Church of God, Carmichael, CA
H. M. Riggle, 1900
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HIS ENTIRE SANCTIFICATION. Let it be remembered that we are saved by the washing of regeneration, and the renewing of the Holy Ghost. Cornelius had experienced the "washing of regeneration," but had not yet received the "renovation" or baptism of the Holy Ghost had not received the "fullness" promised to all believers. See Acts 11:13 16. For this purpose Peter was sent for, who, when he came, expounded the way of salvation more perfectly: and "while Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on them which heard the word. And they of the circumcision, which believed, were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost. For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter, Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we? And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord."Ver. 44 48. "Being sanctified by the Holy Ghost."Rom. 15:16.
Paul at one time was an enemy to the religion of Jesus Christ. He was "a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious." Referring to this time he testifies that he was the "chief of sinners." He says, "Beyond measure I persecuted the church of God, and wasted it ;" "but I obtained mercy because I did it ignorantly in unbelief." At one time he received "letters" from the high priest to go to Damascus, and bring all the men and women he could find "of this way" bound to Jerusalem. So he started on his mission of persecution.
His Conversion. Just prior to this time, he had consented to the death of Stephen. He had listened to that sermon before the council, which cut them all to the heart. He stood by and saw them stone to death that  holy manfull of the Holy Ghost. He heard his burning testimony that he saw "the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God;" and his sweet prayer when dying"Lord, lay not this sin to their charge."
Surely this made some impression upon the mind of Paul: and as he journeyed along towards Damascus, no doubt these recent events were flying through his mind. It looks clear to me, that as he pondered these things over, conviction began to seize hold of him. But let that be as it may, when he had almost reached Damascus, "suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven; and he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutes" thou me? And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutes". It is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. And he, trembling and astonished, said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?"Acts 9:1 6.
Some hold that this was only conviction; but such reasoning we maintain is not sound. The moment Paul discovered his position and condition, he threw down his arms of rebellion, and fully surrendered himself to the Lord, saying, "What wilt thou have me to do?" This undoubtedly brought the pardoning grace to his soul. Here he became "Brother Saul." The "glory" of the light that shone in his heart and round about him blinded his eyes. Acts 22:11.
Another proof of his conversion is that he here received his call and commission to preach the gospel of salvation to the Gentiles, "to open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they might receive the forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified," etc. Acts 26 :16 18. Would God give such an important call and commission to one who was yet unsaved? Preposterous.
His Sanctification. Just three days after Paul was converted, a good man by the name of Ananias entered into the house where he was stopping, "and putting his hands on him, said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be  filled with the Holy Ghost. And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales."Acts 9:17, 18. Paul here received the Holy Ghost; i. e., was sanctified. "Then Saul (who also is called Paul), filled with the Holy Ghost, set his eyes on him."Acts 13:9. Paul was converted and sanctified in A. D. 35. We will now place Paul on the witness stand and hear his testimony.
A. D. 54. "Ye are witnesses, and God also, how holily and justly and unblamably we behaved ourselves among you that believe."1 Thess. 2:10.
A. D. 58. "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me." Gal. 2:20.
A. D. 59. "Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ."1 Cor. 11:1.
A. D. 60. "I have lived in all good conscience before God until this day."Acts 23:1. Reader, can you say that? But listen further. "And herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void of offense toward God, and toward men."Acts 24:16. "How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?"Rom. 6:2. "Knowing this, that our old man is crucified," etc.Rom. 6:6. Here Paul testifies that he was "dead to sin" and did not live any longer therein; namely, did not practice or commit sin. This is why he "always" had a good conscience. He also testified that his "old man"carnal naturewas crucified, dead.
A. D. 64. "Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded."Phil. 3:15. Here Paul testified to the experience of perfection. This experience he received when sanctified. Heb. 10:14, 15. Having such an experience, what was Paul's hope in the future? Ans."For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain . . . having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ: which is far better."Phil. 1:21 23. We will now hear his last testimony before leaving the world.
A.D. 66 "I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good  fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day."2 Tim. 4:6 8.
Paul's life was truly a pattern of Bible holiness. Yet in the face of all this testimony, men have the audacity to say that Paul was a miserable sinner all the days of his life. And most holiness fighters today refer to Paul for proof that we cannot be made pure in this life. Such generally refer to Romans, 7th chapter, and apply it as Paul's present experience when addressing the Roman brethren. In this, they wrest the scriptures to their own destruction.
"Ye are not under the law, but under grace" was the subject Paul was teaching. It seems that some of the churches had trouble on this line, and some, through false teachers, were made to believe that it was still necessary "to keep the law of Moses." Paul desired the Roman brethren to be established on this point, and in order to more fully settle this truth in their minds and hearts, he contrasts full salvation under the gospelthe dispensation of divine gracewith a sinning law experience. In Romans 6th chapter, Paul sets forth the standard of full salvation under the gospel. He shows that it is a state and experience where men are "dead to" and "freed from" sin, a state where they serve God in "holiness" and "righteousness."
Please lay down this book and read the sixth chapter carefully. Now in the seventh chapter he sets forth justification under the law. In the first verse he says, "I speak to them that know the law." What law is here referred to? Ans.The ten commandment law, or the law of Moses the abolished code. ProofVer. 2 to 7. So whatever experience is here referred to, it is to those "who know the law," those "under the law." And thank God we are "delivered from the law," "dead to the law," and under a better dispensation, the dispensation of grace.
Paul was born under the law and lived under it until his conversion. In ver. 7 11 he describes his condition while in infancy, and how he went under condemnation  by getting a knowledge of the law. In ver. 14 23 he describes his experience while under the law. It is truly a dark picture. It shows that while he desired to do good, he failed to have the grace to do it, and was compelled to yield to the desires of his carnal nature, which he terms "the law of sin." The reader will better understand this by comparing the above with Heb. 7:19; Heb. 9:7 10, 13; Heb. 10:1 4, 11.
But let Paul explain himself. In ver. 24 he cries out, "O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of death?" Hear the answer."I thank God, through Jesus Christ our Lord."Ver. 25. "I thank God that I am delivered through Jesus Christ our Lord." Conybeare and Howson's Trans. You see he declares he is delivered from the very state and condition he describes in ver. 14 23. But let us follow him in chapter 8, ver. 1 3. "There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh."
This is clear. The "law of sin" which "worked death" in Paul (Rom. 7:13 23), and from which he could not be delivered while under the law, the old covenant ( Rom. 8:3), he now declares he is delivered and "made free from" through Jesus Christ. Here Paul sets the "law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus"the New Testament, John 8 :63; John 6 :68over against the "law" of Moses, and shows that what the law could not do (because it was weak and unprofitable) we can have and do have under the "law of Christ."
5334 Whitney Ave. Carmichael, CA. 95608
Pastor, Church Telephone (916) 482-7128