Adapted from Love Slaves by Samuel Logan Brengle
The Standard of Scripture
And the second firmly rests on such Scriptures as these: “And God, who knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as He did unto us; and put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith” (Acts 15:8-9); “If we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin” (1 John 1:7); and “Ye shall receive power after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you” (Acts 1:8).
We must not look to man, but to God and His Word, for the perfect and unchangeable standard of holiness.
And again he writes: “For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another. But after that the kindness and love of God our Savior toward man appeared, Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior” (Titus 3:3-6).
Such was the doctrine of the first Christians, and such was their experience; and to this doctrine and experience we have been committed from the beginning. It is this holiness that we must maintain, otherwise we shall betray our trust; we shall lose our birthright; we shall cease to be spiritual power in the earth; we shall have a name to live, and yet be dead; our glory will depart; and we, like Samson shorn of his locks, shall become as other men; the souls with whom we are entrusted will grope in darkness; we shall have no heritage of martyr-like sacrifice, or spiritual power, or dare-devil faith, or pure, deep joy, or burning love, or holy triumph to bestow upon our children.
The Debt We Owe
We owe it to our Lord, who redeemed us by His blood, not simply that the penalty of our sins should be remitted, and thereby we escape the just penalties of our manifold transgressions, but that we should be sanctified, made holy; that we should become temples of the Holy Ghost, and live henceforth not for our own profit or pleasure, but for His glory, as His bondservants and friends, ready for service or sacrifice, and prepared for every good work.
“We owe it to our children and grandchildren, who constantly scan our lives to find in us an example of the fullness and beauty of holiness, to maintain the standard of Scripture.”
We owe it to our children and our children’s children. They look to us for the teaching that will direct them into full salvation, and they will narrowly and constantly scan our lives to find in us an example of its fullness and beauty, its richness and power, its simplicity, its humility, its self-denial, its courage, its purity, its unfailing constancy, its steadfast trust, its goodness and meekness, its long-suffering love, its peace and joy, its patience and hope, and its deep and abiding satisfaction.
The Path Forward
First, we must remember that the standard is not manmade. God’s standard of holiness is revealed from heaven. Those who experience the fulness of blessing still carry the treasure in earthen vessels; while we should follow them as they follow Christ, we must not look to them, but to God and to His Word, for the perfect and unchangeable standard of holiness. Those who enter into this experience, and abide in it, are great students and lovers and seekers of God’s Word, and to it they appeal when opposers arise.
Without the doctrine, the standard, and the teaching, we shall never find the experience. Without the experience, we shall neglect the teaching, despise or doubt the doctrine, and lower the standard.
Third, we must not only know the doctrine and experience in our own hearts, but we must teach it, preach it, and press it upon the people in season and out of season. We must do this until, like Paul, we can declare our faithfulness in “warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus” (Colossians 1:28).
Fourth, we should carefully and constantly read and scatter holiness literature. We should produce this literature within our own movement and urge our young people to read everything we have published. Let us scatter these books everywhere. Wesley declared that the Methodists need not hope to grow in experience unless they became a reading people. Let us sow all lands deep with this literature, then we shall surely reap a harvest of great richness and prepare the way for the generation which shall come after us.
We must not whine and wail and dolefully lament ‘the good old days’ which we may feel were better than these; but we must kneel down and pray in faith, and rise up and shout and shine and sing.
We must not be fault-finding, neither must we whine and wail and dolefully lament “the good old days” which we may feel were better than these; but we must kneel down and pray in faith, and rise up and shout and shine and sing, and in the name of the Lord command the sun to stand still in the heavens till we have routed the Canaanites and gotten the victory. “Thanks be unto God, which always causes us to triumph in Christ, and makes manifest the savor of His knowledge by us in every place.”
God is interested in this work and waits to be our Helper.