By A.T. Robertson
Knowing the enormity of the requirements of God's holiness should be the starting point for believing in any type of Christian Perfectionism. Like a wrongly placed survey marker, wrong concepts of God's perfection and holiness cause error to beget error.
Holiness is an attribute of God's deity- it is something we can never be apart from Him. This is the purpose of the Holy Spirit. If we are FULL of the Holy Spirit then we can walk in victory over sin and feel a sense of liberty from it-- at least until we are exposed to it and then must bu the power of the Holy spirit- resist it. FLEE fornication, as Paul told Timothy is a nonsensical statement if Christian Perfectionism is as was preached by the Entire Sanctification movement (especially Adam Clark). To say that a man could be so wholely sanctified as to not need to "flee" certain sins is to discount the very warnings of scripture.
In 1800 the scenerio was much different than today. Sin is on every hand and the flesh is being sown to INVOLUNTARILY in many cases. Who could claim such perfection in this day and age? If it worked then it MUST work now to be consistent; just as a prosperity message must be good in Africa if it is good in America.
These men would find that they DO have a sin nature (NIV flesh KLV) that MUST NOT be sown to if they were to have victory over sin. If the second blessing were such a blessing as they state; we could well live sinless in Sodom and Gomorrah with no need to flee or resist. This is nonsense, both practically and biblically.
Would it be biblical to preach something that you- yourself never could testify to have received? Could I preach Pentecostalism and not have been filled with the Holy Spirit?
What about the thoughts and the intents of the heart? Are the intentions perfect? The Pharisees had a sort of perfectionism also; but the Lord could readily point out their sin. Paul gloried in his infirmities and not his perfection. Had he attained or apprehended-- nay-- he pressed toward the mark. Did he need to bring his body into subjection? Why? Because it was free from sin? No, because he knew he was wretched and could fall to become Adokimos.
"Go sell what you have and give it all to the poor"-- then the rich young man realized rebellion was present- though he was blameless in other areas.
Sin is not relative. God does not change. We do not make up a few rules keep them and then call it ENTIRE SANCTIFICATION. That is upserd. God is searching the hearts and looking to see if all manor of His requirements and motives fit the test. How could a person judge themself free from sin and entirely sanctified when Paul himself said to judge nothing before the time; becuse he has appointed a day in which he will judge the world in righteousness.
What matters is if we THINK we are sinning or act with intent to sin. To us that is sin- though it may not have been biblically. a conscience can also be seared as to leave a person who is hardened in an area thinking they are sanctified. Write down all your sins that you can as Finney asks in Lecture III of his revival series and then ask if you are Entirely Sanctified?
We need revival church!