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A Religious Controversy | Charles E. Orr

Conversation 10

Mrs. Wiseman (after dinner)—The rain still continues and so we have an opportunity to finish our talk upon the subject of sanctification. I was to prove to you that sanctification is not attained by growth. Open your Bible to Ephesians, fifth chapter, and read the twenty-fifth and twenty-sixth verses.

Mr. Wiseman—“Husbands, love your wives even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; that he might sanctify and cleanse it by the washing of water by the word.”* (Ephesians 5:25-26) What is the church?

Mrs. W.—The church is God’s saved people. When a man is born again, he’s in the kingdom of God. The kingdom of God and the church of God are one and the same thing. A church of regenerated people need to be sanctified, and this is done by a washing, a cleansing. The evil nature that’s in the heart of every child and that causes it to so naturally go into the ways of sin, is cleansed away in sanctification. There are certain chemicals that remove coloring-matter from cloth, leaving it white. The blood of Jesus will cleanse the evil from our very nature and make us white. David said, “Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me and I shall be whiter than snow.”* (Psalm 51:7) It is not a growth that makes us white; it’s a cleansing. You may read John 15:2.

Mr. W.—“Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away; and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.”

Mrs. W.—You’ll notice He’s speaking of a branch in Him. It’s not a sinner, but a Christian. The fruit-bearing branch, which means a converted person, is to be purged, that is, sanctified, that it may bring forth more fruit. Here again we read that sanctification is a purging. Sanctification changes our natures. The evil nature is taken away, and we, by the baptism of the Holy Spirit, are made partakers of the divine nature.

Mr. W.—Is a regenerated man a saved man?

Mrs. W.—Certainly.

Mr. W.—Suppose he never heard such a doctrine as sanctification and never professed such an experience—if he were to die, would he go to heaven? What do your preachers say about this?

Mrs. W.—The preacher said last night that all who died in a justified state would go to heaven.

Mr. W.—Why, then, do we need to be sanctified?

Mrs. W.—That we may keep justified; and not that only, but that we may be more useful to God.

Mr. W.—I heard a holiness preacher say that a man wasn’t saved until sanctified. He said that sanctification was the salting or preserving grace.

Mrs. W.—Sanctification is the preserving grace; that is true. It cleanses the heart, making it pure, and keeps it in that state of purity. But the justified man is a saved man.

Mr. W.—I see, but do you mean to say that a sanctified person will never sin again?

Mrs. W.—No, sir, I don’t mean to say so much as that. He may sin, but it is the grace wherein he can stand and have dominion over sin if he will. He is full of power and might by the Spirit of God. In a justified (but unsanctified) state he is likely to be overcome, but in a sanctified experience he can live a pure life naturally. If he sins, it is because he becomes negligent and drifts away from God.

Mr. W.—One of our pastors used to teach that we are sanctified in the hour of death and that none can be sanctified until that hour.

Mrs. W.—But what say the Scriptures? Please read Acts 26:18.

Mr. W.—“To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them that are sanctified by faith that is in me.”

Mrs. W.—It is by faith in Jesus that we are sanctified. and not by death.

Mr. W.—I understand what you say about sanctification, but—

Mrs. W.—Let me explain further. Sanctification is an experience obtainable in this life; in fact, it is the real true Christian life. A regenerated person is a Christian, yet no one is supposed to tarry long in a justified relation to God, but to go on to perfection.

Mr. W.—What do we need to do that we may be sanctified, and what do we get saved from?

Mrs. W.—We have nothing to do but to present our bodies a living sacrifice—simply to dedicate ourselves to God for cleansing and for the infilling of the Holy Spirit, which are received by faith. This cleanses us from the inherited depravity, and we’re sanctified wholly.

Mr. W.—Does a sanctified person ever get angry?

Mrs. W.—His heart is pure, and out of the heart are the issues of life; consequently, his life will be pure. No, a sanctified person never gets angry; that is, in a sinful, carnal sense.

Mr. W.—But you know some things are very provoking in their nature. Now yesterday when I was trying to get the pig back into the pen, just as I got him up to the gate the dog ran out and scared him, and away he went down the road. Now, you don’t expect one to keep sweet under such trying circumstances as that, do you?

Mrs. W.—I’m not yet sanctified, but the experience, I understand, will keep one calm amid the most trying circumstances: and oh, my very soul is longing for just such an experience. Today when Mary’s baby turned the ink over on the stand cover, I felt a sense of selfish provocation in my heart, but the grace of God was sufficient to keep me from uttering a word. But I do long to have the carnal element cleansed from my soul.

Mr. W.—I don’t believe in such nonsense. We can never have such an experience in this world. There’s no man or woman who doesn’t get mad and speak angrily. I don’t profess more than I have.

Mrs. W.—I expect to gain the experience, and I’m sure God will help me to live it before you. But it’s time for supper. The rain is over and I desire to go to the meeting tonight. Won’t you go with me? I do wish you would.

Mr. W.—Well, I’m not going, and you needn’t ask me. I can find a better way to employ my time.

Mrs. W.—I’m sorry to hear you talk so. I have found such peace in my soul. Those meetings are dear to me. I shall pray for you.

Mr. W.—Better look to yourself, and I will do the same.