THE CONDITION OF CHRISTIANITY
However, the view of Christianity today concerning the Bible is too low. The Lutherans do not put much emphasis on the growth in life and transformation. They consider that once a person believes in the Lord, he is justified, but they do not pay much attention to the organic aspect of God’s salvation. Likewise, proponents of the reformed theology also do not care for the matters of growth in life and transformation, which they consider too troublesome. Rather, they think that once a person believes in the Lord, he receives a salvation that is eternally secured. God has chosen us once in eternity and that is sufficient and will never change. Their teaching comes short of the divine revelation in the holy Scriptures. We cannot say that there is nothing more after God’s choosing. Ephesians 1:4 indeed says that we were chosen. But Ephesians does not have only this one verse. Ephesians 1 has many more verses telling us that there are still many things after God’s choosing. Thus, we simply cannot say that God’s choosing is sufficient. People in the Pentecostal movement also neglect the matters of growth in life and transformation. They consider that it is more important to speak in tongues and that a person cannot be saved without speaking in tongues.
This is the condition of today’s Christianity. They do not know the organic matters in God’s salvation. Not only so, many people in Christianity do not know that the Lord as the Spirit is in our spirit. They even do not know what the Spirit is, nor do they know that there is a spirit in man. They consider the spirit and the soul as one and synonymous. Not only so, they mix up the heart, the soul, and the spirit, considering them synonymous.
This condition of Christianity today is incurable. All we can do is wait for the Lord to come back. According to Revelation 17, when the Lord comes back, the first thing He will do is burn the Catholic Church with fire (v. 16); next, He will command the angels to bind into bundles all the false Christians, the tares, in Christianity and cast them into the lake of fire (Matt. 13:30, 41-42). Third, He will gather all the genuinely saved ones to His judgment seat; there He will judge them to see whose living and work are gold, silver, and precious stones and whose living and work are wood, grass, and stubble (1 Cor. 3:12-15; 4:4-5; 2 Cor. 5:10; Rev. 22:12). If the living and work are wood, grass, and stubble, the Lord will burn these things with fire. As a result, only a small amount of gold, silver, and precious stones will remain. The Lord has shown me these truths after my studying of the Word for seventy years. However, I feel so pained when I look at the condition of today’s Christianity. Without the Lord’s mercy, the Lord’s recovery may have two kinds of conditions. One condition is to be like that of Sardis, that is, living in name but dead in reality (Rev. 3:1). The other condition is to be like that of Laodicea, that is, neither hot nor cold (v. 16). Being living in name and yet dead and being neither hot nor cold were our condition several years ago. That is why in 1984 I went to Taiwan to study the Lord’s new way for His recovery to go on. Today in the Lord’s recovery, generally speaking, we have come out of the conditions of Sardis and Laodicea. But we need to be humble lest some fall into such conditions.
Now we will go on to see the sanctification in the divine nature and the Spirit’s renewing of the believers.
Positional Sanctification Belonging to the Judicial Aspect of God’s Salvation
First, we must know the difference between positional sanctification and dispositional sanctification. The former belongs to the judicial aspect of God’s salvation, whereas the latter belongs to the organic aspect of God’s salvation.
Before we were saved, we were altogether in the world. After we were saved and regenerated, the Lord completely separated us to make us holy. This is positional sanctification for the believers to be separated out of the world and made holy unto God (1 Cor. 1:2; Rom. 1:7). As mentioned in Matthew 23, when the gold is placed in the market, it is something common, but when it is placed in the temple, it is sanctified (v. 17). This kind of sanctification does not change at all the inward disposition; it changes only the outward position. Every regenerated person more or less has this kind of experience. Immediately after we were saved, we simply did not want to mingle with those in the world; we had been separated from them. This is positional sanctification, separation. This positional sanctification is through the redeeming blood of Christ (Heb. 10:29; 13:12) for the believers to become God’s peculiar people (1 Pet. 2:9-10 and notes).
(The Organic Aspect of God's Salvation, Chapter 3, by Witness Lee)