Discipline and Sanctification
“God chasteneth us for our profit, that we may be partakers of his
holiness” (Heb. 12:10). “If a man... purge himself.., he shall be a vessel unto
honor, sanctified and meet for the Master’s use, prepared unto every good work”
(II Tim. 2:21).
To sanctify anything is to set apart, to consecrate, to God and to
His service. The temple at Jerusalem was holy, that is to say, it was
consecrated, dedicated to God that it might serve Him as a dwelling place. The
vessels of the temple were holy, because they were devoted to the service of the
temple; the priests were holy, chosen to serve God and ready to work for Him. In
the same way the Christian ought also to be sanctified, at the Lord’s disposal,
“ready to do every good work.”
When the people of Israel went out of Egypt, the Lord reclaimed
them for His service as a holy people. “Let my people go that they may serve me”
(Ex. 7:16), He said to Pharaoh. Set free from their hard bondage, the children
of Israel were debtors to enter at once upon the service of God, and to become
His happy servants. Their deliverance was the road which led to their
Again in this day, God is forming for Himself a holy people, and
it is that we may torn part of them that Jesus sets us free. He “gave himself
for us that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a
people for his own possession, zealous of good works” (Titus 2:14, R.V.). It is
the Lord who breaks the chains by which Satan would hold us in bondage. He would
have us free, wholly free to serve Him. He wills to save us, to deliver both the
soul and the body, that each of the members of the body may be consecrated to
Him and placed unreservedly at His disposal.
A large number of Christians do not yet understand all this,
they do not know how to take in that the purpose of their deliverance is that
they may be sanctified, prepared to serve their God. They make use of their life
and their members to procure their own satisfaction; consequently they do not
feel at liberty to ask for healing with faith. It is therefore to chasten
them—that they may be brought to desire sanctification—that the Lord permits
Satan to inflict sickness upon them and by it keep them chained and prisoners
(Luke 13:11, 16). God chastens us “for our profit, that we may be partakers of
his holiness,” and that we may be sanctified, “meet for the Master’s use” (Heb.
12:10, R.V.; II Tim. 2: 21).
The discipline which inflicts the sickness brings great
blessings with it. It is a call to the sick one to reflect; it leads him to see
that God is occupied with him, and seeks to show him what there is which still
separates him from Himself. God speaks to him, He calls him to examine his ways,
to acknowledge that he has lacked holiness, and that the purpose of the
chastisement is to make him partaker of His holiness. He awakens within him the
desire to be enlightened by the Holy Spirit down into the inmost recesses of his
heart, that he may be enabled to get a clear idea of what his life has been up
to the present time, a life of self-will, very unlike the holy life which God
requires of him. He leads him to confess his sins, to entrust them to the Lord
Jesus, to believe that the Savior can deliver him from them. He urges him to
yield to Him, to consecrate his life to Him, to die to himself that he may be
able to live unto God.
Sanctification is not something which you can accomplish
yourself; it cannot even be produced by God in you as something which you can
possess and contemplate in yourself. No, it is the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of
holiness alone who can communicate His holiness to you and renew it continually.
Therefore it is by faith you can become “partakers of his holiness.” Having
understood that Jesus has been made unto you of God sanctification (I Cor.
1:30), and that it is the Holy Spirit’s work to impart to you His holiness which
was manifested in His life on earth, surrender yourself to Him by faith that He
may enable you to live that life from hour to hour. Believe that the Lord will
by His Spirit lead you into, and keep you in this life of holiness and of
consecration to God’s service. Live thus in the obedience of faith, always
attentive to His voice, and the guidance of His Spirit.
From the time that this Fatherly discipline has led the sick one
to a life of holiness, God has attained His purpose, and He will heal him who
asks it in faith. Our earthly parents “for a few days chastened us.... All
chastening seemeth for the present to be not joyous, but grievous: yet afterward
it yieldeth peaceable fruit unto them that have been exercised thereby, even the
fruit of righteousness” (Heb. 12:10, 11, R.V.). Yes, it is when the believer
realizes this peaceable fruit of righteousness that he is in a condition to be
delivered from the chastisement.
Oh, it is because believers still understand so little that
sanctification means an entire consecration to God that they cannot really
believe that healing will quickly follow the sanctification of the sick one.
Good health is too often for them only a matter of personal comfort and
enjoyment which they may dispose of at their will, but God cannot thus minister
to their selfishness. If they understood better that God requires of His
children that they should be “sanctified and meet for the Master’s use,” they
would not be surprised to see Him giving healing and renewed strength to those
who have learned to place all their members at His disposal, willing to be
sanctified and employed in His service by the Holy Spirit. The Spirit of healing
is also the Spirit of sanctification.
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Divine Healing by Andrew Murray - Public Domain [Copy Freely]