The position adopted in the Statement of Fundamental Truths regarding sanctification was less clear. The men behind the formation of the Assemblies of God were Pentecostals who had come to the conclusion that holiness or sanctification was not a second blessing or a definite experience but instead a lifelong process. This idea of progressive sanctification was believed by many within the Assemblies of God but there were adherents who still held to the theology of the holiness movement.
The original language on sanctification in the Fundamental Truths was a compromise between Wesleyan and non-Wesleyan members which allowed the two doctrines to coexist. Under the heading “Entire Sanctification, The Goal For All Believers”, it read, “Entire sanctification is the will of God for all believers, and should be earnestly pursued by walking in obedience to God’s Word”. The term “entire sanctification” is distinctly Wesleyan, but the statement actually called “for an ongoing, process of obedience in reliance on, and cooperation with the Holy Ghost”.
In 1961, the General Council revised the statement significantly, giving it its current form. It eliminated some of the Wesleyan language, such as “entire”. Stanley M. Horton, who served on the revision committee, stated that the committee “… felt that the word entire was ambiguous because we were using it with a different meaning than that promoted by holiness Pentecostals who taught a second definite work”. While the current statement does represent the Assemblies of God’s position more accurately, the denomination’s teaching on sanctification remains ambiguous.
From the FUNDAMENTAL TRUTHS of the ASSEMBLIES of GOD:
Sanctification is an act of separation from that which is evil, and of dedication unto God:
1 Thessalonians 5:23
The Scriptures teach a life of “holiness without which no man shall see the Lord.”
By the power of the Holy Spirit we are able to obey the command: “Be ye holy, for I am holy.”
1 Peter 1:15,16
Sanctification is realized in the believer by recognizing his identification with Christ in His death and resurrection, and by the faith reckoning daily upon the fact of that union, and by offering every faculty continually to the dominion of the Holy Spirit.
1 Peter 1:5
- That all have sinned and come short of the glory of God and that repentance is commanded of God for all and necessary for forgiveness of sins.
- That justification, regeneration, and the new birth are wrought by faith in the blood of Jesus Christ.
- In sanctification subsequent to the new birth, through faith in the blood of Christ; through the Word, and by the Holy Ghost.
- Holiness to be God’s standard of living for His people.
- In the baptism with the Holy Ghost subsequent to a clean heart.
Current 2016 Church of God of Prophecy revised view of SANCTIFICATION Sanctification, like salvation, ultimately spans the entire life of the believer. Initially, it…
Church of the Nazarene in ENTIRE SANCTIFICATION: The Church of the Nazarene is part of the Wesleyan-Holiness tradition, which believes in entire sanctification, according to the Wesleyan Heritage Recovery Project. Entire sanctification is summed up on the project’s website:
“It is a state of perfect love, righteousness and true holiness which every regenerate believer may obtain by being delivered from the power of sin, by loving God with all the heart, soul, mind and strength and by loving one’s neighbor as one’s self. Through faith in Jesus Christ, this gracious gift may be received in this life both gradually and instantaneously and should be sought earnestly by every child of God.”
While most denominations believe in sanctification, many Protestant churches don’t believe that Scripture says entire sanctification is possible while living in a fallen world that is under the curse of sin. These denominations believe that entire sanctification only takes place when Christians go to heaven and God makes them new in both body and spirit.
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