An offshoot of Methodism, the Holiness Movement was inspired by John Wesley's idea of Christian perfection or holiness, according to Britannica.com.
Seeking a deeper relationship with God, like that experienced by the apostles with Jesus, Holiness Movement Christians made this idea of holiness through "sanctification of the Holy Spirit" into a primary goal, forming a new brand of Christianity in the early 19th century that highlighted the ministry of the Holy Spirit and set them apart from the others, according to US Church Info.
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Here are five key beliefs of the Holiness Movement that make them unique among Christians:
The most important distinction of the Holiness Movement is the very concept of holiness that led to its name. It is the idea that Christians are empowered by a "second work of grace" that God accomplishes in a believer, "enabling an obedient life of devotion to God," explained Keith Drury at DruryWriting.com.
This second blessing takes place after conversion with the baptism of the Holy Spirit. At that time, the sin nature is destroyed so that the believer is free to be perfectly sinless. Thus, Holiness Movement Christians believe holiness is attainable in this life through their sanctification experience.
The Holiness Movement teaches salvation through Jesus by way of a personal conversion experience in which the individual is "born again" or "saved." This experience of regeneration is considered to be the first blessing.
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Holiness Movement Christians seek to separate themselves from worldly values and influences as part of their goal of holiness, according to Britannica. They intentionally try to be "set apart" as they resist earthly temptations.
The Bible is seen as the inspired Word of God and authority on truth.
Holiness Movement Christians practice water baptism by immersion and the Lord's Supper as symbols of grace imparted rather than as sacramental means of grace, according to US Church Info.
With these five areas of belief, Holiness Movement Christians distinguish themselves from other Christian groups. Though similar in some ways to Evangelicals, the Church of God, and other denominations, their defining characteristic is the idea that holiness is attainable this side of heaven and that believers are given the means to achieve it through the second blessing and the baptism of the Holy Spirit.
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