‘Through sanctification of the Spirit.’ 1 Peter 1:2
Suggested Further Reading: 1 Thessalonians 3:11–4:8
We may without the slightest mistake speak of sanctification as the work of the Spirit, yet we must take heed that we do not view it as if the Father and the Son had no part therein. It is correct to speak of sanctification as the work of the Father, of the Spirit, and of the Son. Jehovah says, ‘Let us make man in our image, after our likeness,’ and thus ‘we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.’ My brethren, I beg you to notice and carefully consider the value which God sets upon real holiness, since the Trinity is represented as co-working to produce a church without ‘spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing.’ Holiness is the architectural plan upon which God builds up his living temple. We read in Scripture of the ‘beauties of holiness;’ nothing is beautiful before God but that which is holy. All the glory of Lucifer, that son of the morning, could not screen him from divine abhorrence when he had defiled himself by sin. ‘Holy, Holy, Holy,’—the continual cry of cherubim is the loftiest song that creature can offer, and the noblest that the divine Being can accept. See then, he counts holiness to be his choice treasure. It is as the seal upon his heart, and as the signet upon his right hand. I pray you who profess to be followers of Christ, set a high value upon purity of life and godliness of conversation. Value the blood of Christ as the foundation of your hope, but never speak disparagingly of the work of the Spirit.
For meditation: Some overemphasise the work of the Holy Spirit so much that they appear to worship him alone as a unity. Others in reaction seem to overlook the work of the Holy Spirit so much that they appear to worship only the Father and Son as a duality. Real Trinitarians give due honour to all three persons of the Godhead. Something is seriously wrong if any one is belittled or omitted (John 5:23; Acts 19:2).
Sermon no. 434
9 February (1862)