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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Wholly Sanctified # 10

The reason God has so honored the human frame is made very clear in the subsequent revelation of Jesus Christ and the great mystery of the Incarnation. The human body was designed to be the ultimate climax of the whole creation and later to be the eternal form of the incarnate God himself. Always, it would seem, that the Lord Jesus Christ had purposed to become embodied in a human form in order to link the creation with the Creator in His own wonderful Person. The human body, therefore, was designed, in the beginning, as the pattern and type of this sublimest form of being which ever should exist.

Have we ever fully realized the stupendous fact that throughout eternity when each new inhabitant shall come to the great metropolis of the universe to gaze upon the face of its Lord, behold the wonderful God to whom all creation owes its existence, and celebrate Hi yet more wonderful glory and grace in the redemption of a sinful race, He shall gaze upon the face of man. He shall look upon a form like yours and mine, upon the human frame and countenance of Jesus. Oh! may we still say, "Lord, what is man that Thou has set such honor upon him!"

Our hearts sink in amazement and adoration at the infinite grace which has so glorified the human body. Shall we wonder, therefore, beloved, that God should require it to be made worthy of such a destiny and sanctified wholly unto its high calling! For, seated by the side of that wondrous Man, we, too, shall share His glory, and be the objects of the wonder and love of the ages to come.

A Grave Error

One of the gravest errors of all the centuries has been to depreciate the body. Today the old form of gnosticism has been trying to establish the doctrine that matter is not real and that the human body is not real but a fiction. They are pleased to phrase it, "a wrong belief," and state that this "wrong belief" is the cause of all our physical troubles. The aim, therefore, of their long-ago exploded philosophy is to do away with the body, or rather, the belief of the body, and to reduce man to a simple combination of mental faculties. This is wholly contrary to the teachings of Scripture, and would seem to be the antichrist of which the apostle John declared that it should deny that Jesus Christ had come down in the flesh.

Another ancient error was that the body was essentially evil and the great source of temptation and sin, so that the true aim of life in the struggle after sanctity was to get rid of the body, or, at least, to reduce it to the lowest possible condition and render it as incapable as possible of injuring the soul and spirit. One favorite method was the mortification of the body through physical penances and privations until it became reduced and emaciated, so as to cease to be the instigator of evil. The ascetic idea grew out of this delusion. The essential principle of monasticism is the denying of the body in order to attain the higher culture of the spiritual life.

A still grosser form of delusion taught that the true way to  purify the body was in indulge its grossest passions to the utmost excess. This wears it out by its abuse and makes the theory prove its extreme folly in the fact that while professing sanctity it really led to every kind of sin.

The blessed Holy Spirit has taught us a more excellent way. Christ has made provision for the sanctification of the body as well as the soul and spirit. Let us ask once more what is a sanctified body, and the first answer will be:

A Separated Body

It is essential in order to experience the true sanctification of the body that it be cleansed from all impurity and physical sin. There are bodily transgressions as distinct as those of the soul and spirit.

A sanctified body is a body cleansed from gross, sensual indulgences.  This is one of the things of which the apostle Paul most frequently speaks in those epistles which rise to the sublimest heights of spiritual exultation. It speaks most freely of our high place in the fellowship of Christ and the life of the Spirit. Those who dwell in heavenly places are not exempt from watching diligently against the sins of the flesh.

Are your bodies thus separated from all unholy use and all abuse?

~A. B. Simpson~

(continued with # 11)

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