Sanctification: The Pentecostal View

Even though this view is derived in some ways from the Wesleyan Holiness movement, it is the namesake of a particular day in the early church recorded in Acts 2.1-13. On the Day of Pentecost, all those from Jerusalem, and “every nation under heaven” (Acts 2.5) were gathered together in one place in Jerusalem, when the Holy Spirit was poured out on them all. The result of this outpouring was that “they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance. Each one was hearing them speak in his own language” (Acts 2.4,6b).

The present-day Pentecostals interpret this historical event to be the normative spiritual experience for everyday Christians. They believe that every person who experienced the historical Pentecost outpouring was a believer before the event itself occurred. In light of this, they see the Pentecost experience as a “‘third distinct experience for Christians—following conversion and sanctification—the baptism in the Holy Spirit, accompanied by speaking in tongues” (as quoted in Lecture Notes, 8.8.2). The Holy Spirit’s purpose of this third experience, is to “bring cleansing and empowerment for a life of service” (LN, 8.8.2). And so, a natural and consequential emphasis seems to be on the individual’s personal experience of the power of the Holy Spirit.

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