Perfect Loyalty to God

by | Nov 1, 2010

The first essential prerequisite to Christian perfection and a leading characteristic of it is a cheerful, perfect submission to the will of God. “But,” someone says, “I had to submit myself unreservedly to God’s will before He would even pardon my sins.” So must every sinner. God will not receive anyone into His kingdom unless he will confess and forsake his sins without reservation.

What then is the difference between the sincere, unreserved submission of the penitent sinner and the cheerful, perfect submission of the seeker of entire sanctification? The submission of the penitent is very much like the submission of the manslayer fleeing from the avenger of blood. As he approaches the gate of the city of refuge, he cries, “Open the gate and let me in!” The porter says to him, “Will you submit to the will of the governor of this city and keep his laws?” “O yes, I will,” he responds. Open the gate and let me in!”

This is submission because he is in great jeopardy. So is every sinner who is “fleeing from the wrath to come.” He is driven by the law of God and also attracted by the love of God who prepares a refuge for his poor soul. But after he is admitted to the city of refuge—adopted into God’s family—he is placed in the school of Christ.

Here he ascertains through the light of the Holy Spirit upon His heart that the will of God is much more comprehensive than he could have anticipated before. He acquires such confidence in God as the reasonable ruler of his life that he makes a consecration of himself to God very different from that which he had made as a the penitent sinner.

Let me explain:

1. This is an intelligent submission and consecration. As a penitent he could not know about the details of Christian experience and duty. But now he has reached a place where he has an appreciative view of his relations to God and His Kingdom. So he cheerfully adjusts his entire consecration of heart and life to his enlarged perceptions of these relationships.

2. This is based on different motives. In coming to Christ as a penitent sinner, his motive was primarily fear. Now it is not, for he has acquired such confidence in God that he understands that God’s will is perfectly right and consistent with his own best interests in time and eternity. He knows that God will require him only to give everything opposed to perfect heart purity because it is only rubbish and death. Therefore he gladly accepts God’s will as the rule of his heart and life. “I beseech you, therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service” (Romans 12:1).

3. This submission embodies such a development of the principle of obedience in the heart of a Christian that it will perfect his loyalty to God and settle the question as to whether he will do his whole duty to God. The perfectly loyal heart has but one question and that is, “What is my duty?” Its development is often promoted and demonstrated by specific tests of obedience, as it did with Abraham. When he promptly offered up “his son, his dear son Isaac,” as a burnt-offering, he demonstrated heart loyalty to the death.

This loyalty must embrace the settlement of every question and preclude any debate about whether or not we will do God’s will. Remember His service “is a reasonable service.” What a scandal to the religion of Jesus that men and women professing to love God should set themselves against God’s will.

So bring your sacrifice, my dear Christian reader, “bind it with cords,” lay it on God’s altar, and steadily keep it there.

William Taylor (1821-1902) was a famous Methodist minister, author, holiness advocate, and missionary bishop to Africa. This selection, abridged by Larry D. Smith, is taken from The Double Cure or Echoes from National Camp Meetings, published in 1894.