, or by retaining his property and using in God’s service the income which it brings to him.

(d) Renunciation and Consecration differ from each other in that —

  • Renunciation means giving up what is against God.
  • Consecration means giving up all we have to be used for God.

(e) Consecration, although a condition of sanctification, must not be mistaken for sanctification itself. Consecration is an act done by man before God sanctifies him; sanctification is a work done by God within man after man has done his part.

(Complete and unabridged from the 1922 edition of the Doctrine Book)

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Holiness Part 4


(a) The Bible nowhere states or suggests that we cannot be entirely cleansed from sin while in health and strength; all its commands and promises about holiness relate to the present, and it plainly says that we ought to be holy in this life.

‘That we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve Him without fear, in holiness and righteousness before Him, all the days of our life’ (Luke i. 74, 75).

(b) The Bible nowhere states that the soul’s connection with the body is a hindrance to its entire sanctification, but it shows that the body, with all its appetites, powers, and members, is to be sanctified to God.

‘Ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s’ (Corinthians vi. 20).

‘That the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body’ (2 Corinthians iv. 10).

‘Yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God’ (Romans vi. r3).

(c) The Bible teaches that it is the Blood of Christ, and not ‘the last enemy,’ that cleanses from sin.

‘The blood of Jesus Christ … cleanseth us from all sin’ (I John i. 7).


(a) Some conclude that Holiness is impossible because many earnest Christians neither teach it nor believe in it.

To this we answer that it is true the subject is seldom written or spoken about, and that comparatively few enjoy the experience, while many do not believe in it. At the same time our standard must not be the opinions or attainments of men, but the Word of God, which, in many ways, shows Holiness to be possible.

‘We dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise’ (2 Corinthians x. 12).

‘ To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them’ (Isaiah viii. 20).

(b) It is sometimes claimed that certain Bible passages deny the possibility of Holiness.

To this we answer that the Bible, as a whole, clearly teaches Holiness, and that the passages referred to only seem contrary to such teaching when taken from their context.

Examples of such passages are:—

i. ‘If we say we have no sin we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us’
(1 John i. 8).

This cannot mean that Holiness is impossible, because the previous verse says, ‘The blood of Jesus Christ ... cleanseth us from all sin,’ and the following verse says, ‘He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.’

The right interpretation is that those who say they have no sin, when they have, are self-deceived and assert what is untrue, whether they be sinners who say they have never sinned, or professing Christians who continue sinning and yet say they have no sin because their sins are imputed to Christ.

ii. ‘For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again’ (Proverbs xxiv. 16). The correct meaning is shown by the context; it is trouble and not sin, into which a just man falls (see verse 10).

iii. ‘In many things we offend all’ (James iii. 2). The explanation is that the word ‘we’ is frequently used by speakers when referring to people generally with no intent to include themselves as individuals. The context plainly shows that the ‘we’ here used has no reference to James and saved people (see verses 1, 3, and 9).

(c) Some say that if all sin were destroyed the Christian would have no fight, and they quote: ‘The flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would’ (Galatians v. 17).

To this we answer that this passage, as the context shows (see verses 7, 16, 24, 25), does not describe the experience proper to saved — not to mention entirely sanctified — people. The sanctified soul has no enemies within, but has a fierce conflict with the Devil outside.

‘Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: whom resist steadfast in the faith’ (I Peter v. 8, 9).

‘Put. on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil’ (Ephesians vi. II).

(d) Others disbelieve in Holiness because they think that some sin is necessary to keep us humble. Our answer is, that this is simply saying we must sin ‘that grace may abound,’ which is condemned by Paul (Romans vi. 1). To say that sin is necessary to keep us humble, is to infer that sin is more powerful than the grace of God.

(e) Some claim that they have never seen a holy person. We reply that possibly they have avoided the company of, and refused association with, holy people, or it may be that when they have met holy people they have failed to recognise them as such because of their own unbelief in holiness. The Scribes and Pharisees said even of Christ, ‘He hath a devil.’

(f) Some say that an entirely sanctified soul would no longer need the Blood of Christ. We answer that the Blood that cleanses is continually needed to keep us clean, and the power that saves from sin is needed to keep from sin. To assert the contrary is like saying that a fruit-bearing branch no longer needs to be united to the vine, or that a perfectly light room no longer needs the sun.

(g) Many consider Holiness impossible because they misunderstand it. Owing to wrong teaching, or lack of teaching, they confuse it with the idea of sinless perfection or with something else which it is not (see Section I, paragraph 5, of this Chapter).

(h) Sometimes unbelief is due to evil in the person’s own heart. At some time in the past he has been brought face to face with the fact that God wants to cleanse him fully, but his unsanctified nature has made him unwilling for all that this would mean, so he has shut his eyes to the light. If he consecrates himself fully to God, he will soon see that holiness is possible.

(From the 1922 Doctrine Book - complete and unabridged)