Summary: This sermon deals with the subject of Entire Sanctification. God wants all of His followers to be Holy as He is holy. You can be - today!
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It’s Time to Move Up!
Scripture Reading: Ephesians 4:14-32
Tonight I would like to continue talking to you about the doctrine of entire sanctification and holiness. This evening specifically I would like to begin looking at just what it takes to be sanctified.
Many people teach that sanctification is a process, which it is, yet they deny the fact that God insists that His people be holy – now. To be sanctified is not just a life long process; it is to be a present experience. You can be sanctified now! Sanctification is a crisis experience. Entrance into sanctification is achieved not by a long growth process, or by physical death, but by a decisive act of faith. Samuel Logan Brengle the great Salvation Army general said, “A man may grow in his coat, but not into his coat; he must first get it on. Just so a man may ‘grow in grace,’ but not into grace. A man may swim in water but not into water. It is not by growth that you get the weeds out of your garden, but by pulling them up and vigorously using your hoe and rake. It is not by growth that you expect that dirty little darling, who has been tumbling around with the dog in the back yard, to get clean. He might grow to manhood and get dirtier every day. It is by washing and much pure water that you expect to make him at all presentable.”
This evening it is my goal in this message to show that holiness is a present day possibility, and if you are not already sanctified, God wants you to be.
I would like to examine this passage of Scripture and show you that “It’s Time to Move Up!”
I. A Previous Experience.
Our passage of Scripture began with the words of verse 14-15. These verses speak of a previous experience. Now, what I mean by a “previous experience” is that Paul was writing to a people who had been saved. These were “babes” in Christ. So, these next few verses are written specifically to instruct “saved” individuals.
In order for an individual to be sanctified, they must first have a clear knowledge of salvation.
Notice verse 21, “If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus.” Again, notice that there is an “if” attached to this passage of Scripture. You can not be made holy until you have first been made His.
The sinner’s eyes are not open to see the need for a clean heart. He has been blinded to his need. He may have hatred in his heart, but as long as he is able to restrain himself and hurt the person he hates, he flatters himself as a good person. He cannot see that in the eyes of God “Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer?” (1 John 3:15) He may have lust in his heart but as long as he does not commit adultery he flatters himself as being quite respectable in God’s sight, in spite of the fact that Jesus says that look of lust is adultery.
Notice what verses 17-18 say:
So, the first thing that needs done is to be saved and so the full light of God’s smile we can see our need of cleansing from inbred sin.
So, we see that in this passage of Scripture there is Previous Experience which one must first be a partaker of before they can be holy.
Next however notice there is…
II. A Present Possibility.
Again, verse 14 begins with the words, “That we henceforth be no more children…” What does this tells us? That Paul is telling the Ephesians, and by extension us, that there is something more which God wants for His people.
Now, notice that Paul tells them to put off some things. Verse 22, “That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to deceitful lusts.” What does Paul say to put off? The old man. Now, what does he mean by the “old man”? He is speaking about that sin nature that we are born with. This is that nature that is the root cause of sin.
Jesus often turned the thoughts of His listeners to the fact that carnality (another word for “old man”) is the source of sin – evil acts are caused by an evil condition in man’s spirit. In Mark 7:21-23 Jesus said, “For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, 22 Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: 23 All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.” Paul Rees said about this inventory of the carnal heart, “It reads like a sewer inspector’s write up.”