How to Keep the Blessing

by | May 1, 2008

There are precautions and observances that must be seen to if we would keep the blessing of entire sanctification. We shall never get beyond the need of the means of grace. Self-denial, cross-bearing, watchfulness and prayer are to be practiced up to the portals of the tomb. There are several things which will prevent all spiritual lapse and plant the blessing in us like an immovable mountain.

Retained by Faith

We obtain sanctification by faith, but it is also retained by faith. Faith is the vital point of union with Christ; and, of course, Satan makes his strongest assaults at this point. If after the reception of the blessing he can make the soul doubt its presence or continuance, he will soon rob the heart of its treasure.

Faith retains the grace and presence of God and makes it impossible for the devil to do his work. At first it may be an effort to exercise belief and go on repeating the Word of God, especially when the joy of the soul may have run low or is departed.

But in a few hours or days, one becomes established in the grace; and there is a spirit or whisper of trust in the heart and the soul settles down with a delightful sense of recumbency upon the love, power, and protecting care of the Son of God.

We fail to see how Satan can find entrance when such a faith stands guard with unsleeping vigilance at the door. This is the victory that overcomes low spirits, a sinking heart, whispers of the devil and all the discouragements of this lower world—even our faith!

Conditioned by Obedience

Faith is the heart condition, and obedience is the life condition. If there is true faith within, there will be obedience to God without. When faith fails, disobedience sets in. When obedience fails, faith sickens and will die if one persists in the course. Grave as is any act of disobedience, yet we cannot believe that God suddenly leaves a man forsaken and cursed for one such omission or commission.

We do believe that sanctification, like regeneration, as a rule, departs gradually. First, joy goes, then liberty, and then the testimony. Yes, and it leaked out through acts of disobedience.

We must obey God. What a joy it brings to the soul to be thus consciously submissive and doing the whole will of God. Satan feels helpless before a man or woman with faith in heart and perfect obedience to God in life. In a word, we must “trust and obey”; and in doing so, we will be invincible.

Sustained by the Atoning Blood

Whenever there is a conscious spiritual hurt, we should fly to the blood of Christ and claim its immediate application. There is no need to be in condemnation a moment in the case of sins of ignorance and surprise. The blood is available every second. If those who have lapsed more or less in the sanctified life and are trying to work their way back into the old-time favor of Heaven would only look to “The Blood,” they would find themselves instantly healed, restored, cleansed, filled and fired again.

In recognition of possible weakness, mistakes, and missteps and in view of the fact that some fiery dart of the evil one may pierce the Christian armor, God has provided the ever-present, ever-powerful, ever-cleansing blood of Christ.

The instant that the soul is wounded, it should cry, “Lord Jesus, apply thy blood.” That which honors Christ and His salvation is the immediate return to the Lord in case of departure and the instant appropriation of the blood of Christ which cleanses through and through, now and forevermore.

Beverly Carradine (1848–1931) was a well-known Holiness evangelist. This selection, abridged by Larry D. Smith, is taken from his book, The Sanctified Life published by the Revivalist Press in 1897.