Sanctification and Fifty-four Relations of Christ to Christians by Charles G. Finney
In the introduction W.E. Allen writes, “This book challenges us with the most important question of our Christian experience: are we in touch with the Source of spiritual life and power? It also points out that union with Christ as a real living Saviour is the secret of a happy and victorious Christian Life.”
The following are miscellaneous quotes from this 105-page book.
“A state of entire sanctification can never be attained by an indifferent waiting of God’s time… Not by any works of law, or works of any kind, performed in your own strength, irrespective of the grace of God… Not by any direct efforts to feel right. Many spend their time in vain efforts to force themselves into a right state of feeling… Not by any efforts to obtain grace by works of law… No works of law have the least tendency to overcome our sins, but rather to confirm the soul in self-righteousness and unbelief… the backslider and convicted sinner, when agonizing to overcome sin, will almost always betake themselves to works of law to obtain faith. They will fast, and pray, and read, and struggle, and outwardly reform, and thus endeavour to obtain grace.
“Now all this is vain and wrong. Do you ask, shall we not fast, and pray, and read, and struggle? Shall we do nothing but sit down in antinomian security and inaction? I answer, you must do all that God commands you to do: but begin where He tells you to begin, and do it in the manner in which He commands you to do it; that is, in the exercise of faith that works by love. Purify your hearts by faith. Believe in the Son of God… A State of entire sanctification cannot be attained by attempting to copy the experience of others… Human experiences differ as human countenances differ… the Holy Spirit will reveal Christ to you, in the relations in which you need Him from time to time… Take God at His word. Believe that He means just what He says; and this will at once bring you into the state of mind after which you inquire… Sanctification is to be attained by faith alone… Faith is rather the instrument or condition, than the efficient agent that induces a state of present and permanent sanctification. Faith simply receives Christ, as King, to live and reign in the soul. It is Christ, in the exercise of His different offices, and appropriated in His different relations to the wants of the soul, by faith, Who secures our sanctification. This He does by Divine discoveries to the soul of His Divine perfections and fullness…”
Christ, do you know Him as King, Mediator, Advocate, Redeemer, Justification, Judge, Repairer of the breach, Propitiation for our sins, Surety of a better covenant, Substitute, Risen for our justification, Man of sorrows, Healer, Made sin for us, Governor, Head over all things to the Church, All-powerful One, Prince of Peace, Captain of Salvation, Our Passover, Wisdom, Sanctification, Redemption of the Soul, Prophet, and High Priest (For the relations of Christ, read further in this book on pages 23-37).
Sanctification results from the revelation of Christ to the soul in all His fullness and relations, and the soul’s renunciation of self and appropriation of Christ in these relations.
Christ-He is Our Life
Christ the Bread of Life
“We need also to know ourselves as starving souls, and Christ as the Bread of Life, as ‘the bread that came down from heaven.’ We need to know spiritually and experimentally what it is to ‘eat of His flesh, and to drink of His blood,’ to receive Him as the Bread of Life, to appropriate Him to the nourishment of our souls as really as we appropriate bread, by digestion, to the nourishment of our bodies.
“…Christ also needs to be revealed to the soul as the Fountain of the Water of Life. ‘If any man thirst,’ says He, ‘let him come unto Me and drink.’ ‘I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. To him that is athirst, I will give unto him of the fountain of the water of life freely…
“…When our utter deficiency and emptiness, in any one respect or direction, is deeply revealed to us by the Holy Spirit, with the corresponding remedy and perfect fullness in Christ, it then remains for the soul, in this respect and direction, to cast off self and put on Christ... But I said that we need to know and to lay hold upon Christ as Our Life. Too much stress cannot be laid upon our personal responsibility to Christ, our individual relation to Him, our personal interest in Him and obligation to Him… Until man knows himself to be dead, and that he is wholly destitute of spiritual life in himself, he will never know Christ as his life…
Christ-He is Our Guide
Christ Our Shepherd
“…This relation presupposed the helpless and defenseless condition of Christians in this life, and the indispensable necessity of guardianship and protection… If the sheep do thoroughly know and confide in the Shepherd, they will follow Him, will flee to Him for protection in every hour of danger, will at all times depend on Him for all things.
“Christ is the Door, by and through which the soul enters the fold, and finds security and protection among the sheep…
“Christ is the Way of Salvation… He is not a mere teacher of the way… Christ is truly ‘the Way’ itself or He is Himself ‘the Way… Works are not the way… Faith is not the way…Faith receives Him to reign in the soul, and to be its salvation; but it is Christ Himself Who is ‘the Way.’ The soul is saved by Christ Himself, not be doctrine, not by the Holy Spirit, not by works of any kind, not by faith, not love, nor by anything whatever, but by Christ Himself…
“Christ Himself is the truth… the truth lives, and has a being and a home in Christ… He is truth revealed… When the Holy Spirit reveals truth, He reveals Christ. When Christ reveals truth, He reveals Himself…
“Christ Himself is the true light… Jesus says, ‘I am the Light of the world; he that followeth Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.’
“…Christ is the real and True Light who alone can cause us to see spiritual things as they are…”
For a more detailed book on the subject of our shepherd, please read “A Shepherd Looks At Psalm 23” by Phillip Keller.
Christ-He is Our Strength
Christ Within Us
“The Spirit of Christ, or the real Deity of Christ,
dwells in the truly spiritual believer… Christ not only in heaven, but Christ Within Us, as really and truly inhabiting our bodies as we do, as really in us as we are in ourselves, is the teaching of the Bible, and must be spiritually apprehended by a divine, personal, and inward revelation, to secure our abiding in Him… Romans 8:9, 10.
“…We must know Him as an inward Saviour, as Jesus risen and reigning in us, as having arisen and established His throne in our hearts, and as having written and established the authority of His law there. The old man dethroned and crucified, Christ risen within us and united to us…”
Christ-He is Our Portion
Christ Our Shield
“A shield is a piece of defensive armour used in war…God is the Christian’s Shield in the spiritual warfare…
“The truth is, beyond all question, that sanctification is by faith as opposed to works. That is, faith receives Christ in all His offices, and in all the fullness of his relations to the soul; and Christ, when received, works in the soul to will and to do of all His good pleasure, not by a physical, but by a moral or persuasive working. He influences the will… He influences the will to obey God, it must be by a divine moral persuasion. The soul never in any instance obeys, in a spiritual and true sense, except it be thus influenced by the indwelling Spirit of Christ. But whenever Christ is apprehended and received in any relation, in that relation He is full and perfect; so that we are complete in Him.”