ON CHRISTIAN PERFECTION
John Wesley held to the doctrine of Christian perfection because he believed that we can become people who do not willfully sin anymore. I believe remaining in Christian perfection, after having repented of all known sins is not an act of faith only but also a walking in obedience by the help of the Holy Spirit. I do not believe in what is known as “the second blessing”; I believe that one is cleansed immediately when he/she is forgiven for the first time (and also afterwards, should he/she sin again and repent) (1 John 1:9).
So I believe that a Christian attains Christian perfection; he receives a perfect cleansing, when he is saved from (not in) his sins (Matthew 1:21, 1 John 3:6; Acts 3:26). A Christian should pursue to keep it. The desire to be blameless in His sight (2 Peter 3:14) comes from the fruit of the Spirit, which the Holy Spirit made lovingly available in all believers (Galatians 5:22-23). Let that “Christian” who believes that he should not genuinely try to stop sinning, as opposed to the call for genuine repentance by the conviction of the Holy Spirit (John 16:8), be warned by Galatians 6:7-8 (KJV):
"Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting." (See also "Conditional Security" and "Synergism".)
If one loves his sins more than the truth and does not want to come to the knowledge of truth and be set free by the truth (John 8:32), he/she chooses to be deceived and to reap death and condemnation (See 2 Thessalonians 2:10-12). “If we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins” (Hebrews 10:26, KJV). If we sin, we must repent of that transgression through which we have sinned against God (Psalm 51:4) and perhaps against our fellow men who are made in the image of God (James 3:9). Where necessary, public confession should be made (James 5:16).
“Choose this day whom you will serve.”
– Joshua 24:15 (ESV)
“It is therefore in the power of every one, since man has been made possessed of free-will, whether he shall hear us to life, or the demons to destruction.”
– Clement of Rome, Recognitions, Book IV, Chapter 19: Demons Incite To Idolatry
“‘Blessed is the man to whom the Lord does not impute sin;’ that is, having repented of his sins he may receive remission of them from God; and not as you deceive yourselves—and some others who resemble you in this—who say that even though they are sinners, but know God, the Lord will not impute sin to them.”
– Justin Martyr, Dialogue with Trypho (141) (Read also “Imputed Righteousness (Governmental View)“.)
According to the Apostle Paul, love is the most important way (1 Corinthians 12:31). Without true love, we are nothing!
The text for the year 2014, which I received in church, was:
“Act with love and justice, and always depend on Him.”
– Hosea 12:6b, NLT
The text for the year 2016 was:
“Owe no man any thing, but to love one another:
for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.”
– Romans 13:8, KJV
So keep LOVE in mind when talking about Christian Perfection! God is not a Tyrant but He is a loving God who always wants to set you free from your sins! He wants to set you free so that you can walk in obedience to God! 🙂
“True saints will make it manifest that saintliness is their character, by their carefulness in avoiding sin. They will show that they hate sin in themselves, and that they hate it in others… They will not justify it in themselves, and they will not justify it in others… In short they aim at perfect holiness. I do not mean to say,” he adds, “that every true friend of God is perfect but if he is an affectionate and obedient child, his aim is to obey always.”
– Charles Finney, Lectures to Professing Christians (emphasis mine)
“But because my love is as yet weak and my virtue imperfect, I must be strengthened and comforted by You. Visit me often, therefore, and teach me Your holy discipline. Free me from evil passions and cleanse my heart of all disorderly affection so that, healed and purified within, I may be fit to love, strong to suffer, and firm to persevere.”
– Thomas A Kempis, The Imitation of Christ,
Book III: Internal Consolation, Chapter V: The Wonderful Effect of Divine Love (emphasis mine)
Source: “Imitation of Christ” on Christian Classics Ethereal Library.