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August 23, 2017, 8:10 AM

The Double Cure

Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts you double-minded(James 4:7-8).

God has always planned well for the needs of His children. He has given beauty for the eyes, music for the ears, and love for the lonely. Should we not expect Him to provide equally well for the deep needs of our spirits?

Because sin is of two kinds, God has provided two works of grace. A person who has committed sins is guilty and stands condemned. They need to have their sins forgiven in order to become a child of God. When a person repents, and thus voluntarily turns away from their sins, God stands ready with the grace of forgiveness. He grants full pardon for all guilt and complete release from the penalty of sins committed. A person who is a sinner must have their hands thus cleansed from wicked works.

But our text says more because a person needs more. Sins are acts which are contrary to the known will of God. The Bible teaches that sin is also a disposition in the heart which is opposed to God’s will. Even after a person’s sins have been forgiven and they have become a child of God, this sinful nature remains until the heart is cleansed by the baptism of the Holy Spirit. This is the second work of grace that God has provided to deal with a person’s sins. Because a person is a sinner, they must have their hands cleansed; because they are double-minded they must have their hearts purified by faith.

The teaching of entire sanctification, or heart holiness, as a second work of grace has caused some to hesitate, and others to reject the truth. But why should we stumble over God’s method of giving himself to us? In Holiness, the Finished Foundation, Bishop J. Paul Taylor writes, “If two or more successive stages of treatment are required to secure physical health, the patient, even though impatient with the process, will submit to the superior knowledge of his physician concerning his needs… The trouble is not primarily an intellectual problem in arithmetic. It is not the addition of a second work of grace that troubles men, but the subtraction of the unholy element in the heart that involves the crucifixion of sinful self. The man who is determined to meet the divine requirements would submit to any number of crisis experiences that he might ‘stand perfect and complete in all the will of God.’ His heart and mind do not stagger at the word ‘second,’ but are gripped by the phrase ‘work of grace.’” The question, therefore, for us is will we wholeheartedly submit ourselves to God?

Let us join together in the prayer: Let the water and the blood, From Thy wounded side which flowed, Be of sin the double cure, Save from wrath and make me pure. – A. M. Toplady

You are Loved!

Pastor Jason Stevens

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