Living In and With the Divine Trinity, by Witness Lee


Second Thessalonians 2:13 and 14 say, "But we ought to thank God always concerning you, brothers beloved by the Lord, because God chose you from the beginning unto salvation in sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth, to which also He called you through our gospel unto the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ." God [God the Father] chose us from the beginning. This refers to eternity past. His salvation is in sanctification of the Spirit.

Sanctification in verse 13 is all-inclusive. It covers all three stages of sanctification. The first stage of sanctification is for our repentance and is mentioned in 1 Peter 1:2. First, we were foreknown by God the Father for His choosing. Then according to what God chose, the Holy Spirit came to us to separate us, to sanctify us from the world, from sin, and from all the sinners unto God. Through that kind of sanctifying, we repented and returned to God. This is the first stage of sanctification for our repentance.

The second stage of sanctification is for our justification. In the second stage, the sanctification which we receive in God’s full salvation is both positional and dispositional. Positional sanctification is mentioned in Hebrews 13:12 which says that Jesus sanctified us through His own blood. Positional sanctification is obtained by us through Christ’s redeeming blood shed on the cross. Once we are bought back by the Lord’s blood, we are separated from the world, receiving a sanctified position and being made holy unto Him. Furthermore, when we were saved and justified, we entered into an organic union with the Lord, partook of His divine life and nature, and were sanctified dispositionally (1 Cor. 6:11).

The third stage of sanctification for our transformation is mainly a dispositional sanctification. This is the very sanctification stressed in Romans 6:19 and 22. This sanctification takes place in our disposition, changing our very nature. This is for our transformation and also includes our conformation and glorification. Glorification is actually the last step, the ultimate step, of the Holy Spirit’s sanctification. In this all-inclusive sanctification, God’s complete salvation is carried out.

Salvation in sanctification of the Spirit is the procedure, and the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son, is the goal. God’s choosing and the Holy Spirit’s sanctification, which carries out God’s salvation, will have a result. This result will be the obtaining of the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ. This is our glorification. Again we see the Three of the Divine Trinity involved with us from eternity past to eternity future. God’s choosing was in eternity past, and God’s glorification for us will be for eternity future. His all-inclusive salvation is from eternity to eternity.

(Living In and With the Divine Trinity, Chapter 6, by Witness Lee)