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Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Wholly Sanctified # 4

The Practical Force

What then, is the practical force of this thought? As God shows you your old sinful self and every evil working of your own fallen nature, you are definitely to hand it over to Him, with the full consent of your will. He then will separate it from you and deliver you wholly from its power. You are to reckon it as being in His hands and no longer having control over you or in any sense belonging to you. As He leads you further to see things that might not be called sinful, and yet are not incorporated into His life and will, you should separate yourself and surrender them to Him so that He may put to death all that is apart from Himself and raise up a new resurrection life our entire being.

You will see that you are delivered from the death struggle with evil and the irrepressible conflict with self. Your part will be simply to hand Agag over with your own hands for execution, (see account in First Samuel 15), and gladly consent that the Lord should slay him utterly and blot out the remembrance of Amalek forever.

You Must Surrender

Beloved, have you thus separated yourself for God to sanctify? Yours must be the surrender. God will not put His hand on the evil until you authorize Him with your glad consent. Like Joab's army of old, He encamps before your city and sends you the message that Sheba must die or the city perish, but your own hands must deliver him over. Have you done so or will you do so? Will you not now with glad consent lay your hand upon the blessed Sin-Offering's head, and transfer your sinful heart and the dearest idol it has known, to Him who "made Him who had so sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God" (2 Corinthians 5:21).

Sanctify means to dedicate. It is not only to separate from but to separate to. The radical idea of the word is to be set apart to be the property of another. We offer ourselves to God for His absolute ownership, that He may possess us as His peculiar property, prepare us for His purpose and work out in us all His holy and perfect will. This is the meaning of the appeal made by Paul in the statement: "Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God - which is your spiritual worship (Romans 12:1).

This too is the meaning of those oft-repeated expressions where we are spoken of as God's peculiar people, which literally means, a people for a possession. This is the very ground on which the Scriptures appeal to us to walk in holiness, because we are not our own; we are bought with a price and should glorify God in our body which is God's (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).

It is true that God has bought us, but here again His infinite condescension refuses to compel our surrender, and will accept nothing but a voluntary gift. So, gladly constrained by love, we feel it a privilege to belong to Him and have Him stoop to take us in our worthlessness and be responsible for all the risks of our momentous existence.

~A. B. Simpson~

(continued with # 5)

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