Holiness Unto The Lord

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Below you will find a small portion of Christian Perfection by W.B. Godbey. If, after reading this, you would like to read the whole book, we kindly invite you to become a member of this holiness association where you will be able to not only read this book, but a vast selection of other books by various authors.

Our prayer and goal is to provide you with resources and help you understand holiness positively as the consecration of love to God, and negatively as the purification from sin. We are here to help you grow in Christ likeness, in your pursuit of holiness, and help you further understand the virtue of the atonement administered by the Holy Spirit as set forth in Scripture as the “fulfillment of the law” (Rom.13:10) as to the entire destruction of sin.

Christian Perfection by W.B. Godbey

     I wrote “Baptism" to refute popular heresies which acquiesce people in a ceremonial profession without an experimental knowledge of God. I wrote "Sanctification" to lead hungry souls into the sweet, rich experience of full and free salvation from all sin. I now write 'Christian Perfection” as an exponent of the word of God. God is using my humble instrumentality as a teacher of his truth. In that capacity I write.
     This book is not for the man who knows too much for me to teach him, nor for those who don't want to be taught; but for the docile and appreciative we shall expound the word in the light of the Holy Ghost, fearlessly of men and devils. Of course the great end in view is to lead the reader into the experience of Christian perfection, and establish him there.
     I make no claim to originality. Born a Methodist, my father--now in glory--a Methodist preacher sixty-two years, the Wesleyan Catechism the first hook I ever studied, I excepted the Wesleyan exegesis from my childhood.
     I was born in 1833; born again in 1849; began to preach in 1853; and was sanctified in 1868. During the fifteen years of my unsanctified ministerial life, feeling myself committed, at least nominally, to the doctrine of entire sanctification, I always recognized myself in the attitude of a seeker, and felt it my duty to teach and defend the doctrine, as well as seek the experience pursuant to my ordination vows. But how difficult to preach in advance of my experience! I fluctuated, strove hard to reason it out—Now Zinzendorfian, now Pelagian, and again Wesleyan. Floods of scripture on full salvation I knew I had never experienced. I often labored to explain them away, then, conscious of the futility of my efforts, sunk down under deep conviction for the blessing which would bring me into harmony with the word of God. After nineteen years in the wilderness of inbred sin, seventeen years ago by simple faith I stepped into the Jordan. An unseen hand caught the flood. I found the Jordan no obstruction to those who have faith. That very hour I entered "the land of corn and wine," and have been pushing the conquest these seventeen years. I write these pages because of the light God has given me since I entered this shining land, heaven's bright border. Since the apostolical epistles contain the very soul-pabulum on which the saints of God shall feed till transported to the sun-bright clime, we will devote the brief space alloted to us in these pages mainly to their elucidation. As I have been reading my New Testament in Greek twenty-five years, you will find my exegesis taken from the "Critical Greek," by Hort and Westcott, of 1881, the latest concurrent authority of all the critics--i. e., the highest New Testament authority in the world, I shall show you, beyond the possibility of a doubt, that every apostle was a perfectionist.
     1. Humanity in the ante bellum days of Eden was spotless and pure, the image of God in righteousness and true holiness. Hence the normal—i.e., the natural--state of humanity is purity. The popular and detestable dogma that we cannot be without sin in this life involves the presumption that sin is a necessary constituency of the human organism. A doctrine more abominable Satan never invented. Man existed originally without sin, and can never be himself till sin is eradicated.
     Jesus means Saviour, because "he saves his people from their sins." The redemptive scheme is purely restitutionary. That restitution consists in sin's elimination. Humanity is all right to-day if sin were gone.
     Six weeks ago down in Texas Brother Stamper, my associate evangelist, was attacked with dengue fever. Prostrate on a bed, rolling from side to side, he felt as if every bone was broken. A medical expert is called. He diagnoses the case and pronounces it dengue. He knows just what to do, lays hold of the disease with a giant's grip and shows himself master of the situation.
     Now what are the facts? Did the doctor have a controversy with the man, or only with the disease? His whole effort was to destroy the disease. But the destruction of dengue saved the man.
     Thus the great Physician has no controversy with the sinner, but came to destroy his sins; and in so doing saves the sinner.
     Now, what is sanctification? Complete soul-healing. (G.) Hagiasma (sanctification) is from (G.) gee (the world) and alpha (not); hence its radical meaning is to take the world out of you. The world (1 John ii. 16) is “the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life." Sanctify (G hagiadzoo) is the strongest Bible word for purify. Hence sanctify means to eliminate sin out of you, and thus make you pure. Holiness and sanctification are precisely synonymous in the New Testament, as both are translations of (G.) hagiasma. Holiness means wholeness--i. e., soundness; i. e., soul-soundness; hence complete soul-healing. Perfection is from the Latin perfectus, complete: (L.) per, through, and (L.) facere, to make--i. e. , to make through and through; i. e., to finish. Hence sanctification, holiness, and perfection are all synonymous ill the New Testament, indicating the same gracious state---i. e., full salvation; i. e., salvation from all sin, actual and original.
     2. The Bible, the Methodist creed, and all other creeds recognize two kinds of sin--i. e., actual sin, or transgression of law, and original sin; i. e., depravity, unrighteousness, sinward tendency, evil nature. "That in regeneration the guilt and power of sin are taken away I admit, but that the being of sin is taken away I deny." (John Wesley.) That justification removes condemnation, and sanctification depravity, is the voice of the Bible and the creed of Christendom.
     3. The Bible addresses three classes--i. e., the guilty, the justified, and the sanctified. The first altogether evil, the third altogether pure, and the middle class in a mixed state. By far the larger portion of Scripture is addressed to the justified to lead them into purity, evidently because through their instrumentality the world is to be saved. It is exceedingly important to obey that commandment rightly to divide the word of truth, giving to saint and sinner his portion in due season.
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