Other "Thinking Drafts" and writing by Keith Drury --http://www.indwes.edu/tuesday .
From: Holiness for Ordinary People by Keith Drury
(c) 1983 Wesley Press
How to Know You Are Sanctified
How can you know that God has indeed entirely cleansed your heart? All you have read
so far in this book may seem biblical, logical, and understandable. Yet, your real question is,
"How can I know for sure that I am entirely sanctified?"
The answer is that you can know for sure that God has entirely sanctified you. How?
There's no "pat" answer, but these questions will help:
1. Have I Made a Total Consecration to Christ?
Can I identify a time when i made a complete consecration of everything to Jesus? Is
there a time when I decided to submit to the Lord's will in every area of my life? Do I recall a
moment of total surrender similar to either of these below?
THE BIG EVENT. This moment may have been a big event to you. Perhaps you had
been struggling against the Lord for many years, resisting His Lordship in one or more areas of
your life. Finally, sick of your repeated uncooperative spirit, you yielded everything to Him. It
may have been at an altar, maybe your bedside, in the automobile, or under a tree somewhere.
But you can recall a time when you made a total surrender to Christ. You asked Him to be the
absolute Master of every area of your life. In fact, right now, you may be able to picture the
place, perhaps even remember the date, of that final abandonment to God's will - your supreme
desire in life. This final surrender may have been accompanied with much joy and relief. To
you, it was a monumental big event in your spiritual walk.
THE FINAL STRAW. Then again, this total surrender may not have been so dramatic
and monumental for you. You may say the final surrender came after several years of "walking
in the light" - simply following after the Master's leadings. Sometimes you resisted the Lord's
claims. But eventually you yielded, in obedience to His conviction about some attitude, thought,
or practice. Finally, in your growth in grace, you came down to a "final straw" area of
commitment. you had been willing to commit everything to the Lord - except this one area of
your life. You just couldn't let it go. But He kept urging, and finally you determined that even
this would be His. With this area in His hands, He then had all of you - you had totally submitted
your will to His.
Regardless of which story comes closer to your own experience, can you say that there
was a time when you totally submitted your will to Christ and determined to obey Him in every
way from that day forward? Was there a time when you settled, once and for all, the question of
who would be the boss in your life?
The first question is focused on consecration. Can you recall a time when you made a
total consecration of every area of your life to God's absolute will? Do you know right now that
your will continues to be in total submission to His? Is He the boss of all of your life?
2. Do I Have Power Over Willful Sin?
Can I say there is no willful disobedience in my life right now? Is there something God
has clearly convicted me is wrong, yet I continue to do it? Or say it? Or think it? Is there
anything I know with certainty that God is directing me to do, yet I am refusing to do it? Am I
deciding to disobey the Lord in any area of my life?
If there is willful sin in your life, it blocks off the channel of assurance. If you know that
you are purposefully disobeying the Lord in any way, your assurance will be replaced by doubt.
Assurance and disobedience do not dwell together well.
In fact, if there is willful sin in your life, you should concentrate on dealing with your
rebellion to the Lord, rather than on seeking some assurance that you have been cleansed. If you
settle the central issue of "Who will be boss?" and yield completely to Christ's Lordship, then the
cleansing, power, and assurance will come. Assurance is a by-product of total surrender, not an
end in itself. So, if you are reading this and recognize there are areas in your life where you are
rebelling against God's will, you need to focus on submission, not on assurance.
This question, "Do I have power over willful sin?" deals with obedience. Can you say
with certainity that you are obeying God in everything He has spoken to you about?
3. Have I Experienced a Distinct Increase in Love?
Has God changes my "orientation" toward others so that my heart and will are
completely committed to love them? Am I becoming "perfect in love" as Christ is?
Being perfect in love is more than cleansing from bitterness, grudges, malice, ill will,
envy, hate, and other inward sins, though this happens. Beyond this freedom, His cleansing and
energizing brings a distinct increase in actual love for other people - not just likable people, but
those who are unlikable - even those who call themselves our enemies.
This love is more than a feeling. It is a mind-set, a commitment of the will to love. It is
saying, "I shall love others, for that is what the Lord wants me to do." It is active, pursuing the
best for others in each case. It is compassionate - selflessly aiding others without concern for
Now, you may not immediately notice what is happening to you. Then you begin to
realize that a particular bitterness you had carried against someone is gone. Next, you may find
yourself saying and doing things quite out of character for you - acts and words of love for others
which were not your usual behavior in the past. you may not fully recognize this increase in love
for several weeks or months. But, if you have surrendered your self-will to Christ, He will do a
work in your heart that will result in a new love for others which is not naturally inherent.
After complete consecration to Christ, you will experience a distinct increase in your
love for others. Bitterness, envy, malice, ill will, and grudges toward others will disappear. A
new inner commitment to love others will sprout and continue to grow in your heart. Can you
recall a time when you settled the question of who would be boss in your life, and then received a
new spiritual energy? Might we name this energy . . . "love?"
4. Is Obedience the Consuming Passion of My Heart?
The following testimony helps explain what we mean by the "consuming passion of my
heart." This letter is an answer to the question, "You say you're sanctified. Are you perfect?"
"What a tough question, 'Am I perfect?' How can I answer it? If I say, 'Yes,' I set
myself up as a target. Anything that looks questionable to anyone can be seen as evidence that I
am indeed not perfect. And, if I say 'no,' then it may be said that no work has then been done in
me. So I shall answer you by saying 'yes and no.' Be patient, I am not avoiding the question. I
will tell you what I mean.
"I am not as perfect as Jesus Christ, the Heavenly Father, the angels, Adam and Eve
(before the Fall), or even as I will be after death. I fall short of God's perfect standard of
performance every day. And I still have a long road to become everything that God yet intends
for me. In these ways I am not perfect. Then in what way could I say I am perfect?
"First, let me say that John Wesley didn't like the word, and I don't either. There are
better words to describe this life. The word has an egotistical flavor to it. It sounds like
something the Pharisees might say - quite the opposite of what sanctification is all about! Perfect
gives most of us the impression that there is no need for growth or maturity - that everything is
finished and complete. So, I don't use the term myself. But, since you asked specifically, I will
answer specifically. In what sense is an entirely sanctified person perfect?
"One windy March day, I settled the issue of Christ's control of my life and placed my
total life in His hands. I decided that the Lord would sit at the steering wheel of my life. That
decision meant I would no longer run the affairs of my life for my own benefit.
"I noticed several changes following this 'final wrestling match' with the Lord. But the
greatest permanent change occurred in my heart. Ever since that day I have had a consuming
passion to obey Christ. He has become the central force of my life, I have this new thirst for
holiness. In a sense, I am now a slave to Jesus Christ, like the 'love slave' in the Old Testament.
I decided at one point to submit to His will in everything for all eternity. The issue is settled.
"I don't mean to suggest that I always feel on top of things and full of boundless energy.
In fact, the feeling is not nearly as important as the matter of my will. I have decided He is Lord
of my life. no matter how I feel, I will obey Him. I don't want to suggest that I achieve the
standard my heart desires. I often fall short of what He wants me to be. But I continue to have
this passion to be like Jesus. Holiness is not just high priority for me, it is the central priority of
my life, around which all other priorities orient.
"This is the only perfection I testify to. it is a perfection of intention. It is a dominant
hunger for holiness and obedience. Something happened to me, two years ago this March, which
totally reoriented my priorities. Obedience to Christ is now the central purpose of my life."
This letter of testimony illustrates the fourth question: Do I have an undivided heart?
Can I say that my heart is magnetized toward Christ? Am I fully committed to obedience? Is
Christ's will the central focus of my life? What do I want most out of life? Is it obedience to His
5. Does the Spirit Witness to My Heart?
This final question is most interesting. It relates to the "witness of the Spirit" aspect of
my sanctification. We may be familiar with this idea as it relates to conversation: How do I
know that I am a Christian? There is the evidence - the promise of forgiveness, the fact of my
repentance, my changed life. Yet, there is more. Down deep inside me the Holy Spirit
confirmed to my heart that He has adopted me into God's family. This is not a feeling; it is an
inner certainty and conviction, not totally dissimilar to how I know I am in love. I just know it -
The witness of the Spirit to my entire sanctification is like this. I may have the evidence
of my total consecration, the power I have over willful sin, a new love for others, and a
consuming passion to please Christ, but there is more. Somewhere along the line, the Holy Spirit
will witness to my heart that He has indeed cleansed and energized me, and I am continuing in
the sanctified life.
This witness may not come immediately. It could be days, weeks, or months before the
Spirit convinces me of what God has already done. But the witness will come. The coming of
this witness is entangled with my faith. As long as I doubt that the work is complete, my faith is
short of sanctifying faith.
And the witness may not remain at the same intensity. it may sometimes be stronger,
and at other times weaker. But the Holy Spirit is faithful and He will convince, even reconvince,
of His work in my heart.
I can be sure - a deep settled surety that God has cleansed and energized me. his Spirit
will testify to my heart that He has done his work.
I can know that the Lord has entirely sanctified me. First, I should examine the
1. Have I made a total consecration to Christ?
2. Do I have power over willful sin?
3. Have I experienced a distinct increase in love for others?
4. Is obedience the central focus of my life?
5. Does the Spirit witness to my heart?
If my answer to these questions is the affirmative, I can say with assurance that the Lord
has entirely sanctified me. All praise to Him!
However, if in being totally honest, I had to say, "This is not true of me," then I should
not be worrying about assurance of sanctification, but should focus on the problem pointed up by
the questions I answered "no" to:
1. Are there areas in my life not fully consecrated to the Lord? Why do I hold
2. Am I guilty of willfully disobeying the Lord against clear light He has given
me? I should confess my sin, repent, and turn away from that disobedient thought, word, or act.
3. Do I possess bitterness, envy, ill will, malice, or an unforgiving spirit toward
anyone else? Is my love wanting? I should likewise confess these sins and turn away from them.
If I have these attitudes, it is because I have chosen to have them; my will is the problem.
4. My heart is divided - partly puling toward pleasing Christ, yet partly pulling
toward self and sin? I should settle once and for all this matter of authority in my life. Why
5. Can I answer the first four questions affirmatively, yet still have not received
the witness in my heart that God has done this work? If so, then I should patiently wait for His
own good timing, all the while making sure I keep myself on the altar of total surrender.
This book has invited you, the reader, to turn to your own Bible and study the matter of
sanctification in light of God's Word. The idea of entire cleansing and energizing is found in the
Scripture. As you study on your own, you will repeatedly discover the various strands which
make up this truth, convincing evidence that the doctrine of holiness is based on God's Word and
not on man's "proof-texting" out of the Bible.
Today's Bible study is in Romans, chapter 6. You may wish to use the following
questions as you study this chapter:
1. What should a believer's attitude be toward continued sinning? (Verses 1-2)
2. Why should believers not be sinning? (Verses 2-4)
3. What does the writer mean by the "old self?" (Verse 6)
4. What does Christ's crucifixion have to do with our "old self?" (Verse 6)
5. What do you think the phrase "the body of sin might be rendered powerless" means?
6. In what way are we "dead to sin?" (Verses 7-10)
7. The term "count" or "reckon" is an accounting term. What does it have to do with what
we must do concerning sin (verse 11)? (You may want to look up these words in the dictionary.)
8. Can you see a call for entire consecration in verses 12-14?
9. What two options for slavery are mentioned in verses 15-16?
10. What have these believers become "set free from?" (Verses 17-18)
11. What kind of new slavery have they experienced? (Verse 18)
12. What similarities do you see with this consecration and that of the love-slave found in
For Review and Discussion
1. This chapter cites five evidences of entire sanctification. Can you list them?
2. What key word would you select for each of these?
3. What other evidences of entire sanctification are there?
4. What advice would you give to a person who thinks he is entirely sanctified, but he is
5. Compare the evidence of conversion with that of entire sanctification. What are the
From: Holiness for Ordinary People by Keith Drury
(c) 1983 Wesley Press
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