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REVIVAL LECTURES - LECTURE VII. - ON BEING FILLED WITH THE SPIRIT. paragraph 19 Individuals may have the Spirit of God - It is their duty to be filled with the Spirit - Why the Spirit is not obtained - The guilt of those who have not the Spirit of God - The consequences of having the Spirit. - The consequences that will follow not having the Spirit.

3. It is essential to your own growth in grace that you should be filled with the Spirit.

 

 


REVIVAL LECTURES - LECTURE VIII. - MEETINGS FOR PRAYER. paragraph 78 The design of prayer meetings - The manner of conducting them - Several things that will defeat the design of holding them.

(a) promote union, (b) increase brotherly love, cultivate Christian confidence, (d) promote their own growth in grace, and (e) cherish and advance spirituality.

 

 


REVIVAL LECTURES - LECTURE XIX. - INSTRUCTIONS TO CONVERTS. paragraph 118 Several things to be considered in regard to the hopes of young converts - Several things respecting their making a profession of religion - The importance of having correct instruction given to young converts - What should not be taught - What things are necessary to be taught.

12. They should be so instructed as to be sound in the faith. That is, they should be early made, as far as possible, complete and correct in regard to their doctrinal belief. As soon as may be, without turning their minds off from their practical duties in promoting the glory of God and the salvation of men, they should be taught fully and plainly all the leading doctrines of the Bible. Doctrinal knowledge is indispensable to growth in grace.

 

 


REVIVAL LECTURES - LECTURE XX. - INSTRUCTIONS TO CONVERTS (continued). paragraph 11 Other points on which young converts ought to be instructed - How young converts should be treated by the Church - Some of the evils resulting from defective instruction in the first stages of Christian experience.

(a) Not in doctrinal knowledge. Knowledge is essential to religion, but it is not religion. The devil has doctrinal knowledge, but he has no religion. A man may have doctrinal knowledge to any extent, without a particle of religion. Yet some people have very strange ideas on this subject, as though an increase of doctrinal knowledge indicated an increase of piety. In a certain instance, where some young converts had made rapid progress in doctrinal knowledge, a person who saw it remarked: "How these young converts grow in grace!" Here he confounded improvement in knowledge with improvement in piety. The truth was, that he had no means of judging of their growth in grace, and it was no evidence of it because they were making progress in doctrinal knowledge.

 

 


REVIVAL LECTURES - LECTURE XXII. - GROWTH IN GRACE. paragraph 2 What grace is - What the injunction to "grow in grace" does not mean - What it does mean - Conditions of growth in grace - What is not proof of growth - What is proof - How to grow in grace.

GROWTH IN GRACE

 

 


REVIVAL LECTURES - LECTURE XXII. - GROWTH IN GRACE. paragraph 5 What grace is - What the injunction to "grow in grace" does not mean - What it does mean - Conditions of growth in grace - What is not proof of growth - What is proof - How to grow in grace.

I MUST conclude this Course of Lectures by giving converts instructions on the subject of Growth in Grace. I shall pursue the following method, showing:

 

 


REVIVAL LECTURES - LECTURE XXII. - GROWTH IN GRACE. paragraph 9 What grace is - What the injunction to "grow in grace" does not mean - What it does mean - Conditions of growth in grace - What is not proof of growth - What is proof - How to grow in grace.

IV. The conditions of growth in grace.

 

 


REVIVAL LECTURES - LECTURE XXII. - GROWTH IN GRACE. paragraph 10 What grace is - What the injunction to "grow in grace" does not mean - What it does mean - Conditions of growth in grace - What is not proof of growth - What is proof - How to grow in grace.

V. What is not proof of growth in grace.

 

 


REVIVAL LECTURES - LECTURE XXII. - GROWTH IN GRACE. paragraph 11 What grace is - What the injunction to "grow in grace" does not mean - What it does mean - Conditions of growth in grace - What is not proof of growth - What is proof - How to grow in grace.

VI. What is proof of growth in grace.

 

 


REVIVAL LECTURES - LECTURE XXII. - GROWTH IN GRACE. paragraph 20 What grace is - What the injunction to "grow in grace" does not mean - What it does mean - Conditions of growth in grace - What is not proof of growth - What is proof - How to grow in grace.

IV. CONDITIONS OF GROWTH IN GRACE.

 

 


REVIVAL LECTURES - LECTURE XXII. - GROWTH IN GRACE. paragraph 22 What grace is - What the injunction to "grow in grace" does not mean - What it does mean - Conditions of growth in grace - What is not proof of growth - What is proof - How to grow in grace.

2. Consequently, growth in grace implies that we have already repented of our sin, have actually and practically abandoned all known sin. It cannot be that we are in favor with God if we are still indulging in known sin against Him. Being in favor with God implies, of course, that we are pardoned and favored by Him, for the sake of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Pardon is favor, and implies the renunciation of rebellion against God. The conditions of the Divine favor, as revealed in the Bible, are repentance and abandonment of all known sin, and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. I said, as a condition of growth in grace we must have the commencement of grace; in other words, we must be already Christians, must be in a state of acceptance with God, must have accepted Christ, so far as He is understood, must be in a state of obedience to all the recognized will of God. Without this, we cannot be in a state of grace, or in the favor of God. But being in this state, there is room for everlasting growth. As we know more of God, we shall be capable of loving Him more, of having a more universal and implicit confidence in Him. And there can be no end to this while we have any being, either in this or any other world. Our love and confidence in Him may be complete, so far as we know Him. This love and confidence will secure His favor; but there will be no end to our growth in knowledge of Him, and, consequently, there is room for eternal growth in grace. The more we love God, the more we believe, the more we know of Him, if we conform to this knowledge, the more God must be pleased with us, the higher shall we stand in His favor, and more and greater gifts He will continue to bestow upon us.

 

 


REVIVAL LECTURES - LECTURE XXII. - GROWTH IN GRACE. paragraph 25 What grace is - What the injunction to "grow in grace" does not mean - What it does mean - Conditions of growth in grace - What is not proof of growth - What is proof - How to grow in grace.

5. Growth in grace is conditioned on increased knowledge of what is involved in entire consecration to God.

 

 


REVIVAL LECTURES - LECTURE XXII. - GROWTH IN GRACE. paragraph 29 What grace is - What the injunction to "grow in grace" does not mean - What it does mean - Conditions of growth in grace - What is not proof of growth - What is proof - How to grow in grace.

6. Another condition of growth in grace is intense earnestness and constancy in seeking increased religious light, by the illumination of the Holy Spirit. You will gain no effectual religious light except by the inward showing and teaching of the Holy Spirit. This you will not obtain unless you continue in the true attitude of a disciple of Christ. Remember, He says: "Whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be My disciple" (Luke 14:33). He will not, by His Holy Spirit, be your Divine Teacher unless you renounce self, and live in a state of continual consecration to Him. To obtain and preserve the teachings of Christ, by the Holy Spirit, you must continually and earnestly pray for this Divine teaching of the Spirit, and watch against resisting and grieving Him.

 

 


REVIVAL LECTURES - LECTURE XXII. - GROWTH IN GRACE. paragraph 30 What grace is - What the injunction to "grow in grace" does not mean - What it does mean - Conditions of growth in grace - What is not proof of growth - What is proof - How to grow in grace.

7. Another condition of growth in grace is a constant conformity to all the teachings of the Holy Spirit, keeping up with our convictions of duty and with our growing knowledge of the will of God.

 

 


REVIVAL LECTURES - LECTURE XXII. - GROWTH IN GRACE. paragraph 31 What grace is - What the injunction to "grow in grace" does not mean - What it does mean - Conditions of growth in grace - What is not proof of growth - What is proof - How to grow in grace.

8. A more and more implicit faith in God is a condition of growth in grace.

 

 


REVIVAL LECTURES - LECTURE XXII. - GROWTH IN GRACE. paragraph 33 What grace is - What the injunction to "grow in grace" does not mean - What it does mean - Conditions of growth in grace - What is not proof of growth - What is proof - How to grow in grace.

Growth in grace, or in the favor of God, is conditioned upon growth in implicit confidence in Him.

 

 


REVIVAL LECTURES - LECTURE XXII. - GROWTH IN GRACE. paragraph 39 What grace is - What the injunction to "grow in grace" does not mean - What it does mean - Conditions of growth in grace - What is not proof of growth - What is proof - How to grow in grace.

13. A deeper personal acquaintance with the Lord Jesus Christ, in all His official work and relations, is a condition of growth in grace. His nature, work, and relations are the theme of the Bible. The Bible presents Him to us in a great variety of relations. In my "Systematic Theology" I have considered some sixty or more of these official relations of Christ to the human race, and these are presented rather as specimens and illustrations than as covering the whole ground of His relations to us. Now, it is one thing to know Christ simply on paper, and as spoken of in the Bible, by reading or hearing of Him, and quite another thing to know Him personally, in these relations. The Bible is the medium of introduction to Him personally. What is there said of Him is designed to lead us to seek after a personal acquaintance with Him. It is by this personal acquaintance with Him that we are made like Him. It is by direct, personal intercourse with His Divine mind that we take on His image. "We all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord" (2 Corinthians 3:18). "Faith cometh by hearing" (Romans 10:17) and faith secures for us a personal acquaintance with Christ. Christ has promised to manifest Himself personally to those who love and obey Him. Do not stop short of securing this personal manifestation of Christ to your souls.

 

 


REVIVAL LECTURES - LECTURE XXII. - GROWTH IN GRACE. paragraph 40 What grace is - What the injunction to "grow in grace" does not mean - What it does mean - Conditions of growth in grace - What is not proof of growth - What is proof - How to grow in grace.

Your growth in grace will depend upon this. Think not of stopping short of personally knowing Christ, not only in all these relations, but in the fullness of these relations. Do not overlook the fact that the appropriation of Christ, in each of these relations, is a personal act of faith. It is a putting on of the Lord Jesus Christ, a taking of Him as yours, in each of these relations, as your wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption; as your Prophet, to teach you, your King, to govern you, your High Priest, to atone for you, your Mediator, your Advocate, your Strength, your Savior, your Hiding place, your High Tower, your Captain and Leader, your Shield, your Defense, your Exceeding Great Reward. In each of these relations, and in all other of His official relations, you need to appropriate Him by faith so as to secure to you personal intercourse with Him in these relations. Growing in a personal acquaintance with Him, in these relations, is an indispensable condition of growth in His favor.

 

 


REVIVAL LECTURES - LECTURE XXII. - GROWTH IN GRACE. paragraph 42 What grace is - What the injunction to "grow in grace" does not mean - What it does mean - Conditions of growth in grace - What is not proof of growth - What is proof - How to grow in grace.

1. Growth in knowledge is not conclusive evidence of growth in grace.

 

 


REVIVAL LECTURES - LECTURE XXII. - GROWTH IN GRACE. paragraph 43 What grace is - What the injunction to "grow in grace" does not mean - What it does mean - Conditions of growth in grace - What is not proof of growth - What is proof - How to grow in grace.

Some degree of knowledge is indispensable to our being in favor with God; and growth in knowledge, as I have shown, is a condition of growth in grace; but knowledge is not grace, and growth in knowledge does not constitute growth in grace. A person may grow ever so much in knowledge, and have no grace at all. In hell, they cannot but grow in knowledge, as they grow in experience, and in the knowledge of God's justice. But there, their growth in knowledge but aggravates the guilt and misery of hell. They know more and more of God and His law, and their own guilt, and the more they know, the more wretched they are. From their increased knowledge they never learn piety.

 

 


REVIVAL LECTURES - LECTURE XXII. - GROWTH IN GRACE. paragraph 52 What grace is - What the injunction to "grow in grace" does not mean - What it does mean - Conditions of growth in grace - What is not proof of growth - What is proof - How to grow in grace.

1. The manifestation of more implicit and universal trust in God is an evidence of growth in grace. The exercise of greater and more implicit confidence, as I have said, is the condition of growing in the favor of God.

 

 


REVIVAL LECTURES - LECTURE XXII. - GROWTH IN GRACE. paragraph 54 What grace is - What the injunction to "grow in grace" does not mean - What it does mean - Conditions of growth in grace - What is not proof of growth - What is proof - How to grow in grace.

2. Another evidence of growth in grace, is an increasing weanedness from the world. The will may be in an attitude of devotion to God, while the world's seductive charms very much embarrass the healthy action of the Christian life. As the soul becomes crucified and dead to the world, it grows in the favor of God.

 

 


REVIVAL LECTURES - LECTURE XXII. - GROWTH IN GRACE. paragraph 55 What grace is - What the injunction to "grow in grace" does not mean - What it does mean - Conditions of growth in grace - What is not proof of growth - What is proof - How to grow in grace.

3. Less reluctance of feeling, when called to the exercise of self-denial, is an evidence of growth in grace. It shows that the feelings are becoming less and less despotic, that the will is getting more the mastery of them, that the sensibility is getting more into harmony with the devotion of the will and the dictates of the intelligence.

 

 


REVIVAL LECTURES - LECTURE XXII. - GROWTH IN GRACE. paragraph 56 What grace is - What the injunction to "grow in grace" does not mean - What it does mean - Conditions of growth in grace - What is not proof of growth - What is proof - How to grow in grace.

4. Less temptation to sins of omission, is another evidence of growth in grace, e.g., less temptation to shun the cross, to neglect unpleasant duties; less temptation to indolence, to the shirking of responsibility, to neglect of prayer, to reading the Scriptures, and. to private and family devotions; in short, less and less temptation to shun the performance of any duty is evidence of growth in grace. These temptations consist in the excited states of the sensibility. As these become less in strength and frequency, we learn that our sensibility is becoming more completely subjugated to the law of the intelligence and the decisions of the will, and consequently, that the work of the sanctification of the spirit, soul, and body is progressing, and that therefore we are growing in the favor of God.

 

 


REVIVAL LECTURES - LECTURE XXII. - GROWTH IN GRACE. paragraph 60 What grace is - What the injunction to "grow in grace" does not mean - What it does mean - Conditions of growth in grace - What is not proof of growth - What is proof - How to grow in grace.

7. Consequently, a growing deadness to the flattery or censure of men, is an evidence of growth in grace. Paul had grown in grace so much that he counted it a light thing to be judged of man, he only sought to commend himself to God (1 Corinthians 4:3, 4). As you find yourself growing in this state of deadness to the flatteries or censures of men, you have evidence that you grow in grace.

 

 


REVIVAL LECTURES - LECTURE XXII. - GROWTH IN GRACE. paragraph 63 What grace is - What the injunction to "grow in grace" does not mean - What it does mean - Conditions of growth in grace - What is not proof of growth - What is proof - How to grow in grace.

10. A growing tranquillity under sudden and crushing disasters and bereavements, is an evidence of growth in grace. The more tranquil the soul can remain, when sudden storms of providence come upon it, sweeping away loved ones, and blighting earthly hopes, the greater is its evidence of being under the particular favor of God. The tranquillity is both a result and an evidence of the favor of God.

 

 


REVIVAL LECTURES - LECTURE XXII. - GROWTH IN GRACE. paragraph 68 What grace is - What the injunction to "grow in grace" does not mean - What it does mean - Conditions of growth in grace - What is not proof of growth - What is proof - How to grow in grace.

15. A growing repose in, and satisfaction with, all the allotments of Providence, is evidence of growth in grace.

 

 


REVIVAL LECTURES - LECTURE XXII. - GROWTH IN GRACE. paragraph 69 What grace is - What the injunction to "grow in grace" does not mean - What it does mean - Conditions of growth in grace - What is not proof of growth - What is proof - How to grow in grace.

16. Less temptation to murmur or repine at any allotment of Providence, is evidence of growth in grace.

 

 


REVIVAL LECTURES - LECTURE XXII. - GROWTH IN GRACE. paragraph 70 What grace is - What the injunction to "grow in grace" does not mean - What it does mean - Conditions of growth in grace - What is not proof of growth - What is proof - How to grow in grace.

17. Less temptation to fret, when we are crossed or disappointed in any respect, is an evidence of growth in grace.

 

 


REVIVAL LECTURES - LECTURE XXII. - GROWTH IN GRACE. paragraph 74 What grace is - What the injunction to "grow in grace" does not mean - What it does mean - Conditions of growth in grace - What is not proof of growth - What is proof - How to grow in grace.

21. Less and less anxiety and carefulness about the events of Providence, and especially about the things that nearly and deeply affect ourselves, is evidence of growth in grace. This is an evidence of a broader and more implicit faith, of a more submissive will, and of a diminishing tendency to self-seeking; and is, therefore, an evidence of growing favor with God.

 

 


REVIVAL LECTURES - LECTURE XXII. - GROWTH IN GRACE. paragraph 75 What grace is - What the injunction to "grow in grace" does not mean - What it does mean - Conditions of growth in grace - What is not proof of growth - What is proof - How to grow in grace.

22. Being less and less disturbed and troubled by the events of life, especially those that go counter to our own plans, and hopes, and expectations, and desires, and that thwart our most cherished aims, is an evidence of growth in grace.

 

 


REVIVAL LECTURES - LECTURE XXII. - GROWTH IN GRACE. paragraph 76 What grace is - What the injunction to "grow in grace" does not mean - What it does mean - Conditions of growth in grace - What is not proof of growth - What is proof - How to grow in grace.

23. A growing and realizing confidence in the wisdom, benevolence, and universality of the providence of God, a state of mind that sees God in everything, is evidence of growth in grace. Some minds become so spiritual that they hardly seem to reside in the body, but appear continually to perceive the presence of God in every event, almost as if they were disembodied, and beheld God face to face. They seem to dwell, live, move, and have their being, rather in the spiritual than in the natural world. They are continually under such a sense of the Divine presence, agency, and protection, as hardly to appear like inhabitants of earth. They are a living, walking mystery to those in the midst of whom they dwell. The springs of their activity are so Divine, their life is so much hidden in God, they act under influences so far above the world, that they cannot be judged by the same standards as other men. Carnal minds cannot understand them. Their hidden life is so unknown and so unknowable to those who are far below them in their spiritual life, that they are necessarily regarded as quite eccentric, as being mystics or monomaniacs, as having very peculiar religious views, as being enthusiasts, and perhaps fanatics. These persons are in the world, but they live above the world. They have so far escaped from the pollutions that are in the world, that they can truly and understandingly say, with Paul: "But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world" (Galatians 6:14). Such persons are evidently growing in the grace of God.

 

 


REVIVAL LECTURES - LECTURE XXII. - GROWTH IN GRACE. paragraph 77 What grace is - What the injunction to "grow in grace" does not mean - What it does mean - Conditions of growth in grace - What is not proof of growth - What is proof - How to grow in grace.

24. Being less and less disposed to dwell upon the faults and foibles of others, is an evidence of growth in grace.

 

 


REVIVAL LECTURES - LECTURE XXII. - GROWTH IN GRACE. paragraph 78 What grace is - What the injunction to "grow in grace" does not mean - What it does mean - Conditions of growth in grace - What is not proof of growth - What is proof - How to grow in grace.

25. Being less and less disposed to speak severely, or to judge uncharitably of others. A growing delicacy, or tenderness, in speaking of their real or supposed faults, behind their back, is an evidence of growth in grace.

 

 


REVIVAL LECTURES - LECTURE XXII. - GROWTH IN GRACE. paragraph 79 What grace is - What the injunction to "grow in grace" does not mean - What it does mean - Conditions of growth in grace - What is not proof of growth - What is proof - How to grow in grace.

26. An increasing reluctance to regard or treat any one as an enemy, and an increasing ease and naturalness in treating them kindly, in praying for them heartily, and in efforts to do them good, is an evidence of growth in grace.

 

 


REVIVAL LECTURES - LECTURE XXII. - GROWTH IN GRACE. paragraph 80 What grace is - What the injunction to "grow in grace" does not mean - What it does mean - Conditions of growth in grace - What is not proof of growth - What is proof - How to grow in grace.

27. Less and less temptation to remember an injury, and the abatement of all desire to retaliate when injured, is an evidence of growth in grace.

 

 


REVIVAL LECTURES - LECTURE XXII. - GROWTH IN GRACE. paragraph 81 What grace is - What the injunction to "grow in grace" does not mean - What it does mean - Conditions of growth in grace - What is not proof of growth - What is proof - How to grow in grace.

28. A growing readiness and cordiality in forgiving and burying an injury out of sight, and a kind of moral inability to do otherwise than seek the highest good of those who have injured us most deeply, is an evidence of growth in grace.

 

 


REVIVAL LECTURES - LECTURE XXII. - GROWTH IN GRACE. paragraph 83 What grace is - What the injunction to "grow in grace" does not mean - What it does mean - Conditions of growth in grace - What is not proof of growth - What is proof - How to grow in grace.

30. Especially is it true, when we find ourselves very cordial and full-hearted in making great sacrifices for those that hate us, and having a willingness to lay down our lives for the promotion of their eternal salvation, that we have evidence of growth in grace.

 

 


REVIVAL LECTURES - LECTURE XXII. - GROWTH IN GRACE. paragraph 88 What grace is - What the injunction to "grow in grace" does not mean - What it does mean - Conditions of growth in grace - What is not proof of growth - What is proof - How to grow in grace.

35. When we find ourselves drawn, with increasing earnestness, to follow on to know more of the Lord, we have evidence of growth in grace.

 

 


REVIVAL LECTURES - LECTURE XXII. - GROWTH IN GRACE. paragraph 93 What grace is - What the injunction to "grow in grace" does not mean - What it does mean - Conditions of growth in grace - What is not proof of growth - What is proof - How to grow in grace.

2. Remember that every step of progress must be made by faith, and not by works. The mistakes that some good men have made upon this subject is truly amazing. The custom has been almost universal, to represent growth in grace as consisting in the formation of habits of obedience to God. Now, it is quite surprising that so many good men have fallen into this mistake. The fact is, that every step of progress in the Christian life is taken by a fresh and fuller appropriation of Christ by faith, a fuller baptism of the Holy Spirit. As our weaknesses, infirmities, besetting sins, and necessities are revealed to us, by the circumstances of temptation through which we pass, our only efficient help is found in Christ, and we grow only as we step by step more fully appropriate Him, in one relation or another, and more fully "put Him on" (Romans 13.: 4). As we are more and more emptied of self-dependence, as we more and more renounce all expectation of forming holy habits by any obedience of ours, and as by faith we secure deeper and deeper baptisms of the Holy Ghost, and put on the Lord Jesus Christ, more and more thoroughly, and in more of His official relations, by just so much the faster do we grow in the favor of God. Nothing can be more erroneous and dangerous than the commonly received idea of growing in grace by the formation of holy habits. By acts of faith alone, we appropriate Christ, and we are as truly sanctified by faith as we are justified by faith. In my "Systematic Theology," in pointing out the conditions of entire or permanent sanctification, I have noticed some sixty of the official relations of Christ, as I have before said, and have there insisted, as I here insist, that growth in holiness, and consequently, in the favor of God, is secured only by fresh, fuller, and more thorough appropriations of Christ, in all these official relations. If you would grow in grace you must do it through faith. You must pray in faith for the Holy Spirit. You must appropriate and put on Christ through the Holy Spirit. At every forward step in your progress, you must have a fresh anointing of the Holy Spirit through faith.

 

 


REVIVAL LECTURES - LECTURE XXII. - GROWTH IN GRACE. paragraph 100 What grace is - What the injunction to "grow in grace" does not mean - What it does mean - Conditions of growth in grace - What is not proof of growth - What is proof - How to grow in grace.

5. The Theological Seminaries need to pay vastly more attention to the growth in grace of their students. They need a professor of experimental religion, who has experience and power enough to press them along into those higher regions of Christian experience which are essential to their being able to lead the Church on to victory. It is amazing to see how little effort is made to cultivate the heart of young men studying for the ministry. We must have a change in this respect. A much higher standard of Christian experience must be required as a condition of ordination. It is painful to see how carefully men will be examined in regard to their intellectual attainments, while the accounts they give of their Christian experience will barely allow us to hope that they have been converted.

 

 


REVIVAL LECTURES - LECTURE XXII. - GROWTH IN GRACE. paragraph 104 What grace is - What the injunction to "grow in grace" does not mean - What it does mean - Conditions of growth in grace - What is not proof of growth - What is proof - How to grow in grace.

They should insist upon the education of his heart as well as his head; upon his ability to take young converts, and conduct them on to those deep experiences that will make them stable and efficient workers in the cause of God. Think of Theological Seminaries, where the leaders of the Church of God are taught that sanctification or growth in grace is attained by works and not by faith! Tell it not in Gath! Alas for Zion, when her great and good men fall into such mistakes!

 

 


TO PROFESSING CHRISTIANS 1837, LECTURE V - Justification by Faith paragraph 88

     III. Those of you who have evidence that you are justified, should maintain your relation to God, and live up to your real privileges. This is immensely important. There is no virtue in being distrustful and unbelieving. It is important to your growth in grace. One reason why many Christians do not grow in grace is, that they are afraid to claim the privileges of God's children which belong to them. Rely upon it, beloved, this is no virtuous humility, but criminal unbelief. If you have the evidence that you are justified, take the occasion from it to press forward to holiness of heart, and come to God with all the boldness that an angel would, and know how near you are to Him. It is your duty to do so. Why should you hold back? Why are you afraid to recognize the covenant of grace, in its full extent? Here are the provisions of your Father's house, all ready and free; and are you converted and justified, and restored to His favor, and yet afraid to sit down at your Father's table? Do not plead that you are so unworthy. This is nothing but self-righteousness and unbelief. True, you are so unworthy. But if you are justified, that is no longer a bar. It is now your duty to take hold of the promises as belonging to you. Take any promise you can find in the Bible, that is applicable, and go with it to your Father, and plead it before Him, believing. Do you think He will deny it? These exceeding great and precious promises were given you for this very purpose, that you may become a partaker of the divine nature. Why then should you doubt? Come along, beloved, come along up to the privileges that belong to you, and take hold of the love, and peace, and joy, offered to you in this holy gospel.

 

 


TO PROFESSING CHRISTIANS 1837, LECTURE XII - Love the Whole of Religion paragraph 30

     2. Perfect love does not exclude the idea of increase in love, or growth in grace.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1839 paragraph 130 115 Professor Finney's Letter of January 30, 1839 ...

In the midst of my efforts, however, for the conversion of sinners (and as far as my knowledge extends, it has been so with other evangelists and pastors) we have overlooked in a great measure the fact that converts would not make one step of progress only as they were constantly plied with means as well adapted to their sanctification and growth in grace, as were the means of their conversion. Believing and feeling as I did then and do now that if persons were once converted God in faithfulness would save them, I overlooked the necessity of the constant and vigorous and pointed use of means to effect this end. By this I do not mean that I did not at all feel this necessity. But it was not so fully before my mind as the necessity of the use of vigorous means for the conversion of the ungodly.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1839 paragraph 327 292 Lecture V. The Law of God 1 ...

Nor does it imply, that we love him as much as we should, were we not so ignorant, or had we as much knowledge of Him as we might have had, had we improved our time, and opportunities of gaining information. The law of God requires, nothing more than the right use of our powers, as they are, without respect to whatever might, and would have been, had we never sinned.

18. That a state of entire holiness is inconsistent with the existence, and exercise of our constitutional susceptibilities.

A great portion of the temptations to which the mind is subject, consists in the excited state of the susceptibilities of the body and mind, that are purely constitutional. All the susceptibilities of our nature, Christ must have had, or he could not have been "tempted in all points like as we are." It was the excitement of Adam's constitutional appetites and susceptibilities, that led him to sin. But his sin consisted not, either in the existence of these susceptibilities and appetites, or in their being excited, but in consenting to gratify them in a prohibited manner. If our constitutional susceptibilities were annihilated, our activity would cease. So that if anyone supposes, that to be sanctified "wholly, body, soul and spirit," implies the extinction of any appetite, or susceptibility that is purely constitutional, he is deceived. A state of sanctification consists in subordinating all these to the will of God, and not in their annihilation.

19. That it implies a cessation of spiritual warfare.

If, by this, they mean a war with our selfishness, they are right. But if they mean that our war with the world, the flesh and the devil, will ever cease in this life, they are mistaken.

20. That it is inconsistent with growth in grace.

I suppose that saints will continue to grow in grace to all eternity, and in the knowledge of God. But this does not imply, that they are not entirely holy, when they enter heaven, or before.

21. That it is entirely inconsistent with any sorrow, or mental suffering. It was not so with Christ. Nor is it inconsistent with our sorrowing for our own past sins, and sorrowing that we have not now the health and vigor, and knowledge, and love, that we might have had, if we had sinned less; or sorrow for those around us--sorrow in view of human sinfulness, or suffering. These are all consistent with a state of entire sanctification, and indeed are the natural results of it.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1839 paragraph 508 496 Professor Finney's Letter of April 10, 1839 ...

Hence, having never given their attention to those higher and more spiritual truths of the gospel which are the more appropriate food of the Christian soul and indispensable to his growth in grace, they make little or no progress in holiness and often in a few years become mechanical in their efforts to convert sinners. Their spirit, not being sweetened by deep and constant and increasing intercourse with Christ, becomes bitter and censorious. They know very little what to say to an anxious Christian struggling against remaining sin. Let them be consulted by a Christian who has made any considerable attainments in piety and who understands measurably the plague of his own heart and is panting after the utter annihilation of sin in all its forms and to be raised up "to the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ," and they are in the dark. They will generally insist upon such persons going to work for the conversion of sinners [and] reproach them with not being at work for God and for thinking so much about themselves and their own sins. The fact is, they are in the dark in regard to the real state and necessities of such persons. This state of mind is entirely beyond their experience. They seem to be totally destitute of that to which Paul refers in 2 Cor. 1:3-6: "Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God. For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ. And whether we be afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is effectual in the enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer: or whether we be comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation."

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1839 paragraph 513 496 Professor Finney's Letter of April 10, 1839 ...

Now it seems to me that there is something in the history of Paul that ought to be instructive to the church on this subject. He seems to have spent a number of years almost exclusively in the conversion of sinners and in the establishment of churches. But during his confinement at Rome and in the latter part of his ministry, he appears to have had his attention turned particularly to the subject of strengthening the church. And it is very edifying to see in all his epistles this prominent feature of his character: a great solicitude to promote growth in grace among Christians. It is not to be supposed that he omitted to labor for the conversion of sinners. But it is, I think, manifest beyond all dispute that his mind was mainly engrossed with the sanctification of the church. And it is evident from his epistles that he did not believe that the church would ever be sanctified merely by pressing them to labor exclusively for the conversion of sinners or by dwelling upon that particular class of subjects that were denominated by him "the beginning of the doctrine of Christ." His letters were, I think, undeniably designed to lead Christians into a fuller knowledge of Christ, in all his relations-- to the necessity, means and practicability of entire sanctification. The same seems to have been true of all the apostles whose epistles have come down to us.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1839 paragraph 668 634 Lecture X. Carefulness A Sin ...

4. How destructive to your peace and growth in grace, is the indulgence of this spirit.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1839 paragraph 673 634 Lecture X. Carefulness A Sin ...

9. This truth is very applicable, and very important to indigent students, who are often so straitened in their temporal circumstances as to indulge a degree of carefulness that is very destructive, both to intellectual attainments, and to growth in grace. Such persons should remember, that their carefulness will in no instance help them. But if they indulge it, it will defeat the very ends of their education. Who can study? Who can pray? Who can walk with God in such a state of mind?

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1840 paragraph 92 21 Lectures I. - IX. Sanctification- No.'s 1 - 9 ...

28. Nor does it imply that there is no more growth in grace. Many persons seem to understand the command "grow in grace," as implying the gradual giving up of sin. They suppose that when persons have done sinning, there is no more room for growth in grace. Now it is said of Christ that he grew in grace, where the same original word is used as in the command. "He increased in stature and in wisdom, and in favor (kariti, grace) with God and man." If growth in grace implies the gradual giving up of sin, then God has commanded men not to give up their sins at once. They must give them up gradually. The truth is that growth in grace implies the relinquishment of sin to begin with. To grow in grace is to grow in the favor of God. And what would the Apostle have said, had he supposed that the requirement to grow in grace, would have been understood by an orthodox Church to require only the gradual relinquishment of their sins? I suppose that saints will continue to grow in grace to all eternity, and in the knowledge of God. But this does not imply that they are not entirely holy, when they enter heaven, or before.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1840 paragraph 994 981 Lecture XXI. Confession of Faults ...

6. All such things as grieve the Spirit of God, and hinder our growth in grace.

II. To whom this confession is to be made.

1. To those especially who have been injured by our faults. That we are under obligation to confess to them, and make what reparation is in our power, is too plain to need comment.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1841 paragraph 336 292 Lecture XXX. Entire Consecration a Condition of Discipleship ...

4. Nor is the fact that religion consists in entire consecration, at all inconsistent with growth in grace. To grow in grace is to grow in favor with God, for this is the meaning of the language. A child may consecrate all its little powers to God, and yet continue to grow in grace, that is, in the favor of God. This is asserted to have been actually the case with the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. The word rendered "in favor," in the case of Christ, being that which is elsewhere rendered grace. As knowledge extends, holiness will ever extend; and thus the saints will grow in grace to all eternity.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1841 paragraph 494 357 Lectures XXXI. & XXXII. A Seared Conscience- No.'s 1 & 2 ...

13. You see the infinite importance of a quick and searching conscience. It is wholly indispensable to growth in grace. There can be no such thing as a healthy piety without it.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1843 paragraph 431 413 Lecture VIII. What Attainments Christians May Reasonably Expect to Make in This Life ...

6. Nor, that there is no farther growth in grace. The Lord Jesus Christ, all admit, was sanctified, but He grew in grace. And so shall we, as fast as the future world.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1843 paragraph 459 413 Lecture VIII. What Attainments Christians May Reasonably Expect to Make in This Life ...

3. They cannot expect to get beyond the necessity and capacity of growth in grace; I mean growth in degree, not in kind. We shall doubtless grow in grace to all eternity. The Bible says that Christ grew in favor with God, that is, grace, and so will every Christian.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1845 paragraph 47 23 Lecture I. The Sin of Fretfulness ...

19. Another reason why we should not fret is, God will take care of the evil doers. The verse immediately following the text, says: "For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb." They are in the hands of God. He will take care so to dispose of them, as to promote His own glory. We need not therefore fret ourselves because of their evil doings.

But again, their evil doing is of but short continuance. The verse just quoted, says: "they shall soon be cut down like the grass." The triumphing of the wicked is short, and his evil doing in this life is but for a moment. God will remove him just as soon as He sees it wise to do so. When He can no longer overrule his wickedness to promote the general good, He will cut him off and put him out of the way. We often wonder why evil doers live so long, and are suffered through so many years to provoke the majesty of God, and to scatter fire-brands, arrows, and death through the world. But we have no reason to wonder at this, for God sees the end from the beginning, and suffers them to live and do evil just so long as He can make their evil conduce in some way to some good, and no longer. And should they live a thousand times as long as they do, and do a thousand times as much mischief as they do, this would be no reason why we should fret, for God will husband the whole matter in a manner promotive of the highest good of beings.

20. Another reason why we should not fret at evil doers, is because they are among the "all things that work together for good to them that fear God." How often can we see that the trials into which we fall, the temptations of Satan, and the wickedness of men around us, are working together on the whole, for our edification and growth in grace. We thus learn many lessons which we could learn in no other way. What Christian has not thanked God for making Satan in many instances so useful to him? Or if Christians have not done this, what Christian has not reason to do it? I can plainly see that from my greatest trials, I have often learned the most useful lessons of my life. And I have often been led to thank God for all the abuses and temptations of wicked men and devils.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1845 paragraph 193 170 Lecture IV. Weights and Besetting Sins ...

13. All unnecessary conversation is to be regarded as a weight. It is surely a great burden to be obliged to keep our tongues from running. Many persons seem to talk for talk's sake, and to gratify a loquacious spirit. And they will often intrude upon you with some protracted conversation about nothing or that which is as good as nothing, greatly to the hindrance of your spiritual life. Now it should be remembered that our tongues are to be used only to the glory of God, and to the use of edifying, that for every idle word we must give an account in the day of judgment.

All unnecessary conversation should therefore be avoided as entirely inconsistent with growth in grace, and with running our spiritual race. "If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man's religion is vain."

14. Everything in short to which we are not providentially called and which is not therefore a part of our duty as Christians, would be regarded as a weight and be laid aside. Whatever is inconsistent with or not conducive to our highest usefulness should be regarded as a weight, and at once laid aside.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 14 - Moral Government paragraph 140 What constitutes obedience to moral law . . Obedience cannot be partial in the sense that the subject ever does or can partly obey and partly disobey at the same time . . Can the will at the same time make opposite choices? . . The choice of an ultimate end is, and must be, the supreme preference of the mind . . An intelligent choice must respect ends or means . . No choice whatever can be made inconsistent with the present choice of an ultimate end . . Inquiry respecting the strength or intensity of the choice . . The law does not require the constant and most intense action of the will . . An intention cannot be right and honest in kind, and deficient in the degree of intensity . . Examination of the philosophy of the question, whether sin and holiness consist in supreme, ultimate, and opposite choices or intentions . . Objections to the foregoing philosophy considered . . This philosophy examined in the light of the scriptures

     2. Growth in grace consists in two things:--

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 79 - Perseverance of Saints proved paragraph 30

     (c.) That he regarded none as Christians, or as at any time having true faith, but the called and elected; for he was not exhorting supposed impenitent sinners to become Christians, but supposed Christians to be sure of their calling and election. This shows that he regarded all Christians as of the called and elected. To be sure of their calling and election was to be sure of their salvation. The apostle did not certainly mean to exhort them to become of the number of the elect, for this number we have seen was settled from eternity; but by diligence and growth in grace to secure their salvation, or thus to prove or demonstrate their calling and election. He meant also to admonish them that, although called and elected, still their ultimate salvation was conditionated upon their diligent growth in grace, and perseverance in holiness to the end of life. He therefore exhorts them to make their calling and election sure, which is the same as to secure their salvation. He speaks of calling and election as indissolubly connected. Effectual calling either results from election, or election from calling. We have seen that election is eternal; therefore, election cannot result from calling, but calling must result from election.