Person in Chapel

How much do you know about holiness?

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Samuel Logan Brengle served for 30 years and was known as a minister to The Salvation Army’s officers and soldiers in the United States. Brengle is widely considered to be the premier theologian of holiness in The Salvation Army.

He believed that those who seek God “burst into flame” when they first touch him and that they can bring those “left out in the cold” to his light. To Brengle, the corps was a sacred place from which the love and power of God could be communicated to all; entire cities could be energized and “lit up” by the prayer of soldiers who had “caught the flame.”

The Army’s first American commissioner, Brengle was a prolific writer, authoring nine books and numerous articles to aid in his preaching and teaching of holiness throughout his life.

“On January 9, 1885, at about nine o’clock in the morning, God sanctified my soul. I was in my own room at the time, but in a few minutes I went out and met a man and told him what God had done for me. The next morning, I met another friend on the street and told him the blessed story. He shouted and praised God and urged me to preach full salvation and confess it everywhere.

God used him to encourage and help me. So the following day I preached on the subject as clearly and forcibly as I could, and ended with my testimony. God blessed the word mightily to others, but I think he blessed it most to myself. That confession put me on record. It cut the bridges down behind me. Three worlds were now looking at me as one who professed that God had given him a clean heart. I could not go back now. I had to go forward….In that hour I knew Jesus and I loved him till it seemed my heart would break with love. I loved the sparrows, I loved the dogs, I loved the horses, I loved the little urchins on the streets, I loved the strangers who hurried past me, I loved the heathen—I loved the whole world.

Do you want to know what holiness is? It is pure love. Do you want to know what the baptism of the Holy Ghost is? It is not a mere sentiment. It is not a happy sensation that passes away in a night. It is a baptism of love that brings every thought into captivity to the Lord Jesus (2 Cor. 10:5); that casts out all fear (I John 4:18); that burns up doubt and unbelief as fire burns tow; that makes one “meek and lowly in heart” (Matt. 11:29); that makes one hate uncleanness, lying and deceit, a flattering tongue and every evil way with a perfect hatred; that makes heaven and hell eternal realities; that makes one patient and gentle with the forward and sinful; that makes one pure, peaceable, easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy” (James 3:17); that brings one into perfect and unbroken sympathy with the Lord Jesus Christ in his toil and travail to bring a lost and rebel world back to God.

God did all that for me, bless His holy name! Oh, how I had longed to be pure! Oh, how I had hungered and thirsted for God— the living God! And He gave me the desire of my heart. He satisfied me—I weigh my words— He satisfied me! He satisfied me! These 10 years have been wonderful. God has become my Teacher, my Guide, my Counselor, my All and in All. He has allowed me to be perplexed and tempted, but it has been for my good. I have no complaint to make against him.”

Samuel Logan Brengle, “Helps to Holiness,” Introduction, 1896

What is holiness?

Diane Ury, Holiness Ambassador

Holiness is the essence and life of the triune God
Father, Son,and Holy Spirit: a communion of three divine persons who eternally live in self-giving, sacrificial, other-oriented love–an eternal exchange of life-giving love.

Holiness is that nature and character of God
Holy love offered endlessly toward every human person, wooing us, pursuing us to leave the captivity of self and sin, to return to him, and surrender every crevice of our lives so that he can make his home in us.

Holiness is the Triune God of holy love inviting us to live within his very life
God invites us into his life-giving exchange of love. Holiness is mutual indwelling.

Holiness is the Triune God of holy love sharing his very nature with us
Re-creating us with his image on our hearts and making us holy and blameless. Making us life-giving sources of his love.

Holiness is an ordinary person filled with the life of God, living sacrificially and being others-oriented
So that the lost can encounter and experience the life and love of Christ through us.

Holiness is the immediate, personal presence of God himself
Transforming and recreating any person, any situation that will say “yes” to Him!

Holiness is the physical embodiment of the presence of God


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