Kindly briefly explain to me the main differences between the 5 views on sanctification and which you think is the most accurate?. I am Holiness Pentecostal. Thank you.




Thank you for your honest question. I’m sure many others wonder the same. As you mentioned, there are five major views. With sanctification, there are past, present, and future aspects, but the heart of the matter is believers becoming holy—being Christ-like. It is in the present aspect that we find the primary differences between the views, and for brevity, this article will only highlight those distinctions. For a thorough comparison, you may be interested in reading Five Views on Sanctification (Stanley N. Gundry, editor).

The five views actually have much in common, but let’s briefly note a few differences.

The Wesleyan View
The goal of “entire sanctification” is made experiential through a second work of grace that opens the way for growing in grace. There is great emphasis placed on a perfecting work of love.

The Reformed View
Emphasis is placed on positional truth. Since it is believed that regeneration precedes faith and makes faith inevitable, it follows that that faith will continue to operate as God progressively sanctifies the individual. If one fails to “persevere,” then the individual is regarded as not having been genuinely saved. Therefore, emphasis is placed on living right to persevere.

The Pentecostal View
There is an apparent difference between Holiness Pentecostals who believe in a definite second work of grace and the Assemblies of God who believe in progressive sanctification, but for each, the baptism of the Spirit is heavily emphasized as are the gifts of the Spirit.

The Keswick View
Keswick emphasizes positional truth as well as the provisional truth of the indwelling life of Christ whose life can be accessed and experienced by faith. Keswick views faith not as inevitable, but responsible. It is a faith response to divine convincing.

The Augustinian-Dispensational View
This view adopts the two-nature concept. Emphasis is placed on God’s provision and man’s responsibility to appropriate that provision by faith. In this respect, the view is similar to Keswick but with a Chaferian (Lewis Sperry Chafer) articulation.

There is so much more to each view. An article like this is embarrassingly brief for such a large subject.

In my opinion, the Keswick view has the most balanced biblical proportion. There is much emphasis on the indwelling life of Christ through the ministry of the Holy Spirit. Focus is placed on God’s provision for sanctification and man’s responsibility to cooperate in faith (understanding that faith is not a work, but dependence on the worker—Jesus). Technically, Keswick does not hold to a second blessing, but a repeated accessing of your first blessing—Jesus. However, this point may be mute when one has not accessed the provision of the indwelling Christ for a long period of time because then it is like a second blessing. Simply put, it is personal “revival.”


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