How to Keep the Blessing of Entire Sanctification
We retain the blessing of entire sanctification by complete submission to God and simple faith in Christ just as we received it. Expanded by increasing light and grace, these embrace the following twelve imperatives in the life of perfect love.
1. Maintain a continuous and entire consecration—a complete self-abandonment to God. No part of the price can ever be taken back. Keep your all committed to God.
2. Continue to trust fully in Christ. We are “kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation.” For faith is the vital bond between the renovated soul and God, and by it we are to abide in Christ as the branch abides in the vine.
3. Give testimony to the blessing. “For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” The fear of man often hinders people from this duty, but it must be overcome. Confessing entire sanctification does not exalt self, for it humbles the soul and gives glory to God.
4. Live in the spirit of self-denial. We must deny ourselves of everything sinful and also of everything doubtful. Thousands have fallen because they have not exercised sufficient caution. Remember we are to “abstain from all appearance of evil.”
5. Guard yourself with a spirit of watchfulness. Watch over your heart and keep it “with all diligence.” Watch over your lips and be careful about your tongue. Guard against a light and trifling spirit. Watch for seasons of prayer and special communion with God. Watch against the allurements of the world, all that is sensual, and whatever has a tendency to lull the soul to sleep.
6. Be faithful to the teachings and “drawings” of the Holy Spirit. You must always follow the Spirit regardless of the consequences. He will remind you of your duty, and you must instantly obey. He is easily grieved, and you must promptly attend to all His teaching. He throws light especially upon the Scriptures, for His teaching always accords with the Word.
7. Read the Scriptures daily. The Bible is soul-food. Perfect love will require nourishment daily. If you do not feed it with Bible truth, you will die spiritually. Those who have been the clearest in perfect love are those who have paid the greatest attention to the Word of God.
8. Constantly aim at growing in grace. If we are not advancing, we are going backward. Remember that there are heights and depths of the love of God to which we must be constantly aspiring.
9. Live constantly under a sense of the presence of God. Always remember, “Thou, God, seest me.” You are seen every moment by the infinite eye of an all-seeing God. If you knew that a legion of angels were watching you every moment, how careful you would be to act rightly. Remember you are always in God’s immediate presence.
10. Give yourself continually to prayer. You must be a man or woman of prayer. Pray often and then prayer will become a delight. Stay with God in prayer and plead with Him. He will answer as He has promised, and you will be transformed, renewed, and strengthened.
11. Labor faithfully for the conversion of sinners. If you do not do this, your love will cool into apathy and indifference. When your heart yearns over sinners, go to God and pray; then go to sinners with courage and sympathy, and you will find this to be an excellent means of grace.
12. Oppose sin of every kind without compromise. Like your Lord, you are to show no quarter for evil anywhere or anytime, for “no man can serve two masters.” You can make no exceptions in great things or in little ones whether you are with friends or enemies.
The Rev. J.A. Wood was a Methodist minister, writer, and advocate of the doctrine of entire sanctification. This extract, abridged and updated by Larry D. Smith, is from Wood’s classic work Perfect Love.
The Rev. J.A. Wood was a mid-19th century Methodist preacher and author known for his unrelenting advocacy of the work of entire sanctification.