Chapter 4 - COMPLETE PRESERVATION, MUST BE PRECEDED BY COMPLETE SALVATION
Is there a remedy for impatience? We answer, yes, and we know its genuineness, for we have tested it. But it is important todistinguish between the act of God by which we are saved from a sinful state, or condition, and thesubsequent processes by which we are kept from returning to it. I understand God has plannedcomplete salvation, and then promises complete preservation; but has never promised tocompletely keep any soul, who is only partially saved. It is impossible to keep any sick man well,without first making him well. No one ever thought of preserving an apple in perfect soundnesswhich was already partially decayed.
The undertaking to keep an impure soul clean, without first cleansing it, would be endlesslyfoolish. Sin in any form is an ugly thing. Being at war with God, there cannot be any world, or timewhere a soul made in the image of God can be normal under its influence. It largely consists in theperversion of something that was right. Itself is the seed of all restlessness. Sin in the form ofinherited depravity, has so perverted the functions of our being as to keep us at war withourselves. There is not one man of the race, who is not wholly sanctified, whose judgment andconscience and passions can be kept in harmony each with the other. That being true, completesoul rest is forever impossible, and impatience must forever be the outflow of that unholy fountain.
This truth is practically proven by the millions of intelligent people who keep insisting thatno human soul can be completely saved from all unholy anger in this life. Each one of such is bothan example and living witness that while the carnal nature remains, perfect patience is impossibleand they feel it to be so. But, brother, God has provided for the destruction of this "body of sin,"for this very purpose, that henceforth you should not serve sin; Rom 6:6. "Knowing this, that ourold man is crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we shouldnot serve sin." The revised Version reading, "Knowing this, that our old man was crucified withHim, that the body of sin might be done away, that so we should no longer be in bondage to sin."
Christ issues the proclamation of emancipation from both inward and outward sin, to allwho will comply with His divinely ordained conditions. Nor is it anywhere taught in the scripturesthat we have to wait for either death or purgatory to emancipate us; but as we are justified by faithin Jesus, as our justifier, we are to be sanctified by faith in Jesus as our sanctifier. All who thusreceive Him as their justifier are made to know they are truly justified, and all who receive Him by faith as their complete sanctifier are made to know that they are truly sanctified. If that cannotbe proven by the Scriptures then nothing can be proven by the Scriptures.
If Christ cannot be ignored or neglected as the justifier, without peril, then He cannot beignored or neglected as our sanctifier without peril. We are justified that we may be sanctified,and we are sanctified in order to be able to retain our justification. Multitudes upon multitudeswho once glowed with the glorious sunlight of the new birth, are now without it because Christwas offered as their complete sanctifier and they refused the offer.
Five thousand individual churches could be named in this land who once were a great soulsaving force and now find it almost impossible to bring a sinner to real genuine heart ache for sinand a Holy Ghost conversion, BECAUSE God offered them His Son as their sanctifier, and theyrejected the offer! Uncounted thousands of God's people are left in doubt and many are questioningthe truth of the Bible who once had convictions for holiness and disobeyed their convictions. Manyministers who, when in the clear light of justification, preached a glorious gospel and broughtmany savingly to Christ; whose gospel is now reduced largely to intellectual essays and they arecompelled to get people into the church without genuine repentance, without being born of God,without the witness of the Holy Spirit, or any witness of consciousness that God is their Father,because they have met the call to holiness and refused to obey! See I Thess. 4:3-8 and Heb. 6:1-8.
In all these years, I have never known one man or woman or minister, who was able tofully control his or her passions, after they had convictions of their need of sanctification andfailed to follow them! Have you? God's remedy for sin has cost a great price, and cannot be treatedlightly without His displeasure. If your sanctification cost the death agonies of God's only Son,there cannot but be peril in neglecting it. Heb. 13:12; Eph. 5:25-27.
1. In the new birth there is given power to control all the evils within us, till we are able toapprehend Christ for their removal. Hence in all these years I have never known one soul trulyborn of God to give way to unholy tempers the first day after he was thus born. I do not say that thismight not, or could not occur; but in seventy year's watching, I have not witnessed a single case. Ihave no recollection of one genuinely converted soul speaking impatiently within three days afterhe was born of God. Real, new converts are always beautiful characters. They are so differentfrom other people that the whole race is led to specially scrutinize them. Converts without the newbirth are about as they were before being converted, and such are now being brought in to thechurches by the ten thousand; but these are not the people of whom I am now writing.
2. While in the new birth we have power to control remaining evils, in completesanctification these evils are destroyed. Before sanctification, God's child has to contend, not onlywith all outward agencies of evil, but with his own carnal nature within, which is a fountain offretfulness. After being sanctified he finds the war has ceased within. He now can say with Jesus,"when the Prince of this world cometh he findeth nothing in me." Probably the most prominent ofall the carnal mind's begettings is impatience in God's people; and perfect patience seemsimpossible while it remains within.
This tap root of impatience being destroyed, and love made perfect, perfect patience is theoutflow. We cannot but have unmixed patience when wholly sanctified. Perfect love "is not provoked." All impatience coming from our inherited sinful nature ceases at once, when we arewholly sanctified, and it is easier, ten to one, to wholly avoid it thereafter.
But the destruction of sin within does not preclude, in a free moral agent, the possibility ofafter sinful conduct. Adam as he was created had no sinful nature, yet he sinned apparently on thefirst great temptation, and an archangel sinned when there was no sin nor devil to tempt him! Howmuch more may it be possible for us to sin after complete sanctification who have a thousand timesmore evils to confront us?
Hence to be saved from all sin, and afterwards kept from all sin, are forever distinctquestions. Both are promised in the scriptures, but the promises are distinct, and the processes bywhich each is accomplished may widely differ. The undertaking to maintain a completely holy lifewithout a completely holy heart is outside of God's plan and distinctly of the flesh. Perfecthumility, perfect meekness or perfect patience are forever impossible without perfect love, andperfect love can never be attained by any human being with the "old man" still alive in the soul! Othat God's dear people could be made weary of carrying about in them this "body of sin," thisenemy of all righteousness!
When will the sons and daughters of the Lord Almighty become ashamed of their bondageto the carnal mind? Do you object to so strong a word? How can it be otherwise so long as youknow it remains within you as the continual disturber of your peace, hindering your faith, opposingall the graces of the new birth, ever breaking into your fellowship with God; making completeinward purity impossible, begetting unholy jealousies, pride, ungodly temper, the bondage to fear,and the love of sin, with you, its possessor, and subject, persistently denying that you have anypower to cast it off, and practically asserting that an infinite Saviour cannot, or will not destroy it?
Ever since you knew the joy of pardoned sin you have known that God willed yoursanctification as He did your brethren at Thessalonica; that you might be fully able to sweetlycontrol your bodily passions, be freed from all moral impurity; and you have insisted on retainingthe carnal nature which has mixed your love, hindered your usefulness and been tugging like avulture at the vitals of spirituality till you hardly know where to find God when you seek Him!
O how many, even seekers of holiness, get blessed, as I did a hundred times when seeking,and stop short of getting this "root and seed of all sin" taken out of their breast? This mistake is afatal one and all who have made it should hurry to the cleansing Blood.
How to be kept from impatience, after its tap root has been destroyed, will be the subjectof another chapter. The greatest need in the church of God, is millions of people in whom thecarnal mind is destroyed, filled with faith and with the Holy Ghosts, and these would soon befound, if God's ministers were holy.