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Sanctification in the Epistles of the Mystery.
pp. 197 - 200
Sanctification falls under 3 headings: (a) Elective. (b) Redemptive. (c) Progressive
and practical. These three aspects of sanctification for the members of the church of the
One body are set forth in three passages hat are contained in Ephesians and Colossians.
Elective. "According as He hath chosen us in Him, before the foundation of the
world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love" (Eph. 1: 4).
Redemptive. "In the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy and
unblameable and unreproveable in His sight" (Col. 1: 22).
Progressive. "That He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by
the Word, that He might present it to Himself a glorious church, not having spot,
or wrinkle, or any such thing, but that it should be holy and without blemish"
(Eph. 5: 26, 27).
Two words are repeated in these three references. One is evident to the English
reader. The word "Holy" is in each passage hagios in the Greek. The second word
amomos is translated "without blame" (Eph. 1: 4); "without blemish" (Eph. 5: 27); and
"unblameable" (Col. 1: 22). Sanctification and Holiness therefore can be considered as
(1) A state in which there is "no blemish". (2) A state in which there is "no blame".
These two states are further expanded and explained by the context and by the terms with
which they are associated. These associations are (1) near, (2) remote. The near
association are such as "before Him", "In His sight", and such words as "cleanse",
"wash", "spot", "wrinkle". The remote associations are the use of the word translated
"without blemish", in the typical offerings of the Levitical law. The other word
"unreproveable" is connected with the court of law, and so reveals that holiness includes
justification and righteousness. This is a mighty theme, and demands our most prayerful
attention, for the subject itself is one that has been "bought with a price!"
"Without blame", "without blemish", "unblameable" are three translations of the one
This Greek word has two associations which necessarily colour its meaning (1) The
use of the term in classical Greek. (2) The employment of the term by the LXX
translation of the Hebrew O.T. The use of the term in the LXX is by far the most
important so far as our understanding of the doctrine is concerned, but its use by the
Greeks themselves is suggestive.
"A" in the word amomos is a negative, momos means "blame, ridicule, or disgrace".
Momus was the name given to the son of night, who is called "The critic of God"--the
fault finder. The word was used by the Greeks in connection with their sacrifice. A
momoskopos was one who looked for blemishes in the sacrificial animals, while a
momates was a mocker, a scoffer.