BE YE HOLY, AS I AM HOLY.
Most Holy Lord God! I do bless Thee that Thy beloved Son, whom Thou didst sanctify and send into the world, is now to us the Holy One of God. I beseech Thee that my inner life may so be enlightened by the Spirit that I may in faith fully know what this means.
May I know Him as the revelation of Thy Holiness, the incarnation in human nature, even unto the death, of Thine infinite and unconquerable hatred of sin, as of Thy amazing love to the sinner. May my soul be filled with great fear and trust of Thee.
May I know Him as the exhibition of the Holiness in which we are now to walk before Thee. He lived in Thy holy will. May I know Him as He wrought out that holiness, to be communicated to us in a new human nature, making it possible for us to live a holy life.
May I know Him as Thou hast placed me in Him in heaven, holy in Christ, and as I may abide in Him by faith.
May I know Him, as He dwells in me, the Holy One of God on the throne of my heart, breathing His Holy Spirit and maintaining His holy rule. So shall I live holy in Christ.
O my Father! it pleased Thee that in Thy Son should all the fulness dwell. In Him are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge; in Him dwell the unsearchable riches of grace and holiness. I beseech Thee, reveal Him to me, reveal Him in me, that I may not have to satisfy myself with thoughts and desires, without the reality, but that in the power of an endless life I may know Him, and be known of Him, the Holy One of God. Amen.
1. In the holiness of Jesus we see what ours must be: righteousness, that hates sin and gives everything to have it destroyed; love, that seeks the sinner and gives everything to have him saved. 'Whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.'
2. It is a solemn thought that we may be studying earnestly to know what holiness is, and yet have little of it, because we have little of Jesus. It is a blessed thought that a man may directly be little occupied with the thought of holiness, and yet have much of it, because he is full of Jesus.
3. We need the whole of what God teaches in His Word in regard to holiness in all its different aspects. We need still more to be ever returning to the living centre where God imparts holiness. Jesus is the Holy One of God: to have Him truly, to love Him fervently, to trust and obey Him, to be in Him—this makes us holy.
4. Your holiness is thus treasured up in this Divine, Almighty, and most gentle Saviour—surely there need to be no fear that He will not be ready or able to make you holy.
5. With such a Sanctifier, how comes it that so many seekers after holiness fail so sadly, and know so little of the joy of a holy life?
I am sure it is with very many this one thing: they seek to grasp and hold this Christ in their own strength, and know not how it is the Holy Spirit within them who must be waited for to reveal this Divine Being, the Holy One of God, in their hearts.
HOLY IN CHRIST.
The Holy Spirit.
'But this spake He of the Spirit, which they that believed on Him were to receive: for the Holy Spirit was not yet: because Jesus was not yet glorified.'—John vii. 39.
'The Comforter, even the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, He shall teach you all things.'—John xiv. 26.
'God chose you to salvation in sanctification of the Spirit, and belief of the truth.'—2 Thess. ii. 13. (See 1 Pet. i. 2.)
It has sometimes been said, that while the Holiness of God stands out more prominently in the Old Testament, in the New it has to give way to the revelation of His love. The remark could hardly be made if it were fully realized that the Spirit is God, and that when He takes up the epithet Holy as His own proper name, it is to teach us that now the Holiness of God is to come nearer than ever, and to be specially revealed as the power that makes us holy. In the Holy Spirit, God the Holy One of Israel, and He who was the Holy One of God, come nigh for the fulfilment of the promise, 'I am the Lord that make you holy.' The unseen and unapproachable holiness of God had been revealed and brought near in the life of Christ Jesus; all that hindered our participation in it had been removed by His death. The name of Holy Spirit teaches us that it is specially the Spirit's work to impart it to us and make it our own.
Try and realize the meaning of this; the epithet that through the whole Old Testament has belonged to the Holy God, is now appropriated to that Spirit which is within you. The Holiness of God in Christ becomes holiness in you, because this Spirit is in you. The words, and the Divine realities the words express, Holy and Spirit, are now inseparably and eternally united. You can only have as much of the Spirit as you are willing to have of holiness. You can only have as much holiness as you have of the indwelling Spirit.
There are some who pray for the Spirit because they long to have His light and joy and strength. And yet their prayers bring little increase of blessing or power. It is because they do not rightly know or desire Him as the Holy Spirit. His burning purity, His searching and convicting light, His making dead of the deeds of the body, of self with its will and its power, His leading into the fellowship of Jesus as He gave up His will and His life to the Father,—of all this they have not thought. The Spirit cannot work in power in them because they receive Him not as the Holy Spirit, in sanctification of the Spirit. At times, in seasons of revival, as among the Corinthians and Galatians, He may indeed come with His gifts and mighty workings, while His sanctifying power is but little manifest. (1 Cor. xiv. 4, xiii. 8, iii. 1-3; Gal. iii. 3, v. 15-26.) But unless that sanctifying power be acknowledged and accepted, His gifts will be lost. His gifts coming on us are but meant to prepare the way for the sanctifying power within us. We must take the lesson to heart; we can have as much of the Spirit as we are willing to have of His Holiness. Be full of the Spirit, must mean to us, Be fully holy.
The converse is equally true. We can only have so much holiness as we have of the Spirit. Some souls do very earnestly seek to be holy, but it is very much in their own strength. They will read books and listen to addresses most earnestly; they will use every effort to lay hold of every thought, and act out every advice. And yet they must confess that they are still very much strangers to the true, deep rest and joy and power of abiding in Christ, and being holy in Him. They sought for holiness more than for the Spirit. They must learn how even all the holiness which is so near and clear in Christ, is beyond our reach, except as the Holy Spirit dwells within and imparts it. They must learn to pray for Him and His mighty strengthening (Eph. iii. 16), to believe for Him (John iv. 14, vii. 37), in faith to yield to Him as indwelling (1 Cor. iii. 14, vi. 19). They must learn to cease from self-effort in thinking and believing, in willing and in running; to hope in God, and wait patiently for Him. He will by His Holy Spirit make us holy. Be holy means, Be filled with the Spirit.
If we inquire more closely how it is that this Holy Spirit makes holy, the answer is,—He reveals and imparts the Holiness of Christ. Scripture tells us: Christ is made unto us sanctification. He sanctified Himself for us, that we ourselves might also be sanctified in truth. We have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. We are sanctified in Christ Jesus. The whole living Christ is just a treasury of holiness for man. In His life on earth He exchanged the Divine Holiness He possessed into the current coin needed for this human earthly life, obedience to the Father, and humility, and love, and zeal. As God, He has a sufficiency of it for every moment of the life of every believer.
And yet, it is all beyond our reach, except as the Holy Spirit brings it to us and inwardly communicates it. But this is the very work for which He bears the Divine Name, the Holy Spirit, to glorify Jesus, the Holy One of God, within us, and so make us partakers of His Holiness. He does it by revealing Christ, so that we begin to see what is in Him. He does it by discovering the deep unholiness of our nature (Rom. vii. 14-23). He does it by mightily strengthening us to believe, to receive Jesus Himself as our life. He does it by leading us to utter despair of self, to absolute surrender of obedience to Jesus as Lord, to the assured confidence of faith in the power of an indwelling Christ. He does it by, in the secret silent depths of the heart and life, imparting the dispositions and graces of Christ, so that from the inner centre of our life, which has been renewed and sanctified in Christ, holiness should flow out and pervade all to the utmost circumference. Where the desire has once been awakened, and the delight in the law of God after the inward man been created, there, as the Spirit of this life in Christ Jesus, He makes free from the law of sin and death in the members, he leads into the glorious liberty of the sons of God. As God within us, He communicates what God in Christ has prepared.
And if we ask once more how the working of this Holy Spirit, who thus makes holy, is to be secured, the answer is very simple and clear. He is the Spirit of the Holy Father, and of Christ, the Holy One of God: from them He must be received. 'He showed me a river of water of life proceeding out of the throne of God and the Lamb.' Jesus speaks of 'the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my Name.' He taught us to ask the Father. Paul prays for the Ephesians: 'I bow my knees to the Father, that He may grant unto you, according to the riches of His glory, that ye may be strengthened with might by His Spirit in the inner man.' It is as we look to God in His Holiness, and all its revelation from Creation downward, and see how the Spirit now flows out from the throne of His Holiness as the water of life, that our hope will be awakened that God will give Him to work mightily in us. And as we then see Jesus revealing that holiness in human nature, rending the veil in His atoning death, that the Spirit from the Holiest of all may come forth and, as the Holy Spirit, be His representative, making Him present within us, we shall become confident that faith in Jesus will bring the fulness of the Spirit. As He told us to ask the Father, He told us to believe in Himself. 'He that believeth in me, rivers of living water shall flow out of him.' Let us bow to the Father in the name of Christ, His Son; let us believe very simply in the Son as Him in whom we are well-pleasing to the Father, and through whom the Father's love and blessing reach us, and we may be sure the Spirit, who is already within us, will, as the Holy Spirit, do His work in ever-increasing power. The mystery of holiness is the mystery of the Trinity: as we bow to the Father, believing in the Son, the Holy Spirit will work. And we shall see the true meaning of what God spake in Israel: 'I am holy,' thus speaks the Father; 'Be holy,' as my Son and in my Son; 'I make holy,' through the Spirit of my Son dwelling in you. Let our souls worship and cry out, 'Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God of hosts.'
The Holy Spirit. All true knowledge of the Father in His adorable Holiness, and of the Son in His, which is meant to be ours, and all participation of it, depend upon our life in the Spirit, upon our knowing and owning Him as abiding in us as our Life. Oh, what can it be that, with such a Thrice Holy God, His Holiness does not more cover His Church and children? The Holy Spirit is among us, is in us: it must be we grieve and resist Him. If you would not do so, at once bow the knee to the Father, that He may grant you the Spirit's mighty workings in the inner man. Believe that the Holy Spirit, bearer to you of all the Holiness of God and of Jesus, is indeed in you. Let Him take the place of self, with its thoughts and efforts. Set your soul still before God in holy silence, for Him to give you wisdom; rest, in emptiness and poverty of spirit, in the faith that He will work in His own way. As Divine as is the holiness that Jesus brings, so Divine is the power in which the Holy Spirit communicates it. Yield yourself day by day in growing dependence and obedience, to wait on and be led of Him. Let the fear of the Holy One be on you: sanctify the Lord God in your heart: let Him be your fear and dread. Fear not only sin: fear above all self, as it thrusts itself in before God with its service. Let self die, in refusing and denying its work: let the Holy Spirit, in quietness, and dependence, in the surrender of obedience and trust, have the rule, the free disposal of every faculty. Wait for Him—He can, He will in power reveal and impart the Holiness of the Father and the Son.
BE HOLY, AS I AM HOLY.
Holy, holy, holy, Lord God of hosts! the whole earth is full of Thy glory! Let that glory fill the heart of Thy child, as he bows before Thee. I come now to drink of the river of the water of life that flows from under the throne of God and of the Lamb. Glory be to God and to the Lamb for the gift that hath not entered into the heart of man to conceive—the gift of the Holy indwelling Spirit.
O my Father! in the name of Jesus I ask Thee that I may be strengthened with might by Thy Spirit in the inner man. Teach me, I pray Thee, to believe that Thou hast given Him, to accept and expect Him to fill and rule my whole inner being. Teach me to give up to Him; not to will or to run, not to think or to work in my strength, but in quiet confidence to wait and to know that He works in me. Teach me what it is to have no confidence in the flesh, and to serve Thee in the Spirit. Teach me what it is in all things to be led by Thy Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Thy Holiness.
And grant, gracious Father, that through Him I may hear Thee speak and reveal Thyself to me in power: I AM HOLY. May He glorify to me and in me, Jesus, in whom Thy command 'BE HOLY' hath been so blessedly fulfilled on my behalf. And let the Holy Spirit give me the anointing and the sealing which bring the perfect assurance that in Him Thy promise is being gloriously fulfilled, 'I MAKE YOU HOLY.' Amen.
1. It it universally admitted that the Holy Spirit has not, in the teaching of the Church or the faith of believers, that place of honour and power, which becomes Him as the Revealer of the Father and the Son. Seek a deep conviction that without the Holy Spirit the clearest teaching on holiness, the most fervent desires, the most blessed experiences even, will only be temporary, will produce no permanent result, will bring no abiding rest.
2. The Holy Spirit dwells within, and works within, in the hidden deep of your nature. Seek above everything the clear and habitual assurance that He is within you, doing His work.
3. To this end, deny self and its work in serving God. Your own power to think and pray and believe and strive—lay it all down expressly and distinctly in God's presence; claim, accept, and believe in the hidden workings of the indwelling Spirit.
4. As the Son ever spake of the Father, so the Spirit ever points to Christ. The soul that yields itself to the Spirit will of Him learn to know how Christ is our holiness, how we can always abide in Christ our Sanctification. What a vain effort it has often been without the Spirit! 'As the anointing taught you, ye abide in Him.'
5. In the temple of thine heart, beloved believer, there is a secret place, within the veil, where dwells, often all unknown, the Spirit of God. Do bow in deep reverence before the Father, and ask that He may work mightily. Expect the Spirit to do His work: He will make Thy inner man a fit home, Thy heart a throne, for Jesus, and reveal Him there.
 I cannot say how deeply I feel that one of the great wants of believers is that they do not know the Holy Spirit, who is within them, and thereby lose the blessed life He would work in them. If it please God, I hope that the next volume of this series may be on The Spirit of Christ. May the Father give me a message that shall help His children to know what the Holy Spirit can be to them.
HOLY IN CHRIST.
Holiness and Truth.
'Make them holy in the Truth: Thy word is Truth.'—John xvii. 17.
'God chose you unto salvation in sanctification and belief of the Truth.'—2 Thess. ii. 12.
The chief means of sanctification that God uses is His word. And yet how much there is of reading and studying, of teaching and preaching the word, that has almost no effect in making men holy. It is not the word that sanctifies; it is God Himself who alone can sanctify. Nor is it simply through the word that God does it, but through the Truth which is in the word. As a means the word is of unspeakable value, as the vessel which contains the truth, if God use it; as a means it is of no value, if God does not use it. Let us strive to connect God's Holy Word with the Holy God Himself. God sanctifies in the Truth through His word.
Jesus had just said, 'The words which Thou gavest me, I have given them.' Let us try and realize what that means. Think of that great transaction in eternity: the Infinite Being, whom we call God, giving His words to His Son; in His words opening up His heart, communicating His mind and will, revealing Himself and all His purpose and love. In a Divine power and reality passing all conception, God gave Christ His words. In the same living power Christ gave them to His disciples, all full of a Divine life and energy to work in their hearts, as they were able to receive them. And just as in the words of a man on earth we expect to find all the wisdom or all the goodness there is in him, so the word of the Thrice Holy One is all alive with the Holiness of God. All the holy fire, alike of His burning zeal and His burning love, dwells in His words.
And yet men can handle these words, and study them, and speak them, and be entire strangers to their holiness, or their power to make holy. It is God Himself, the Holy One, who must make holy through the word. Every seed, in which the life of a tree is contained, has around it a husk or shell, which protects and hides the inner life. Only where the seed finds a place in congenial soil, and the husk is burst and removed, can the seed germinate and grow up. And it is only where there is a heart in harmony with God's Holiness, longing for it, yielding itself to it, that the word will really make holy. It is the heart that is not content with the word, but seeks the Living, Holy One in the word, to which He will reveal the truth, and in it Himself. It is the word given to us by Christ as God gave it Him, and received by us as it was by Him, to rule and fill our life, which has power to make holy.
But we must notice very specially how our Saviour says, Sanctify them, not in the word, but in the truth. Just as in man there is body, soul, and spirit, so in truth too. There is first word-truth; a man may have the correct form of words while he does not really apprehend the truth they contain. Then there is thought-truth; there may be a clear intellectual apprehension of truth without the experience of its power. The Bible speaks of truth as a living reality: this is the life-truth, in which the very Spirit of the truth we profess has entered and possessed our inner being. Christ calls Himself the Truth: He is said to be full of grace and truth. The Divine life and grace are in Him as an actually substantial existence and reality. He not only acts upon us by thoughts and motives, but communicates, as a reality, the eternal life He brought for us from the Father. The Holy Spirit is called the Spirit of Truth; what He imparts is all real and actual, the very substance of unseen things; He guides into the Truth, not thought-truth or doctrine only, but life-truth, the personal possession of the Truth as it is in Jesus. As the Spirit of Truth He is the Spirit of Holiness; the life of God, which is His Holiness, He brings to us as an actual possession.
It is now of this living Truth, which dwells in the word, as the seed-life dwells in the husk, that Jesus says, 'Make them holy in the Truth: Thy word is Truth.' He would have us mark the intimate connection, as well as the wide difference, between the word and the truth. The connection is one willed by God and meant to be inseparable. 'Thy word is truth;' with God they are one. But not with man. Just as there were men in close contact and continual intercourse with Jesus, to whom He was only a man, and nothing more, so there are Christians who know and understand the word, and yet are strangers to its true spiritual power. They have the letter but not the spirit; the Truth comes to them in word but not in power. The word does not make them holy, because they hold it not in Spirit and in Truth. To others, on the contrary, who know what it is to receive the truth in the love of it, who yield themselves, in all their dealings with the word, to the Spirit of Truth who dwells in it and in them too, the word comes indeed as Truth, as a Divine reality, communicating and working what it speaks of. And it is of such a use of the word that the Saviour says, 'Make them holy in the truth: Thy word is truth.' As the words, which God gave Him, were all in the power of the eternal Life and Love and Will of God, the revelation and communication of the Father's purpose, as God's word was Truth to Him and in Him, so it can be in us. And as we thus receive it, we are made holy in the Truth.
And what now are the lessons we have to learn here for the path of Holiness? The first is: Let us see to it that in all our intercourse with God's Blessed Word we rest content with nothing short of the experience of it, as truth of God, as spirit and as power. Jesus said, 'If ye abide in my word, ye shall know the truth.' No analysis can ever find or prove the life of a seed: plant it in its proper soil, and the growth will testify to the life. It is only as the word of God is received in the love of it, as it grows and works in us, that we can know its truth, can know that it is the Truth of God. It is as we live in the words of Jesus, in love and obedience, keeping and doing them, that the Truth from heaven, the Power of the Divine Life which there is in them, will unfold itself to us. Christ is the Truth; in Him the love and grace, the very life of God, has come to earth as a substantial existence, a Living, Mighty Power, something new that was never on earth before (John i. 17); let us yield ourselves to the Living Christ to possess us and to rule us as the Living Truth, then will God's word be Truth to us and in us.
The Spirit of Christ is the Spirit of Truth; that actual heavenly reality of Divine life and love in Christ, the Truth, has a Spirit, who comes to communicate and impart it. Let us beware of trying to study or understand or take possession of God's word without that Spirit through whom the word was spoken of old; we shall find only the husk, the truth or thought and sentiment, very beautiful perhaps, but with no power to make us holy. We must have the Spirit of the Truth within us. He will lead us into the Truth; when we are in the Truth, God makes us holy in it and by it. The Truth must be in us, and we in it. God desires truth in the inward parts: we must be of the people of whom Christ says, 'If ye were of the truth,' 'he that is of the truth knoweth me.' In the lower sphere of daily life and conduct, of thought and action, there must be an intense love of truth, and a willingness to sacrifice everything for it; in the spiritual life, a deep hungering to have all our religion every day, every moment, stand fully in the truth of God. It is to the simple, humble, childlike spirit that the truth of the word will be unsealed and revealed. In such the Spirit of truth comes to dwell. In such, as they daily wait before the Holy One in silence and emptiness, in reverence and holy fear, His Holy Spirit works and gives the truth within. In thus imparting Christ as revealed in the word, in His Divine life and love, as their own life, He makes them holy with the holiness of Christ.
There is another lesson. Listen to that prayer, the earthly echo of the prayer which He ever liveth to pray, 'Holy Father! make them holy in the truth.' Would you be holy, child of God? cast yourself into that mighty current of intercession ever flowing into, ever reaching, the Father's bosom. Let yourself be borne upon it until your whole soul cries, with the unutterable groanings, too deep and too intense for human speech, 'Holy Father! make me holy in the truth.' As you trust in Christ as the truth, the reality of what you long for, and in His all-prevailing intercession; as you wait for the Spirit within as the Spirit of truth; look up to the Father, and expect His own direct and almighty working to make you holy. The mystery of holiness is the mystery of the Triune One. The deeper entrance into the holy life rests in the fellowship of the Three in One. It is the Father who establishes us in Christ, who gives, in a daily fresh giving, the Holy Spirit; it is to the Father, the Holy Father, the soul must look up continually in the prayer, 'Make me holy in the truth.'
It has been well said that in the word Holy we have the central thought of the high-priestly prayer. As the Father's attribute (John xvii. 11), as the Son's work for Himself and us (ver. 19), as the direct work of the Father through the Spirit (vers. 17, 20), it is the revelation of the glory of God in Himself and in us. Let us enter into the Holiest of all, and as we bow with our Great High Priest, let the deep, unceasing cry go up for all the Church of God, 'Holy Father! make them holy in the truth: Thy word is truth.' The word in which God makes holy is summed up in this, HOLY IN CHRIST. May God make it truth in us!
BE YE HOLY, AS I AM HOLY.
Blessed Father! to Israel Thou didst say, I the Lord am holy and make holy. But it is only in Thy beloved Son that the full glory of Thy Holiness, as making us holy, has been revealed. Thou art our Holy Father, who makest us holy in Thy truth.
We thank Thee that Thy Son hath given us the words Thou gavest Him, and that as He received them from Thee in life and power, we may receive them too. O Father! with our whole heart we do receive them; let the Spirit make them truth and life within us. So shall we know Thee as the Holy One, consuming the sin, renewing the sinner.
We bless Thee most for Thy Blessed Son, the Holy One of God, the Living Word in whom the Truth dwelleth. We thank Thee that in His never-ceasing intercession, this cry ever reacheth Thee, 'Father, sanctify them in Thy truth,' and that the answer is ever streaming forth from Thy glory. Holy Father! make us holy in Thy truth, in Thy wonderful revelation of Thyself in Him who is the truth. Let Thy Holy Spirit so have dominion in our hearts that Thy Holy Child Jesus, sanctifying Himself for us that we may be sanctified in the truth, may be to us the Way, the Truth, and the Life. May we know that we are in Him in Thy presence, and that Thy one word in answer to our prayer to make us holy is—Holy in Christ. Amen.
1. God is the God of truth—not truth in speaking only, or truth of doctrine—but truth of existence, or life in its Divine reality. And Christ is the truth; the actual embodiment of this Divine life. And there is a kingdom of truth, of Divine Spiritual realities, of which Christ is King. And of all this truth of God in Christ, the very essence is, the Spirit. He is the Spirit of truth: He leads us into it, so that we are of the truth and walk in it. Of the truth, the reality there is in God, Holiness, is the deepest root; the Spirit of truth is the Holy Spirit.
2. It is the work of the Father to make us holy in the truth: let us bow very low in childlike trust as we breathe the prayer: 'Holy Father! make us holy in the truth.' He will do it.
3. It is the intercession of the Son that asks and obtains this blessing: let us take our place in Him, and rejoice in the assurance of an answer.
4. It is the Spirit of truth through whom the Father does this work, so that we dwell in the truth, and the truth in us. Let us yield very freely and very fully to the leading of the Spirit, in our intercourse with God's Word, that, as the Son prays, the Father may make us holy in the truth.
5. Let us, in the light of this work of the Three-One, never read the Word but with this aim: to be made holy in the truth by God.
HOLY IN CHRIST.
Holiness and Crucifixion.
'For their sakes I sanctify myself, that they themselves also may be sanctified in truth.'—John xvii. 19.
'He said, Lo, I am come to do Thy will. In which will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus once for all. For by one offering He hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.'—Heb. x. 9, 10, 14.
It was in His High-priestly prayer, on His way to Gethsemane and Calvary, that Jesus thus spake to the Father: 'I sanctify myself.' He had not long before spoken of Himself as 'the Son whom the Father hath sanctified and sent into the world.' From the language of Holy Scripture we are familiar with the thought that, what God has sanctified, man has to sanctify too. The work of the Father, in sanctifying the Son, is the basis and groundwork of the work of the Son in sanctifying Himself. If His Holiness as man was to be a free and personal possession, accepted and assimilated in voluntary and conscious self-determination, it was not enough that the Father sanctify Him: He must sanctify Himself too.
This self-sanctifying of our Lord found place through His whole life, but culminates and comes out in special distinctness in His crucifixion. Wherein it consists is made clear by the words from the Epistle to the Hebrews. The Messiah spake: 'Lo, I come to do Thy will.' And then it is added, 'In the which will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Christ.' It was the offering of the body of Christ that was the will of God: in doing that will He sanctified us. It was of the doing that will in the offering His body that He spake, 'I sanctify myself, that they themselves also may be sanctified in truth.' The giving up of His will to God's will in the agony of Gethsemane, and then the doing of that will in the obedience unto death, this was Christ's sanctifying Himself and us too. Let us try and understand this.
The Holiness of God is revealed in His will. Holiness even in the Divine Being has no moral value except as it is freely willed. In speaking of the Trinity, theologians have pointed out how, as the Father represents the absolute necessity of Everlasting Goodness, the Son proves its liberty: within the Divine Being it is willed in love. And this now was the work of the Son on earth, amid the trials and temptations of a human life, to accept and hold fast at any sacrifice, with His whole heart to will, the will of the Father. 'Though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience in that He suffered.' In Gethsemane the conflict between the will of human nature and the Divine will reached its height: it manifests itself in language which almost makes us tremble for His sinlessness, as He speaks of His will in antithesis to God's will. But the struggle is a victory, because in presence of the clearest consciousness of what it means to have His own will, He gives it up, and says, 'Thy will be done.' To enter into the will of God He gives up His very life. In His crucifixion He thus reveals the law of sanctification. Holiness is the full entrance of our will into God's will. Or rather, Holiness is the entrance of God's will to be the death of our will. The only end of our will and deliverance from it, is death to it under the righteous judgment of God. It was in the surrender to the death of the cross that Christ sanctified Himself, and sanctified us, that we also might be sanctified in truth.
And now, just as the Father sanctified Him, and He in virtue thereof appropriated it and sanctified Himself, so we, whom He has sanctified, have to appropriate it to ourselves. In no other way than crucifixion, the giving up of Himself to the death, could Christ realize the sanctification He had from the Father. And in no other way can we realize the sanctification we have in Him. His own and our sanctification bears the common stamp of the cross. We have seen before that obedience is the path to holiness. In Christ we see that the path to perfect holiness is perfect obedience. And that is obedience unto death, even to the giving up of life, even the death of the cross. As the sanctification which Christ wrought out for us, even unto the offering of His body, bears the death mark, we cannot partake of it, we cannot enter it, except as we die to self and its will. Crucifixion is the path to sanctification.
This lesson is in harmony with all we have seen. The first revelation of God's Holiness to Moses was accompanied with the command, Put off. God's praise, as Glorious in Holiness, Fearful in Praises, was sounded over the dead bodies of the Egyptians. When Moses on Sinai was commanded to sanctify the Mount, it was said, 'If any touch it, man or beast, it shall not live.' The Holiness of God is death to all that is in contact with sin. Only through death, through blood-shedding, was there access to the Holiest of all. Christ chose death, even death as a curse, that He might sanctify Himself for us, and open to us the path to Holiness, to the Holiest of all, to the Holy One. And so it is still. No man can see God and live. It is only in death, the death of self and of nature, that we can draw near and behold God. Christ led the way. No man can see God and live. 'Then let me die, Lord,' one has cried, 'but see Thee I must.' Yes, blessed be God, so real is our interest in Christ and our union to Him, that we may live in His death; as day by day self is kept in the place of death, the life and the holiness of Christ can be ours.
And where is the place of death? And how can the crucifixion which leads to Holiness and to God be accomplished in us? Thank God! it is no work of our own, no weary process of self-crucifixion. The crucifixion that is to sanctify us is an accomplished fact. The cross bears the banner, 'It is finished.' On it Christ sanctified Himself for us, that we might be sanctified in truth. Our crucifixion, as our sanctification, is something that in Christ has been completely and perfectly finished. 'We have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.' 'By one offering He hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.' In that fulness, which it is the Father's good pleasure should dwell in Christ, the crucifixion of our old man, of the flesh, of the world, of ourselves, is all a spiritual reality; he that desires and knows and accepts Christ, fully receives all this in Him. And as the Christ, who had previously been known more in His pardoning, quickening, and saving grace, is again sought after as a real deliverer from the power of sin, as a sanctifier, He comes and takes up the soul into the fellowship of the sacrifice of His will. 'He put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself,' must become true of us as it is of Him. He reveals how it is a part of His salvation to make us partakers of a will entirely given up to the will of God, of a life that had yielded itself to the death, and had then been given back from the dead by the power of God, a life of which the crucifixion of self-will was the spirit and the power. He reveals this, and the soul that sees it, and consents to it, and yields its will and its life, and believes in Jesus as its death and its life, and in His crucifixion as its possession and its inheritance, enters into the enjoyment and experience of it. The language is now, 'I died that I might live: I have been crucified with Christ, and it is no longer I that live, but Christ that liveth in me.' And the life it now lives is by the faith on the Son of God, the daily acceptance in faith of Him who lives within us in the power of a death that has been passed through and for ever finished.
'I sanctify myself for them, that they themselves also may be sanctified in truth.' 'I come to do Thy will, O God. In the which will,' the will of God accomplished by Christ, 'we have been sanctified through the one offering of the body of Christ.' Let us understand and hold it fast: Christ's giving up His will in Gethsemane and accepting God's will in dying; Christ's doing that will in the obedience to the death of the cross, this is His sanctifying Himself, and this is our being sanctified in truth. 'In the which will we have been sanctified.' The death to self, the utter and most absolute giving up of our own life, with its will and its power and its aims, to the cross, and into the crucifixion of Christ, the daily bearing the cross—not a cross on which we are yet to be crucified, but the cross of the crucified Christ in its power to kill and make dead—this is the secret of the life of holiness—this is true sanctification.
Believer! is this the holiness which you are seeking? Have you seen and consented that God alone is holy, that self is all unholy, and that there is no way to be made holy but for the fire of the Divine Holiness to come in and be the death of self? 'Always bearing about in the body the dying of Jesus, that the life also of Jesus may be manifested in our mortal body'—is the pathway for each one who seeks to be sanctified in truth, even as He sanctified Himself; sanctified just like Jesus.
He sanctified Himself for us, that we ourselves also might be sanctified in truth. Yes, our sanctification rests and roots in His, in Himself. And we are in Him. The secret roots of our being are planted into Jesus: deeper down than we can see or feel, there is He our Vine, bearing and quickening us. Let us by faith understand that, in a manner and a measure which are far beyond our comprehension, intensely Divine and real, we are in Him who sanctified Himself for us. Let us dwell there, where we have been placed of God. And let us bow our knees to the Father, that He would grant us to be mightily strengthened by His Spirit, that Christ as our Sanctification may dwell in our hearts, that the power of His death and His life may be revealed in us, and God's will be done in us as it was in Him.
BE HOLY, FOR I AM HOLY.
Holy Father! I do bless Thee for this precious blessed word, for this precious blessed work of Thy beloved Son. In His never-ceasing intercession Thou ever hearest the wonderful prayer, 'I sanctify myself for them, that they themselves also may be sanctified in truth.'
Blessed Father! I beseech Thee to strengthen me mightily by Thy Spirit, that in living faith I may be able to accept and live the holiness prepared for me in my Lord Jesus. Give me spiritual understanding to know what it means that He sanctified Himself, that my sanctification is secured in His, that as by faith I abide in Him, its power will cover my whole life. Let His sanctification indeed be the law as it is the life of mine. Let His surrender to Thy fatherly will, His continual dependence and obedience, be its root and its strength. Let His death to the world and to sin be its daily rule. Above all, let Himself, O my Father! let Himself, as sanctified for me, the living Jesus, be my only trust and stay. He sanctified Himself for me, that I myself also may be sanctified in truth.
Beloved Saviour! how shall I rightly bless and love and glorify Thee for this wondrous grace! Thou didst give Thyself, so that now I am holy in Thee. I give myself, that in Thee I myself may be made holy in truth. Amen. Lord Jesus! Amen.
1. 'If any man would come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.' Jesus means that our life shall be the exact counterpart of His, including even the crucifixion. The beginning of such a life is the denial of self, to give Christ its place. The Jews would not deny self, but 'denied the Holy One, and killed the Prince of Life.' The choice is still between Christ and self. Let us deny the unholy one, and give him to the death.
2. The steps in this path are these: First, the deliberate decision that self shall be given up to the death; then, the surrender to Christ crucified to make us partakers of His crucifixion; then, 'knowing that our old man is crucified,' the faith that says, 'I am crucified with Christ;' and then, the power to live as a crucified one, to glory in the cross of Christ.
3. This is God's way of holiness, a Divine mystery, which the Holy Spirit alone can daily maintain in us. Blessed be God, it is the life which a Christian can live, because Christ lives in us.
4. The central thought is: We are in Christ, who gave up His will and did the will of God. By the Holy Spirit the mind that was in Him is in us, the will of self is crucified, and we live in the will of God.
 See Note D.
HOLY IN CHRIST.
Holiness and Faith.
'That they may receive remission of sins, and an inheritance among them that are sanctified by faith in me.'—Acts xxvi. 18.
The more we study Scripture in the light of the Holy Spirit, or practise the Christian life in His power, the deeper becomes our conviction of the unique and central place faith has in God's plan of salvation. And we learn, too, to see that it is meet and right that it should be so: the very nature of things demands it. Because God is a Spiritual and Invisible Being, every revelation of Himself, whether in His works, His word, or His Son, calls for faith. Faith is the spiritual sense of the soul, being to it what the senses are to the body; by it alone we enter into communication and contact with God.
Faith is that meekness of soul which waits in stillness to hear, to understand, to accept what God says; to receive, to retain, to possess what God gives or works. By faith we allow, we welcome God Himself, the Living Person, to enter in to make His abode with us, to become our very life. However well we think we know it, we always have to learn the truth afresh, for a deeper and fuller application of it, that in the Christian life faith is the first thing, the one thing that pleases God, and brings blessing to us. And because Holiness is God's highest glory, and the highest blessing He has for us, it is especially in the life of holiness that we need to live by faith alone.
Our Lord speaks here of 'them that are sanctified by faith in me.' He Himself is our Sanctification as He is our Justification: for the one as for the other it is faith that God asks, and both are equally given at once. The participle used here is not the present, denoting a process or work that is being carried on, but the aorist, indicating an act done once for all. When we believe in Christ, we receive the whole Christ, our justification and our sanctification: we are at once accepted by God as righteous in Him, and as holy in Him. God counts and calls us, what we really are, sanctified ones in Christ. It is as we are led to see what God sees, as our faith grasps that the holy life of Christ is ours in actual possession, to be accepted and appropriated for daily use, that we shall really be able to live the life God calls us to, the life of holy ones in Christ Jesus. We shall then be in the right position in which what is called our progressive sanctification can be worked out. It will be, the acceptance and application in daily life of the power of a holy life which has been prepared in Jesus, which has in the union with Him become our present and permanent possession, and which works in us according to the measure of our faith.
From this point of view it is evident that faith has a twofold operation. Faith is the evidence of things not seen, though now actually existing, the substance of things hoped for, but not yet present. It deals with the unseen present, as well as with the unseen future. As the evidence of things not seen, it rejoices in Christ our complete sanctification, as a present possession. Through faith I simply look to what Christ is, as revealed in the Word by the Holy Spirit. Claiming all He is as my own, I know that His Holiness, His holy nature and life, are mine; I am a holy one: by faith in Him I have been sanctified. This is the first aspect of sanctification: it looks to what is a complete and finished thing, an absolute reality. As the substance of things hoped for, this faith reaches out in the assurance of hope to the future, to things I do not yet see or experience, and claims, day by day, out of Christ our sanctification, what it needs for practical holiness, 'to be holy in all manner of living.' This is the second aspect of sanctification: I depend upon Jesus to supply, in personal experience, gradually and unceasingly, for the need of each moment, what has been treasured up in His fulness. 'Of God are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us sanctification.' Under its first aspect faith says, I know I am in Him, and all His Holiness is mine; in its second aspect it speaks, I trust in Him for the grace and the strength I need each moment to live a holy life.
And yet, it need hardly be said, these two are one. It is one Jesus who is our sanctification, whether we look at it in the light of what He is made for us once for all, or what, as the fruit of that, He becomes to our experience day by day. And so it is one faith which, the more it studies and adores and rejoices in Jesus as made of God unto us sanctification, as Him in whom we have been sanctified, becomes the bolder to expect the fulfilment of every promise for daily life, and the stronger to claim the victory over every sin. Faith in Jesus is the secret of a holy life: all holy conduct, all really holy deeds, are the fruit of faith in Jesus as our holiness.
We know how faith acts, and what its great hindrances are, in the matter of justification. It is well that we remind ourselves that there are the same dangers in the exercise of sanctifying as of justifying faith. Faith in God stands opposed to trust in self: specially to its willing and working. Faith is hindered by every effort to do something ourselves. Faith looks to God working, and yields itself to His strength, as revealed in Christ through the Spirit; it allows God to work both to will and to do. Faith must work; without works it is dead, by works alone can it be perfected; in Jesus Christ, as Paul says, nothing avails but 'faith working by love.' But these works, which faith in God's working inspires and performs, are very different from the works in which a believer often puts forth his best efforts, only to find that he fails. The true life of holiness, the life of them who are sanctified in Christ, has its root and its strength in an abiding sense of utter impotence, in the deep restfulness which trusts to the working of a Divine power and life, in the entire personal surrender to the loving Saviour, in that faith which consents to be nothing, that He may be all. It may appear impossible to discern or describe the difference between the working that is of self and the working that is of Christ through faith: if we but know that there is such a difference, if we learn to distrust ourselves, and to count on Christ working, the Holy Spirit will lead us into this secret of the Lord too. Faith's works are Christ's works.
And as by effort, so faith is also hindered by the desire to see and feel. 'If thou believest, thou shalt see;' the Holy Spirit will seal our faith with a Divine experience; we shall see the glory of God. But this is His work: ours is, when all appears dark and cold, in the face of all that nature or experience testifies, still each moment to believe in Jesus as our all-sufficient sanctification, in whom we are perfected before God. Complaints as to want of feeling, as to weakness or deadness, seldom profit: it is the soul that refuses to occupy itself with itself, either with its own weakness or the strength of the enemy, but only looks to what Jesus is, and has promised to do, to whom progress in holiness will be a joyful march from victory to victory. 'The Lord Himself doth fight for you;' this thought, so often repeated in connection with Israel's possession of the promised land, is the food of faith: in conscious weakness, in presence of mighty enemies, it sings the conqueror's song. When God appears to be not doing what we trusted Him for, then is just the time for faith to glory in Him.
There is perhaps nothing that more reveals the true character of faith than joy and praise. You give a child the promise of a present to-morrow: at once it says, Thank you, and is glad. The joyful thanks are the proof of how really your promise has entered the heart. You are told by a friend of a rich legacy he has left you in his will: it may not come true for years, but even now it makes you glad. We have already seen what an element of holiness joy is: it is especially an element of holiness by faith. Each time I really see how beautiful and how perfect God's provision is, by which my holiness is in Jesus, and by which I am to allow Him to work in me, my heart ought to rise up in praise and thanks. Instead of allowing the thought that it is, after all, a life of such difficult attainment and such continual self-denial, this life of holiness through faith, we ought to praise Him exceedingly that He has made it possible and sure for us: we can be holy, because Jesus the Mighty and the Loving One is our holiness. Praise will express our faith; praise will prove it; praise will strengthen it. 'Then believed they His words; they sang His praise.' Praise will commit us to faith: we shall see that we have but one thing to do, to go on in a faith that ever trusts and ever praises. It is in a living, loving attachment to Jesus, that rejoices in Him, and praises Him continually for what He is to us, that faith proves itself, and receives the power of holiness.
'Sanctified by faith in me.' Yes, 'by faith in Me:' it is the personal living Jesus who offers Himself, Himself in all the riches of His Power and Love, as the object, the strength, the life of our faith. He tells us that if we would be holy, always and in everything holy, we must just see to one thing: to be always and altogether full of faith in Him. Faith is the eye of the soul: the power by which we discern the presence of the Unseen One, as He comes to give Himself to us. Faith not only sees, but appropriates and assimilates: let us set our souls very still for the Holy Spirit who dwells in us, to quicken and strengthen that faith, for which He has been given us. Faith is surrender: yielding ourselves to Jesus to allow Him to do His work in us, giving up ourselves to Him to live out His life and work out His will in us, we shall find Him giving Himself entirely to us, and taking complete possession. So faith will be power: the power of obedience to do God's will: 'our most holy faith,' 'the faith delivered to the holy ones.' And we shall understand how simple, to the single-hearted, is the secret of holiness: just Jesus. We are in Him, our Sanctification: He personally is our Holiness; and the life of faith in Him, that receives and possesses Him, must necessarily be a life of holiness. Jesus says, 'Sanctified by faith in me.'
BE YE HOLY, AS I AM HOLY.
Beloved Lord! again have I seen, with adoring wonder, what Thou art willing to be to me. It is in Thyself, and a life of living fellowship with Thyself, that I am to become holy. It is in the simple life of personal attachment, of trust and love, of surrender and consecration, that Thou dost become my all, and make me partaker of Thyself and Thy Holiness.
Blessed Lord Jesus! I do believe in Thee, help Thou mine unbelief. I confess what still remains of unbelief, and count on Thy presence to conquer and cast it out. My soul is opening up continually to see more how Thou Thyself art my Life and my Holiness. Thou art enlarging my heart to rejoice in Thyself as my all, and to be assured that Thou dost Thyself take possession and fill the temple of my being with Thy glory. Thou art teaching me to understand that, however feeble and human and disappointing experiences may be, Thy Holy Spirit is the strength of my faith, leading me on to grow up into a stronger and a larger confidence in Thee in whom I am holy. O my Saviour! I take Thy word this day, 'Sanctified by faith in me,' as a new revelation of Thy love and its purpose with me. In Thee Thyself is the Power of my holiness; in Thee is the Power of my faith. Blessed be Thy name that Thou hast given me too a place among them of whom Thou speakest: 'Sanctified by faith in me.' Amen.
1. Let us remember that it is not only the faith that is dealing specially with Christ for sanctification, but all living faith, that has the power to sanctify. Anything that casts the soul wholly on Jesus, that calls forth intense and simple trust, be it the trial of faith, or the prayer of faith, or the work of faith, helps to make us holy, because it brings us into living contact with the Holy One.
2. It is only through the Holy Spirit that Christ and His Holiness are day by day revealed and made ours in actual possession. And so the faith which receives Him is of the Spirit too. Yield yourself in simplicity and trust to His working. Do not be afraid, as if you cannot believe: you have 'the Spirit of faith' within you: you have the power to believe. And you may ask God to strengthen you mightily by His Spirit in the inner man, for the faith that receives Christ in the indwelling that knows no break.
3. I have only so much of faith as I have of the Spirit. Is not this then what I most need—to live entirely under the influence of the Spirit?
4. Just as the eye in seeing is receptive, and yields to let the object placed before it make its impression, so faith is the impression God makes on the soul when He draws nigh. Was not the faith of Abraham the fruit of God's drawing near and speaking to him, the impression God made on him? Let us be still to gaze on the Divine mystery of Christ our holiness: His Presence, waited for and worshipped, will work the faith. That is, the Spirit that proceeds from Him into those who cling to Him, will be faith.
5. Holiness by faith in Jesus, not by effort of thine own, Sin's dominion crushed and broken by the power of grace alone,— God's own holiness within thee, His own beauty on thy brow,— This shall be thy pilgrim brightness, this thy blessed portion now.
F. R. H.
 The best commentators connect the expression, 'by faith in me,' not with the word 'sanctified,' but with the whole clause, 'that by faith in me they may receive.' This will, however, in no way affect the application to the word sanctified. Thus read, the text tells us that the remission of sin, and the inheritance, and the sanctification which qualifies for the inheritance, are all received by faith.
 See Note E.
HOLY IN CHRIST.
Holiness and Resurrection.
'The Son of God, who was born of the seed of David according to the flesh, who was declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection of the dead.'—Rom. i. 4.
These words speak of a twofold birth of Christ. According to the flesh, He was born of the seed of David. According to the Spirit, He was the first begotten from the dead. As He was a Son of David in virtue of His birth through the flesh, so He was declared to be the Son of God with power, in virtue of His resurrection-birth through the Spirit of holiness. As the life He received through His first birth was a life in and after the flesh with its weakness, so the new life He received in the resurrection was a life in the power of the Spirit of holiness.
The expression, the Spirit of holiness, is a peculiar one. It is not the ordinary word for God's Holiness that is here used as in Heb. xii. 10, describing holiness in the abstract as the attribute of an object, but another word (also used in 2 Cor. vii. 1 and 1 Thess. iii. 13) expressing the habit of holiness in its action—practical holiness or sanctity. Paul used this word, because He wished to emphasize the thought, that Christ's resurrection was distinctly the result of that life of holiness and self-sanctifying which had culminated in His death. It was the spirit of the life of holiness which he had lived, in the power of which He was raised again. He teaches us that that life and death of self-sanctification, in which alone our sanctification stands, was the root and ground of His resurrection, and of its declaration that He was the Son of God with power, the first begotten from the dead. The resurrection was the fruit which that Life of Holiness bore.
And so the Life of Holiness becomes the property of all who are partakers of the resurrection. The Resurrection Life and the Spirit of Holiness are inseparable. Christ sanctified Himself in death, that we ourselves might be sanctified in truth: when in virtue of the Spirit of sanctity He was raised from the dead, that Spirit of holiness was proved to be the power of Resurrection Life, and the Resurrection Life to be a Life of Holiness.
As a believer you have part in this Resurrection Life. You have been 'begotten again by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.' You are 'risen with Christ.' You are commanded 'to reckon yourself to be alive unto God in Christ Jesus.' But the life can work in power only as you seek to know it, to yield to it, to let it have full possession and mastery. And if it is to do this, one of the most important things for you to realize is, that as it was in virtue of the Spirit of holiness that Christ was raised, so the Spirit of that same holiness must be in you the mark and the power of your life. Study to know and possess the Spirit of holiness as it was seen in the life of your Lord.
And wherein did it consist? Its secret was, we are told: 'Lo, I am come to do Thy will, O God.' 'In the which will,' as done by Christ, 'we have been sanctified by the one offering of the body of Jesus Christ.' This was Christ's sanctifying Himself, in life and in death; this was what the Spirit of holiness wrought in Him; this is what the same Spirit, the Spirit of the life in Christ Jesus, will work in us: a life in the will of God is a life of holiness. Seek earnestly to grasp this clearly. Christ came to reveal what true holiness would be in the conditions of human life and weakness. He came to work it out for you, that He might communicate it to you by His Spirit. Except you intelligently apprehend and heartily accept it, the Spirit cannot work it in you. Do seek with your whole heart to take hold of it: the will of God unhesitatingly accepted, is the power of holiness.
It is in this that any attempt to be holy as Christ is holy, with and in His Holiness, must have its starting-point. Many seek to take single portions of the life or image of Christ for imitation, and yet fail greatly in others. They have not seen that the self-denial, to which Jesus calls, really means the denial of self, in the full meaning of that word. In not one single thing is the will of self to be done: Jesus, as He did the will of the Father only, must rule, and not self. To 'stand perfect and complete in all the will of God' must be the purpose, the prayer, the expectation of the disciple. There need be no fear that it is not possible to know the will of the Father in everything. 'If any man will do, he shall know.' The Father will not keep the willing child in ignorance of His will. As the surrender to the Spirit of holiness, to Jesus and the dominion of His holy life, becomes more simple, sin and self-will will be discovered, the spiritual understanding will be opened up, and the law written in the inward parts become legible and intelligible. There need be no fear that it is not possible to do the will of the Father when it is known. When once the grief of failure and sin has driven the believer into the experience of Rom. vii., and the 'delight in the law of God after the inward man' has proved its earnestness in the cry, 'O wretched man that I am,' deliverance will come through Jesus Christ. The Spirit works not only to will but to do; where the believer could only complain, 'To perform that which is good, I find not,' He gives the strength and song, 'The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.'
In this faith, that it is possible to know and do the will of God in all things, take over from Him, in whom alone you are holy, as your life-principle; 'I come to do Thy will, O God.' It is the principle of the resurrection life: without it Jesus had never been raised again. It is the principle of the new life in you. Accept it; study it; realize it; act it out. Many a believer has found that some simple words of dedication, expressive of the purpose in everything to do God's will, have been an entrance into the joy and power of the resurrection life previously unknown. The will of God is the complete expression of His moral perfection, His Divine Holiness. To take one's place in the centre of that will, to live it out, to be borne and sustained by it, was the power of that life of Jesus that could not be held of death, that could not but burst out in resurrection glory. What it was to Jesus it will be to us.
Holiness is Life: this is the simplest expression of the truth our text teaches. There can be no holiness until there be a new life implanted. The new life cannot grow and break forth in resurrection power, cannot bring forth fruit, but as it grows in holiness. As long as the believer is living the mixed life, part in the flesh and part in the spirit, with some of self and some of Christ, he seeks in vain for holiness. It is the New Life that is the holy life: the full apprehension of it in faith, the full surrender to it in conduct, will be the highway of holiness. Jesus lived and died and rose again to prepare for us a new nature, to be received day by day in the obedience of faith: we 'have put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.' Let the inner life, hid with Christ in God, hid also deep in the recesses of our inmost being, be acknowledged, be waited on, be yielded to, it will work itself out in all the beauties of holiness.
There is more. This life is not like the life of nature, a blind, non-conscious principle, involuntarily working out its ideal in unresisting obedience to the law of its being. There is the Spirit of the life in Christ Jesus—the Spirit of holiness—the Holy Spirit dwelling in us as a Divine Person, entering into fellowship with us, and leading us into the fellowship of the Living Christ. It is this fills our life with hope and joy. The Risen Saviour breathed the Holy Spirit on His disciples: the Spirit brings the Risen One into the field, into our hearts, as a personal friend, as a Living Guide and Strengthener. The Spirit of holiness is the Spirit, the Presence, and the Power of the Living Christ. Jesus said of the Spirit, 'Ye know Him.' Is not our great need to know this Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Christ, of His Holiness and of ours? How can we 'walk after the Spirit' and follow His leading, if we know not Him and His voice and His way?
Let us learn one more lesson from our text. It is out of the grave of the flesh and the will of self that the Spirit of holiness breaks out in resurrection power. We must accept death to the flesh, death to self with its willing and working, as the birthplace of our experience of the power of the Spirit of holiness. In view of each struggle with sin, in each exercise of faith or prayer, we must enter into the death of Jesus, the death to self, and as those who say, 'we are not sufficient to think anything as of ourselves,' in quiet faith expect the Spirit of Christ to do His work. The Spirit will work, strengthening you mightily in the inner man, and building up within you an holy temple for the Lord. And the time will come, if it has not come to you yet, and it may be nearer than you dare hope, when the conscious indwelling of Christ in your heart by faith, the full revelation and enthronement of Him as ruler and keeper of heart and life, shall have become a personal experience. According to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead, will the Son of God be declared with power in the kingdom that is within you.
BE YE HOLY, FOR I AM HOLY.
Most Holy Lord God! we do bless Thee that Thou didst raise Thy Son from the dead and give Him glory, that our faith and hope might be in Thee. Thou didst make His resurrection the power of eternal life in us, and now, even as He was raised, so we may walk in newness of life. As the Spirit of holiness dwelt and wrought in Him, it dwells and works in us, and becomes in us the Spirit of life.
O God! we beseech Thee to perfect Thy work in Thy saints. Give them a deeper sense of the holy calling with which Thou hast called them in Christ, the Risen One. Give all to accept the Spirit of His life on earth, delight in the will of God, as the spirit of their life. May those who have never yet fully accepted this be brought to do it, and in faith of the power of the new life to say, I accept the will of God as my only law. May the Spirit of holiness be the spirit of their lives!
Father! we beseech Thee, let Christ thus, in ever increasing experience of His resurrection power, be revealed in our hearts as the Son of God, Lord and Ruler within us. Let His life within inspire all the outer life, so that in the home and society, in thought and speech and action, in religion and in business, His life may shine out from us in the beauty of holiness. Amen.
1. Scripture regards the resurrection in two different aspects. In one view, it is the title to the new life, the source of our justification. (Rom. iv. 25, 1 Cor. xv. 17.) In another it is our regeneration, the power of the new life working in us, the source of our sanctification. (Rom. vi. 4; 1 Pet. i. 3.) Pardon and holiness are inseparable; they have the same source, union with the Risen Living Christ.
2. The blessedness to the disciples of having a Risen Christ was this: He, whom they thought dead, came and revealed Himself to them. Christ lives to reveal Himself to thee and to me; wait on Him, trust Him for this. He will reveal Himself to thee as thy sanctification. See to it that thou hast Him in living possession, and thou hast His Holiness.
3. The life of Christ is the holiness of Christ. The reason we so often fail in the pursuit of holiness is that the old life, the flesh, in its own strength seeks for holiness as a beautiful garment to wear and enter heaven with. It is the daily death to self out of which the life of Christ rises up.
4. To die thus, to live thus in Christ, to be holy—how can we attain it? It all comes 'according to the Spirit of holiness.' Have the Holy Spirit within thee. Say daily, 'I believe in the Holy Ghost.'
5. Holy in Christ. When Christ lives in us, and His mind, as it found expression in His words and work on earth, enters and fills our will and personal consciousness, then our union with Him becomes what He meant it to be. It is the Spirit of His holy conduct, the Spirit of His sanctity, must be in us.
 See Note F.
HOLY IN CHRIST.
Holiness and Liberty.
'Being made free from sin, ye became servants of righteousness: now present your members as servants of righteousness unto sanctification. Now being made free from sin, and become servants unto God, ye have your fruit unto sanctification, and the end eternal life.'—Rom. vi. 18, 19, 22.
'Our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus.'—Gal. ii. 4.
'With freedom did Christ set us free: stand fast therefore, and be not entangled again in a yoke of bondage.'—Gal. v. 1.
There is no possession more precious or priceless than liberty. There is nothing more inspiring and elevating; nothing, on the other hand, more depressing and degrading than slavery. It robs a man of what constitutes his manhood, the power of self-decision, self-action, of being and doing what he would.
Sin is slavery; the bondage to a foreign power that has obtained the mastery over us, and compels often a most reluctant service. The redemption of Christ restores our liberty and sets us free from the power of sin. If we are truly to live as redeemed ones, we need not only to look at the work Christ did to accomplish our redemption, but to accept and realize fully how complete, how sure, how absolute the liberty is wherewith He hath made us free. It is only as we 'stand fast in our liberty in Christ Jesus,' that we can have our fruit unto sanctification.
It is remarkable how seldom the word holy occurs in the great argument of the Epistle to the Romans, and how, where twice used in chap. vi. in the expression 'unto sanctification,' it is distinctly set forth as the aim and fruit to be reached through a life of righteousness. The twice repeated 'unto sanctification,' pointing to a result to be obtained, is preceded by a twice repeated 'being made free from sin and become servants of righteousness.' It teaches us how the liberty from the power of sin and the surrender to the service of righteousness are not yet of themselves holiness, but the sure and only path by which it can be reached. A true insight and a full entering into our freedom from sin in Christ are indispensable to a life of holiness. It was when Israel was freed from Pharaoh that God began to reveal Himself as the Holy One: it is as we know ourselves 'freed from sin,' delivered from the hand of all our enemies, that we shall serve God in righteousness and holiness all the days of our life.
'Being made free from sin:' to understand this word aright, we must beware of a twofold error. We must neither narrow it down to less, nor import into it more, than the Holy Spirit means by it here. Paul is speaking neither of an imputation nor an experience. We must not limit it to being made free from the curse or punishment of sin. The context shows that he is speaking, not of our judicial standing, but of a spiritual reality, our being in living union with Christ in His death and resurrection, and so being entirely taken out from under the dominion or power of sin. 'Sin shall not have dominion over you.' Nor is he as yet speaking of an experience, that we feel that we are free from all sin. He speaks of the great objective fact, Christ's having finally delivered us from the power which sin had to compel us to do its will and its works, and urges us, in the faith of this glorious fact, boldly to refuse to listen to the bidding or temptation of sin. To know our liberty which we have in Christ, our freedom from sin's mastery and power, is the way to realize it as an experience.
In olden times, when Turks or Moors often made slaves of Christians, large sums were frequently paid for the ransom of those who were in bondage. But it happened more than once, away in the interior of the slave country, that the ransomed ones never got the tidings; the masters were only too glad to keep it from them. Others, again, got the tidings, but had grown too accustomed to their bondage to rouse themselves for the effort of reaching the coast. Slothfulness or hopelessness kept them in slavery; they could not believe that they would be able ever in safety to reach the land of liberty. The ransom had been paid; in truth they were free; and yet in their experience, by reason of ignorance or want of courage, they were still in bondage. Christ's redemption has so completely made an end of sin and the legal power it had over us,—for 'the strength of sin is the law,'—that in very deed, in the deepest reality, sin has no power to compel our obedience. It is only as we allow it again to reign, as we yield ourselves again as its servants, that it can exercise the mastery. Satan does his utmost to keep believers in ignorance of the completeness of this their freedom from his slavery. And because believers are so content with their own thoughts of what redemption means, and so little long and plead to see it and possess it in its fulness of deliverance and blessing, the experience of the extent to which the freedom from sin can be realized is so feeble. 'Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.' It is by the Holy Spirit, His light and leading within, humbly watched for and yielded to, that this liberty becomes our possession.
In the sixth chapter Paul speaks of freedom from sin, in chap. vii. (vers. 3, 4, 6) of freedom from the law, as both being ours in Christ and union with Him. In chap. viii. (ver. 2) he speaks of this freedom as become ours in experience. He says, 'The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.' The freedom which is ours in Christ, must become ours in personal appropriation and enjoyment through the Holy Spirit. The latter depends on the former: the fuller the faith, the clearer the insight, the more triumphant the glorying in Christ Jesus and the liberty with which He has made us free, the speedier and the fuller the entrance into the glorious liberty of the children of God. As the liberty is in Christ alone, so it is the Spirit of Christ alone that makes it ours in practical possession, and keeps us dwelling in it: 'the spirit of the life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.' 'Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.' As the Spirit reveals Jesus to us as Lord and Master, the new Master, who alone has ought to say over us, and leads us to yield ourselves, to present our members, to surrender our whole life to the service of God in Christ, our faith in the freedom from sin becomes a consciousness and a realization. Believing in the completeness of the redemption, the captive goes forth as 'the Lord's freedman.' He knows now that sin has no longer power for one moment to command obedience. It may seek to assert its old right; it may speak in the tone of authority; it may frighten us into fear and submission; power it has none over us, except as we, forgetting our freedom, yield to its temptation, and ourselves give it power.
We are the Lord's freedmen. 'We have our liberty in Christ Jesus.' In Rom. vii. Paul describes the terrible struggles of the soul who still seeks to fulfil the law, but finds itself utterly helpless; sold under sin, a captive and a slave, without the liberty to do what the whole heart desires. But when the Spirit takes the place of the law, the complaint, 'O wretched man that I am,' is changed into the song of victory: 'I thank God, through Jesus Christ, the law of the Spirit of life hath made me free.'
What numberless complaints of insufficient strength to do God's will, of unsuccessful effort and disappointed hopes, of continual failure, re-echo in a thousand different forms the complaint of the captive, 'O wretched man that I am!' Thank God! there is deliverance. 'With freedom did Christ set us free! Stand fast therefore, and be not entangled again in a yoke of bondage.' Satan is ever seeking to lay on us again the yoke either of sin or the law, to beget again the spirit of bondage, as if sin or the law with their demands somehow had power over us. It is not so: be not entangled; stand fast in the liberty with which Christ has made you free. Let us listen to the message: 'Being made free from sin, ye became servants unto righteousness; now yield your members servants to righteousness unto sanctification.' 'Having been made free from sin, and having been enslaved unto God, ye have your fruit unto sanctification.' To be holy, you must be free, perfectly free; free for Jesus to rule you, to lead you; free for the Holy Spirit to dispose of you, to breathe in you, to work His secret, gentle, but mighty work, so that you may grow up unto all the liberty Jesus has won for you. The temple could not be sanctified by the indwelling of God, except as it was free from every other master and every other use, to be for Him and His service alone. The inner temple of our heart cannot be truly and fully sanctified, except as we are free from every other master and power, from every yoke of bondage, or fear, or doubt, to let His Spirit lead us into the perfect liberty which has its fruit in true holiness.
Being made free from sin, having become servants unto righteousness, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end life everlasting. Freedom, Righteousness, Holiness—these are the steps on the way to the coming glory. The more deeply we enter by faith into our liberty, which we have in Christ, the more joyfully and confidently we present our members to God as instruments of righteousness. The God is the Father whose will we delight to do, whose service is perfect liberty. The Redeemer is the Master, to whom love binds us in willing obedience. The liberty is not lawlessness: 'we are delivered from our enemies, that we may serve Him in righteousness and holiness all the days of our life.'
The liberty is the condition of the righteousness; and this again of the holiness. The doing of God's will leads up into that fellowship, that heart sympathy with God Himself, out of which comes that reflection of the Divine Presence, which is Holiness. Being made free from sin, being made the slaves of righteousness and of God, we have our fruit unto holiness, and the end—the fruit of holiness becomes, when ripe, the seed of—everlasting life.
BE YE HOLY, AS I AM HOLY.
Most glorious God! I pray Thee to open my eyes to this wonderful liberty with which Christ has made me free. May I enter fully into Thy word, that sin shall have no dominion over me because I am not under the law but under grace. May I know my liberty which I have in Christ Jesus, and stand fast in it.
Father! Thy service is perfect liberty: reveal this too to me. Thou art the infinitely Free, and Thy will knows no limits but what its own perfection has placed. And Thou invitest us into Thy will, that we may be free as Thou art. O my God! show me the beauty of Thy will, as it frees me from self and from sin, and let it be my only blessedness. Let the service of righteousness so be a joy and a strength to me, having its fruit unto sanctification, leading me into Thy Holiness.
Blessed Lord Jesus! my Deliverer and my Liberty, I belong to Thee. I give myself to Thy will, to know no will but Thine. Master! Thee and Thee alone would I serve. I have my liberty in Thee! be Thou my Keeper. I cannot stand for one moment out of Thee. In Thee I can stand fast: in Thee I put my trust.
Most Holy God! as Thy free, obedient, loving child, Thou wilt make me holy. Amen.
1. Liberty is the power to carry out unhindered the impulse of our nature. In Christ the child of God is free from every power that could hinder his acting out the law of his new nature.
2. This liberty is of faith (Gal. v. 5, 6). By faith in Christ I enter into it, and stand in it.
3. This liberty is of the Holy Spirit. 'Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.' 'If ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.' A heart filled with the Spirit is made free indeed. But we are not made free that we may do our own will. No, made free to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit. 'Where the Spirit is, there is liberty.'
4. This liberty is in love. 'Ye were called for freedom; only use not your freedom for an occasion to the flesh, but through love be servants, one to another.' The freedom with which the Son makes free is a freedom to become like Himself, to love and to serve. 'Though I was free from all men, I brought myself under bondage to all, that I might gain the more.' This is the liberty of love.
5. 'Being made free from sin, ye became servants of righteousness unto sanctification.' 'Let my people go, that they may serve me.' It is only the man that doeth righteousness that can become holy.
6. This liberty is a thing of joy and singing.
7. This liberty is the groundwork of holiness. The Redeemer who makes free is God the Holy One. As the Holy Spirit He leads into the full possession of it. To be so free from everything that God can take complete possession, is to be holy.
 See Note G.
HOLY IN CHRIST.
Holiness and Happiness.
'The kingdom of God is joy in the Holy Ghost.'—Rom. xiv. 17.
'The disciples were filled with joy and the Holy Ghost.'—Acts xiii. 52.
'Then Nehemiah said, This day is holy unto the Lord: neither be ye sorry, for the joy of the Lord is your strength. So the Levites stilled the people, saying, Hold your peace; for the day is holy; neither be ye grieved. And all the people went their way to make great mirth, because they had understood the words.'—Neh. viii. 10-12.
The deep significance of joy in the Christian life is hardly understood. It is too often regarded as something secondary; whereas its presence is essential as the proof that God does indeed satisfy us, and that His service is our delight. In our domestic life we do not feel satisfied if all the proprieties of deportment are observed, and each does his duty to the other; true love makes us happy in each other; as love gives out its warmth of affection, gladness is the sunshine that fills the home with its brightness. Even in suffering or poverty, the members of a loving family are a joy to each other. Without this gladness, especially, there is no true obedience on the part of the children. It is not the mere fulfilment of a command, or performance of a service, that a parent looks to; it is the willing, joyful alacrity with which it is done that makes it pleasing.
It is just so in the intercourse of God's children with their Father. Even in the effort after a life of consecration and gospel obedience, we are continually in danger of coming under the law again, with its, Thou shalt. The consequence always is failure. The law only worketh wrath; it gives neither life nor strength. It is only as long as we are standing in the joy of our Lord, in the joy of our deliverance from sin, in the joy of His love, and what He is for us, in the joy of His presence, that we have the power to serve and obey. It is only when made free from every master, from sin and self and the law, and only when rejoicing in this liberty, that we have the power to render service that is satisfying either to God or to ourselves. 'I will see you again,' Jesus said, 'and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy shall no man take from you.' Joy is the evidence and the condition of the abiding personal presence of Jesus.
If holiness be the beauty and the glory of the life of faith, it is manifest that here especially the element of joy may not be wanting. We have already seen how the first mention of God as the Holy One was in the song of praise on the shore of the Red Sea; how Hannah and Mary in their moments of inspiration praised God as the Holy One; how the name of the Thrice Holy in heaven comes to us in the song of the seraphs; and how before the throne both the living creatures and the conquering multitude who sing the song of the Lamb, adore God as the Holy One. We are to 'worship Him in the beauty of holiness,' 'to sing praise at the remembrance of His Holiness;' it is only in the spirit of worship and praise and joy that we fully can know God as holy. Much more, it is only under the inspiration of adoring love and joy that we can ourselves be made holy. It is as we cease from all fear and anxiety, from all strain and effort, and rest with singing in what Jesus is in His finished work as our sanctification, as we rest and rejoice in Him, that we shall be made partakers of His Holiness. It is the day of rest, is the day that God has blessed, the day of blessing and gladness; and it is the day He blessed that is His holy day. Holiness and blessedness are inseparable.
But is not this at variance with the teaching of Scripture and the experience of the saints? Are not suffering and sorrow among God's chosen means of sanctification? Are not the promises to the broken in heart, the poor in spirit, and the mourner? Are not self-denial and the forsaking of all we have, the crucifixion with Christ and the dying daily, the path to holiness? and is not all this more matter of sorrow and pain than of joy and gladness?
The answer will be found in the right apprehension of the life of faith. Faith lifts above, and gives possession of, what is the very opposite of what we feel or experience. In the Christian life there is always a paradox: what appear irreconcilable opposites are found side by side at the same moment. Paul expresses it in the words, 'As dying, and, behold, we live; as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, yet possessing all things.' And elsewhere thus, 'When I am weak, then am I strong.' The apparent contradiction has its reconciliation, not only in the union of the two lives, the human and the Divine, in the person of each believer, but specially in our being, at one and the same moment, partakers of the death and the resurrection of Christ. Christ's death was one of pain and suffering, a real and terrible death, a rending asunder of the bonds that united soul and body, spirit and flesh. The power of that death works in us: we must let it work mightily if we are to live holy; for in that death He sanctified Himself, that we ourselves might be sanctified in truth. Our holiness is, like His, in the death to our own will, and to all our own life. But—this we must seek to grasp—we do not approach death from the side from which Christ met it, as an enemy to be conquered, as a suffering to be borne, before the new life can be entered on. No, the believer who knows what Christ is as the Risen One, approaches death, the crucifixion of self and the flesh and the world, from the resurrection side, the place of victory, in the power of the Living Christ. When we were baptized into Christ, we were baptized into His death and resurrection as ours; and Christ Himself, the Risen Living Lord, leads us triumphantly into the experience of the power of His death. And so, to the believer who truly lives by faith, and seeks not in his own strugglings to crucify and mortify the flesh, but knows the living Lord, the deep resurrection joy never for a moment forsakes Him, but is his strength for what may appear to others to be only painful sacrifice and cross-bearing. He says with Paul, 'I glory in the cross through which I have been crucified.' He never, as so many do, asks Paul's question, 'Who shall deliver me from the body of this death?' without sounding the joyful and triumphant answer as a present experience, 'I thank God, through Jesus Christ our Lord.' 'Thanks be to God, which always leadeth us in triumph in Christ.' It is the joy of a Present Saviour, of the experience of a perfect salvation, the joy of a resurrection life, which alone gives the power to enter deeply and fully into the death that Christ died, and yield our will and our life to be wholly sanctified to God. In the joy of that life, from which the power of the death is never absent, it is possible to say with the Apostle each moment, 'As dying, and, behold, we live; as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing.'
Let us seek to learn the two lessons: Holiness is essential to true happiness; happiness essential to true holiness. Holiness is essential to true happiness. If you would have joy, the fulness of joy, an abiding joy which nothing can take away, be holy as God is holy. Holiness is blessedness. Nothing can darken or interrupt our joy but sin. Whatever be our trial or temptation, the joy of Jesus of which Peter says, 'in whom ye now rejoice with joy unspeakable,' can more than compensate and outweigh. If we lose our joy, it must be sin. It may be an actual transgression, or an unconscious following of self or the world; it may be the stain on conscience of something doubtful, or it may be unbelief that would live by sight, and thinks more of itself and its joy than of the Lord alone: whatever it be, nothing can take away our joy but sin. If we would live lives of joy, assuring God and man and ourselves that our Lord is everything, is more than all to us, oh, let us be holy! Let us glory in Him who is our holiness: in His presence is fulness of joy. Let us live in the Kingdom which is joy in the Holy Ghost; the Spirit of holiness is the Spirit of joy, because He is the Spirit of God. It is the saints, God's holy ones, who will shout for joy.
And happiness is essential to true holiness. If you would be a holy Christian, you must be a happy Christian. Jesus was anointed by God with 'the oil of gladness,' that He might give us 'the oil of joy.' In all our efforts after holiness, the wheels will move heavily if there be not the oil of joy; this alone removes all strain and friction, and makes the onward progress easy and delightful. Study to understand the Divine worth of joy. It is the evidence of your being in the Father's presence, and dwelling in His love. It is the proof of your being consciously free from the law and the strain of the spirit of bondage. It is the token of your freedom from care and responsibility, because you are rejoicing in Christ Jesus as your Sanctification, your Keeper, and your Strength. It is the secret of spiritual health and strength, filling all your service with the childlike happy assurance that the Father asks nothing that He does not give strength for, and that He accepts all that is done, however feebly, in this spirit. True happiness is always self-forgetful: it loses itself in the object of its joy. As the joy of the Holy Ghost fills us, and we rejoice in God the Holy One, through our Lord Jesus Christ, as we lose ourselves in the adoration and worship of the Thrice Holy, we become holy. This is, even here in the wilderness, 'the Highway of Holiness: the ransomed of the Lord shall come with singing; the redeemed shall walk there; everlasting joy shall be upon their heads; they shall obtain joy and gladness.'
Do all God's children understand this? that holiness is just another name, the true name, that God gives for happiness; that it is indeed unutterable blessedness to know that God does make us holy, that our holiness is in Christ, that Christ's Holy Spirit is within us. There is nothing so attractive as joy: have believers understood it that this is the joy of the Lord—to be holy? Or is not the idea of strain, and sacrifice, and sighing, of difficulty and distance so prominent, that the thought of being holy has hardly ever made the heart glad? If it has been so, let it be so no longer. 'Thou shalt glory in the Holy One of Israel:' let us claim this promise. Let the believing assurance that our Loving Father, and our Beloved Lord Jesus, and the Holy Spirit, who in dove-like gentleness rests within us, have engaged to do the work, and are doing it, fill us with gladness. Let us not seek our joy in what we see in ourselves of holiness: let us rejoice in the Holiness of God in Christ as ours; let us rejoice in the Holy One of Israel. So shall our joy be unspeakable and unceasing; so shall we give Him the glory.
BE YE HOLY, AS I AM HOLY.
Most Blessed God! I beseech Thee to reveal to me and to all Thy children the secret of rejoicing in Thee, the Holy One of Israel.
Thou seest how much of the service of Thine own dear children is still in the spirit of bondage, and how many have never yet believed that the Highway of Holiness is one on which they may walk with singing, and shall obtain joy and gladness. O Father! teach Thy children to rejoice in Thee.
I ask Thee especially to teach us that, in deep poverty of spirit, in humility and contrition and utter emptiness, in the consciousness that there is no holiness in us, we can sing all the day of Thy Holiness as ours, of Thy glory which Thou layest upon us, and which yet all the time is Thine alone. O Father! open wide to Thy children the blessed mystery of the Kingdom, even the faith which sees all in Christ and nothing in itself; which indeed has and rejoices in all in Him; which never has or rejoices in ought in itself.
Blessed God, in Thy Word Thou hast said, 'The meek shall increase their joy in the Lord, and the poor among men shall rejoice in the Holy One of Israel.' Oh, give us, by Thy Holy Spirit, in meekness and poverty of spirit, to live so in Christ, that His Holiness may be our ever-increasing joy, and that in Thyself, the Holy One of Israel, we may rejoice all the day. And may all see in us what blessedness it is to live as God's holy ones. Amen.
1. The great hindrance to joy in God is expecting to find something in ourselves to rejoice over. At the commencement of this pursuit of holiness we always expect to see a great change wrought in ourselves. As we are led deeper into what faith, and the faith-life is, we understand how, though we do not see the change as we expected, we may yet rejoice with joy unspeakable in what Jesus is. This is the secret of holiness.
2. Joy must be cultivated. To rejoice is a command more frequently given than we know. It is part of the obedience of faith, to rejoice when we do not feel like doing so. Faith rejoices and sings, because God is holy.