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Volume 22 - Page 143 of 214 Index | Zoom | |
Holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord.
Separation "to" as well as separation "from".
pp. 1 - 5
We have seen in the second article of this series that the primary idea of the word
"sanctification" in the Hebrew O.T. is that of separation. It is necessary, however, to
pursue the question in the N.T. also before we can be convinced that the primary meaning
of the word is necessarily a part of its doctrinal significance. Let us take for example the
words of John 10: 36:--
"Him Whom the Father hath sanctified and sent into the world."
Here there can be no idea of cleansing from defilement, for the Son of God was
always "holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners" (Heb. 7: 26). The word here
bears its primary meaning of setting apart for some special purpose, and the passage is in
measure equivalent to I Pet. 1: 20: "Who verily was foreordained before the overthrow
of the world."
This idea of separation from common use is seen in I Tim. 4: 4, 5:--
"For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with
thanksgiving. For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer."
This passage is part of a rather involved section dealing with the doctrines of demons,
which forbid marriage and command "to abstain from meats which God hath created to
be received with thanksgiving". The church was being assailed by false teachers,
"desiring to be teachers of the law: understanding neither what they say nor whereof they
affirm" (I Tim. 1: 7). The believer to-day is not under law. The ceremonial distinction
between meats has been swept aside. And the Lord Himself has said: "There is nothing
from without a man that, entering into him, can defile him" (Mark 7: 15). To the pure,
all things are pure. Whatsoever is sold in the market it is legitimate to eat, asking no
question for conscience sake. It is sanctified. This does not mean that it is made holy, or
rendered free of pollution, but rather that it is "set apart" as fit and proper food.
Referring to Mark 7: 15-23, the apostle writes in his epistle to the Romans:--
"I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing common of itself,
but to him that esteemeth anything to be common, to him it is common" (Rom. 14: 14).
Here we have the word "common" ("unclean", in the A.V.) as the antithesis of
"sanctification" in I Tim. 4: In both cases it is not a question of a moral quality