A Study on Sanctification that Builds on the Influential Teaching of William H. Durham (AD 1873-1912), Part 1

sanctification

William H. Durham’s view emphasized holiness and victory over all sin. That is the primary reason I’m interested in his teaching. This paper extensively discusses receiving/being baptized in the Holy Spirit and whether the sinful nature can be eradicated.   

All quotations were taken from the New American Standard Bible, 1995 edition, unless otherwise noted. Sometimes I make comments in the middle of quotations using brackets [ ] or [[ ]] to make them more obvious. I am using straight quotation marks (“), hyphens (-) instead of dashes, and a few other things like this because some of the internet sites where I post these articles require it. Also, they don’t allow footnotes. Cf., e.g., means “compare, for example.” 

CONTENTS:

1. Introduction and Some Conclusions….. Page 6 (The page numbers go with the complete paper.)  

2. Some Excerpts and Comments Regarding the Influential Teaching on Sanctification of William H. Durham (AD1873-1912)….. 18

2.1. Excerpts from Durham’s Personal Testimony (Vol. 2, Num. 2; January 1912) under the Heading, “The Finished Work of Calvary: Identification with Jesus Christ Saves and Sanctifies” (on pages 1-3)…..   18 

2.2. Some More Excerpts from the Same Edition of Personal Testimony (January 1912) under the Heading, “The Great Battle of Nineteen Eleven; It [the Great Battle] Still Continues” (on pages 6-8)…..   26 

2.3. Some More Excerpts from the Same Edition of Personal Testimony (January 1912) under the Heading “The Gospel of Christ” (on pages 8-10)…..   29

2.4. The Next Heading in the January 1912 Edition of Durham’s Pentecostal Testimony Is “The Great Need of the Hour” (pages 10-11)…..   32 

2.5. Some Excerpts from Durham’s Personal Testimony (Vol. 2, Num. 3; July 1912; Durham Died at the Age of 39, July 7, 1912) under the Heading, “The Finished Work of Calvary – It Makes Plain the Great Work of Redemption” (on pages 4-7)…..   33 

2.6. Some Excerpts from the Same Edition (July 1912) of Personal Testimony under the Heading “Some Other Phases of Sanctification” (pages 9-11)….. 34 

2.7. Some Excerpts from the Same Edition (July 1912) of Personal Testimony under the Headings “In Memoriam” and “Personal Testimony of Pastor Durham” (pages 1-4)…..   37 

2.8. Some Excerpts from Vol. 1, Num. 8 of Pentecostal Testimony, Dated in 1911…..   38 

2.9. I’ll Quote Part of what Durham Said under the Heading “The Two Great Experiences or Gifts” (pages 5-7) in This 1911 Edition of Pentecostal Testimony…..   41  

2.10. I’ll Quote Part of what Durham Said under the Next Heading, “The Second Work of Grace People Answered” in this 1911 Edition of Pentecostal Testimony(pages 7-9)…..   43 

2.11. I’ll Quote Part of What Durham Said under the Heading “An Open Letter to My Brother Ministers In and Out of the Pentecostal Movement. A Strong Appeal” (pages 12-13) in the Same Edition of Personal Testimony (1911)…..   45

2.12. I also Downloaded and Read Articles Written by Pastor W. H. Durham Taken from Pentecostal Testimony from the Assemblies of God “Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center” in Springfield, Missouri. It is forty-eight pages. At least most of the excerpts in this document were included in the editions of Pentecostal Testimony that are mentioned above. All of the editions of Pentecostal Testimony that are available are available on this Assemblies of God website, but I didn’t get all of them there…..   46 

3. Some Excerpts from William H. Durham and Early Pentecostalism: A Multifaceted Reassessment by Christopher J. Richmann, Baylor University, in Pneuma 37, 2015, pages 224-243. The reason this article is important for my paper is his information regarding A. S. Copley, who taught sanctification very similar to the way William H. Durham taught it….. 46 

4. Some Excerpts from the Ph.D. Thesis Titled William H. Durham and the Sanctification Controversy in Early American Pentecostalism, 1906-1916, by Thomas George Farkas at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, 1993, 365 pages….. 52   

5. Excerpts from Two Assemblies of God Writers and a Brief Excerpt from their Official Website on Sanctification and then from Three Excerpts from Foursquare Church Writings. I comment extensively on these excerpts….. 60 

5.1. Excerpts from Chapter 9, “Entire Sanctification,” which Covers Pages 103-108, from the Book Bible Doctrines: A Series of Studies Based on the Statement of Fundamental Truths as Adopted by the General Council of the Assemblies of God, Revised Edition, by P. C. Nelson (Gospel Publishing House, 1948), 174 pages…..   60 

5.2. Excerpts from Chapter 3 of Five Views on Sanctification (Acadamie Books of Zondervan, 1987), which Is Titled “The Pentecostal Perspective,” Written by Stanley M. Horton (on the back of the book it mentions that he was “Professor of Bible and Theology, Assemblies of God Theological Seminary”), pages 105-138…..   65 

5.3. I’ll Quote what the Assemblies of God Says under “Sanctification” under “Our 16 Fundamental Truths” on their Official Web Site. They don’t say very much, but I believe what little they say here is good: Christians could have faith for victory over all sin based on what is said here…..   75  

5.4. I’ll Quote Quite a Bit from Foundations of Pentecostal Theology by Guy P. Duffield and Nathaniel M. VanCleave (Copyright © 1983. 1987 by L.I.F.E. Bible College at Los Angeles 2006, 2008, Foursquare Media, Los Angeles, CA), 630 pages)…..   76 

5.5. I’ll Quote from Another Foursquare Book on the Topic of Righteousness, Holiness, and Victory Over Sin that I Can, for the Most Part, Agree with. For one thing, it is clear that the content of this book, Foursquare License Interview Process (updated 2012), was strongly influenced by the teaching of Aimee Semple McPherson (AD1890-1944), the minister who founded the Foursquare Church in 1927. (Much of the material in this book was taken directly from her teaching.)…..   86 

5.6. An Excerpt from The Foursquare Gospel that Was Compiled by Raymond L. Cox (Copyright Foursquare Publications, 1969), 296 pages. It contains ten chapters by Raymond L. Cox and fourteen sermons by Aimee Semple McPherson. It also contains “Creedal Statements,” the “Declaration of Faith,” and other Foursquare information…..   89   

6. I’ll Quote from Melvin E. Dieter’s “The Wesleyan Perspective” in Five Views of Sanctification (Acadamie Books of Zondervan, 1987), pages 11-46. (Dieter was “Provost at Asbury Theological Seminary” at that time.) I agree with a whole lot that Dieter says, but I am quoting from him, for the most part, to disagree with the idea of the eradication of the sinful nature and the attendant call for us to walk in perfect love on a very high level….. 92   

7. Some Excerpts from A Plain Account of Christian Perfection, as Believed and Taught by the Reverend Mr. John Wesley, from the Year 1725 to the Year 1777. John Wesley AD 1703-1791….. 95 

8. Some Passages that Show that Although the Apostle Paul (and Other Writers in the New Testament) Frequently Spoke of the Ideal State (a Realistic Ideal State) of Christians Having Died to Sin; of Being Dead to Sin; of Being Baptized into the Death of Christ and Buried with Him; of the Old Man/the Flesh/the Sinful Nature Having Been Crucified with Christ (These Things Are All Mentioned in Romans Chapter 6, for Example), the New Testament Makes it Very Clear that We Must Walk in, Enforce, and Maintain this Death to Sin of the Old Man/the Flesh/the Sinful Nature by Grace through Faith. This Isn’t a State that We Automatically Have or Walk In Just Because We Have Become Born-again Christians….. 103 

8.1. Romans chapter 6…..   104

8.2. Romans 8:1-4…..   105

8.3. Romans 8:12-14…..   105

8.4. Romans 13:14…..   106

8.5. 1 Corinthians 10:12-13…..   106

8.6. 2 Corinthians 5:17…..   107

8.7. 2 Corinthians 12:1-10…..   107

8.8. Galatians 5:13-25…..   107

8.9. Ephesians 3:14-21…..   109

8.10. Ephesians 4:22-32, especially 4:22-24…..  109

8.11. Ephesians 5:10-20…..   110

8.12. Philippians 2:1-11…..   111

8.13. Philippians 2:12-16…..   111

8.14. Colossians 3:1-11…..   112

8.15. 1 Timothy 6:12 with 6:3-21…..   112

8.16. 2 Timothy 2:11-13…..   113

8.17. 1 Peter 2:11…..   113   

9. Some Excerpts from, and Interaction with, William H. Durham and the ‘Finished Work of Calvary’ Theory of Sanctification within Early Pentecostalism, A Thesis Presented to the Faculty of the Department of Historical Theology at Dallas Theological Seminary, by Stephen R. Lewis, May 1986, for a Master of Theology Degree. The thesis is 79 pages, not including his Appendix C, which he titles “Research for Primary Source Material.”….. 114 

10. I’ll Quote a Little and Interact with the Brief (a-little-less-than-one-full-page) Article Titled “The Finished Work” by Glenn Gohr in the May 31, 1998 Edition of Pentecostal Evangel of the Assemblies of God….. 115   

11. The New Testament Teaches that We Must Receive the Indwelling Spirit In Order To Be Christians. (We Are Born Again Through the Indwelling Spirit of Life. We Are Sanctified/Made Righteous/Made Holy Through the Indwelling Righteous, Holy Spirit.) The Spirit Was Not Poured Out – Not Given To Be Received – Until the Day of Pentecost. That First Outpouring of the New-Covenant Spirit Clearly Included the Charismatic Dimension of the Spirit’s Work too. However, Born-Again Christians Can Enter into the Charismatic Dimension of the Spirit’s Work at a Time after Becoming Christians. It seems clear to me that the simplest view is the correct view (the view presented in the New Testament), that the outpouring of the Spirit on the Day of Pentecost included the new birth, the sanctifying work of the Spirit, and the charismatic dimension of the Spirit’s work….. 116 

11.1 The Epistle to the Galatians Demonstrates One Reception (Not Two or Three Receptions) of the Spirit when a Person Becomes a Christian; it Includes Being Born of the Spirit, Being Sanctified by the Spirit, and the Charismatic Dimension of the Spirit’s Work. I’ll quote and discuss some key verses from Galatians…..   117 

11.2. First I’ll List Some Passages that Demonstrate that the All-Important New Birth by the Holy Spirit of Life is Very Much Included in God’s Promised Pouring Out of His Spirit in New-Covenant Salvation. The passages are John 3:3-86:637:37-39Rom. 8:210112 Cor. 3:6Gal. 5:25Titus 3:5-7. These passages are listed, quoted at least in part, and discussed below in section 11.3…..   123 

11.3. Now I’ll List a Large Number of Passages (Passages that Are Listed, Quoted at Least to Some Extent, and Discussed in this Section along with the Passages Listed above in Section 11.2) that Demonstrate that the All-Important Sanctifying/Making Righteous Work of the Righteous, Holy Spirit Is Very Much Included in God’s Promised Pouring Out of His Spirit in New-Covenant Salvation…..   123 

Isaiah 32:15-18 (with Isa. 45:846:12-1356:160:2161:1-3Jer. 31:31-34)…..   123

Ezekiel 36:25-27…..   125

Matthew 3:1-12…..   126

John 3:3-8…..   126

John 6:63…..   129

John 7:37-39…..   130

John 14:16-17…..   130

John 20:19-23…..   130

Acts 1:4-5…..    131

Acts 1:8…..   133

Acts 2:2-4…..   133

Acts 2:33…..   133

Acts 2:37-41…..   134

Acts 15:7-9…..   136

Romans 2:26-29…..   137

Romans 7:5-6…..   137

Romans 8:1-17…..   138

Romans 15:16…..   141

1 Corinthians 6:9-11…..   142

1 Corinthians 12:12-13 (eight pages dealing with baptism in the Spirit and water baptism)…..   142

2 Corinthians 1:22…..   151

2 Corinthians 3:6…..   151

Galatians 3:214…..   151

Galatians 5:516-25…..   152

Ephesians 3:16-17a…..   153

Ephesians 4:23…..   153

2 Thessalonians 2:13-14…..   154

Titus 3:5-7…..   154

11.4. I’ll Comment on Believers Receiving the Spirit in Acts 8:4-249:1-1910:30-48with 11:17; and 19:1-7…..   156

11.5. The Third Wave Pentecostals (Including John Wimber and the Vineyard Churches) Teach that All Born-Again Christians Have Been Baptized in the Holy Spirit; that it Isn’t a Second Experience; and Further Discussion Regarding Receiving the Holy Spirit/Baptism in the Holy Spirit (This section includes a listing and quotation of the relevant verses of the thirteen uses of receiving the Spirit and the eleven uses of giving the Spirit that I found in the New Testament. It is quite significant that each one of these uses can, and undoubtedly should be understood in the same full sense as the seven uses of baptism in the Spirit in the New Testament that includes being born again, being sanctified, and the charismatic dimension of the Spirit’s work, through the one reception, giving, and baptism in the Holy Spirit)…..  160 

1. Introduction and Some Conclusions. 

My primary interest as a Bible teacher has always been righteousness, holiness/sanctification, and victory over sin. In the ideal (which isn’t an unrealistic ideal) we have been called, and we are enabled, to live with the victory over all sin (over everything that God would consider to be sin for us). God hates sin and He paid an infinite price in the sacrifice of His Son to forgive us AND SET US FREE FROM BONDAGE TO SIN AND DEMONS. I believe that many, or most, of us Christians are falling short in this area, and it is a topic of crucial significance, at the heart of what Christianity is all about, and all the more important here at the end of this age. So I was quite motivated to do this study. (I have written two books on this topic: Holiness and Victory Over Sin: Full Salvation Through the Atoning Death of the Lord Jesus Christ and a much more recent book, Righteousness, Holiness, and Victory Over Sin: Full Salvation Through the Atoning Death of the Lord Jesus Christ. I recommend starting with the newer book. It is easier to read, having been taken from radio broadcasts, but the first book contains quite a bit of information not included in the second book. Both books are available at amazon.com.) 

Section 2 of this paper (twenty-seven pages) deals with the teaching of William H. Durham (taken from his Pentecostal Testimony), mostly dealing with sanctification. I include extensive excerpts from his teaching, and I comment extensively on some of the things that he said. Some other sections of this paper also deal with his teaching on holiness/sanctification, and other sections directly deal with the super-important topic of holiness and victory over sin. 

William H. Durham (AD1873-1912) started pastoring a holiness mission in Chicago in 1903. He taught the Wesleyan view of entire sanctification, where Christians were exhorted to seek for a second sanctifying experience that would put to death/eradicate the old man/flesh/sinful nature and enable Christians to be entirely sanctified and walk with the victory over all sin, including inward sin. ((I’ll comment further on the meaning of so-called inward sin as we continue, but I’ll comment briefly here: Inward sin includes things like wrong thoughts and desires (attitudes, motives, priorities, etc.). I don’t believe the New Testament teaches that wrong thoughts and desires, etc. are sin if we resist them by the enabling grace of the indwelling, sanctifying Spirit by faith. I’ll quote Matt. 5:28, “but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” Jesus was speaking of a man looking at a woman in order tolust for her (for the purpose of lusting for her; the Greek preposition pros that is used in this verse can be translated “in order to” or “for the purpose of”), while being proud of himself because he didn’t literally commit adultery with her. The English Standard Version translates: “But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” Jesus was not speaking of a man who turned his head, or closed his eyes, or left the scene so that he wouldn’t lust. The potential for lust isn’t sin, and before long we will be glorified.)) Although I don’t agree that the New Testament teaches that the old man/the flesh/the sinful nature can be eradicated/annihilated, I very much appreciate the fact that those who hold that viewpoint teach that Christians are called, and enabled, to walk with the victory over all sin (after they have received this experience). Every true Christian wants to obey God and please Him, so what I’m sharing is good news, very good news. God hates sin and He paid an infinite price to set us free from sin. Yes, there are enemies trying to keep us in sin, but God is calling us, and enabling us, to walk with the victory over sin, by grace through faith. God didn’t call us to this victory to produce condemnation, but transformation, by grace through faith.   

It has seemed clear to me for a long time – and THIS IS VERY GOOD NEWS – that through the all-important atoning death of the Lamb of God and the all-important outpouring of the Holy Spirit of life, righteousness, and holiness, God calls us, and enables us, to walk with the victory over all sin, over everything that God would consider to be sin for us. The New Testament certainly doesn’t teach that this walk will take place automatically, or that it will always be easy: The world, the old man, and the devil and his hosts are against us. But we are called to walk in the imparted righteousness and holiness of God, by faith, through the powerful, sufficient grace of God in Christ. We cannot walk with the victory over all sin until we see, clearly see in our hearts (faith is of the heart), that the New Testament calls us to this walk. Our faith must be based on what the Word of God actually says. In Gal. 5:16, for example, the apostle Paul says: But I say, walk by the Spirit [by faith]. And you[certainly (the Greek has an intensive negative here)] will not carry out the [sinful] desire of the flesh [of the old man/sinful nature]. In other words, we won’t sin. Doesn’t that sound good? 

I mentioned that the Wesleyan view of sanctification seeks an experience (almost always a second experience after becoming born-again Christians) that will eradicate the old man (but they are not saying that those who receive this experience could not sin again). Durham began to teach what he called the Finished Work of Calvary viewpoint. He began to argue against the view that Christians should look for a second experience to gain the full victory over sin. He said that the New Testament calls us to begin to walk with the full victory over sin from the time that we become Christians. The primary reason that I’m quoting from Durham is that I agree with him on this super-important point. 

Christians are called to walk by the life-giving, saving, sanctifying grace of God in Christ, which includes all the relevant work of the indwelling Righteous, Holy Spirit, by faith – a faith that is based on the call of the New Testament to walk in the righteousness and holiness of God with the victory over all sin, which includes enabling us to keep the old man/the flesh/the sinful nature from manifesting itself in anything that God would consider to be sin for us. Wrong thoughts and desires are not sin if we resist them by the Spirit. Being enabled to keep the old man/the flesh/the sinful nature from manifesting itself in sin is quite different than having the old man eradicated. Durham made a few comments that fit the idea of the eradication of the old man, but in his writings he made it clear that we must actively, by grace through faith, keep the old man from manifesting itself in sin – we must crucify the old man and keep it crucified. 

In March 1907 Durham received what he, in a typical Pentecostal sense, called the baptism in the Spirit. (Holiness Christians had often used those words to speak of being fully sanctified. I’ll say quite a bit about how the New Testament uses the words “baptism in the Spirit” in this paper.) After Durham received the Pentecostal baptism in the Spirit at the Azusa Street Mission, he began a process of revising his thinking about sanctification. At least by early in 1911 he was teaching a Finished View of Calvary view of sanctification. It was based to some extent on Romans chapter 6, which is a super-important passage on victory over sin, all sin, including inward sin. (Romans 6 is where I first saw that we are called, and enabled, to walk with the victory over all sin. I needed to see that! God led me to that chapter when I cried out to Him as a newly converted Christian who was facing strong temptations and intense spiritual warfare.) At least by early in 1911 Durham was clearly teaching that through identification with Christ we can – we are called, and enabled – to be fully sanctified, including being dead to sin and the old man and walking in the righteousness and holiness of God. He, like those who believe in being sanctified by a second experience, also taught that we need to keep growing in the things of God after being fully sanctified (entire sanctification). 

Based on his new understanding, he made a strong point of saying that we don’t need a second sanctifying experience to become fully sanctified. We’ll discuss the details as we continue, but here I want to disagree with Durham’s saying (at least sometimes saying) that we can be born again and fully sanctified by the influence of the Holy Spirit before the Spirit indwells us. ((Durham wasn’t totally consistent with a few things that he said; he didn’t have a lot of time to systematize his new viewpoint(s), and he was continually being confronted with questions and opposition, but also with many who very much appreciated his new viewpoint. It is significant, however, that in his new viewpoint, he consistently taught that we are called, and enabled, to walk with the victory over all sin, including inward sin, from the time we become Christians, even if many born-again Christians weren’t fully walking in that victory.)) Other places Durham says that we should typically be baptized in the Spirit (receive the Spirit) right after we are baptized in water. I am sure that we cannot live in the righteousness and holiness of God with the victory over all sin (over everything that God would consider to be sin for us) apart from the indwelling Righteous, Holy Spirit.

As I’ll discuss later, the New Testament typically speaks of receiving the Spirit/being baptized in the Spirit right after being baptized in water, with room for exceptions. ((I discuss water baptism in this paper. I believe the New Testament presents a higher view of water baptism than the view held by many, but there are many indispensable things that are more important than water baptism: we must hear the gospel and understand the basics of the gospel; we must repent and submit to God, His Son, and His gospel in faith; and we must have all the preliminary work of the Spirit as he convicts, draws, reveals, etc.; and His making us alive (the new birth) and His making us righteous and holy when He indwells us. However, I am not suggesting, nor do I believe, that believers cannot be saved or sanctified before, or apart from, water baptism.)) 

I believe I demonstrate in this paper that the New Testament typically speaks of one primary coming of the Spirit (which is the same as receiving the Spirit, God’s giving the Spirit, and being baptized in the Spirit). This one coming includes being born again by the indwelling Spirit of life; being made righteous and holy by the indwelling Righteous, Holy Spirit, and entering the charismatic dimension of the Spirit’s work. The first coming of the new-covenant, Righteous, Holy Spirit of Life was on the Day of Pentecost. I want to make it clear that I am not suggesting that we cannot be solid, fruitful Christians if we don’t agree, for example, that the New Testament teaches that baptism in the Spirit/receiving the Spirit includes being born of the indwelling Life-Giving Spirit, being made Righteous and Holy by the indwelling Righteous, Holy Spirit, and entering the charismatic dimension of the new-covenant work of the indwelling Spirit. However, our interpretations of the Bible do make a difference, sometimes a big difference.]]

I realize that large numbers of Christians in our day receive the Spirit in the charismatic dimension of the Spirit’s work many years after they became born-again Christians. One primary reason for this delayed reception of the Spirit is that so many Christians didn’t believe that this dimension of His work was available when they became Christians. (And many were taught against that idea.) I didn’t hear about the charismatic dimension of the Spirit’s work until after I had become a born-again Christian. For some born-again Christians it may have been that they finally yielded to that dimension of the indwelling Spirit’s work once they began to believe it was available in our day. For others it apparently consisted of actually receiving the Spirit in that dimension of His work. Anyway, we always need to cooperate with the Spirit by faith and appropriate everything that God makes available to us by grace through faith. I’ll discuss what the New Testament teaches about receiving the Spirit/being baptized in the Spirit/God’s giving the Spirit, aiming for a balanced Biblical viewpoint, in this paper.      

As I mentioned, a primary reason that I’m interested in Durham’s Finished Work of Calvary viewpoint is that he taught that Christians are called, and enabled, to walk with the victory over all sin, including inward sin, from the time of conversion/becoming a born-again Christians. As I mentioned, I believe this is what the New Testament teaches. Again, this victory is not automatic (far from it), or always easy, but it is an extremely important part of what new-covenant salvation is all about. God hates sin, and He sacrificed His Son and poured out His infinite Holy Spirit to dwell within us to give us the victory over sin, all sin, over everything that God would consider to be sin for us.  

I’ll quote 1 Peter 2:24. and He Himself bore our sins [[our sins with the guilt and the penalties, including the major penalties of spiritual death and bondage to sin (the Hebrew words for sin include the penalty(ies) for sin; see the first three chapters of my book Holiness and Victory Over Sin; this important fact is also discussed in my book Righteousness, Holiness, and Victory Over Sin; both books are available at amazon.com; we cannot begin to adequately understand sacrificial offerings, and especially the all-important Sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ, without understanding that the sacrificial offerings were bearing the sins with the guilt AND WITH THE PENALTIES, INCLUDING THE MAJOR PENALTIES THAT CAME WITH ADAM’S REBELLION, OF SPIRITUAL DEATH AND BONDAGE TO SIN AND DEMONS]] in His body on the cross, SO THAT WE MIGHT DIE TO SIN AND LIVE TO RIGHTEOUSNESS [my emphasis]; for by His wounds we are healed [[especially being healed from being spiritually dead sinners in bondage to sin and demons; but also physical, mental, financial, etc. healing. It is significant that the last words of 1 Pet. 2:24 were taken from Isaiah 53:5; Isaiah chapter 53 prophesies of the all-important atoning death of the Lamb of God, and it puts some emphasis on our being made Righteous (see Isa. 53:11), which includes the victory over all sin, by the all-important atoning death of the Righteous One. Key verses of Isaiah chapter 53 are discussed in both of my holiness books)]].

Sometimes Durham confuses the issue and speaks of becoming born-again Christians and seemingly almost automatically you are dead to sin, with the old man being crucified. When you read all that Durham said on the topic, he eventually makes it clear that we must wage warfare against sin and that born-again Christians certainly can sin and that many were sinning in his day; therefore the victory is far from being automatic. One of Durham’s primary points was that we don’t need a second experience to be fully sanctified because that is available in conversion. I agree with Durham that the New Testament does speak of the ideal state of being dead to sin, alive to God, and living in the righteousness and holiness of God from the time of conversion/becoming born-again Christians. Romans chapter 6 is a chapter of key importance here. One reason Durham began to strongly teach against the idea of a second experience to be sanctified was that that viewpoint communicated the idea that you cannot have faith for the full victory over sin now. Durham eventually made it clear in his writing that we have to continually walk by faith and put the old man to death (crucify the old man/the flesh/the sinful nature) and keep the old man dead (crucified), or we will still be sinning. 

I have always emphasized the need for us to walk by faith and by Holy Spirit on a continuous basis, resisting the world, the flesh/old man, and the devil and his hosts, which is very far from having an automatic victory over sin. The New Testament makes it clear that we have to wage warfare against sin, including inward sin, by grace through faith (cf., e. g., Gal. 5:13-25, especially verse 17; Rom. 8:12-14; these verses are all discussed in this paper). We will not lose battles to the enemies of the world, the flesh/old man/sinful nature, and the devil and his hosts) if we walk by the Spirit by faith on a continuous basis, in agreement with what the New Testament teaches.  

One reason, I suppose it is the primary reason that Durham’s teaching on sanctification became so important is that it influenced the Pentecostal denominations that formed after he died (July 1912), especially the Assemblies of God which was founded in 1914. However, at least most of his influence was limited to dropping the teaching of a second work of grace for entire sanctification. As we will discuss, they didn’t (for the most part) adopt his teaching on the call, and enablement, for Christians to walk with the victory over all sin from the time of conversion. Before that time most Pentecostals, having come from holiness backgrounds, believed in a second work of grace for entire sanctification before being baptized in the Spirit, using the words “baptized in the Spirit” in a Pentecostal sense. Durham’s teaching didn’t have a major impact on the Pentecostal denominations that had been formed earlier, including the Church of God of Cleveland Tennessee; Pentecostal Holiness, and the Church of God in Jesus Christ: They all continued to emphasize the need for a definite second work of grace for entire sanctification before being baptized in the Spirit.     

Section 3 of this paper is titled, “Some Excerpts from William H. Durham and Early Pentecostalism: A Multifaceted Reassessment by Christopher J. Richmann, Baylor University, in Pneuma 37, 2015, pages 224-243. The reason this article is important for my paper is his information regarding A. S. Copley, who taught sanctification very similar to the way William H. Durham taught it.” I didn’t know of A. S. Copley until I read Richmann’s paper while preparing to write this paper. I don’t agree with Copley on every detail, but I very much appreciate his work. Section 3 of this paper is mostly devoted to the teaching of Copley, who was a contemporary Pentecostal with Durham. He also taught victory over all sin for Christians by grace through faith, and he made it very clear that he did not believe in the eradication of the old man/flesh/sinful nature. I quote extensively from Copley. I appreciate most of what he said, and his teaching supplements what Durham taught and helps us understand what Durham taught.  Although he wasn’t as influential as Durham, his teaching was better presented than Durham’s. Also, it seems certain that he published his “finished work” viewpoint a little before Durham. Apparently we don’t know how much they influenced one another, if at all. Anyway, there is widespread agreement that Durham was more influential than Copley. 

Section 4 of this paper is titled, “Some Excerpts from the Ph.D. thesis titled William H. Durham and the Sanctification Controversy in Early American Pentecostalism, 1906-1916, by Thomas George Farkas at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, 1993, 365 pages.” A lot of important information is included in this thorough study by this Assemblies of God pastor. One place where I have to differ with Farkas is in his conclusion that Durham taught perfectionism, including the crucifixion of the old man/the eradication of the old man/sinful nature. Farkas qualified this conclusion a little, but not enough. It is true that Durham was somewhat inconsistent in the things he said, and that he made a few comments that would fit the eradication of the old man through becoming a Christian, but he made it clear in his writings that we must crucify the old man and keep it crucified by grace through faith, which is very far from being automatic or always easy. We must wage warfare against the old man (and the world and the devil and his hosts). 

Section 5 of this paper is titled, Excerpts from Two Assemblies of God Writers and a Brief Excerpt from their Official Website on Sanctification and then Excerpts from Three Foursquare Church Writings. I comment extensively on these excerpts. 

Section 5.1 (I’ll call it a section instead of a subsection) is titled “Excerpts from Chapter 9, ‘Entire Sanctification,’ which covers pages 103-108 of the book Bible Doctrines: A Series of Studies Based on the Statement of Fundamental Truths as Adopted by the General Council of the Assemblies of God, Revised Edition, by P. C. Nelson (Gospel Publishing House, 1948), 174 pages.” The author is far from teaching that we are called, and enabled, to live in a state of holiness with the victory over all sin. He speaks of positional holiness and long processes of putting off sin, which is rather typical for the teaching on sanctification/holiness in our day. However, the fact that there is a footnote included at the end of this chapter written by Ernest S. Williams, who was “General Superintendent Assemblies of God” at that time, 1948, significantly improves this chapter from my point of view. Williams was not fully satisfied with quite a bit that is written in this chapter. I strongly agree with what Williams said here. What he said is in general agreement with what William H. Durham was teaching about holiness and victory over sin. 

Section 5.2 is titled, “Excerpts from Chapter 3 of Five Views on Sanctification (Acadamie Books of Zondervan, 1987), which is titled “The Pentecostal  Perspective,” written by Stanley M. Horton (on the back of the book it mentions that he was “Professor of Bible and Theology, Assemblies of God Theological Seminary”), pages 105-138. Throughout this chapter Horton, for the most part, presents the idea that Christians will continue to sin while progressing in the Christian life, and he interprets many relevant passages in a way that backs up that idea. I have to disagree with those interpretations. 

Section 5.3 is titled, “I’ll Quote what the Assemblies of God says under “Sanctification” under “Our 16 Fundamental Truths” on their Official Web Site. They don’t say very much, but I believe what little they say here is good: Christians could have faith for victory over all sin based on what is said here.” 

Section 5.4 is titled, “I’ll Quote Quite a Bit from Foundations of Pentecostal Theology by Guy P. Duffield and Nathaniel M. VanCleave (Copyright © 1983. 1987 by L.I.F.E. Bible College at Los Angeles 2006, 2008, Foursquare Media, Los Angeles, CA), 630 pages).” I am not satisfied with what the authors have to say on sanctification/holiness and victory over sin. For one thing, it seems that these scholars were influenced more by popular evangelical teaching on sanctification/holiness than by the views of Aimee Semple McPherson, who founded their denomination, and some other Foursquare ministers. The excerpts under the next section of this paper (section 5.5) will demonstrate this: Those excerpts have a much more positive view regarding victory over sin. As is typical for this paper, I’ll make quite a few comments along with these excerpts. 

Section 5.5 of this paper is titled, “I’ll Quote from Another Foursquare Book on the Topic of Righteousness, Holiness, and Victory Over Sin that I Can, for the Most Part, Agree with. For one thing, it is clear that the content of this book, Foursquare License Interview Process (updated 2012), was strongly influenced by the teaching of Aimee Semple McPherson (AD1890-1944), the minister who founded the Foursquare Church in 1927. (Much of the material in this book was taken directly from her teaching.).” 

Section 5.6 of this paper is titled “An Excerpt from The Foursquare Gospel that Was Compiled by Raymond L. Cox (Copyright Foursquare Publications, 1969), 296 pages. It contains ten chapters by Raymond L. Cox and fourteen sermons by Aimee Semple McPherson. It also contains ‘Creedal Statements,’ the ‘Declaration of Faith,’ and other Foursquare information.” I’ll quote all but the first sentence of a paragraph by Raymond Cox from chapter 1, “Jesus Christ the Saviour,” under the heading “Salvation by Faith in Jesus” (page 79). This excerpt speaks of victory over sin in rather strong fashion. I’ll make several comments in brackets too, some of them very important. 

Section 6 of this paper is titled “I’ll quote from Melvin E. Dieter’s ‘The Wesleyan Perspective’ in Five Views of Sanctification (Acadamie Books of Zondervan, 1987), pages 11-46. Dieter was ‘Provost at Asbury Theological Seminary’ at that time. I agree with a whole lot that Dieter says, but I am quoting from him, for the most part, to disagree with the idea of the eradication of the sinful nature and the attendant call for us to walk in perfect love on a very high level.” I believe verses like Gal. 5:17demonstrate that we continue to wage warfare against the old man (and the world and Satan and his hosts) by the powerful enabling grace of God in Christ, which includes the work of the indwelling Righteous, Holy Spirit of life. I believe it is necessary to understand that having wrong desires and thoughts, though undesirable, isn’t sin if we resist them by grace through faith and don’t act on them. 

Section 7 of this paper is titled “Some Excerpts from A Plain Account for Christian Perfection, as Believed and Taught by the Reverend Mr. John Wesley, from the Year 1725 to the Year 1777. John Wesley AD 1703-1791.” I took this thirty-one-page document, which has a lot of small print on each page, from the internet. I very much appreciate John Wesley’s zeal for God and His truth and righteousness, and he certainly exhorts Christians to live at the highest level possible. However, I believe these extensive excerpts from Wesley demonstrate an overstatement of what God has called us to be and do. I appreciated reading what Wesley said, and it helps motivate me, but I frequently had the thought that Wesley was asking more of Christians than God is asking, and that there wasn’t enough emphasis on resting in Christ as we walk by the Holy Spirit by faith. I suppose it could be said that this writing was too works/striving oriented. Anyway, I have a lot of respect for Wesley and agree with him that we should not leave any room for anything that God would consider to be sin for us.  

Section 8 of this paper is titled “Some Passages that Show that Although the Apostle Paul (and Other Writers in the New Testament) Frequently Spoke of the Ideal State (a Realistic Ideal State) of Christians having Died to Sin; of being Dead to Sin; of being Baptized into the Death of Christ and Buried with Him; of the Old Man/the Flesh/the Sinful Nature having been Crucified with Christ (These Things are all Mentioned in Romans Chapter 6, for Example), the New Testament Makes it Very Clear that We Must Walk in, Enforce, and Maintain this Death to Sin of the Old Man/the Flesh/the Sinful Nature by Grace through Faith. This Isn’t a State that We Automatically Have or Walk In Just Because We Have Become Born-again Christians.” 

This section, which is extremely important and at the heart of what new-covenant salvation is all about, is devoted to a study of seventeen passages of the New Testament, starting with Romans chapters 6, followed by key passages from Romans chapter 8  

Section 9 of this paper is titled “Some Excerpts from, and Interaction with, William H. Durham and the ‘Finished Work of Calvary’ Theory of Sanctification within Early Pentecostalism, A Thesis Presented to the Faculty of the Department of Historical Theology at Dallas Theological Seminary, by Stephen R. Lewis, May 1986, for a Master of Theology Degree. The thesis in 79 pages, not including his Appendix C, which he titles, “Research for Primary Source Material.” I didn’t quote extensively from Stephen Lewis. He didn’t agree with Durham on much. He said Durham’s “greatest inconsistency” is “the concept that a person once saved can be lost” (page 44). I believe the New Testament makes it clear that saved persons can be lost (see my paper Once Saved, Always Saved?, which is on my internet site; Google to Karl Kemp Teaching).  

Section 10 is titled, “I’ll Quote a Little and Interact with the Brief (a-little-less-than-one-full-page) Article Titled “The Finished Work” by Glenn Gohr in the May 31, 1998 Edition of Pentecostal Evangel of the Assemblies of God.” I’ll include a key excerpt from that section, with my comment in brackets: “Durham’s views became part of the basic theology of the Assemblies of God when it organized in 1914 in Hot Springs, Arkansas. [I believe this statement must be substantially qualified. Gohr is referring to Durham’s view that the New Testament doesn’t teach a second definite work of grace for entire sanctification. However, Durham’s strong emphasis on the fact that we should literally be dead to sin and living in the righteousness of God through union with the Lord Jesus and by the power of the Holy Spirit from the time of conversion was, at least for the most part, dropped. This is a point that Farkas, who was quoted above, made too.] … Subsequently, practically every Pentecostal denomination organized after 1914 adopted this view of sanctification.” 

Section 11, which is the last section in this paper, is titled, “The New Testament Teaches that We Must Receive the Indwelling Spirit in order To Be Christians. (We are Born Again through the Indwelling Spirit of Life. We are Sanctified/Made Righteous/Made Holy through the Indwelling Righteous, Holy Spirit.) The Spirit Was Not Poured Out – Not Given To Be Received – Until the Day of Pentecost. That First Outpouring of the New-Covenant Spirit Clearly Included the Charismatic Dimension of the Spirit’s Work too. However, Born-Again Christians Can Enter into the Charismatic Dimension of the Spirit’s Work at a Time after Becoming Christians, even as They Can be Sanctified at a Time after Becoming Christians. It seems clear to me that the simplest view is the correct view (the view presented in the New Testament), that the outpouring of the Spirit on the Day of Pentecost included the new birth, the sanctifying work of the Spirit, and the charismatic dimension of the Spirit’s work.” There are five subsections (I’ll simplify and call them sections) here where we get into some important details.

Section 11.1 is titled, “The Epistle to the Galatians Demonstrates One Reception (Not Two or Three Receptions) of the Spirit when a Person Becomes a Christian; it Includes Being Born of the Spirit, Being Sanctified by the Spirit, and the Charismatic Dimension of the Spirit’s Work. I’ll quote and discuss some key verses from Galatians.” 

Section 11.2 is titled, “First I’ll list Some Passages that Demonstrate that the All-Important New Birth by the Holy Spirit of Life is Very Much Included in God’s Promised Pouring Out of His Spirit in New-Covenant Salvation. The passages are John 3:3-86:637:37-39Rom. 8:210112 Cor. 3:6Gal. 5:25Titus 3:5-7. These passages are listed, quoted at least in part, and discussed below in section 11.3.” I didn’t list any passages here that don’t specifically mention life/birth or the equivalent, but it must be understood, as I believe I demonstrate in this paper, that the promises of the outpoured life-giving Spirit speak of the same new-covenant-salvation-reality as the promises of the outpoured Spirit who sanctifies/makes righteous. Both aspects of the Spirit’s work are required to accomplish new-covenant salvation, and the charismatic dimension of the Spirit’s work, though not emphasized in prophecies of new covenant salvation, is required for the Christian church to function as it should, and to be equipped to take the gospel to the world.

Section 11.3 is titled, “Now I’ll List the Large Number of Passages (passages that are listed, quoted at least to some extent, and discussed here along with the passages listed above in 11.2) that Demonstrate that the All-Important Sanctifying/Making Righteous Work of the Righteous, Holy Spirit is Very Much Included in God’s Promised Pouring out of His Spirit in New-Covenant Salvation.” This thirty-two-page section is packed with important information. Twenty-five passages are listed and quoted, at least in part, and some of them are discussed in some detail. Most of these passages are from the New Testament, but a few verses of key importance are from the Old Testament.

1 Corinthians 12:12-13 is one of the passages listed, quoted, and discussed in this section. For one thing, 1 Cor. 12:13 is one of the seven passages in the New Testament that speak of being baptized in the Spirit. I have eight pages of discussion under 1 Cor. 12:13 that deal with being baptized in the Spirit/receiving the Spirit and to some extent with water baptism.

Section 11.4 is titled, “I’ll Comment Briefly on Believers Receiving the Spirit in Acts 8:4-249:1-1910:30-48 with 11:17; and 19:1-7.” How we interpret these passages is crucial to our understanding of whether the New Testament speaks of entering the charismatic dimension of the Spirit’s work as a second experience (which Pentecostals and charismatics typically teach and typically call it “the baptism in/by the Spirit,” or whether it teaches entering the charismatic dimension of the Spirit’s work along with being born of the Spirit and the sanctifying work of the Spirit when believers receive the Spirit as a very important part of becoming Christians. Throughout this paper I opt for the viewpoint that receiving the Spirit, baptism in the Spirit, and similar expressions in the New Testament include the often prophesied being born again by the Spirit and being made holy by the Spirit, and also the charismatic dimension of the Spirit’s work that enables the Body of Christ to function as it should and to take the gospel to the world. The Holy Spirit anoints ministers to be able to minister and anoints all Christians to make their necessary contributions for the proper functioning of the Body of Christ. All three of these aspects of the new-covenant work of the Spirit were poured out for the first time on the Day of Pentecost.       

And Section 11.5, the last section of this paper, is titled, “The Third Wave Pentecostals (Including John Wimber and the Vineyard churches) Teach that All Born-Again Christians have been Baptized in the Holy Spirit, that it Isn’t a Second Experience. And Further Discussion Regarding Receiving the Holy Spirit.” Christians don’t have to wage warfare regarding questions like this, but the more we all come to the balanced truth of what the Bible teaches, the more we can unite in the one Body of Christ and function in divine order for the glory of God. 

One thing I discuss in this section is that the expressions receiving the Spirit (in some form; I found thirteen examples) and the giving of the Spirit (in some form; I found eleven examples) are used in the same full-orbed sense that baptism in the Spirit is used in the New Testament: That is, the Life-Giving, Sanctifying/Make Righteous, and Charismatic Dimension of the Spirit’s Work are included in the one primary new-covenant giving and receiving of the Spirit that started on the Day of Pentecost. This is important! For one thing, it simplifies the picture, and the simplest view typically is the correct view. I’m speaking of what the New Testament teaches: Very often things don’t come to pass in line with what the New Testament teaches for various reasons, which we will discuss, and there is room for exceptions to the typical patterns.

2. 

Some Excerpts and Comments Regarding the Influential Teaching on Sanctification of William H. Durham (AD1873-1912). 

2.1. Excerpts from Durham’s Personal Testimony (Vol. 2, Num. 2; January 1912) under the Heading “The Finished Work of Calvary: Identification with Jesus Christ Saves and Sanctifies” (on pages 1-3). 

“NO SECOND WORK OF GRACE [to become fully sanctified is] TAUGHT [in the New Testament] OR NECESSARY. How anyone could have been blinded by the theory that sanctification is a definite, second, instantaneous work of grace is now a mystery to me. Of all theories to which men are in bondage, it seems to me this is the weakest as well as the most unscriptural [Although I don’t believe the New Testament teaches full (entire) sanctification as a second work of grace, I very much appreciate their contending for the victory over all sin, and it is clear that large numbers of Christians need to be sanctified after becoming born-again Christians.], and yet men are contending for it, as if the salvation of the world largely depended on it. In order to do this they have to close their eyes to the light in exactly the same way those who reject the truth concerning the baptism [in the Spirit, using these words in a Pentecostal sense] and the speaking in tongues have done, and are still doing. Durham was a Pentecostal when he wrote all of these things.

 … …when does a man come into Christ? We believe that all sound teachers will agree that it is in conversion. The next question, then, that arises is, has a man who is in Christ sin in him? No. It could not be. We do not come into Christ with the ‘old man’ in us. God has one time put our old man into Christ, and nailed him to the cross, and bless God, all who are in Christ are crucified with Him, and their old man is dead in Him. [[(This double bracket continues for two paragraphs.) Durham taught that the reason ‘no second work of grace is taught or necessary’ is because we are supposed to be [sometimes, as in this present excerpt that continues for a while, Durham doesn’t mention supposed to be] dead to sin from the time we become Christians. I believe that this is the ideal to which we are called, and the New Testament doesn’t present it as an unrealistic ideal. However, as I will demonstrate, much that Durham says like this must be greatly qualified by other things that he rightly says.

As I mentioned in the Introduction, as you keep reading what Durham taught he eventually makes it clear that these things don’t just take place automatically when we become Christians, and true Christians can sin, and many true Christians do sin. But, and this is very important, Durham did teach that we are called, and enabled, to walk with the victory over all sin, including so-called inward sin. Keep in mind that a dominant point Durham was making here is that we don’t need a second sanctifying work of grace, which was the view held by most Pentecostals at that time, and a view that he himself had been teaching for several years.]]

In Adam the old creation received condemnation for sin with the sentence of death [spiritual death and physical death, AND bondage to sin and demons]. All are under this sentence, till they become identified with Jesus Christ by living faith and are made new creatures. … …our old man was crucified with Christ. Rom. 6:6-7. … …it is an actual experience [not just a legal transaction] to all who have exercised living faith in Christ. … The new covenant of grace is conditioned upon faith alone; therefore the moment a man believes he is saved – not partly or outwardly saved, but fully saved – he is just as saved as he ever will or can be. You say, ‘Of course he is saved, but not sanctified.’ A man is not saved till he is sanctified. To sanctify generally, of course, means to set apart for service or for a holy use, but we are dealing with the side of it that means to cleanse or make holy. Sanctify sometimes means an inward separation from evil and defilement. It never means a second work of grace. [A Christian could be fully sanctified as a second work of grace, but the New Testament doesn’t teach that full sanctification should take place as a second, definite, work of grace.] So when God saves a man, He saves Him inwardly and outwardly. The man who is not cleansed is not saved. In other words, God never saves a man from outward sin that He does not save him from inward sin at the same time. [[(This double bracket continues for three paragraphs.) This is seriously oversimplified and not adequate at all (and as I mentioned, when you read other things that Durham said, he demonstrates that this statement must be substantially qualified: These things don’t take place automatically; we must cooperate with God’s sanctifying grace against the opposition of the world, the flesh/old man, and the devil and his hosts), but Christians are not supposed to be sinning (not sinning at all, including inward sin, including anything that God would consider to be sin for us), and this is good news, very good news! I very much appreciate the fact that Durham saw this, and taught this! 

I am not interested in pointing out places where I disagree with Durham or anybody else! WHAT I WANT FOR THIS PAPER, AND FOR ALL OF MY TEACHING, IS THE BALANCED TRUTH OF WHAT GOD’S WORD TEACHES! We desperately need to believe, teach, and live in line with the balanced truth of what the Bible teaches.

I’ll mention another important difference between what Durham has been saying in this excerpt so far and what I believe is a more Biblical way to say it. Whereas Durham speaks of the old man being crucified, which would include the victory over all inward sin (like wrong thoughts or desires of lust/coveting, for example), since these things have been crucified, I believe we should speak of our keeping wrong thoughts or desires from becoming sin by the power of the Holy Spirit, as we walk by the Spirit by faith on a continuous basis. That’s a big difference, but I should mention here again that Durham eventually acknowledges that we must actively crucify the old man on a continuous basis by faith.]] 

… But the moment we learn the simple truth that it takes justification [used here in the narrow sense of being forgiven and declared righteous] and sanctification both to make Bible salvation, we are freed from the delusion that a man would be saved simply because his sins were forgiven. … In conversion the nature of a man is changed. … …’Ye must be born again.’ [IT IS A REALLY BIG DEAL TO BE SET FREE FROM SIN AND SPIRITUAL DEATH AND DEMONS AND BE BORN AGAIN THROUGH THE ALL-IMPORTANT ATONING DEATH OF THE LAMB OF GOD AND BY THE OUTPOURED, INDWELLING RIGHTEOUS, HOLY SPIRIT OF LIFE!] 

A sinner is born of the corruptible seed (of Adam) and is unholy. When a man is born again he is born of the incorruptible seed and is holy. Faith in Christ quickens him into newness of life, and he is made a new creature in Christ. ‘Wherefore, if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature; old things are passed away, behold all things are become new.’ 2 Cor. 5:17. [I’ll comment on 2 Cor. 5:17 later in this paper. It is totally clear in that context, that the apostle Paul was not saying that everybody who becomes a born-again Christian automatically walks with the victory over all sin. Far from it! In that context he was exhorting the Corinthian Christians who needed to repent to repent.] Now please take notice that old things are past away, and that all things are become new. How dare anyone say that…in order to be fully renewed he has to have another work of grace? [We do, however, have to cooperate with the sanctifying grace of God in Christ, by faith, on a continuous basis, against strong opposition.]

[[(This double bracket goes on for six paragraphs.) I agree with Durham that the grace to walk with the victory over all sin is available to all born-again Christians and that it is extremely important that we have faith for this victory that is based on the Word of God; however, we must admit that there was quite a bit of sin among some of the born-again Christians at Corinth, and not just at Corinth. (Durham would have to agree, and I’m sure that he would agree based on other things that he says in his writings, that some born-again Christians were sinning at ancient Corinth and some/many Christians in his day, but he doesn’t deal with that issue in the excerpts that I am giving here. He would say that the grace was available for them to live in the righteousness of God and that they didn’t need a second experience to be sanctified. I agree with him on that very important point. Sometimes, as I will demonstrate, Durham emphasizes the need for us to make it a top priority to overcome sin and the devil by grace through faith. He also emphasizes the need for Christians who are sanctified to keep on growing, but not a growing out of sin. They won’t need to be growing out of sin if they are fully sanctified with the victory over all sin, including inward sin (including the victory over anything that God would consider to be sin for those Christians).

Of course we cannot walk in the righteousness and holiness of God if we don’t know that it is available; or if we are not fully committed to live in line with it by faith; or if we are not walking by the Holy Spirit on a continuous basis by faith. These necessary things don’t take place automatically. Far from it! It isn’t all that difficult to doubt God’s Word or/and to walk in the flesh, instead of the Holy Spirit. We must submit to, and appropriate, God’s saving grace by faith on a continuous basis. It is clear that many of the born-again Christians at Corinth (and it wasn’t just at Corinth) were not walking in accordance with the gospel (the gospel that Paul had brought to Corinth) by the enabling grace of God in Christ, by faith, on a consistent basis. The apostle Paul was always warning those who needed to repent that they must repent and begin to live as Christians are called, enabled, and required to live.  

We must understand that when Paul mentioned that “if anyone is in Christ he is a new creature (or creation)” in 2 Cor. 5:17, he was reminding them of what they were called, enabled, and required, to be as Christians. As I mentioned, in that context he was calling those Christians in sin at Corinth who needed to repent to repent. In 2 Cor. 5:20 he exhorted those who needed to repent to “be reconciled to God.” In 5:21 he reminded them that Christ died “so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him,” which includes our living in the imparted righteousness of God, which some/many of the Christians at Corinth were not doing. And in the next verse he, “working together with [God],” exhorted them “not to receive the grace of God in vain.” They would receive the grace of God in vain if they failed to inherit the glory of the fullness of eternal life and heaven. Missing salvation is obviously a super-important issue. The apostle Paul put a strong emphasis on God’s role and grace in our salvation, and on the fact that He must be given all the glory for our salvation, but he didn’t teach once saved, necessarily always saved. (See my paper Once Saved, Always Saved? on my internet site; Google to Karl Kemp Teaching.) 

As this excerpt continues, Durham continues to argue against the idea that true Christians can still have the “old man” remaining in them. I disagree with Durham here. (As I mentioned, Durham isn’t consistent in what he says on this topic. As I will demonstrate, sometimes he speaks of the need for believers to crucify and keep dead the flesh/old man on a continuous basis. Anyway, Durham’s arguing against the idea that true Christians can still have the “old man” remaining in them helps show that he taught that Christians are called to walk with the victory over all sin, including inward sin.) It seems clear to me that the old man has not been eradicated (it will not cease to exist until after we are glorified; I’ll discuss this important point quite a bit in this paper), but the old man must be kept from manifesting itself in sin – it must be kept dead/crucified by grace through faith, which includes walking by the Holy Spirit on a continuous basis, which we are commanded (and privileged) to do (Gal. 5:16). It is clear in Durham’s writings that he believes this, even if he confuses the issue. Perhaps this confusion is found in his writings because he was so motivated to show that the popular second-work-of-grace-to be-fully-sanctified view was wrong, the teaching that we have to wait for a second work of grace to be sanctified. Christians (and not just Christians) tend to miss the balanced truth when they are involved in controversy. If we aren’t careful we sacrifice the balanced truth of what the Bible teaches trying to win an argument. This happens a lot!   

In Gal. 5:17, for an important example, the apostle Paul spoke of the opposition of the “flesh,” which here, and often, equals the “old man,” or “sinful nature,” to the Spirit. However, we must see that in Gal. 5:16 Paul said, But I say, walk by the Spirit [the Holy Spirit] and you will not carry out the [sinful] desire of the flesh [or we could say the old man/sinful nature].” (I should also mention that “the flesh,” as these words are used in Gal. 5:16-17, for example, can include the input from demon spirits; the input from Satan’s kingdom is very real.) So, although Paul acknowledged a sinful input from the flesh/old man in 5:17, he taught that the Holy Spirit always enables us to keep the flesh/old man/sinful nature from manifesting itself in sin, including inward sin (anything that God would call sin for us), as we continually walk by the Spirit, by faith, which we are commanded, and privileged, to do. According to Gal. 5:16 we will not sin (not sin at all) if we walk by the Spirit on a continuous basis. The Spirit of God is so much more powerful than the world, the flesh, and the devil and his kingdom combined. We must see that the “desire of the flesh” (Gal. 5:16) is to do the deeds/works of the flesh mentioned in Gal. 5:19-21, which embraces all sin. It is easy to demonstrate that in his writings Durham acknowledges that we must wage warfare against the old man; we must crucify the old man and keep it crucified. He is acknowledging that the old man/the flesh/the sinful nature (the NIV often translated the flesh as “sinful nature”) still exists. I’ll give some examples from Durham’s writings as we continue.  

Before I continue to quote from Durham, I’ll quote from Rom. 8:12-13, which are some other key verses that confirm that the flesh/old man/sinful nature has not been eradicated/annihilated: So then, brethren [the apostle Paul is writing to Christians], we are under obligation, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh – (13) for if you are living according to the flesh [which they still could do (even though it is not compatible with being a Christian), since the flesh/old man/sinful nature had not been eradicated, but which would be rebellion against God and the terms of new-covenant salvation], you must die [that is, if they persist in rebelling against God they will go back into spiritual death]; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds [works] of the body [which equals the works of the flesh of Gal. 5:19-21], you will live [In other words, if they walk by the Spirit on a continual basis, which they are enabled and obligated to do (cf. Gal. 5:16), they are putting to death the works of the body [flesh], which means that they refrain from sinning and live in the righteousness of God, thereby maintaining a life-flowing relationship with God by the Spirit of life. And they will inherit the fullness of eternal life and be glorified at the end of this age. (Now back to quoting Durham under the same heading, “The Finished Work of Calvary.”)]] 

On every side we are confronted with the teaching that, while in a sense a man is made a new creature when he is saved, yet he has the ‘old man’ remaining in him. They say that the carnal mind is in all believers. [As born-again Christians we still have the potential to think by the flesh/old man, but we are enabled, and required, to always think, and walk, by the Holy Spirit and keep the old man from manifesting itself in sin (see Romans 8:5-8 for example.)] … Will someone tell me how a man can be saved and at the same time have that within him which in itself is enmity against God? [[The New Testament and the history of Christianity demonstrate that it does happen, and all too often. However, and this is very important, there is a very big difference between having wrong thoughts and desires which are resisted and are not considered to be sin by God, and having wrong thoughts which are not resisted and become sin. I should also point out that demons work against us trying to get us to sin, which intensifies the warfare against us, but God’s grace is sufficient for those who appropriate it, by faith, to walk with the victory over all sin.]] No, my brother, this is not salvation. Jesus Christ slew the enmity by His cross, and it is when we stand before His glorious Cross, and believe on Him that we become identified with Him, the enmity in us is slain, our hearts are made pure, and we joyfully yield ourselves to Him and shout our freedom from sin and the devil. …  

[[I need to say again that, although I appreciate Durham’s strong emphasis on victory over all sin contained in this excerpt so far, what he says here is far from the balanced truth of what the New Testament teaches. And it is significant that, as this excerpt continues, Durham brings some balance to this teaching. He does a lot more of this in other writings, as I will demonstrate as we continue with this study. I’m not able to see how he goes from making statements about our necessarily, rather automatically having the victory over all sin as Christians to the teaching that none of this is really true unless we do the things which we are required to do, including crucifying the old man, which was seemingly already crucified. I’m still quoting from Durham’s January 1912 edition of Personal Testimony, under the heading “The Finished Work of Calvary” (pages 1-3).]]

…  One thing should never be lost sight of. When God saves us He makes us pure and clean, but He demands of us that we remain so. [This is very far from being automatic or always easy.] No definite experience [including becoming a born-again, sanctified Christian] can ever remove the necessity for living a holy, separate life unto God. God recognizes the fact that in the fullest, highest sense this can only be done in the Spirit of God, so He has provided, that every person who is saved may almost [[I would skip this word “almost.” As I will discuss below, the New Testament makes receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit a very important part of becoming a Christian. There is no true Christianity or full righteousness or holiness apart from the indwelling Righteous, Holy Spirit of God (see Rom. 8:9). At a minimum we must have the indwelling Spirit of life and righteousness and holiness dwelling in us to be saved and sanctified. And, although it is clear that Christians can receive the Spirit in the charismatic dimension of the Spirit’s work as a second experience (like Durham, for example, did), the New Testament doesn’t separate receiving the life-giving, sanctifying work of the Spirit from receiving the charismatic dimension of the work of the Spirit. (This point is discussed quite a bit in this paper.) Anyway, if we haven’t received the charismatic dimension of the Spirit’s work, for whatever reason, we should ask God to pour out that dimension of the Spirit’s work in our lives now. We also always need to be open to receive any new anointing for new dimensions of ministry that God has for us, but we always must make sure we are not receiving any demonic counterfeits.]] immediately receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, Who if yielded to [Christians are commanded to walk by the Holy Spirit on a continuous basis against the opposition of the world, the flesh/old man, and the devil and his evil angels and demons (e.g., Gal. 5:16).], will undertake the task of guiding us into all truth [and righteousness and holiness]. How beautiful are the words of the great Apostle when, after making that plain statement, that they that are in the flesh cannot please God [Rom. 8:8], he adds, ‘but ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit; if so be that the Spirit of God dwells in you [[Rom. 8:9. As I mentioned above, Rom. 8:9 goes on to say “But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ [which refers to the Holy Spirit (cf., e.g., Phil. 1:19Gal. 4:6 with Rom 8:11-17Acts 16:71 Pet. 1:10-12; I stopped to look at fifteen commentaries on Rom. 8:9: They all agreed that the “Spirit of Christ” means the Holy Spirit here, the Spirit of God], he does not belong to Him.”]] From a scriptural point of view, a sinner is in the flesh, and a believer is in the Spirit; and God makes conversion the dividing line between the two states. In the old life, the old creation in Adam…which is in the flesh, rules. The new life in Christ is supposed to be [my emphasis] lived entirely in the Spirit.

[[In the last paragraph of these excerpts (and comments), starting with the words “One thing should never be lost sight of,” Durham included some gigantic qualifications to what he had been saying about Christians (seemingly almost automatically) being sanctified, including inwardly. (The only seemingly minor qualification that I noticed in the earlier excerpts is the statement near the end of those excerpts where Durham included the words “and we joyfully yield ourselves to Him.”) In the last paragraph of these excerpts he said: “When God saves us He makes us pure and clean, but He demands of us that we remain so.” This is a gigantic, but necessary, qualification to what Durham said above, where he communicated the idea that all true Christians are dead to the old man, sanctified, etc. And we must even qualify his first words here that “God makes us pure and clean.” The old man/the flesh/the sinful nature still exists at the beginning, when we become born-again Christians, but we are called, and enabled, to be pure and clean and stay pure and clean as we appropriate God’s saving, sanctifying grace by faith. In the last paragraph of these excerpts he also used the words “if yielded to” with reference to the Holy Spirit. This yielding is very far from being automatic. And the last sentence in the last paragraph of these excerpts is, “The new life in Christ is supposed to be lived entirely in the Spirit” demonstrates that these things don’t just take place automatically. Far from it! Durham understands this, but his teaching isn’t fully consistent; however, it is significant that he doesn’t back off from teaching that Christians are called, and enabled, to walk with the victory over all sin (over anything that God would consider to be sin for us). This viewpoint is very much a minority viewpoint among Christians in our day, but it is very important, and I believe it is taught in the New Testament. 

As we continue with this study, I’ll demonstrate that Durham made it very clear that these things don’t happen automatically when we become Christians. They only come to pass when we, by grace through faith, do the things we are required to do, including, for example, to crucify the old man and keep it crucified. Living for God by His grace through faith is very far from being automatic or always easy, but it is a big part of what Christianity is all about.]]

This is the end of Part 1 of this paper. We will continue with Part 2.

Copyright © by Karl Kemp (karlkempteachingministries.com)

Karl Kemp

I received BS and MS degrees in engineering, and worked as a test engineer in the space field throughout the 60s. Much of that was quite interesting. Quite often we were doing things for the first time. In 1964 the best thing that ever happened to me happened. I became a born-again Christian. I left engineering behind at the end of the 60s and went to seminary. I received an MA in Biblical Studies in 1972, with high honors, from Covenant Theological Seminary in St. Louis. I have done a lot of teaching in churches, Bible colleges, home Bible studies, etc.

The last few years I have done a lot of writing. I have written four books ("Holiness and Victory Over Sin: Full Salvation Through the Atoning Death of the Lord Jesus Christ"; an e-book, "Righteousness, Holiness, and Victory Over Sin," which serves as a good introduction for the paperback book; "The Mid-Week Rapture: A Verse-by-Verse Study of Key Prophetic Passages"; and "Introduction to The Mid-Week Rapture." The e-books are easier to read and should be read first, but the paperback books contain a lot of information not contained in the e-books. All the books are available at amazon.com.

I have written a large number of papers, most of them dealing with foundational Christian issues. Most of them are available at karlkempteachingministries.com. I also have been doing some radio broadcasts the past 5 years.

kkemp7753@sbcglobal.net

Karl Kemp

I received BS and MS degrees in engineering, and worked as a test engineer in the space field throughout the 60s. Much of that was quite interesting. Quite often we were doing things for the first time. In 1964 the best thing that ever happened to me happened. I became a born-again Christian. I left engineering behind at the end of the 60s and went to seminary. I received an MA in Biblical Studies in 1972, with high honors, from Covenant Theological Seminary in St. Louis. I have done a lot of teaching in churches, Bible colleges, home Bible studies, etc.The last few years I have done a lot of writing. I have written four books ("Holiness and Victory Over Sin: Full Salvation Through the Atoning Death of the Lord Jesus Christ"; an e-book, "Righteousness, Holiness, and Victory Over Sin," which serves as a good introduction for the paperback book; "The Mid-Week Rapture: A Verse-by-Verse Study of Key Prophetic Passages"; and "Introduction to The Mid-Week Rapture." The e-books are easier to read and should be read first, but the paperback books contain a lot of information not contained in the e-books. All the books are available at amazon.com.I have written a large number of papers, most of them dealing with foundational Christian issues. Most of them are available at karlkempteachingministries.com. I also have been doing some radio broadcasts the past 5 years.kkemp7753@sbcglobal.net

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