I am free to confess that about this state of holiness there may be difficulties and perplexities. I simply insist that it is described in the Bible, and that the descriptions of the Bible have been verified by the experience of thousands of saints. It means a clean heart, being cleansed from all filthiness of the flesh and of the spirit, sanctified wholly, being made perfect in every good work.
Holiness implies: (1) full deliverance from all known sin, (2) the consecration of every power and possession to God and His work, (3) constant and uniform obedience to all the requirements of God.
Now, don’t let us get into confusion. We don’t say without imperfection, both physical and mental. We still suffer as the consequence of the fall from disease and are liable to mistakes and errors.
Nor is it without temptation. If the inside enemies have been cast out there are those without, and they will become all the more fierce and furious, and cunning too, in their attempts to regain possession.
It is not without the possibility of falling. The angels of heaven, who kept not their first estate, and Adam, who unquestionably was sinless in paradise, fell. This side the celestial city it is a debatable question whether any condition can be reached from which we may not fall.
No, it is not without temptation or trouble or error; it is still a condition of conflict and suffering and danger, but without sin.
I now ask you what you ought to do with regard to holiness. I reply: get it. It must strike every Christian as a pearl of great price.
But how? To this question I reply by asking two others. The first is, what is it that you want, to be made clean and happy and holy? Then your first work is to bring all that you want thus sanctified to God. In other words, you must separate yourself in choice and purpose, and, so far as you have power, from all known sin, or even that which is doubtful, and present all before God for the purpose of being sanctified.
Do you want to be a holy man? Holy in thought, feeling, conversation, business, holy always? Come then, bring your all to God. It is no use crying to God to cleanse you wholly while keeping something back. For a full salvation you must bring an undivided consecration.
Reservation is one secret of the weakness prevalent among God’s children, and the cause of three-fourths of the failures in this higher walk of the divine life. Let us make a clean sweep and offer all.
William Booth, Salvation Soldiery