Thursday, January 7, 2016

Sanctification (1), the Work of the Triune God - John Colquhoun

" By the which will we are sanctified, through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ -once for all." — Heb. x. 10.
It was the will of God, of God essentially considered, in the Person of the Father, that his eternal Son should stand in the place of elect sinners, and give complete satisfaction for their sins. On this great object the heart of the whole glorious Trinity was set from all eternity. Accordingly, Christ not only revealed but fulfilled this will, in his obedience unto death. Now, in our text we are told, that it is by this will, as fulfilled by Jesus Christ, that believing sinners are sanctified.  By the which will we are sanctified;" as if the apostle had said, it is in consequence of this will and appointment of God, as fulfilled by Christ, that we who believe are sanctified; that we are sanctified not ceremonially, as the Israelites were by the typical sacrifices under the law, which could only sanctify to the purifying of the flesh; but effectually and substantially, in our actual deliverance from the power and pollution of sin, and our separation to the service and enjoyment of the blessed God. The apostle adds, "we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all." As the sacrifice of Christ's human nature, of which his body was the visible part, was once offered, so it is on account of it, and by virtue derived from it, that any sinners of mankind are sanctified...
I. First, then, I am to speak in general of the sanctification of believers. 
And here, in the 1st place, to sanctify has in Scripture various significations. It signifies to acknowledge that to be holy which was holy before. Thus, to sanctify the Lord God in our hearts, is to acknowledge him to be infinitely holy, and to celebrate with all our heart the praises of his holiness. It is to pray as Christ taught his disciples, that his name may be hallowed. It also signifies, to separate any person or thing to a holy use, Exod. xiii. 2. and John x. 36...
It signifies to dedicate to God and his service. Thus the altar, temple, priests, and sacred utensils, were sanctified; that is, were dedicated to God and his worship. In a similar manner, the elect are sanctified; they are dedicated to God; they are a peculiar treasure to God, above all people...
2d, The Author of sanctification is God alone. "That they may know that I am the Lord that sanctifieth them," Ezek. xx. 12. Nothing can be the source of created holiness but that which is uncreated. The sinner himself cannot be the author of it: he can indeed pollute, but he cannot purify himself. The law commands us to cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of flesh and spirit, and to make to ourselves a new or a clean heart; but the law is the rule of our duty, and not the measure of our ability. To sanctify a sinner is the work of God, and is a greater work than to create a world. It is the work of a whole Trinity of Divine Persons. As all the Persons of the glorious Trinity were jointly engaged in making man a living creature, so they jointly concur in making him a new creature. This is effected by God the Father, Jude 1., by God the Son, Eph. v. 26., and by God the Holy Spirit. Hence we read of the sanctification of the Spirit, and the renewing of the Holy Ghost. Although, in the economy of grace, sanctification is more immediately ascribed to the Holy Spirit, yet this is not to be so understood as if, the Spirit were more immediately concerned in it than the Father and the Son. The powerful influence by which believing sinners are sanctified is common to all the Persons in the Godhead, and is exerted by each of them equally. The one does not accomplish this work by the other, as an instrument. As the Spirit follows the Son in their order of subsistence, so he follows him in the order of operation. As sanctification, therefore, follows upon the righteousness and blood of the Son, so it is, by special appropriation, attributed to the operation of the Spirit, as the Spirit of the Son.
John Colquhoun, Sermons, chiefly on doctrinal subjects. pp. 165-167 

No comments:

Post a Comment