"That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises. For when God made promise to Abraham, because he could swear by no greater, he sware by himself, saying, Surely blessing I will bless thee, and multiplying I will multiply thee. And so after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise. For men verily swear by the greater: and an oath for confirmation is to them an end of all strife. Wherein God, willing more abundantly to show unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath: that by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us: which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which entereth into that within the veil." -- Heb.6:12-19.
"But into the second went the high priest alone once every year, not without blood, which he offered for himself, and for the errors of the people: the Holy Ghost this signifying, that the way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet standing: which was a figure for the time then present, in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices, that could not make him that did the service perfect, as pertaining to the conscience; which stood only in meats and drinks, and divers washings and carnal ordinances, imposed on them until the time of reformation. But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of a heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh; how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance." -- Heb.9:7-15.
"Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me: ... Above when he said, Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and offering for sin thou wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure therein which are offered by the law; then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second. By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all ... For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified." -- Heb.10:5, 8-10, 14.
"Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; that he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, that he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing: but that it should be holy and without blemish." -- Eph.5:25-27.
"In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: ... in whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also after that ye believed ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory."
"Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works." -- Tit.2:14. "To perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant; the oath which he sware to our father Abraham, that he would grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies, might serve him without fear, in holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life." -- Luke 1:72-75.
"Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ ... For if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise but God gave it to Abraham by promise." "That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith." "And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise." -- Gal.3:16, 18, 14, 29.
The Abrahamic covenant embraced a twofold nature: the promised seed, and the promised land. Isaac was the literal fulfillment of the promised seed; Canaan, the literal fulfillment of the promised land. These were but the foreshadowing of their great and glorious antitype, Christ and the gospel, which are the spiritual fulfillment of the promises made to Abraham.
"And in thy seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed," which blessing begins in the regenerate heart, is perfected in the inheritance of entire sanctification, and consummated in that inheritance "reserved in heaven for us." That part which is yet reserved in heaven for us will be realized in due time, when this mortal shall put on immortality and the redemption of Christ shall be completed for spirit, soul, and body. We can all rejoice in this "blessed hope" which shall be fully realized when Jesus the resurrected Redeemer shall come again and fashion our dying bodies like unto his glorious body. But the object of this chapter is to point out the scriptures which teach us the blessed truth of the present-tense gospel inheritance, which in the redemption plan is to be realized by the people of God in this gospel dispensation, on this side of the second coming of Christ.
The blessed grace of entire sanctification is scripturally the bequest of God to his people. It is not simply the will of God in the sense that he desires us to have this experience, but it is truly a blood-bought inheritance, provided and willed by our Father through Jesus Christ to every child of God. This blessed experience of regeneration, or the divine birth, inducts us into the family of God, making us a scriptural heir to all the good things of Father's possessions. Father has perfected every necessary provision for every one of his children to come into immediate possession of this inheritance. A will or testament must specify the nature of the inheritance, mention distinctly the names of the heirs, must have the signature of the testator affixed in the presence of witnesses, should appoint an executor, and in every respect it must be perfect or it will not stand legally. Scripturally, this is equally as true. The New Testament is the will, which distinctly specifies the nature of the inheritance of the people of God "among them which are sanctified." The sanctified have entered into their possessions of this Holy Ghost Canaan, and now every regenerated child of God who knows his name is written in Father's family record -- the Book of life -- soon finds by reading the will that this inheritance is for him. He knows it as he reads and believes, and more and more the Holy Spirit leads him to meet all the spiritual conditions requisite to the coming into possession of this inheritance. He sees also in the will, the signature of the testator. He sees that the Father has authorized Jesus Christ to make this will of force. Legally, a will is not of force until after the death of the testator. Scripturally, this is equally a fact. The child of God sees that it requires the death of the testator to make it possible that he could be sanctified. He reads in the will that Jesus, the testator, suffered without the gate that he might sanctify his people with his own blood and that this is the will of God, even your sanctification.
We see in the will that Father has given every necessary instruction to enable us to meet every condition of entrance into this blessed possession. His word teaches us that as Abraham with faith and patience obtained the promise, so we should profit by his example. God has shown us through his covenant with Abraham that what he promises he is ready and able to fulfill. He has shown his people, who are the heirs of this inheritance, the immutability of his counsel by his word and by his oath, that it is impossible for him to break his word and that we should come to him with perfect confidence that he will do just what he has promised.
There is a remarkable certainty in the fulfillment of this wonderful will. It is as far above any earthly will or testament as the heavens are higher than the earth. In an earthly will made by man, the very incident that makes the will of force also makes it liable to become annulled; for after the death of the testator there frequently is found a defect in the will, also there are instances where the heirs, dissatisfied with their portion of the inheritance, proceed by legal process to annul the entire will and have a new one made according to their own desires. But no such objections can possibly be brought against this divine will.
There are three reasons why it is absolutely beyond the power of man or principality to overthrow this will.
1. It is positively without fault. God had made a will, the old testament, which was defective. The apostle says, "For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second." -- Heb.8:7. In the preceding verse he says, "But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant [testament or will], which was established upon better promises." The blood of those animals in the old covenant was acceptable under that dispensation, but it could not produce the desired effect in sanctification. It could only sanctify to the purifying of the flesh; could not reach the spiritual and moral nature of man; for there was no spiritual nor moral nature in the sacrifice. It was only a sacrifice of animal life; therefore it could only purify the flesh, or animal life, of man (Heb.9:13) in a ceremonial sense. Therefore, the first will or testament was necessarily defective, and God himself has annulled it. Heb.8:13. But Father's last will is vastly different. It is complete, perfect, and utterly without fault.
2. It is so divinely and infinitely perfect in its power to sanctify and reach every inmost need of the heart that none of the heirs can possibly become dissatisfied with their individual portion; for this portion is the entire inheritance for each individual heir. It is not divided into certain bounded portions for different heirs, but each is entitled to the entire inheritance, and can come into the full enjoyment of the whole possession without diminishing, in the least degree, the privilege of every heir to enjoy the same. This makes it unspeakably satisfactory. But what yet adds to it in its power to satisfy, is that, the sacrifice which was required to bring this will and testament into force was the precious blood of Christ. The great purpose of God in this judicial sacrifice was that the sins of the world might be forgiven, that we might thus become the sons of God and heirs of this inheritance. But, my dear brother and sister, our Saviour had also another purpose in view in this stupendous sacrifice. He gave himself for the church, that he might sanctify and cleanse it. Eph.5:25, 26 and Heb.13:12.
Ah, dear reader, do you not see your inheritance in this? His blood can sanctify wholly our spiritual, moral and physical nature. The blood of the old will had no spiritual nor moral power in it at all; therefore, no wonder it could sanctify only to the purifying of the flesh. But, oh, the matchless, marvelous grace of God to prepare a sacrifice (a body -- Heb.10:5) pure and spotless spiritually, morally, and physically, which blood can cleanse our corresponding nature spiritually, morally, and physically, and reaching every spot of our entire being, make us clean from the least and last remains of sin. In comparing these sacrifices no wonder the apostle asks, "How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?" Truly, when we have obtained this inheritance we can sing with the inspired poet
"I have found it, Lord, in thee,
Praise God for the cleansing which reaches our inmost soul and saves to the uttermost! It, therefore, readers, is impossible for the heir to become dissatisfied with the inheritance.
3. To make the inheritance doubly certain, we have already seen that God has confirmed it by two immutable things; his word, and his oath; but to add still more to this matter and make it absolutely certain and impossible for any principality or power to overthrow this will, God has appointed Jesus Christ to be executor of his own will. From a human standpoint this would be impossible; for the will could not be of force at all while the testator was alive, and his death would render him incapable of any part in it as an executor. But with God these things are possible; for when the testator died that he might bring this will into force, he could not be holden by the power of death; but arose again from the dead, that he might lead captivity captive and give gifts unto men. Thus he has become the executor of his own will, and now stands ready to bestow upon every heir the full possession of his inheritance.
Dear reader, this is the glorious land of promise of which the land of Canaan was but a type. The children of Israel were the heirs of that land because they were the children of Abraham. We are heirs to this Holy Ghost Canaan because we are the children of God through Christ. This Holy Spirit life can only be obtained through this God-appointed plan. It is the "inheritance among them which are sanctified." God gave it to Abraham by promise, and as his faith grasped hold on the promises he saw beyond the literal seed into the blessings of the gospel of Christ and this glorious Holy Spirit life. Christ has fulfilled these promises which Abraham saw and believed; and now the apostle can truly say in looking over this wonderful plan, that "they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham. That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith." -- Gal.3:9, 14.