II. THE ESSENTIAL WORKS OF THE SPIRIT’S DISPOSITIONAL SANCTIFICATION
The final aspect of sanctification is the Spirit’s dispositional sanctification. Our being sanctified through the blood of Christ was a positional matter. We were sinners in Adam, but Christ’s redemption moved us and even removed us out of Adam into Christ (1 Cor. 1:30). This was a changing of our position. We were removed. To be redeemed means to be removed. When a sister goes shopping to buy some fruit, she removes the fruit from the market into her kitchen. This is a positional matter.
When the father clothed his son with the best robe, that was something outward and positional. But when he fed his prodigal son with the fattened calf, that was something inward and dispositional. Before a person goes to work, he dresses himself outwardly and eats something to supply him inwardly. His dressing is a positional matter, and his eating is a dispositional matter. The clothing changes his position and qualifies him to go to work. Then he needs something in his stomach to supply him from within. The blood of Christ changed our position to sanctify us. That is the positional aspect of God’s sanctification. Then God regenerates us to make us a new creation, and this is the beginning of our dispositional sanctification by the Spirit. Our being made a new creation continues from regeneration throughout our entire Christian life by the Spirit’s dispositional sanctification.
A. To Continue the Ongoing Work
of the Believers’ Regeneration
Dispositional sanctification is a continuation of the ongoing work of the believers’ regeneration. Regeneration is a birth, and a birth is not a graduation. It is a beginning. Once someone is born, he needs to grow. Our birth is our regeneration, and our growing is our dispositional sanctification. God is now sanctifying what He has begotten. God has begotten us (John 1:12-13), and now we need to grow. We all are children of God, but we are in different ages and stages in our spiritual growth. The Spirit continues to renew us by sanctifying us for our growth in life.
I would like to give an illustration to help us see the significance of the Spirit’s dispositional sanctification. Suppose a brother speaks to his wife. Later, the sanctifying Spirit would ask him, "Was the way in which you talked to your wife holy?" Surely, this brother would repent and confess, "Lord, that was not holy. That was a common and natural person speaking, not a renewed one." The Spirit is sanctifying this brother in the way that he talks to his wife. While the sanctifying Spirit corrects this brother, He does something to infuse him by imparting more of the element of the Triune God into him to constitute him.
The Spirit does not just correct us but He constitutes us. To rebuke is outward, but to feed people with something is inward. Outward correction may cause us to change a little bit in our doings, in our actions, but inside we remain the same. The sanctification of the Spirit is not like this. The Spirit first outwardly corrects us and then inwardly supplies us with the divine element, infusing us with the riches of Christ and constituting us with Christ’s riches as the constituents. The real sanctification is correcting plus constituting. I say this based upon my over sixty years of experience in the Lord.
Even in these recent days I have received much correction and much constitution from the sanctifying Spirit. A brother who does things according to his disposition may be enlightened by the Lord and pray, "Lord, forgive me. I am still doing things according to my natural disposition and not according to the Spirit." While this brother is being corrected, he is also being supplied and constituted with the riches of Christ. The Spirit sanctifies us not just by correcting us but by supplying us with His constituents, with His riches, with His divine element. The more we pray and confess to the Lord, the more we are supplied and transfused. This is the significance of the Spirit’s dispositional sanctification.
(The Spirit with Our Spirit, Chapter 11, by Witness Lee)