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Sunday, March 29, 2009


J. Grant Swank, Jr.

When one is sanctified by the Holy Spirit, what is the primary emotion which the believer will experience?

First, the emotion is not of primary concern when being infilled with the Holy Spirit. Has too much emphasis been put upon the emotional experience? No doubt so.

With undue stress placed upon feelings in religious experience, many have had to deal with much unwarranted turmoil. Earnest seekers have sought then an emotion rather than the reality. They have at times parroted others' testimonies. Or they have doubted for years whether or not sanctification has become personal to them because they have gauged it all by a particular emotion.

This is extremely unfortunate. Yet it continues to be fostered in certain quarters of so-called "holiness circles" and various segments of the charismatic movement.

Reality check: whatever God does in the life of anyone is based, not on emotion, but on Calvary. Jesus died. That occurrence took place two thousand years ago. The work of redemption and sanctification was seen through perfectly by God in the event of the Cross. Period.

Therefore, when one is redeemed and sanctified, one is dealt with by the Holy Spirit on the basis of the Calvary work, not on what emotional experience may be testified to by the individual.

This biblical premise is the alpha and omega of salvation / sanctification truth. It cannot be overstated, especially in light of numerous emotional grids placed upon sincere seekers.

Therefore, when one is saved by the blood of Jesus, such takes place in the soul when one confesses his sins to Jesus and receives His forgiving grace. Whether there is any emotion to this occurrence is actually beside the point.

Further, when one is sanctified by the Spirit of Jesus, such takes place in the soul when one consecrates his all to God. Whether there is any emotion to the occurrence is actually beside the point.

Salvation and sanctification are based upon The Event of the first century--Jesus dying for us. The facts then are two thousands year old. The truth dates back to the Hill outside Jerusalem. Those historical realities work the personal truth upon the soul when the
seeker meets God's expectations set forth in the Word.

What, however, about emotion, considering that the seeker is not only a thinking and willful creature but also an emotional creature?

When one does take into consideration emotion, then one can understand that the primary emotion related to sanctification is PEACE. Why? Because the human will no longer wars against the divine will. The believer signs a peace treaty with God, permitting God to have total control over everything.

There of course may be other accompanying emotions to peace--contentment, happiness, relief--depending upon the circumstances and the individual. But the primary emotion is that deep-settled peace--no more warring, no more carnal battles of human ego versus divine Ego.

The sanctifying peace may be exuberant or quiet, subtle or extremely obvious. In the final analysis, what does it spiritually matter?

Again, the bottom line is that the cleansing of the soul has taken place due to the sacrifice provision of Jesus. The latter guarantees the sanctification fact, not whether one has a
certain feeling.