Life-Study of 1 & 2 Thessalonians, by Witness Lee

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Every day, even every minute, we are being sanctified. The One who sanctifies us is the Spirit. This is the reason the Bible speaks of the sanctification of the Spirit. All day long the Spirit, the third of the Trinity, is sanctifying us, applying to us what the Father has planned and what the Son has accomplished. Oh, we have such a practical, living, and subjective Sanctifier!

Even while we are sinning, the Spirit is sanctifying us. You may be committing a sin, but even then the Spirit is working to sanctify you. How gracious this is!

In Hebrews 10:29 the Spirit is even called the Spirit of grace. As believers in Christ, we all have received the Spirit of grace. The Spirit of grace sanctifies us unconditionally, that is, without any conditions or terms. The Spirit has been commissioned to sanctify us. He has been given to us for the purpose of completing the work of sanctification.


Sanctification separates us unto God by putting a mark on us. This mark is actually the Triune God Himself. Whenever we are sanctified, we are marked with the Triune God. As a result, others can see the Triune God in us. Furthermore, this mark is increasing and becoming more intensified. Year after year, this mark has been wrought deeply into my life. This is the work of the Spirit’s sanctification. By the sanctifying work of the Spirit we are being saved. Furthermore, this is the way we live a holy life for the church life.


Our Spirit Preserved

To live a holy life for the church life is to have our spirit, soul, and body preserved. Paul speaks of this in 1 Thessalonians 5:23: “May your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” We need to have our spirit preserved from deadness. This means that we should be living in our spirit. We should contact God all the time and serve Him in a living way. We need always to have a direct sense from Him. Furthermore, we need to have a conscience that is without offense. This means that we keep our conscience, the leading part of our spirit, good and pure. To preserve our spirit is to keep it from deadness, contamination, and offenses. If our spirit is preserved in this way, we shall have a living spirit with a direct sense of God. We shall also have peace in our conscience. This is to preserve our spirit.

Our Soul Preserved

We also need to have our entire soul preserved. Our mind needs to be renewed, transformed, and sobered. Our will should be submissive and flexible, yet strong. Our emotion should always be properly adjusted. If our emotion is proper, we shall love what we ought to love and hate what we ought to hate. This is to have an emotion according to God’s desire. If our mind, will, and emotion are in such a condition, our soul is preserved. We are not biased in any way, but every aspect of our soul is upright.

Our Body Preserved

We also need to be preserved in our body. In order to have our body preserved, we should no longer live by our old man. If we do not live by our old man, our body will be a slave to righteousness instead of a slave to sin. Positively, we preserve our body by presenting it to God a living sacrifice (Rom. 12:1). Then our body will even become a member of Christ (1 Cor. 6:15) so that we may live Christ, express Christ, magnify Christ. Furthermore, our body will then be the sanctuary of the Holy Spirit for God’s dwelling (1 Cor. 6:19). God dwells in our body to move and to express Himself, to glorify Himself. In this way our spirit, soul, and body will be preserved in the Triune God. This is a holy life, and this is to be saved in the sanctification of the Spirit. This is the kind of life that is for the church life. The church life depends on such a holy life.

In the two Epistles to the Thessalonians Paul wrote to new believers about basic matters. I hope that we shall all pay our attention to what Paul says in these books so that day by day we may be sanctified and that our spirit, soul, and body may be preserved, with our heart, the acting agent and representative of the soul, established blameless in holiness. Praise the Lord that it is possible for us to live such a holy life for the church life!

(Life-Study of 1 & 2 Thessalonians, Chapter 30, by Witness Lee)