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This entry is part 6 of 28 in the series New Testament Holiness

Public Domain1

by
Evangelist
Thomas Cook

Graphic for the title of this chapter, 'Sin Not a Necessity', part of the book 'New Testament Holiness' by Thomas Cook“…childlike purpose, a sincere aim
in all we do to please God.”2

As explained in our last chapter, holiness does not bring exemption from temptation. It follows, therefore, that it is always possible for the entirely cleansed soul to sin. Holiness secures the safest possible condition on earth, but absolute security does not belong to this world.

Some assert that the doctrine of entire extirpation of sin from the heart puts the soul beyond real temptation. “There can be no real temptation,” they say, “to a soul which has nothing in its nature responsive to the solicitations of sin.” But such an assumption is much too broad. It renders angels in probation, Adam in Eden, and our Lord Himself, incapable of real temptation. But the fact that some angels fell, that Adam sinned, and that Jesus Christ “was in all points tempted as we are” [Hebrews 4:15], should be sufficient proof that holy souls are capable of temptation. [continue reading…]

This entry is part 22 of 28 in the series New Testament Holiness

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by
Evangelist
Thomas Cook

An ancient writer wisely said,

Graphic for the title of this chapter, 'Vessels unto Honour', part of the book 'New Testament Holiness' by Thomas Cook“This explains why many professing Christians
are not used in Christ’s service…”
2

There have been from the beginning two orders of Christians. The majority of the one order live a harmless life, doing many good works, abstaining from gross evils, and attending the ordinances of God, but waging no downright earnest warfare against the world, nor making any strenuous efforts for the promotion of Christ’s Kingdom. These aim at no special spiritual excellence, but are content with the average attainments of their neighbours. The other class of Christians not only abstain from every form of vice, but they are zealous of every kind of good works. They attend all the ordinances of God. They use all diligence to attain the whole mind that was in Christ, and to walk in the very footsteps of their beloved Master. They unhesitatingly trample on every pleasure which disqualifies for the highest usefulness. They deny themselves not only indulgences expressly forbidden, but also those which by experience they have found to diminish their enjoyment of God. They take up their cross daily. At the morning’s dawn they pray, “Glorify Thyself in me this day, O blessed Jesus.” It is more than their meat and drink to do their Heavenly Father’s will. They are not Quietists, ever lingering in secret places, delighting in the ecstasies of enraptured devotion; they go forth from the closet, as Moses came down from the mount of God, with faces radiant with the Divine glory, and visiting the degraded and the outcasts they prove by their lives the divineness of the Gospel.3 [continue reading…]

This entry is part 7 of 28 in the series New Testament Holiness

Public Domain1

by
Evangelist
Thomas Cook

Graphic for the title of this chapter, 'Sin Not a Necessity', part of the book 'New Testament Holiness' by Thomas Cook“God graciously tempers His revelations
of our need to our weakness.”2

The reason why many do not apprehend the true nature of the salvation of Jesus Christ is because they do not understand the true nature of sin. Defective views of sin lead to incorrect views of privilege. What we think of the Atonement depends greatly upon our view of the evil which made it necessary.

Without the fullest information about sin, no man can have the fullest information about himself; or, what is still more important, without understanding sin, no man can ever understand God and His dealings with us. The man who has felt his guilt most deeply always appreciates most the value of Christ’s redeeming work. Sin has many aspects, but there are two primary forms in which it exists. We can form no adequate conception of its nature, nor of the remedy God has provided, unless we look at it from these two points of view. We must discriminate between guilt and depravity. [continue reading…]

Consecration: Ch. 20 of “New Testament Holiness”

This entry is part 23 of 28 in the series New Testament Holiness

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by
Evangelist
Thomas Cook

Graphic for the title of this chapter, 'CHAPTER_NAME', part of the book 'New Testament Holiness' by Thomas Cook“…before blessing comes there must be total, complete and unconditional surrender.”2

Some writers of advanced Christian experience magnify the will and emphasise the importance of absolute submission, while others urge faith as the condition of blessing. Both are right. Perfect trust cannot exist without complete surrender. Nor can we surrender our will to One whom we cannot trust. Lady Maxwell3 could pray, “Put a thorn in every enjoyment, a worm in every gourd, that would prevent, or in any measure retard my progress in Divine life.” And when we can say, from our inmost heart, “I am willing to receive what Thou givest, and to want what Thou withholdest, and to relinquish what Thou takest, and to suffer what Thou inflictest, and to be what Thou requirest, and to do what Thou commandest. Have Thine own way with me and mine in all particulars,” we are not far from the Canaan of God’s perfect love. [continue reading…]

This entry is part 8 of 28 in the series New Testament Holiness

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by
Evangelist
Thomas Cook

Graphic for the title of this chapter, 'New Birth and Entire Sanctification', part of the book 'New Testament Holiness' by Thomas Cook“…the exact difference between regeneration and entire sanctification…is this: the one has remaining impurity; the other has none.”2

Divine forgiveness and the new birth are ever co-existent and inseparable. No man receives the new name of a child of God without at the same time receiving a new nature. He becomes there and then a partaker of the Divine holiness. Condemnation is removed, the culprit is forgiven, and as invariably as day follows night, a sublime change is wrought by the Holy Spirit, creating within the soul a new spiritual life, a life of loyalty and love. [continue reading…]

This entry is part 24 of 28 in the series New Testament Holiness

Public Domain1

by
Evangelist
Thomas Cook

Graphic for the title of this chapter, 'Sanctifying Faith', part of the book 'New Testament Holiness' by Thomas Cook“It is only when we cease from our own efforts
and trust in Christ alone
that blessing comes.”
2

There is this difference between consecration and entire sanctification—the one is what we do ourselves by Divine aid, the other is what God does in us. Consecration is our voluntary act in which we give our all to God, while entire sanctification is a work wrought in us by the Holy Ghost. There may be entire consecration without entire sanctification, but there cannot be the latter without the former. The act of consecration must be followed by definite prayer for a clean heart, and then the act of faith by which we receive what we ask for. In answer to our prayer and response to our faith God will put forth His power, and we shall be changed in a moment from indwelling sin to indwelling holiness. We are saved by grace [Ephesians 2:8]. Just as over the blessing of justification, God has written over entire sanctification “to him that worketh not” [Romans 4:5]. Works have no more to do with the sanctifying of the soul than they have to do with the justifying of the soul. Faith is the condition in the one as well as in the other. [continue reading…]

This entry is part 9 of 28 in the series New Testament Holiness

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by
Evangelist
Thomas Cook

Graphic for the title of this chapter, 'Purity and Maturity', part of the book 'New Testament Holiness' by Thomas Cook“Purity is not the goal of Christian life, but rather
a new starting-point on a higher plane.”
2

There are various degrees of impurity, but, strictly speaking, there are no degrees of purity. According to Webster, the word “pure” means: “entire separation from all heterogeneous and extraneous matter, clear, free from mixture; as pure water, pure air, pure silver or gold.” The word in the New Testament which is most frequently translated “pure” occurs in some of its forms nearly seventy times. We may get at the idea the word was meant to convey by noting how the original is used. It is used

  • of the body, not smeared with paint or ointment;
  • of an army rid of its sick and ineffective;
  • of wheat, when all the chaff has been winnowed away;
  • of vines without excrescences;3
  • of gold without alloy.

[continue reading…]

This entry is part 25 of 28 in the series New Testament Holiness

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by
Evangelist
Thomas Cook

Graphic for the title of this chapter, 'Address to Seekers', part of the book 'New Testament Holiness' by Thomas Cook“God yields to a thoroughly determined soul,
just as difficulties do.”
2

We do not need to have a complete grasp of the doctrine of entire sanctification in all its relations and bearings in order to enjoy the experience, but if we can have a clear and distinct view of the thing at which we aim it will help us very much to reach it as a definite point of attainment.

In one of the churches of Rome there is a beautiful painting. Those who stand in one position before it always say they see no beauty in it—that it appears like a huge tangled mass. But when the guide leads you to where the light falls properly on the picture, suddenly its wondrous beauty dawns upon you. So it is with holiness. It is only when the Holy Spirit furnishes the light that we see clearly what our privilege is. He only can reveal sin and present the remedy. When we ask humbly and earnestly for His illumination we see clearly the point we are to aim at. “He that willeth to do His will shall know of the doctrine” [John 7:17]. [continue reading…]

This entry is part 10 of 28 in the series New Testament Holiness

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by
Evangelist
Thomas Cook

Graphic for the title of this chapter, 'The Present Tense of Cleansing', part of the book 'New Testament Holiness' by Thomas Cook“As we obtained pardon by simple faith,
so we must obtain purity.”
2

In meetings held for the promotion of holiness, we have often maintained that, so far as holiness is a deliverance from sin, the following points sum up the facts which cover the whole ground.

  1. Does an infection of nature remain in regenerate persons?
  2. If it does, may this infection of nature be entirely expelled from the soul?
  3. If an infection of nature does remain in regenerate persons, and this may be entirely expelled, when may the deliverance take place?

Most Christians assent readily enough to the first two of these propositions, but there is considerable difference of opinion as to the third, when this salvation may be obtained. Some say at death, others after a long period of growth; but we believe it may be a present and instantaneous experience. We do not mean instantaneous in the same sense as a flash of lightning or an explosion of gunpowder, but in the sense in which death is instantaneous. “A man may be a long time dying, but there is a moment when he dies.” [continue reading…]

This entry is part 26 of 28 in the series New Testament Holiness

Public Domain1

by
Evangelist
Thomas Cook

Graphic for the title of this chapter, 'How to Retain the Blessing', part of the book 'New Testament Holiness' by Thomas Cook“The primary act of consecration
need not be repeated,
but it must be daily
recognised and confirmed. “
2

There is no step in the Christian life that God and man do not take together. From the beginning to end in the work of salvation there must be both Divine and human action. The words preserve and persevere are so much alike that the one can be spelt from the other. If we are to be preserved we must persevere. It is true that salvation in one sense is all of God, but it is also true that the gifts and graces of the Spirit are only ours when certain conditions are complied with. Peter declares that in Christian life “we are kept by the power of God” [1 Peter 1:5], but St. James teaches that the godly man must “keep himself unspotted from the world” [James 1:27]. The Bible does not contradict itself. To careful readers it explains itself, and the explanation is, that while grace is altogether the gift of God we ourselves have an important part to play. We are to “work out” the salvation which God works within [Philippians 2:12]. [continue reading…]

This entry is part 11 of 28 in the series New Testament Holiness

Public Domain1

by
Evangelist
Thomas Cook

Graphic for the title of this chapter, 'A God-Possessed Soul', part of the book 'New Testament Holiness' by Thomas Cook“We need Christ in us
as much as we need His death for us.”
2

In previous chapters we have described holiness as that state of grace in which all sin is excluded from the heart, but there is always a positive as well as a negative aspect of spiritual life. This is true both of the new birth and entire sanctification. In conversion the negative aspect is pardon; the positive is regeneration, the impartation of the life of God to the soul. There are no degrees of pardon: it is full, perfect, and complete; but on the positive side perpetual increase is in order: there is “life,” and “more abundant life.” In like manner, while the negative aspect of holiness is the purging of the heart from all that is carnal—and this a full, complete, and entire work, without degrees and gradualism—there is also a positive aspect of holiness which is never separate from the negative; the one always implies the other. The positive blessing is the complete filling of the soul with the life of God. Justification is our coming to Christ; sanctification is Christ coming to us. Entire sanctification is to be entirely possessed by Christ—so filled with His life that sin and Satan are cast out. We must not simply possess life, but the life must possess us. Sin flies before the Divine presence as darkness flies before the light. All would be darkness but for the presence of the light; and all would be sin within us but for the presence of the life.

[continue reading…]

This entry is part 27 of 28 in the series New Testament Holiness

Public Domain1

by
Evangelist
Thomas Cook

Graphic for the title of this chapter, 'The Arbiter of the Heart', part of the book 'New Testament Holiness' by Thomas Cook“Conscience may discern no evil,
but the peace of God
is a more delicate instrument,
dealing with questions too subtle
for conscience to answer…”
2

The maintenance of a good conscience towards God from day to day is essential to the life of faith. True spirituality cannot exist unless accompanied by scrupulous conscientiousness, the purpose to do right at any cost. Archbishop Temple3 has truly said, “It is always a duty to obey conscience; it is never a duty to disobey.” Conscience requires that we mean well, and do our best. It requires not only that we follow all the light we have, but all that we can obtain, and that we do this gladly. Conscience claims regency in everything that a man should aim to do or to be. “The word ought is the sovereign of all vocabularies.” [continue reading…]

Perfect Love: Ch. 9 of “New Testament Holiness”

This entry is part 12 of 28 in the series New Testament Holiness

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by
Evangelist
Thomas Cook

Graphic for the title of this chapter, 'CHAPTER_NAME', part of the book 'New Testament Holiness' by Thomas Cook“Love cannot treat its Lord meanly.
She will not give Him the remnant,
the drift, and the dregs of life.”
2

In the New Testament there are two words for love. One is philos, which is the word used to express natural human affection. This exists in greater or less degree throughout the entire animal kingdom, including all natural affections of human nature apart from Divine grace. The other word, agape, is invariably used to express a Divine affection, imparted to the soul by the Holy Ghost. Natural love existed within us before we were regenerated, as it exists in human nature generally; but of Divine love we had none until we were born into the Kingdom of God. The love of God was then “shed abroad in our hearts” [Romans 5:5], and by this alone can we claim the title of children of God, as partakers of His nature [cf. 2 Peter 1:4]. “The love of God here means not our love to God, nor exactly the sense of God’s love to us, but God’s love itself for us.” “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us” [1 John 3:1], not manifested or demonstrated, but bestowed, imparted, given to us as a gift. What a wonderful truth this is, that God’s love for us shall be in us, and become our love to others. Was this not what our Lord asked for when He prayed, “that the love wherewith Thou hast loved Me may be in them, and I in them” [John 17:26]? The truth declared is that God gives us His love to love with; He has made His love our property, absolutely given it to us, so that it is now ours. Who can tell all that this means? Inspiration itself can only find relief in adoring gratitude. “Behold what manner of love.”

[continue reading…]

Testimony: Ch. 25 of “New Testament Holiness”

This entry is part 28 of 28 in the series New Testament Holiness

Public Domain1

by
Evangelist
Thomas Cook

Graphic for the title of this chapter, 'Testimony', part of the book 'New Testament Holiness' by Thomas Cook“God’s love swallowed me up.”2

The Rev. John Fletcher once said to Mrs. Hester Ann Rogers, “Come, my sister, we will covenant together to spread the sacred flame, and testify before men and angels ‘the blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth us from all sin’”3 [1 John 1:7]. With flowing tears Mrs. Rogers repled, “In the strength of Jesus I will”; and she did, until she went “sweeping through the gates, washed in the blood of the Lamb.”4 It seems to have been the custom among early Methodists to make humble, prudent, but frank acknowledgement of the work of entire sanctification, when it was wrought in their souls by the power of the Holy Ghost. We give a few testimonies which come first to hand:

“The Lord for whom I waited came suddenly to the temple of my heart, and I had an immediate evidence that this was the blessing I had for some time been seeking.” [continue reading…]