III. IN SANCTIFYING THE BELIEVERS
A. Dispensing God’s Holy Nature
into the Inward Parts of the Believers
The union of the Spirit of God and the spirit of man is seen also in the sanctifying of the believers. The Spirit of God dispenses God’s holy nature into the inward parts of the believers to gradually sanctify every inward part with the element of God’s holy nature (Rom. 6:19, 22; 15:16). Very few in Christianity speak about sanctification in a clear and full way. They speak mainly about becoming holy and pure. However, in the original language the word sanctification has the meaning of being separated or set apart in a strong way. Hence, we created a Chinese term that means "being made holy by being separated." According to my knowledge, the equivalent of the word sanctification is not found in the Chinese dictionary, since without such a culture there is not such a language. What God is doing is first to sanctify us by separation, and then to sanctify us by transformation. God not only sets us apart but also sanctifies us by transforming us.
Sanctification by separation is for sanctification by transformation, and the latter is for the transformation of our entire being. In the matter of our sanctification, the Spirit of God first comes into our spirit to separate us in order to make us holy. Then God’s nature of holiness also begins the process of transformation within us to sanctify us. Neither of these significances of sanctification is brought out in Chinese theology. Instead, Chinese theology puts a particular emphasis on purity. Of course, we may say that sanctification in its broad sense includes the meaning of purification, since separation plus the process of transformation for sanctification equal purification. However, this kind of teaching is somewhat far-fetched. What the Bible speaks about is sanctification by separation and transformation. Regeneration requires the life of God; sanctification also requires the life of God. Regeneration requires the life of God to beget us, whereas sanctification requires the nature of God in His life to separate and transform us.
B. That the Believers May in Substance
Partake of and Enjoy God’s Nature
of Holiness and Thus Become Holy
The life of God has its holy nature. It is this nature of the life of God that sanctifies us by separation and transformation. After we are saved, we have Christ as our life (Col. 3:4) and can partake of the divine nature (2 Pet. 1:4). To partake of means to enjoy. We believers who are in Christ have His life and can enjoy His nature. The holy nature of God is an element that is added into our being, that enters into our various inward parts, such as our mind, emotion, and will. This causes our various inward parts to be separated from all things outside of God.
Not only so, the life of God also sanctifies us to transform us. It sanctifies by transforming every part of our being so that every part of our being may be like God. Our mind becomes like the mind of God; our emotion becomes like the emotion of God; and our will becomes like the will of God. Hence, one who has been sanctified by being separated and transformed becomes like God in the attitude of his speaking and in his actions and gestures, even in his judgments and views. He becomes God in life and nature, but not in His Godhead.
It is not simple for God to become man in order to make man God. For God to make us God, the first step is that He has to regenerate us by putting His life into us. The second step is that He has to sanctify us by separating and transforming us with the divine nature in His life. This causes us to be the same as God not only in life and nature but also in every part of our entire being.
(The Issue of the Union of the Consummated Spirit of the Triune God and the Regenerated Spirit of the Believers, Chapter 3, by Witness Lee)