Sixteen Questions

March 13, 2023 // 2023 // Issue 1+Convention Herald

Stephen Gibson

These questions in order give a scriptural case for entire sanctification occurring in the life of a believer at a point after conversion. Each question arises naturally from the previous one. They often arise in conversations with those who are trying to understand holiness doctrine, though perhaps worded differently, and not always in this order.

1. What is God’s requirement for me?

“But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;”— I Peter 1:15

2. Have I failed to meet this requirement?

“All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned every one to his own way…”—Isaiah 53:6

“For all have sinned…”—Romans 3:23

3. What kind of actions are sins?

“Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law [of God], for sin is the transgression of the law”—I John 3:4

“Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin…”—James 4:17

4. Does God really expect me to meet His requirements in the present life?

“Teaching us that denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world…”—Titus 2:12

5. Will God make me able to live in holiness?

“And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and 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.”—I Thessalonians 5:23-24

6. What must I do first to be made holy?

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”—I John 1:9

“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves it is the gift of God…”—Ephesians 2:8

7. After I am forgiven, will I stop committing acts of sin?

“Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not…”—I John 3:6

“Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin…”—I John 3:9

“Whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God…”—I John 3:10

8. But how will be able to keep from sinning?

“There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”—I Corinthians 10:13

9. But isn’t sin more than just acts? Am I not by nature a sinner?

“Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? Then may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do evil.”—Jeremiah 13:23

“Behold, I was shapen in iniquity…”—Psalm 51:5

“The wicked are estranged from the womb; they go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies.” —Psalm 58:3

10. Can my nature be made completely pure in this present life?

“And God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness…purifying their hearts by faith.”—Acts 15:8-9

“And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and 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.”—I Thessalonians 5:23-24

11. Does this purification happen sometime after I have been forgiven?

The people in both of the above two references had already bee forgiven before they were purified in Acts 10:2 and I Thessalonians 1:6-9.

12. But will God purify me gradually or instantly?

For those just mentioned in Acts, it happened instantly—see Acts 10:44 and Acts 15:8-9. 

For the Thessalonians, Paul expected that their need could be met on a visit of his—see I Thessalonians 3:10.

13. What must I do to experience this purification?

Acts 15:8-9, quoted above for question #10, shows us that these people were purified by faith. I Thessalonians 5:24, also quoted at #10 says that God is the one Who will do this purification in us. We are to pray for this purification and receive it by faith the same as we receive forgiveness.

14. Will this purification make me perfect?

“If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead. Not as though I had already attained, ether were already perfect.”—Philippians 3:11-12. Purity will not make you perfect the way that you will be after the resurrection—free from human limitations such as forgetfulness, misunderstanding, and poor health. 

“I press toward the mark of the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded.”—Philippians 3:14-15. Purity will give perfection in the sense that you can follow after God with your whole heart.

15. Will I still grow and improve spiritually after this purification?

“And I pray this, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment; that ye may approve things that are excellent…”—Philippians 1:9-10. You will grow and improve in a lifelong process as your knowledge and discernment improves.

16. How can I maintain this purity after receiving it?

“But if we walk in the light as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin.”—I John 1:7. As long as we continue to obey, and correct our lives as God directs us, He keeps us cleansed.

Interchurch Holiness Convention

18931 Route 522

Beaver Springs, PA 17812

Phone: 570-658-1030