“Holiness becometh thine house, O Lord, forever.” (Psalm 93:5)
This declaration of the Psalmist was applicable to the tabernacle which Moses was commanded to erect in the wilderness. But the term “house” is also used to designate God’s people.
“Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood” (I Peter 2:5).
Certainly it is the one great design of our holy religion to make us holy. We have a holy Bible, written by holy men who were inspired by the Holy Spirit; it points out a holy way to a holy heaven where we are to meet a holy God, dwell amid holy associations, and engage in holy services forevermore. We are commanded “to be holy in all manner of living”; and “to follow…holiness without which no man shall see the Lord.”
Almost all really regenerated persons have in their minds an ideal Christian experience which is far superior to that which they enjoy. Occasionally there has come to the spiritual vision heights of such holy rapture, depths of such perfect love, and experiences of such calm, abiding peace, that a great hunger has taken possession of the spirit. The Holy Spirit begets the longing and somehow imparts an assurance that God has made provision to satisfy these holy aspirations.
His work in doing this has been variously designated as
- “the higher life,”
- “the rest of faith,”
- “the faith of assurance,”
- “the second blessing,”
or in scriptural terms such as
- “perfect love,”
- a “clean heart,”
- “the baptism of the Holy Spirit,”
- “being filled with the Spirit,” and
This experience of divine grace brings the power of holiness to a fallen, but redeemed human being, and it can be enjoyed and lived by one who is still subject to human infirmities and surrounded by all the circumstances of human life. It implies a heart thoroughly cleansed from all sin, both inherited and acquired, and filled with the Spirit of purity. Wesley says,
“It is loving God with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength.”
Holiness means a pure heart. And “as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.” The natural outcome is a pure life. Who can paint the beauties of holiness? Holiness means pure thoughts, pure intentions, pure motives, pure words, pure actions. It is the purity of heaven brought down to earth and deposited for awhile in a human heart, to be exhibited in a pure life. It is the pure Christ reincarnated in a human life. Paul says, “It is no longer I that live but Christ that liveth in me.” But how may this sanctifying work of the Spirit be obtained?
You must believe that this blessing is attainable. In addition to being conscious of remaining impurity and believing that Jesus’ atonement provides for the entire cleansing of the heart, you must be convinced that this is your blood-bought privilege.
You must have an earnest desire for the blessing and seek diligently for it. Christ will only come to a heart that is aflame with ardent desire for His presence. As Faber wrote,
“God loves to be longed for;
He longs to be sought.”
You must be determined never to rest until the blessing comes. When the mind becomes so thoroughly fixed upon the obtainment of this blessing that you will have it at whatever cost, the battle is more than half gained.
You must completely consecrate your all to God—body, soul, spirit, time, talents, reputation, property, friends, and all you have or hope to have through time and eternity.
You must believe that God receives you and sanctifies you wholly just now. There is sometimes an interval between the exercise of the faith which claims the blessing of entire sanctification and the witness of the Spirit to its possession. During this interval we wait in an attitude of calm repose, earnest desire, and holy expectancy.
Oh, that all might catch the flame, All partake the glorious bliss.
Extracted by Larry D. Smith from The Double Cure, or Echoes from National Camp Meetings, published by the Christian Witness Co., 1894.