We believe that sanctification is the work of God which transforms believers into the likeness of Christ. It is wrought by God’s grace through the Holy Spirit in initial sanctification, or regeneration (simultaneous with justification), entire sanctification, and the continued perfecting work of the Holy Spirit culminating in glorification. In glorification we are fully conformed to the image of the Son.

We believe that entire sanctification is that act of God, subsequent to regeneration, by which believers are made free from original sin, or depravity, and brought into a state of entire devotement to God, and the holy obedience of love made perfect.

It is wrought by the baptism with or infilling of the Holy Spirit, and comprehends in one experience the cleansing of the heart from sin and the abiding, indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit, empowering the believer for life and service. Entire sanctification is provided by the blood of Jesus, is wrought instantaneously by grace through faith, preceded by entire consecration; and to this work and state of grace the Holy Spirit bears witness.

This experience is also known by various terms representing its different phases, such as “Christian perfection,” “perfect love,” “heart unity,” “the baptism with or infilling of the Holy Spirit,” “the fullness of the blessing,” and “Christian holiness.”


We believe that there is a marked distinction between a pure heart and a mature character. The former is obtained in an instant, the result of entire sanctification; the latter is the result of growth in grace.

We believe that the grace of entire sanctification includes the divine impulse to grow in grace as a Christlike disciple. However, this impulse must be consciously nurtured, and careful attention given to the requisites and processes of spiritual development and improvement in Christlikeness of character and personality. Without such purposeful endeavor, one’s witness may be impaired and the grace itself frustrated and ultimately lost.

Participating in the means of grace, especially the fellowship, disciplines, and sacraments of the Church, believers grow in grace and in wholehearted love to God and neighbor.

(Jeremiah 31:31–34; Ezekiel 36:25–27; Malachi 3:2–3; Matthew 3:11–12; Luke 3:16–17; John 7:37–39; 14:15–23; 17:6–20; Acts 1:5; 2:1–4; 15:8–9; Romans 6:11–13, 19; 8:1–4, 8–14; 12:1–2; 2 Corinthians 6:14–7:1; Galatians 2:20; 5:16–25; Ephesians 3:14–21; 5:17–18, 25–27; Philippians 3:10–15; Colossians 3:1–17; 1 Thessalonians 5:23–24; Hebrews 4:9–11; 10:10–17; 12:1–2; 13:12; 1 John 1:7, 9)

(“Christian perfection,” “perfect love”: Deuteronomy 30:6; Matthew 5:43–48; 22:37–40; Romans 12:9–21; 13:8–10; 1 Corinthians 13; Philippians 3:10–15; Hebrews 6:1; 1 John 4:17–18

“Heart purity”: Matthew 5:8; Acts 15:8–9; 1 Peter 1:22; 1 John 3:3

“Baptism with the Holy Spirit”: Jeremiah 31:31–34; Ezekiel 36:25–27; Malachi 3:2–3; Matthew 3:11–12; Luke 3:16–17; Acts 1:5; 2:1–4; 15:8–9

“Fullness of the blessing”: Romans 15:29

“Christian holiness”: Matthew 5:1–7:29; John 15:1–11; Romans 12:1–15:3; 2 Corinthians 7:1; Ephesians 4:17–5:20; Philippians 1:9–11; 3:12–15; Colossians 2:20–3:17; 1 Thessalonians 3:13; 4:7–8; 5:23; 2 Timothy 2:19–22; Hebrews 10:19–25; 12:14; 13:20–21; 1 Peter 1:15–16; 2 Peter 1:1–11; 3:18; Jude 20–21)