Sanctification: The Keswick View

This view maintains the belief that the ‘normal Christian life’ is one of consistent victory over sin. Those believers who struggle day after day with sin are not normal. There is something wrong with them. The Keswicks seemingly founded this movement with a genuine concern for the spiritual well-being of the church. As they looked around at the spiritual state of those around them, they surmised that things are what they ought not to be. They were “profoundly concerned that most Christians have little zeal for personal holiness. They have settled for a life of compromise with the world, of lukewarm passion for the Lord, of halfhearted love for God. They have determined that holiness is impossible and thus have given up on its pursuit” (Lecture Notes, 8.6.3). Much like John Wesley’s contention, they believed that God commands his children to do what is possible. So, they are relentless in their pursuit of being holy as God is holy. Instead of holding to a sort of degree of perfection in this life, they believed that indwelling sin in the believer would never be done away with in this life. Yet, they believe that victory over sin in this life is possible. So, a definite nuance of the Wesleyan view has been created. Even though the Keswicks say that the believer still has indwelling sin, it can still be conquered in the believer’s life that it will not be manifested in his or her own behavior.

[Note: For a more extensive study on this view, check this out.]

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