Is #Sanctification a one-time thing after salvation according to John Wesley?

Posted by Link Hudson in Facebook's Pentecostal Theology Group View the Original Post

Sanctification as a one-time thing after salvation.

John Wesley wrote a little book, The Case for Christian Perfect, what I might call almost a ‘thought experiment’, some reasoning along the lines of a believer reaching a state of perfection. That became doctrine in the Holiness movement as many experience-oriented believers preached about and sought God for a one-time sanctification experience. There are a variety of thoughts about what a sanctification experience is. Some believe they have reached a state where they don’t sin any more and never will. (It can be hard for others to confront or correct someone who sins who holds to that opinion. Imagine being married to someone who thinks they never make mistakes.)

A big chunk of Pentecostalism is made up of churches whose heritage is from the Holiness movement. This is especially true of denominations that originated in the Southeast. Seymour taught ‘saved, sanctified, and baptized with the Holy Ghost’, and many Pentecostals at the Azusa Street revival believed in three distinct experiences. Durham, a Pentecostal preacher from a Baptist background, came to LA after the height of the revival and preached ‘The finished work of the cross.’

A number of Pentecostals who weren’t from Holiness backgrounds weren’t comfortable with the doctrine of sanctification as a one-time experience after salvation joined with Durham and a stream of Pentecostalism emerged that didn’t believe in sanctification as a one-time act after salvation. We see this in some of the more Midwest and western denominations in the US, like the A/G and Foursquare. The A/G had lots of folks join what was at first a loose association from independent churches, former CMA congregations, former Zion Illinois folks, and other groups.

For a lot of the Holiness Pentecostal denominations like the COG (Cleveland), Pentecostal Holiness (IPHC), Congregational Holiness, etc., sanctification as a one-time experience post salvation was historically a very important part of their doctrine. Now it seems like a lot of these churches have members and preachers who don’t believe that way. Where is it in the Bible, after all? It’s hard to arrive at it as a doctrine from reading scripture, if it is possible at all. Some churches have doctrinal statements that mention sanctification but are worded in such a way as to satisfy those who believe in sanctification as a distinct experience post salvation without alienating those who see it as an ongoing life-long process.

I’d like to start a discussion of this. First of all, for those who hold to the Holiness view of sanctification as a one-time experience after salvation, where does the Bible teach this? What is your basis for believing in it? For those in denominations who teach this, is your denomination moving away from this doctrine about sanctification? We can also discuss other viewpoints of sanctification.

John Kissinger [10/22/2015 8:59 AM]
So is it instant or progressive? Rick Wadholm Jr

Rick Wadholm Jr [10/22/2015 9:00 AM]
YES!

John Kissinger [10/22/2015 9:01 AM]
typical Landian school of thought answer 🙂

41 Comments

  • Reply August 23, 2019

    Varnel Watson

    YES Mike Partyka

  • Reply August 23, 2019

    Mike Partyka

    Regeneration is instant. Sanctification is a gradual process. Paul talks about the internal battle of the spirit and the flesh. The question is when he discusses “fighting the good fight” and finishing the course was it keeping the faith or sanctification?

  • Reply August 23, 2019

    Ana-Maria Plus Michael

    I am sanctified through the finished work of Jesus on the cross.

    • Reply August 25, 2019

      Isara Mo

      Ana-Maria Plus Michael
      If that is true why did Jesus pray ” Father sanctify them(disciples) with your Word because your Word is Truth)?

    • Reply August 26, 2019

      Varnel Watson

      Isara Mo many post mils believe finished work

    • Reply August 26, 2019

      Isara Mo

      Troy Day
      Am I misinterpreting the FINISHED WORK…?
      Finished in what sense Troy?
      Fulfilled prophecies?
      Sin removal?
      Satans defeat?
      Am.just wondering how a captive can be set free and yet remain in captivity….or in bondage.
      The verse on the FINISHED (WORK) reads like this:
      //After this, Jesus, knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the Scripture might be fulfilled, said, “I thirst!”
      John 19:28 NKJV//
      That the scripture might be fulfilled doesnt mean the finished WORK…
      Sorry brother Troy as I always say English is a second language so it is very possible I.am.mixing things up…

    • Reply August 26, 2019

      Varnel Watson

      Isara Mo I dont know – you have to ask finished

    • Reply August 26, 2019

      Ana-Maria Plus Michael

      Isara Mo Jesus is the Word. And He is also the way and the truth.

      I don’t know if many post mils today are finished work, but they shouldn’t be. If they believe in victory of the Kingdom before Christ’s return, they should also believe in the possibility of total sanctification before their going to heaven.

      Postmil. => instantaneous healing and sanctification is available now
      Premil. => healing and sanctifiaction is finished through Christ’s work on the cross, it’s visible manifestation is penultimate and not mandatory, it will be fully available when Christ

    • Reply August 26, 2019

      Varnel Watson

      Charles Page does the above in any way describe william durham finished work of christ ?

    • Reply August 26, 2019

      Isara Mo

      Ana-Maria Plus Michael
      Does a saved person spirit need sanctification?..

    • Reply August 26, 2019

      Charles Page

      Troy Day yes

    • Reply August 26, 2019

      Isara Mo

      Does a saved person have TWO SPIRITS within or in them?
      The Holy Spirit?
      Our own spirit?..
      If we have our own spirit and the Holy Spirit co existing then I concur with your answer but if we only have just ONE SPIRIT i dont agree with you. Am just wondering does an unsaved person have a spirit…? What kind?
      Some people say they have unregenerate ” spirits”(???)…
      So God indwells the ” unregenerate” in the form of the Word?) or is it the Holy Spirit(?) at their salvation and yet do not entirely ” swallow up” the unregenerate spirit but kind of overshadows it and works thru it..or on it(Am just imagining…)
      This could explain the concept of ” being led” by the spirit….meaning my generate spirit is distinct from the Holy Spirit….(each has own “self”)and if that is the case then soldier you have a point:..my spirit NEEDS to be sanctified..
      If that is the case then my spirit needs to sanctified, then my soul then my body…in a word my whole person needs sanctification .
      By the forehoing THERE IS NO FULL SANCTIFICATION AT SALVATION ISNT IT SOLDIER?

  • Reply August 23, 2019

    Phil Ackland

    Trick question? ..”by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.” Heb. 10:14

    • Reply August 26, 2019

      Varnel Watson

      so its a one time thing?

    • Reply August 26, 2019

      Ana-Maria Plus Michael

      Troy Day Yes, it happened on the cross. What is not one-time is our steady appropriation of the cross in our lives.

    • Reply August 26, 2019

      Varnel Watson

      is this what they teach at continental? @Tom Torbeyns

    • Reply August 27, 2019

      Ana-Maria Plus Michael

      Troy Day In one way or another yes… But sometimes at Continental you see an influence of Reformed or Lutheran theology, which states similar things on a slightly different background. (I’m a proud CTS graduate, too 🙂

    • Reply August 28, 2019

      Phil Ackland

      Troy Day I believe process. The cross makes us perfect in the sense of how God sees us because of the atonement, but in the literal sense, it is a process (perhaps life-long) of daily submission to the Holy Spirit and eventual full transformation of our minds.

    • Reply August 28, 2019

      Varnel Watson

      Phil Ackland when does the process END?

    • Reply September 2, 2019

      Varnel Watson

      Ana-Maria Plus Michael AG should fire your presiding personnel if this is the case; but I am not sure it is

    • Reply September 2, 2019

      Phil Ackland

      Troy Day different for each person depending on their level of submission?

    • Reply September 5, 2019

      Ana-Maria Plus Michael

      Troy Day I’m not sure why do you overreact so easily. You can express your strong opinion more sharply without insulting someone or something. Yes, it’s possible!

      State your beliefs, highlight differences, express your cautions without “firing” someone.

  • Reply August 23, 2019

    Lyndsey Dunn

    Sanctification- Set Apart. Total sanctification does not happen until glorification. We are initially set apart at justification, then there is a subsequent “sanctification” set apart unto a life of holiness. This sanctification is the one everyone is confused about. Paul famously said “I have not already obtained it” showing that we are not set apart completely. Therefore even if you are “sanctified,” a continual growth and sanctification is expected in every believer until we all reach our coming hope. If you are completely sanctified then your name is probably Enoch and we will see you in heaven later. ?

    • Reply August 26, 2019

      Varnel Watson

      where are you getting sanctification as set apart? The BIBLE? what chapter verse – is this a man made explanation

    • Reply August 26, 2019

      Ana-Maria Plus Michael

      Troy Day It is usually alleged that “to be set apart” is the meaning behind the hebrew word “kadosh”.

      https://biblehub.com/hebrew/6918.htm

  • Reply August 23, 2019

    Charles Page

    it is a “thing” that takes place after the new birth. You must be born again in order to be sanctified. New birth is a necessity!!

    • Reply August 23, 2019

      Varnel Watson

      I would agree the question is asked wrongly and not in the typical Pentecostal matter I’ve pointed this out to the original poster again and again but he aint got no clue

  • Reply August 25, 2019

    Varnel Watson

    Charles Page YES according to Wesley it is a 2nd experience of grace If it was to be a progressive “THINGS” no priest in the OT would have ever been ready to serve in the temple

  • Reply August 26, 2019

    Varnel Watson

    Lyndsey Dunn WHY a subsequent “sanctification” needed IF set apart at justification? RichardAnna Boyce what are you asking ?

    • Reply August 26, 2019

      Lyndsey Dunn

      Troy Day Although we are set apart unto a holy life in an experience of sanctification many times subsequent to justification we must put forth a conservative effort to grow in sanctification becoming less like the world each day.

    • Reply August 26, 2019

      Lyndsey Dunn

      Troy Day I lean toward a one time sanctification experience as taught by the COG and the Bible ?. However I feel the terminology of justification, regeneration, Spirit Baptism, Sanctification and glorification get discombobulated at times. The Holy Spirit is present all around us drawing us to himself prior to salvation. He takes up residence inside of us at salvation. Subsequent to a clean heart we can be baptized and immersed in His Spirit. We then must walk in the Sprit every day. One day we will enter glory completely set part unto Him. Each work of sanctification is in conjunction with the working of the Spirit of God.

    • Reply August 26, 2019

      Lyndsey Dunn

      Troy Day a positional sanctification based on mental ascension is a free grace belief. I belief in actual holy living. The old time saved , sanctified and filled with the Holy Ghost. However we must be careful to not disqualify walking in holiness because of a one time sanctification experience. Being set apart is not entirely mystical it is applicable as we live out the word in His righteousness.

    • Reply August 26, 2019

      Varnel Watson

      positional sanctification based on mental ascension = sounds like nothing FREE there

  • Reply August 26, 2019

    Varnel Watson

    To respond to the obscure quote of we shall overcome – some day by Philip Williams

    “I’ll Overcome Some Day” was a hymn or gospel music composition by the Reverend Charles Albert Tindley of Philadelphia that was first published in 1900. A noted minister of the Methodist Episcopal Church, Tindley was the author of approximately 50 gospel hymns, of which “We’ll Understand It By and By” and “Stand By Me” are among the best known. The published text bore the epigraph, “Ye shall overcome if ye faint not”, derived from Galatians 6:9: “And let us not be weary in doing good, for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” and had nothing to do with progressive sanctification

    Tindley’s importance, however, was primarily as a lyricist and poet whose words spoke directly to the feelings of his audiences, many of whom had been freed from slavery only 36 years before he first published his songs, and were often impoverished, illiterate, and newly arrived in the North. A letter printed on the front page of the February 1909, United Mine Workers Journal states: “Last year at a strike, we opened every meeting with a prayer, and singing that good old song, ‘We Will Overcome’.” This statement implied that the song was well-known, and it was also the first acknowledgement of such a song having been sung in both a secular context and a mixed-race setting

    Now then if we are sanctifying our selves by our own works as Charles Page has often proposed there maybe some resemblance BUT since we are sanctified by Christ Himself who sanctified us with one sacrifice the song is a very very bad Paleagian match Joe Absher

  • Reply September 2, 2019

    Varnel Watson

    Phil Ackland 3 verses where the Bible says BE HOLY by a long ever lasting process as you are trying to tell us

  • Reply September 2, 2019

    Phil Ackland

    Why would we need to be encouraged to be holy, if every believer was automatically and eternally that way? Ideally, we should live in full obedience to Christ and allow the Holy Spirit full control of our wills all the time, till the time we die, though I have never met anyone who did. The resources are available to us as long as we access them. Of course it is his doing, but our consent in the matter is essential.

  • Reply September 2, 2019

    Phil Ackland

    I remember a professor at NCBC who stated that he had not sinned in 3 weeks, to which many students in the room took issue. I fully believed him and believe that we often live far below what God expects of us.

  • Reply September 2, 2019

    Philip Williams

    “His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins. Therefore, my brothers and sisters, make every effort to confirm your calling and election. For if you do these things, you will never stumble, and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”
    ‭‭2 Peter‬ ‭1:3-11‬

    • Reply September 5, 2019

      Varnel Watson

      Great Verse Thank you Nelson Banuchi RichardAnna Boyce

  • Reply September 2, 2019

    Philip Williams

    Not sinning isn’t difficult if one is fully devoted to the Lord. Otherwise, impossible.

    • Reply September 3, 2019

      Varnel Watson

      so is it instant and entire?

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