« AnteriorContinuar »
sanctifies, he views the sinner as polluted. Though the sinner be pardoned from his guilt, (justified) he still remains polluted ; his nature remains corrupt; it is at enmity with God; he has committed enough of sin to condemn him for ever; and, without sanctification, he remains in a state of enmity and pollution, and where pollution exists, it must give birth to guilt. If the sinner were left in this condition, he would be incapable of enjoying and unfit for heaven.
These two blessings are spoken of as distinct in scripture--some talk of imputed sanctification; this is an absurdity; sanctification is a gradual work, and an imperfect one, and will go on until the soul be separated from the body: nothing can be imputed, which is not already done and complete; but sanctification is a work which the Holy Ghost begins, and is carrying on every moment in the hearts of his people : now this must not be confounded with justification,-it is done-complete in Christ ; nor must we confound this sanctification with the imputed righteousness of Christ, that is also complete: it is the spotless robe prepared as the vestment of the glorified saints ;
-sanctification is the work of the Holy Ghost, evidenced in the subjugation of the natural man : that they are distinct, though inseparably connected, see Titus iii. 447. “ But after that the kindness' and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; which he shed on us abundantly, through Jesus Christ our Saviour ; that being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.”
Again : another distinction is this, that justification is a judicial act_pardon bestowed by the judge upon the guilty criminal ; and sanctification is a physical--a medicinal work. If we think of a judge pardoning the condemned criminal, we get an idea of justification ; and see that we are justified by God through the merits, in the name, of Jesus Christ ; and this is a truth in which we ought to triumph conti, nually. But sanctification is a medicinal act
Christ is represented as a physician, healing the souls of his people," with his stripes we are healed : ” hence, sanctification also flows to us from, or through the name of Christ. The Psalmist expresses this in Psalm ciii. 1-5. “Bless the Lord, O my soul : and all that is within me, bless his holy name. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who
healeth all thy diseases; who redeemeth thy life from destruction ; who crowneth thee with loving-kindness and tender mercies; who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle's,”—“ so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle's,” this is a beautiful simile“- the feathers of the eagle at his time of moulting, wear a very shabby appearance-50 with the sinner when in a state of backsliding-separated from Godhaving no sense of pardoning mercy-he is grovelling, and in despondency—there is no beauty nor comeliness in him—but when the eagle's feathers return, he resumes his former beauty and vigour: and so the Christian, by sanctification and return to God, from the pollution of his former condition, rises to a state of beauty and perfection.
In these passages of the Psalmist, justification and sanctification are exhibited together. Again: justification is a work that is perfect; nothing can be added to it-it would not become God to justify by halves. “Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God.” It is
1 Romans iii. 25,
obtained by faith in the righteousness of Christ. But sanctification is not a perfect work at the present moment, there are two things to be noticed in the sanctification of the sinner, the strengthening of the new man, and subjugation of the old. God the Holy Ghost is the agent. “If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus; that ye put off, concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; and be renewed in the spirit of your mind; and that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness."! The new and old man are continually fighting, the one against the other; that which weakens the one, will invariably strengthen the other. The Apostle describes himself as sold under sin ; “ For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am carnal, sold under sin ; "2 implying the idea of slavery, and the slave is always an unwilling servant; so the Apostle sinned against his will, and so the conflict will continue till the soul is separated from the body, and when the old man dies. The indwelling of sin should give us the deepest sorrow; but this is not incompatible with joy for the deliverance.
| Ephesians iv. 21-24.
2 Romans vii. 14.
We are going this day to commemorate the sufferings and death of Jesus. Let us in approaching these memorials of his dying love, remember, that he died to purchase these blessings of justification and sanctification as well as every other blessing of his redemption. Let us remember that, while they primarily flow from the eternal love of God, we owe them to the dying love of Jesus, as the meritorious cause, and to the love of God the Holy Ghost, in making them effectually known to us; may we remember that we deserve hell. May God the Holy Ghost be with us and make these things so effectually ours, that we may be justified and sanctified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of God.