THE TWO ASPECTS OF SANCTIFICATION
When we are first saved, we experience positional sanctification (Rom. 1:7a). Matthew 23:17 uses the gold of the temple as an illustration. The gold was originally common in its position. Some was sold at the shops, and some was stored at home. Some gold was beaten into rings and worn on the fingers. But when it was put into the offering box, the gold’s position was transferred from a common place to a sanctified place. At that time, the gold was positionally sanctified.
Since we, the sinners, have been soaked by the element of the world in our inward nature, we not only need an outward change in position, but we also need inward dispositional sanctification. First, this sanctification delivers us from the nature that is soaked by the element of the world. Second, it puts us in the Holy Spirit (Rom. 15:16b). When we are in the Holy Spirit, we will not argue with others easily. On the contrary, we will be fully at peace with others.
We cooperate by presenting ourselves as slaves to righteousness (6:18, 22b) and by presenting our members, one by one, as slaves to righteousness (6:19b). For example, we may have used our mouth to argue with others in the past. But when we present our mouth to righteousness, we present it for speaking thanksgiving and praise. Thus, it is no longer used to argue with others. The use of our ears is another example. Our ears may have loved to listen to gossip about the shortcomings of others. But now when we are about to listen to these things, we can declare to Satan, “Get behind me. My ears have been presented as slaves to righteousness. I will no longer listen to these words. My ears are for listening to the word of God.’’ This is dispositional sanctification.
THE FRUIT OF SUBJECTIVE AND DISPOSITIONAL SANCTIFICATION
When we cooperate with the Lord to present our members as slaves to righteousness, the fruit of this sanctification causes us to be separated dispositionally and to be occupied by God. Our lips are occupied by God, and our ears are occupied by God. The more we are occupied by God, the more God’s life increases in us, and the more we enjoy God Himself. Hence, the end of our being sanctified dispositionally unto God is eternal life (6:22b).
AN ADDITIONAL WORD
The outlines that I am giving you are clear and concise. They give you a good example. When you go to the villages to teach the new ones, you have to teach them point by point. You must not teach in a wrong way. If you teach wrongly, it will be difficult to change the new ones. I hope that we would all carefully keep this point. When we teach the truth, we must speak accurately.
Moreover, when we speak, we have to learn to speak slowly, with proper variation of tone and with proper rhythm. We have to learn this. For those of us who are working for the Lord, most of our work involves speaking to others. The key to speaking is not whether we think that we have spoken clearly or not, but whether others have understood our speaking or not. If others do not understand us, then our speaking will have no result. Hence, we who are working for the Lord have to learn to speak. What we speak must be something that others can understand and comprehend.
(Salvation in Life in the Book of Romans, Chapter 3, by Witness Lee)