Relics, Blood of Jesus, and Entire Sanctification

I don't use an alarm clock. I just wake up when my body tells me it is ready. That time is usually anywhere between 5:30 - 6:30. However, my body never told me it was time today. I woke up to the sound of Lindsay coming downstairs at around 7:15. I guess that is a result of the flu; however, I am feeling almost 100% today.

Here is a section of Scripture that has been on my mind lately:

Acts 19:10-20

10 And this went on for two years, so that all the inhabitants of the province of Asia, both Jews and Greeks, heard the word of the Lord. 11 God was performing extraordinary miracles by Paul's hands, 12 so that even facecloths or work aprons that had touched his skin were brought to the sick, and the diseases left them, and the evil spirits came out of them.

So relics of Paul did have power? Wow. Does that mean that ancient relics have power today? Probably. I'm sure I've read this verse plenty of times, but never did it strike as relics being used in healing. I'm sure we even went through it during my Acts class, probably with a disclaimer that this was a special event that no longer applies to us today.

13 Then some of the itinerant Jewish exorcists attempted to pronounce the name of the Lord Jesus over those who had evil spirits, saying, "I command you by the Jesus whom Paul preaches!" 14 Seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, were doing this. 15 The evil spirit answered them, "Jesus I know, and Paul I recognize--but who are you?" 16 Then the man who had the evil spirit leaped on them, overpowered them all, and prevailed against them, so that they ran out of that house naked and wounded.

What a warning to those who might want to fake the faith for their own personal gain. We can compare the power of relics to the power of the name of Jesus. The one worked; the other didn't. It shows me that it isn't the words that are said but the heart of the people involved. No catchy phrase, even if it is the phrase "blood of Jesus", can cover up a false heart.

17 This became known to everyone who lived in Ephesus, both Jews and Greeks. Then fear fell on all of them, and the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified. 18 And many who had become believers came confessing and disclosing their practices, 19 while many of those who had practiced magic collected their books and burned them in front of everyone. So they calculated their value, and found it to be 50,000 pieces of silver. 20 In this way the Lord's message flourished and prevailed.

The Nazarene church teaches a concept of Entire Sanctification. In essence, it is a belief that we are saved by grace at some point in which our sins our forgiven; however, that point is not always necessarily linked with a total commitment to follow God. That happens when people, through grace, decide that they are willing to give their whole life to God. The problem with me was in seperating total commitment with salvation, but after much thinking and pondering I tend to think that they can be seperate. Not everyone who receives the initial grace of forgiveness are ready to totally surrender their life to the Lord. Sometimes they don't even know what it would mean to live a life totally surrendered to the Lord at the point in which they accept the grace of Christ for the forgiveness of their sins. Entire Sanctification has been a liberating belief for me in the last few days.

We see an example of that in this passage. These people became believers and then came with their books of witchcraft to burn them. It was in publically removing their tangible sins that the Lord's message flourished and prevailed. I haven't seen a repentance like this in a while.

Watch out for potholes.