THE NEED TO KNOW THE SPIRIT OF SONSHIP
We can only be a son of God by having the Spirit of sonship. This Spirit of sonship is the Spirit of holiness and the Spirit of life. If you do not know what the Spirit of holiness is and what the Spirit of life is, then you cannot know what the Spirit of sonship is. Although you may be a son of God, you may not know the meaning of this sonship. Can you explain what sonship is? Christians may talk about the Body in Romans 12 without seeing that the members of the Body are the sons of God. No one can be a member of Christ if he is not a son of God, and no one can be a proper member in the Body of Christ without knowing what sonship is. Furthermore, to be a proper member of Christ’s Body, we must know the meaning of the Spirit of holiness and the Spirit of life.
THE SPIRIT OF HOLINESS
Let us now consider the Spirit of holiness. Holiness denotes God’s unique nature. In Greek, the word holiness means to be separated, different, from all common things. In other words, to be holy is to be unique, to be different, set apart from everything else. Therefore, to be holy means to be just like God Himself and to be different from anyone and anything else and any matter. God’s divine nature is unique, different from all other things. In the entire universe there is only one nature absolutely different from all other things, and this is the nature of God. It is not an insignificant matter to be holy, for to be holy is virtually to be divine. It is to be separate, different, from anything other than God. Holiness denotes such a condition. It is the state of being separated from all other things. Only God Himself is in such a condition.
When Christ came as man, He put on human nature, but this human nature was not holy, for it was exactly the same as our nature. The only difference was that in our nature there was sin, but in His nature there was no sin. To be sinless is not the same as being holy. A table is not sinful, but it certainly is not holy. Sinlessness, or purity, is not holiness. Holiness refers to a condition, a state of being, in which someone or something is different from everything other than God. When Christ took upon Himself the flesh, He put on something that was common. His flesh was neither sinful nor holy. It was later positionally consecrated, separated, to God (Luke 2:22-23), but dispositionally His humanity remained common. Thus, the humanity Christ had put on needed to be made holy. This was accomplished through His resurrection.
Christ’s resurrection was a type of transfiguration. You are no doubt familiar with Christ’s transfiguration on the mountain (Matt. 17:1-2). At the time of that transfiguration, He was made holy. Prior to that event, He was in the common flesh. His humanity was common, the same as that of Peter, James, John, and every other man. As we have pointed out, the unique thing about Christ’s humanity was that there was no sin in it. But as far as the nature of the flesh and blood is concerned, it was exactly the same as our humanity. When Christ was transfigured on the mountain, He was sanctified, made holy. He was made different from Peter, James, and John. His transfiguration actually was His resurrection. Later, when He was resurrected, He was fully transfigured. In His transfiguration Christ was designated, marked out, to be the Son of God. When Jesus was transfigured, His face shone as the sun, and He became separate from all other people. The same thing took place in His resurrection: His physical body became separate, different, from all things other than God. This was according to the Spirit of holiness. Jesus’ transfiguration was something inward, not something outward. It was according to the Spirit of holiness within Him. At the time of His transfiguration, the Spirit of holiness permeated and saturated His whole being to make Him separate, different, from anything other than God.
(The Spirit and the Body, Chapter 6, by Witness Lee)