II. THE STEPS OF THE DIVINE SANCTIFICATION
A. The Seeking Sanctification—
the Initial Sanctification
God in eternity past made an economy, and in that economy He decided to have many sons. After He created man, man became fallen. Then God the Spirit came to sanctify man (1 Pet. 1:2). We were lost in Adam, in sin, and in death. We were in a heap of collapse, full of sin and death. But the Spirit came to seek us out, and He found us. Then He convicted us. Then He stirred up our spirit to repent. This was our initial sanctification unto repentance (Luke 15:8-10). This seeking sanctification resulted in our repentance to bring us back to God (vv. 17-21).
B. The Redeeming Sanctification—
the Positional Sanctification
The redeeming sanctification, the positional sanctification, is by the blood of Christ (Heb. 13:12) to transfer us from Adam to Christ. This changed the place where we were. This is the positional sanctification, having nothing to do with our disposition.
C. The Regenerating Sanctification—
the Beginning of the Dispositional Sanctification
Our regeneration is a kind of sanctification. Regeneration is the beginning of the dispositional sanctification to renew us from our spirit (2 Cor. 5:17). God renewed us from the very center of our being, which is our spirit. In God’s salvation He first touches our spirit to regenerate it, that is, to renew it. This makes us, the sinners who were the enemies of God, sons of God (John 1:12-13).
D. The Renewing Sanctification—
the Continuation of
the Dispositional Sanctification
The renewing sanctification continues our dispositional sanctification by renewing our soul from our mind through all the parts of our soul (Rom. 12:2b; Eph. 4:23). Romans 12:2 says that we are to be transformed by the renewing of our mind, and the mind is the leading part of our soul. Our soul has three parts: the mind, emotion, and will.
Ephesians 4:23 speaks of our being renewed in the spirit of our mind. This means our regenerated spirit has entered into our mind to make us renewed entirely in our soul. This makes our soul a part of God’s new creation (Gal. 6:15). Our spirit has become a part of God’s new creation, but not our soul. Through the renewing, our soul will be made a part of God’s new creation.
(The Spirit with Our Spirit, Chapter 12, by Witness Lee)