Holiness Movement

Originating in the United States in the 1840’s and 50’s, this built on John Wesley’s teaching of entire sanctification and Christian perfection. It considers the path from sin to salvation is one from headstrong rebellion against divine and human law to perfect love for God and man. Their belief is that the process of salvation involves two crises. Conversion is the first by which one is freed from the sins committed. Entire sanctification, full salvation, or the second work of grace, is the second whereby one is liberated from the flaws in their moral nature that cause them to sin.

However, as desirable as this belief is, we should never accept the notion of the total eradication of sin in the lives of earth-bound humans, as the potential and effects of the sinful nature remain even in the most faithful, devout believers. A sounder ‘deeper life’ concept is that although a sanctified individual is still capable of committing sin it can

We all could live closer to Christ                                           than we are

be counteracted by victorious living through the Holy Spirit with a disciplined lifestyle in thought, word and actions, putting to death the desires of the flesh, reckoning ourselves dead to sin by not letting it reign in our lives (Rom 6:11-14; Col 3:5). Willful, premeditated or deliberate sin should not be part of a Christian’s life however, sin still plays a subtle part in our lives through reactions and attitudes so, until the time of our death, we will need to repent and ask forgiveness of the wrong that we inadvertently do. Do not minimise the effect or seriousness of sin. It cost the death of Christ in our place and will be why non-believers are doomed to hell. For believers it is not just enough to have confessed our sin at the initial salvation experience, then to live without ever addressing the issue of sin again. There must be a clearing of the conscience by putting all sin under the blood of Christ. 

See also: holy/holiness, perfect, sanctification, spiritual disciplines, victory, Wesley (John).


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