Jesus Christ has come to you and to me, to deliver us from sin. No one would want to localize this purpose, or contract it, by saying He was intended to save a man from drink, falsehood, thieving—that is, to take the outworks, while the very citadel, the heart, is left infected with pride, selfishness, hatred, bad temper and everything that is bad and unlike God. Surely, to deliver him He must destroy those inward enemies and save us out of the hands of all that is devilish in our own secret passions, tempers, and dispositions.
Now, I think I hear you say, “How far can I be saved in this direction? Is there such a thing as an uttermost salvation? I am wonderfully saved already. I do now enjoy a wonderful salvation. A wonderful change has been wrought within me. I am not what I used to be by any comparison, but still I am conscious that there is sin within me.”
For every man has two characters. He has a character with which the outer world is conversant, and an inward character which is only known to him and his Maker. Of this inner character many may say there are in it blots, much that is selfish, much that is devilish, much of which they would be ashamed to have the record transcribed on paper and read out before their fellow men. But there they are; evils spring up, continually grieving them and bring them into bondage. The cry often goes up to heaven from such hearts, “Can I be saved from these inward sins?” I answer in the words of this man, Zacharias, who spoke full of the Holy Spirit, “He came to save you out of the hand of your enemies” (Luke 1:74). That is, to make you free from their power, so deliver you that they shall have no hold upon you, in order that you may “serve God in holiness all your days” (Luke 1:75).
Now, mark the duration of this deliverance. Not merely for a few minutes just before you die, nor for an hour or two in a holiness convention. There is a deliverance—a deliverance from all sin—that can last all the days of your life, if you live to be as old as Methuselah. May the Lord save you properly and then people will be sorry when they hear about your funeral!
Do you hear? You never need sin any more. He’s the conqueror. He can toss His enemies out of your heart. He will not only conquer, but He will annex your heart and make it His own territory over which He will reign absolutely. Thank God! He is Almighty to save and Almighty to keep.
William Booth, Salvation Soldiery