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Volume 16 - Page 100 of 151 Index | Zoom | |
cramping and harmful to have only in mind the ceremonial or un-moral side. All the
types of O.T. sanctification are swallowed up in our relation to the Father, Who chose us
to holiness, and predestined us to sonship.
We perceive, too, how personal this perfecting should be; "let us cleanse ourselves."
It is not so much the ceremonial "touch not the unclean thing"; the unclean thing is
within. It is not the Pharisaic separation, "God, I thank Thee, I am not as other men
. . . . . or even as this publican" (Luke 18: 11), it is that sanctification that keeps us truly
separate while we mingle with publicans and sinners, sit at their tables, eat their food and
run the risk of being labeled and libeled "gluttonous and wine-bibbers" as the
ceremonialists misunderstood the perfect holiness of "the Son".
The Pharisee would have been defiled had he touched a leper; not so Christ. The
believer whose conception of holiness is still expressed in terms of "temples" and
"unclean things" may fell compelled to stay away from this meeting, to avoid appearing
at that function: the believer whose holiness is expressed in terms of the Father and His
children will manifest the spirit of the Father combining two aspects of holiness that are
usually condemned by those who are on a lower standing:--
"That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven . . . . . be ye therefore
perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect" (Matt. 5: 45-48).
To those who rest satisfied with the sanctification of temples and holy things,
separation from evil and unjust men seems the only consistent thing, but those whose
holiness has passed beyond the images to the reality act in just the reverse way:--
"For He maketh His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sendeth rain on the just
and on the unjust" (Matt. 5: 45).
There are some who will not give a penny to a hospital collection because it may not
be "of God"; such have the ceremonial and temple conception of holiness. Others, who
have passed this stage and seen the "end", feel no more contamination over helping a
purely humane institution than their heavenly Father is less perfect because He does not
discriminate in His largesse of sun and shower. In none of these things must we judge
another, and in no circumstance must liberty be construed as license. He who attempts,
as an outcome of this highest conception of holiness, to "cleanse himself of all stain
either of flesh or spirit", will have no occasion to boast except in the Lord.
We have not by any means exhausted the subject, and hope at intervals to return to
it and view the important reaching of holiness from other angles. Let us rejoice that the
same Christ Who is made unto us redemption and righteousness and wisdom, is surely
made unto us sanctification, but let us not hide from ourselves the fact that he who is
righteous, whether by faith or by works, will do righteousness, and he that is
sanctified will act as such to the glory of God, "perfecting holiness in the fear of the God"
(II Cor. 7: 1).