Summary: How does one know when they are sanctified?
A Scene from Real Life
There are some that declare that we simply grow into the experience of entire sanctification. They say, “Just give me time. After a while I will be more like a saint. Just let me grow.”
The truth of the matter is, there are many that were much better Christians shortly after their conversion then they are right now.
Now there is a certain sense in which we do grow toward the experience of the fullness of the Holy Spirit – that is, there is often a process or series of minor crisis that leads to the final event of the infilling of the Spirit.
Perhaps we ought to grow down rather than grow up to this place of readiness.
God has to bring us down, again and again, with crisis after crisis.
We must discover that we are not just sinners, but sin itself, and that in us “dwelleth no good thing.”
We realize that all our working and living are as filthy rags, tainted with the subtle evil called self-glorification.
Then in sheer desperation we give up, and make the surrender, and cast ourselves upon the grace of God.
Then how do we ever get to the place of entire sanctification?
Why does the Christian faith place so much emphasis on self-surrender?
Simply because the unsurrendered self is the root cause of all our spiritual problems.
Just as the fingers are rooted to the hand, so our sins are rooted in the palm of the unsurrendered self.
Take the little word SIN.
Right in the middle of the word is the letter I.
It is the unsurrendered ego, the I, that is the root of our problem with sanctification.
The unsurrendered self is manifested in many different forms.
Sometimes it manifests itself in self-seeking.
1. An individual, instead of seeking first the kingdom of God, seeks after his own pleasure, positions, plans and prestige.
Sometimes it manifests itself in self-love.
An individual, instead of loving God supremely and his neighbor as himself, is in love with himself.
A university professor was so conceited and infatuates with himself that the students jokingly referred to him as “a self-made man who worshipped his creator.”
Sometimes, the unsurrendered ego manifests itself in self-assertion.
The individual likes to be the center of the group and the main topic of the conversation.
He frequently uses the pronoun “I”.
When we use to have typewriters, the letter that was replaced the most was the letter I. The reason for this was not that it was used anymore than the rest of the letters but that it was struck the hardest.
At times, the unsurrendered self manifests itself as self-indulgence.
The individual is motivated by self-destructive desires.
The unsurrendered self may also manifest itself through self-sufficiency.
The individual. Instead of relying wholly on the resources of God, depends on their own wisdom, abilities and efforts.
The unsurrendered self may manifest itself by self-will.
The individual, instead of seeking God’s will in every decision and area of life, often desires to go their own way.
The self is usually the last thing in which we are willing to give up.
We usually are willing to surrender anything to Christ – money, possessions, time – everything but ourselves.
There are basically two patterns to life: one revolving around self as the center and the other revolving around God as the center.
The New Testament frequently refers to these as “the old man” and “the new man.”
All the events of life fall into one or the other of these two groups.
We must be cleansed of self-centeredness.
The self as a separate entity from God, must give up its separateness, its independent sovereignty, by an act of utter surrender.
The self then continues to live, but it lives in God.
Galatians 2:20, “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me; and the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”
There is a story of a man who was glancing over the obituary section of the newspaper, when, to his surprise, he found his own name.
This is a spiritual parable. If we die out to the old carnal self, then suddenly we find ourselves alive in Christ – alive like never before.
After the crucifixion comes the resurrection.
The old self dies and a new self arises.
A warning should be sounded at this point.
The individual cannot bring about the crucifixion of the old self that we have emphasized.
That is, self cannot crucify itself.
The only thing in which we can do is to become willing for the self to be crucified by the Holy Spirit, who alone is the executioner.