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Originally published in "The Lord's Coming Herald & Wesleyan Bible Prophecy Advocate," Winter Edition 2005

Were The Disciples Entirely Sanctified At Pentecost?

It depends on what we mean by the term "entirely sanctified."

The Wesleyan Holiness movement has traditionally understood this expression to mean the experience of receiving a pure heart. Others may have some private esoteric idea in mind such as the attainment of absolute perfection, or the satisfying of some deep-seated psychological or emotional need that cannot be had apart from immersion in total spiritual subjectivity.

The Bible definitely teaches the objective sate of grace called heart purity. "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God" (Matt. 5:8). "The end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, a good conscience, and faith unfeigned" (I Tim. 1:5). "Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of he brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently" (I Pet. 1:22).

Now did the disciples of Jesus Christ receive a pure heart on the Day of Pentecost? They most certainly did. The testimony of Peter concerning what happened in the Upper Room is crystal clear: "God . . .[purified] their hearts by faith" (Acts 15:8-9).

Some adjustments may need to be made in our modern formulation of holiness theology in order to return to a more accurate reflection of primitive Methodism, to be sure. We do not believe that denying the disciples to have been wholly sanctified on the Day of Pentecost, however, needs to be one of them.

Pentecost was the coming of the kingdom in its completion and in its fullness, as far as this-worldly human redemption is concerned. At Pentecost it in-broke upon those followers who were already believers in Jesus, and who had already received a measure of His grace.

Christ is the kingdom. Following Christ is progressive. To first meet Christ, is to first experience the kingdom. This the disciples had done, too, before Pentecost. There is a fullness to the messianic kingdom, however, that culminates in heart holiness. This gracious experience had now, on the Day of Pentecost, in-broke upon those follower of Jesus who were ready to receive it.

Have you, too, received the Holy Ghost in sanctifying fullness, since you, too, have first believed on Christ?

Related Article Links

The Simple Bible Plan Of Full And Free Salvation
The Old Methodist Doctrine Of Entire Sanctification

Setting Up The Kingdom