Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you.( 1Tim.4;16)
Preachers of the Gospel should keep constantly before the sinner’s mind that it is the personal Christ with whom he is dealing. This is not about a denominational affiliation or church membership. The purpose of the Gospel is that God in Christ is seeking his reconciliation to Himself, and that the condition of his reconciliation is that he gives up his will and his whole being to God, that he “leave not a hoof behind.”
The message of the Gospel is the free gift of eternal life to those who believe. “God has given to us eternal life, and this life is in His Son”; that “Christ is made unto us wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption”. Only in Christ is our whole salvation.
When a soul intelligently receives all this doctrine, and the Christ herein revealed, then he must persevere unto the end, as the further condition of his salvation. The Gospel’s preachers have the great task of preventing the soul from backsliding, of securing its permanent sanctification and sealing for eternal glory.
Hence Jesus Christ commanded us to teach everyone to observe all his commandments. Failure to do this always result in the backsliding in heart of converts. Thus we see that so many hopeful converts, within a few months of their apparent conversion, lose their first love, lose all their fervency in religion, neglect their duty, and live on in name Christians, but in spirit and life worldlings.
Therefore, any truly successful preacher must not only win souls to Christ, but must keep them won. He must not only secure their conversion, but their permanent sanctification.
The biblical doctrine and teaching expressly outline divine promises of permanent and entire sanctification in this life. In the book of 1Thesalonians 5:23, 24: “The very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is He that calleth you, who also will do it.” This is unquestionably a prayer of the apostle for permanent sanctification in this life, with an express promise that He who has called us will do it.
Moreover, we learn from the Scriptures that “after we believe” are, or may be, sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, and that this sealing is the earnest of our salvation. Ephesians 1:13, 14: “In whom ye also trusted after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of His glory.” This sealing, this earnest of our inheritance, is that which renders our salvation sure.
Hence, in Ephesians 4:30, the apostle says: “Grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.” And in 2 Corinthians 1:21 and 22 the apostle says: “Now He which establisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God, who hath also sealed us and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.” Thus we are established in Christ and anointed by the Spirit, and also sealed by the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.
And this, remember, is a blessing that we receive after that we believe, as Paul has informed us in his Epistle to the Ephesians, above quoted.
When we believe and are converted. It is of the first importance that converts should be taught not to rest short of this permanent sanctification, this sealing, this being established in Christ by the special anointing of the Holy Ghost.
Though the fullness of the Gospel is highlighted by this experience, yet the experience is rare amongst the preacher of the Gospel and consequently are discredited by the Churches because so few preach or believe in it.
The fact is that sin consists in carnal-mindedness, in “obeying the desires of the flesh and of the mind.” Whereas permanent sanctification consists in entire and permanent consecration to God. It implies the refusal to obey the desires of the flesh or of the mind. The baptism or sealing of the Holy Spirit subdues the power of the desires, and strengthens and confirms the will in resisting the impulse of desire, and in abiding permanently in a state of making the whole being an offering to God.
When preachers of the Gospel fail to emphasize the important of this experience or are reluctant to insist on it, it will be a stumbling block to the Church and will rob the Church of his rich inheritance.
No man, saint or sinner, should be left to rest or be quiet in the indulgence of any sin. No one should entertain the hope of heaven, who lives in the indulgence of known sin in any form.
Our constant demand and persuasion should be, “Be ye holy, for God is holy.” “Be ye perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.” Let us remember the manner in which Christ concludes His memorable Sermon on the Mount.
After spreading out those awfully searching truths before His hearers, and demanding that they should be perfect, as their Father in heaven was perfect, He concludes by assuring them that no one could be saved who did not receive and obey His teachings.
Instead of attempting to please our people in their sins, we should continually endeavor to hunt and persuade them out of their sins. Brethren, let us do it, as we would not have our garments defiled with their blood. If we pursue this course and constantly preach with unction and power, and abide in the fullness of the doctrine of Christ, we may joyfully expect to save ourselves and them that hear us.