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Chapter 1, Section 2

Are we playing Spiritual Poker?

The religious writer, Ellen G. White, questioned this attitude in her book The Great Controversy: "The sanctification now gaining prominence in the religious world carries with it a spirit of self-exaltation and a disregard for the law of God that mark it as foreign to the religion of the Bible. Its advocates teach that sanctification is an instantaneous work, by which, through faith alone, they attain to perfect holiness. 'Only believe,' they say, 'and the blessing is yours.' No further effort on the part of the receiver is supposed to be required. At the same time they deny the authority of the law of God, urging that they are released from obligation to keep the commandments. But is it possible for men to be holy, in accord with the will and character of God, without coming into harmony with the principles which are an expression of His nature and will, and which show what is well pleasing to Him?"—Page 471.

Her reasoning is fully supported by the Bible.

"If a man love me, he will keep my words," Jesus said: "and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him" John 14:23.

"He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him." Verse 21.

"He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father's which sent me." Verse 24. (Italics supplied.)

Spiritual charades are of no consequence in the face of such evidence of God's requirements. Love, according to Christ, results in willing adherence to God's commandments, and the fact that one doesn't keep His commandments indicates that love toward God may be lacking. A super intellect is not needed to absorb the meaning of those texts. Proclaiming faith in love without exhibiting a love for Christ expressed in keeping all his laws is a useless exercise in verbal banality.

There is, however, one more Bible text which should be heard, inasmuch as it shows the connection between true love and the Holy Spirit.

In Christ's own words (John 14:15-17), He explains this relationship.

"If ye love me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you." (Italics supplied.)

Even though the Holy Spirit will be granted to those who ask for His presence, the gift is dependent on believing in Christ and keeping His commandments. Christ finally honors this trust and faith in Him with the bestowing of the Holy Spirit, whom He calls the "Spirit of truth."

"Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth." John 16:13.

Sanctification is a continuous process

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