What Is Sanctification And Being Set Apart – Spiritual Reading.
In the first place let me make it clear that, Sanctification is not the “Baptism with the Holy Spirit.” The two are constantly confused. There is an intimate relation between the two, but they are not at all one and the same thing; and only confusion and misconception can arise from confounding two experiences which God keeps separate. That Sanctification is not the baptism with the Holy Spirit and that the baptism with the Holy Spirit is not Sanctification, will become clear as we proceed and find out from a study of the Bible just what Sanctification is.
In the second place, let me say that Sanctification is not the eradication of the carnal nature. We will see this when we come to examine God’s definition of Sanctification; for God has very clearly defined what Sanctification is and when it takes place. Those who teach “the eradication of the carnal nature” are grasping after a great and precious truth, but they have expressed that truth in a very inaccurate, unfortunate, and unscriptural way, and this way of stating it leads to grave misapprehensions and errors and abuses.
The whole controversy about “the eradication of the carnal nature” arises from a misapprehension and from using terms for which there is no warrant in the Bible. The Bible nowhere speaks about “the carnal nature,” and so certainly not about “the eradication of the carnal nature.” There is such a thing as a carnal nature, but it is not a material thing, not a substance, not a something that can be eradicated as you pull a tooth or remove the vermiform appendix. “A carnal nature” is a nature controlled by the flesh. Certainly it is a believer’s privilege not to have his nature governed by the flesh.
Our nature should be and may be under the control of the Holy Spirit, and then it is not a carnal nature; but one nature has not been eradicated and another nature put in its place, but our nature is taken out from under the control of the flesh and put under the control of the Holy Spirit. Furthermore, while it is our privilege to have our nature under the control of the Holy Spirit and delivered from the control of the flesh, we still have “the flesh,” and shall have the flesh as long as we are in this body.
But if we “walk by the Spirit” we do not “fulfil the lusts of the flesh” (Gal. 5:16). The 8th chapter of Romans describes the life of victory, just as the 7thchapter, 9-24 verse describes the life of defeat, when men are “carnal, sold under sin,” but it is in the 8th chapter where life “in the Spirit” is described (Rom. 8:9) that we are told that we still have the flesh, but that it is our privilege not to “live after the flesh,” but “by the Spirit,” to “put to death the deeds of the body.” So we see that the body is there, but in the power of the Spirit we do, day by day and (if we live up to our privilege) every day and every hour and every minute, continuously “put to death the deeds of the body.”
So much as to what Sanctification is not. We will see exactly what it is if we look at God’s definition of Sanctification. We shall find that the word Sanctification is used in the Bible in a two-fold sense.
The first meaning of Sanctification we will find in Lev. 8:10-12, “And Moses took the anointing oil, and anointed the tabernacle and all that was therein, and sanctified them. And he sprinkled thereof upon the altar seven times, and anointed the altar and all its vessels, and the laver and its base, to sanctify them. And he poured of the anointing oil upon Aaron’s head and anointed him to sanctify him.”
Now it is perfectly clear in this passage that to sanctify means to separate or set [apart for God, and that Sanctification is the process of setting apart or state of being set apart for God. The word Sanctify is used in this sense over and over again.
Another illustration is Lev. 27:14, 17. “And when a man shall sanctify his house to be holy unto God, then the priest shall estimate it, whether it be good or bad: as the priest shall estimate it, so shall it stand . . . and if a man shall sanctify unto Jehovah part of a field of his possession, then the estimation shall be according to the sowing thereof.”
Here again it is plain that to sanctify means to separate or set apart for God, and that Sanctification is the process of setting apart or state of being set apart for God. Still another illustration of this same use of the word sanctify is found in Num.8:17, “For all the firstborn among the children of Israel are mine, both man and beast: on the day that I smote all the firstborn in the land of Egypt I sanctified them for myself.”
This, of course, does not mean that God, at the time that He smote the firstborn in Egypt, eradicated the carnal nature from the first-born of Israel. It does mean that He set apart all the first-born to be peculiarly His own. Another very suggestive illustration of the same usage of the word is found in the case of Jeremiah as stated by himself in Jer. 1:4, 5, “Now the word of Jehovah came unto me saying, before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee: I have appointed thee a prophet unto the nations.”
This plainly means that before his birth God set Jeremiah apart for Himself. There would still be much imperfection and infirmity in him, but he was set apart for God. Another suggestive illustration of the same use of the word Sanctify is found in Matt. 23:27, in the words of our Lord Jesus Himself: “Ye fools and blind; for which is greater, the gold, or the temple that hath sanctified the gold?”
But perhaps the most striking illustration of all is in what our Lord says about His own sanctification in John 17:19, “And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they themselves also may be sanctified in truth.” Here the plain meaning is that our Lord Jesus set Himself apart for this work for God and He did it in order that believers might be set apart for God “in truth,” or “in the truth.”
This is the most frequent use of the word sanctify. There are numerous illustrations of it in the Bible. So to sanctify means to separate or set apart for God; and Sanctification is the process of setting apart or the state of being set apart for God. This is the primary meaning of the words.
But the word as used in the Bible has also a secondary signification closely related to this primary meaning. An illustration of this secondary meaning will be found in II Chron. 29:5, “Hear me, ye Levites; now sanctify yourselves, and sanctify the house of Jehovah, the God of your fathers, and carry forth the filthiness out of the holy place.”
Bearing in mind the “parallelism” [which is the chief characteristic of Hebrew poetry, it is plain that to sanctify here is synonymous with the “Carry forth the filthiness out of the holy places” found in the last part of the verse. So to sanctify here means to separate from ceremonial or moral defilement, to cleanse; and Sanctification is the process of separating, or state of being separated from ceremonial or moral defilement.
The same use of the word is found in Lev. 11:44, “For I am Jehovah thy God: sanctify yourselves therefore, and be ye holy; for I am holy: neither shall ye defile yourselves with any manner of creeping thing that moveth upon the earth.” Here again it is clear that “sanctify yourselves” is synonymous with “be ye holy” and is contrasted with “defile yourselves” and means to separate from ceremonial or moral defilement, to cleanse; and Sanctification is the process of separating or state of being separated from ceremonial or moral defilement.
The same meaning of sanctification is found in the New Testament in I Thess. 5:23, “And the God of Peace, Himself sanctify you wholly and may your Spirit and soul and body be preserved entire, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Here we see the close relation between entire sanctification and preserving wholly, without blame, and to sanctify here clearly means to separate from moral defilement, and sanctification here again is the process of separating or state of being separated from moral defilement.
The same thing is evident [from the 4th chapter of this same epistle in the 7th verse (I Thess. 4:7), “For God called us not for uncleanness, but in sanctification.” Our “Sanctification” is here set in direct contrast with “uncleanness,” and hence it is evident that sanctification here means the state of being separated from all moral defilement. The same thing is evident from the 3rd verse of this same chapter, “For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye abstain from fornication.”
Here again it is evident that Sanctification means separation from impurity or moral defilement. The two meanings, then, of Sanctification are: the process of separating or setting apart, or state of being separated or set apart, for God; and the process of separating or state of being separated from ceremonial or moral defilement. These two meanings of the word are closely allied—one cannot be truly separated to God without being separated from sin.
Excerpt From – The Fundamental Doctrines Of The Christian Faith By Reuben Archer Torrey.
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