I. THE RENEWING IS THE CONTINUATION
OF THE SPIRIT’S SANCTIFICATION
A. Regeneration Is the Initial Step of the Spirit’s Dispositional Sanctification in the Believers
After our repentance, we believed and were regenerated. Regeneration is the initial step of the Spirit’s dispositional sanctification in the believers. Sanctification follows regeneration and continues through our whole life until we reach the redemption of our body.
This sanctifying Spirit is the sealing Spirit (Eph. 1:13). He seals us unto the redemption of our body. Ephesians 4:30 says that we are "sealed unto the day of redemption." In my youth I thought the word unto meant "until." This would mean that the Spirit seals us until our body will be redeemed. This, however is a wrong teaching. Unto does not mean "until." Unto means "resulting in." The Spirit’s sealing us results in the redemption of our body. Until refers to the matter of time. Unto, however, is a matter of result. The sealing of the Spirit results in the redemption of our body, which is the full sonship we will enter into with our glorification. Following regeneration is sanctification, and sanctification implies renewing, transformation, conformation, and glorification.
Renewing is a very fine work. Titus 3:5 shows how sanctification continues regeneration. This verse says that God saves us through the washing of regeneration and the renewing of the Holy Spirit. Regeneration is a great washing. We were created as the old man, and the old man became fallen. Even the best part of the old man is dirty and contaminated. It has been contaminated with sin, Satan, the world, and the flesh. So God came in to save us through regeneration, and this regeneration washes away the old creation with sin, Satan, the world, and the flesh.
B. Renewing Is the Going On
of This Dispositional Sanctification
within the Believers
This washing needs some continuation. Each morning we spend some time to wash ourselves thoroughly, but throughout the day we wash again and again. We wash our hands and face outwardly, and we wash our inward being by drinking water. Washing needs a continuation. Regeneration is a great washing, and our sanctification continues this washing. The first step of this continuation of our being sanctified is the renewing.
Renewing is the going on of the dispositional sanctification within the believers. Romans 6:19 and 22 prove that this sanctifying is going on. Sanctifying is a kind of renewing, and this renewing is going on every day and every moment through our entire Christian life. Verse 19 says that we should present our members "as slaves to righteousness unto sanctification." This means we should not let the members of our body do anything unrighteous. When we present the members of our body to righteousness, this results in sanctification. Verse 22 says that this sanctification leads us to eternal life. Righteousness, sanctification, and eternal life are covered in verses 19 and 22. How can we reach eternal life? We have to present our physical body in every way to righteousness, and this results in sanctification. Then sanctification leads us to eternal life.
Early in the morning we need to pray, "Lord, thank You for this day. I present myself as a burnt offering for Your satisfaction. Lord, keep me right the whole day." Then this will be unto sanctification, and sanctification will lead you to eternal life. Romans 6:19 and 22 show us a continual renewing, a continual sanctification. Sanctification is the general term, and renewing is a specific term. In the sanctifying we have the renewing every day.
(The Spirit with Our Spirit, Chapter 13, by Witness Lee)