And unto man He said, Behold, the fear of the Lord that is wisdom, and to depart from evil is understanding' , This is that wisdom whose ways, residence, and paths, are so hidden from the natural reason and understandings of men. It is of the things of the Spirit of God, yes, it is the principal effect of all His operation in us and towards us.
Christian anthropology - Wikipedia
It is by Him alone that we are enabled to 'know the things that are freely given unto us of God' 5. As we know not of ourselves, the things that are wrought in us of the Spirit of God, so we seldom attend as we ought unto His instruction of us in them. It may seem strange indeed, that, whereas all believers are sanctified and made holy, they should not understand nor apprehend what is wrought in them and for them, and what abides with them: but, alas, how little do we know of ourselves, of what we are, and whence are our powers and faculties even in things natural. Do we know how the members of the body are fashioned in the womb?
Clear proof that true sanctification is wholly supernatural and altogether beyond the ken of the unregenerate, is found in the fact that so many are thoroughly deceived and fatally deluded by fleshly imitations and Satanic substitutes of real holiness. It would be outside our present scope to describe in detail the various pretensions which pose as Gospel holiness, but the poor Papists, taught to look up to the "saints" canonized by their "church," are by no means the only ones who are mislead in this vital matter. Were it not that God's Word reveals so clearly the power of that darkness which rests on the understanding of all who are not taught by the Spirit, it would be surprising beyond words to see so many intelligent people supposing that holiness consists in abstinence from human comforts, garbing themselves in mean attire, and practicing various austerities which God has never commanded.
Spiritual sanctification can only be rightly apprehended from what God has been pleased to reveal thereon in His holy Word, and can only be experimentally known by the gracious operations of the Holy Spirit. We can arrive at no accurate conceptions of this blessed subject except as our thoughts are formed by the teaching of Scripture, and we can only experience the power of the same as the Inspirer of those Scriptures is pleased to write them upon our hearts.
Nor can we obtain so much as a correct idea of the meaning of the term "sanctification" by limiting our attention to a few verses in which the word is found, or even to a whole class of passages of a similar nature: there must be a painstaking examination of every occurrence of the term and also of its cognates; only thus shall we be preserved from the entertaining of a one-sided, inadequate, and misleading view of its fullness and many-sidedness.
Even a superficial examination of the Scriptures will reveal that holiness is the opposite of sin, yet the realization of this at once conducts us into the realm of mystery, for how can persons be sinful and holy at one and the same time? It is this difficulty which so deeply exercises the true saints: they perceive in themselves so much carnality, filth, and vileness, that they find it almost impossible to believe that they are holy.
Nor is the difficulty solved here, as it was in justification, by saying, Though we are completely unholy in ourselves, we are holy in Christ. We must not here anticipate the ground which we hope to cover, except to say, the Word of God clearly teaches that those who have been sanctified by God are holy in themselves.
The Lord graciously prepare our hearts for what is to follow.
Cultural Anthropology/Ritual and Religion
Having dwelt at some length upon the relative or legal change which takes place in the status of God's people at justification, it is fitting that we should now proceed to consider the real and experimental change that takes place in their state, which change is begun at their sanctification and made perfect in glory. Though the justification and the sanctification of the believing sinner may be, and should be, contemplated singly and distinctively, yet they are inseparably connected, God never bestowing the one without the other; in fact we have no way or means whatever of knowing the former apart from the latter.
In seeking to arrive at the meaning of the second, it will therefore be of help to examine its relation to the first. There are two principal effects that sin produces, which cannot be separated: the filthy defilement it causes, the awful guilt it entails. Thus, salvation from sin necessarily requires both a cleansing and a clearing of the one who is to be saved.
Again; there are two things absolutely indispensable in order for any creature to dwell with God in Heaven: a valid title to that inheritance, a personal fitness to enjoy such blessedness — the one is given in justification, the other is commenced in sanctification. The inseparability of the two things is brought out in, "In the Lord have I righteousness and strength" Isaiah ; "but of Him are you in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption" 1 Corinthians ; "but you are washed, but you are sanctified, but you are justified" 1 Corinthians ; "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" 1 John No more than the delicious scent can be separated from the beautiful bloom of the rose or carnation: let the flower be expanded, and the fragrance transpires.
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Try if you can separate gravity from the stone or heat from the fire. If these bodies and their essential properties, if these causes and their necessary effects, are indissolubly connected, so are our justification and our sanctification" James Hervey, How did death reign by Adam's offence? Not only in point of guilt, whereby his posterity were bound over to destruction, but also in point of their being dead to all good, dead in trespasses and sins.
Therefore the receivers of the gift of righteousness must thereby be brought to reign in life, not only legally in justification, but also morally in sanctification" T. Boston, Though absolutely inseparable, yet these two great blessings of Divine grace are quite distinct. In sanctification something is actually imparted to us, in justification it is only imputed. Justification is based entirely upon the work Christ wrought for us, sanctification is principally a work wrought in us.
Justification respects its object in a legal sense and terminates in a relative change — a deliverance from punishment, a right to the reward; sanctification regards its object in a moral sense, and terminates in an experimental change both in character and conduct — imparting a love for God, a capacity to worship Him acceptably, and a fitness for Heaven. Justification is by a righteousness without us, sanctification is by a holiness wrought in us. Justification is by Christ as Priest, and has regard to the penalty of sin; sanctification is by Christ as King, and has regard to the dominion of sin: the former cancels its damning power, the latter delivers from its reigning power.
They differ, then, in their order not of time, but in their nature , justification preceding, sanctification following: the sinner is pardoned and restored to God's favor before the Spirit is given to renew him after His image. They differ in their design: justification removes the obligation unto punishment; sanctification cleanses from pollution. They differ in their form: justification is a judicial act, by which the sinner as pronounced righteous; sanctification is a moral work, by which the sinner is made holy: the one has to do solely with our standing before God, the other chiefly concerns our state.
They differ in their cause: the one issuing from the merits of Christ's satisfaction, the other proceeding from the efficacy of the same. They differ in their end: the one bestowing a title to everlasting glory, the other being the highway which conducts us there.
The words ''holiness'' and ''sanctification" are used in our English Bible to represent one and the same word in the Hebrew and Greek originals, but they are by no means used with a uniform signification, being employed with quite a varied latitude and scope. Hence it is hardly to be wondered at that theologians have framed so many different definitions of its meaning. Among them we may cite the following, each of which, save the last, having an element of truth in them. Sanctification is a freedom from the tyranny of sin, into the liberty of righteousness.
Another class of writers, held in high repute in certain circles, and whose works now have a wide circulation, have formed a faulty, or at least very inadequate, definition of the word "sanctify," through limiting themselves to a certain class of passages where the term occurs and making deductions from only one set of facts. For example: not a few have cited verse after verse in the 0. But that is false reasoning: it would be like saying that because we read of the "everlasting hills" Genesis and the "everlasting mountains" Habakkuk that therefore God cannot be everlasting" — which is the line of logic?
Words must first be used of material objects before we are ready to employ them in a higher and abstract sense. All our ideas are admitted through the medium of the physical senses, and consequently refer in the first place to external objects; but as the intellect develops we apply those names, given to material things, unto those which are immaterial. In the earliest stages of human history, God dealt with His people according to this principle. It is true that God's sanctifying of the sabbath day teaches us that the first meaning of the word is 'to set apart," but to argue from this that the term never has a moral force when it is applied to moral agents is not worthy of being called "reasoning" — it is a mere begging of the question: as well argue that since in a majority of passages "baptism" has reference to the immersion of a person in water, it can never have a mystical or spiritual force and value — which is contradicted by Luke ; 1 Corinthians The outward ceremonies prescribed by God to the Hebrews with regard to their external form of religious service were all designed to teach corresponding inward duties, and to show the obligation unto moral virtues.
But so determined are many of our moderns to empty the word "sanctify" of all moral value, they quote such verses as "for their sakes I sanctify Myself" John ; and inasmuch as there was no sin in the Lord Jesus from which He needed cleansing, have triumphantly concluded that the thought of moral purification cannot enter into the meaning of the word when it is applied to His people.
This also is a serious error — what the lawyers would call "special pleading": with just as much reason might we Insist that the word "tempt" can never signify to solicit and incline to evil, because it cannot mean that when used of Christ in Matthew ; Hebrews ! The only satisfactory way of ascertaining the meaning or meanings of the word "sanctify" is to carefully examine every passage in which it is found in Holy Writ, studying its setting, weighing any term with which it is contrasted, observing the objects or persons to which it is applied.
This calls for much patience and care, yet only thus do we obey that exhortation "prove all things" I Thessalonians That this term denotes more than simply "to separate" or "set apart," is clear from Numbers where it is said of the Nazarite, "all the days of his separation he is holy unto the Lord," for according to some that would merely signify "all the days of his separation he is separated unto the Lord," which would be meaningless tautology.
So again, of the Lord Jesus we are told, that He was "holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners" Hebrews , which shows that "holy" means something more than "separation. That the word "sanctify" or "holy" — the same Hebrew or Greek term is far from being used in a uniform sense is dear from the following passages. In Isaiah it is said of certain wicked men, "They that sanctify themselves, and purify themselves in the gardens behind one tree in the midst, eating swine's flesh.
Psalm ; Habakkuk It also includes the thought of adorning and equipping: "you shall anoint it to sanctify it" Exodus and cf. That the word "holy" or "sanctify" has in many passages a reference to a moral quality is clear from such verses as the following: "Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy and just and good" Romans — each of those predicates are moral qualities. Among the identifying marks of a scriptural bishop are that he must be "a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober, just, holy, temperate" Titus 1 :8 each of those are moral qualities, and the very connection in which the term "holy" is there found proves conclusively it means much more than an external setting apart.
That sanctification includes cleansing is clear from many considerations. It may be seen in the types, "Go unto the people, and sanctify them today, and tomorrow, and let them wash their clothes" Exodus — the latter being an emblem of the former. As we have seen in Romans and I Corinthians , it is the opposite of "impurity.
To be unclean absolutely, and to be holy, are universally opposed. Not to be purged from sin, is an expression of an unholy person, as to be cleansed is of him that is holy. This purification is ascribed unto all the causes and means of sanctification. Not that sanctification consists wholly herein, but firstly and necessarily it is required thereunto: 'I will sprinkle clean water upon you, and you shall be clean; from all your filthiness and from all your idols will I cleanse you! That this sprinkling of clean water upon us, is the communication of the Spirit unto us for the end designed, I have before evinced.
It has also been declared wherefore He is called 'water' or compared thereunto. The next verse shows expressly that it is the Spirit of God which is intended: 'I will put My Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in My Statutes. To sanctify, then, means in the great majority of instances, to appoint, dedicate or set apart unto God, for a holy and special use. Yet that act of separation is not a bare change of situation, so to speak, but is preceded or accompanied by a work which ceremonially or experimentally fits the person for God.
Thus the priests in their sanctification Leviticus 8 were sanctified by washing in water type of regeneration: Titus , having the blood applied to their persons type of justification: Romans , and being anointed with oil type of receiving the Holy Spirit: 1 John 2 , As the term is applied to Christians it is used to designate three things, or three parts of one whole: first, the process of setting them apart unto God or constituting them holy: Hebrews ; 2 Thessalonians Second, the state or condition of holy separation into which they are brought: I Corinthians ; Ephesians Third, the personal sanctity or holy living which proceeds from the state: Luke ; 1 Peter To revert again to the 0.
This comes immediately after the deliverance of the firstborn by the blood of the paschal lamb in the preceding chapter: first justification, and then sanctification as the complementary parts of one whole. And you shall be holy unto Me: for I the Lord am holy, and have severed you from other people, that you should be Mine" Leviticus , Here we see there was a separation from all that is unclean, with an unreserved and exclusive devotement to the Lord.
It is our earnest desire to write this article not in a theological or merely abstract way, but in a practical manner: in such a strain that it may please the Lord to speak through it to our needy hearts and search our torpid consciences. It is a most important branch of our subject, yet one from which we are prone to shrink, being very unpalatable to the flesh. Having been shaped in iniquity and conceived in sin Psalm , our hearts naturally hate holiness, being opposed to any experimental acquaintance with the same.
But though by nature man is opposed to the Light, it is written, "Follow peace with all, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord" Hebrews To the same effect the Lord Jesus declared "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God" Matthew God will not call unto nearness with Himself those who are carnal and corrupt. Our God is "glorious in holiness" Exodus , and therefore those whom He separates unto Himself must be suited to Himself, and be made "partakers of His holiness" Hebrews The whole of His ways with man exhibit this principle, and His Word continually proclaims that He is "not a God that has pleasure in wickedness, neither shall evil dwell with Him" Psalm By our fall in Adam we lost not only the favor of God, but also the purity of our natures, and therefore we need to be both reconciled to God and sanctified in our inner man.
There is now a spiritual leprosy spread over all our nature which makes us loathsome to God and puts us into a state of separation from Him. No matter what pains the sinner takes to be rid of his horrible disease, he does but hide and not cleanse it. Adam concealed neither his nakedness nor the shame of it by his fig-leaf contrivance; so those who have no other covering for their natural filthiness than the externals of religion rather proclaim than hide it.