Called Unto Holiness by Ruth Paxson
God’s call to holiness is unmistakable: every believer must be holy, even as He is holy. His instructions are clear and plain. Christ demands a separated life-one set apart for Him alone. The Lord’s last conversation with His disciples reveals God’s threefold standard for the Christian life. There must be oneness with Christ through positional sanctification, likeness to Christ through progressive sanctification, and fullness of Christ through personal sanctification.
“The twin word for holiness in Scripture is that precious word sanctification…
‘For this is the will of God, even your sanctification’ 1 Thess. 4:3
‘For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness’ 1 Thess. 4:7
Christ prayed for our sanctification in John 17:17, 19.
God has made this a gift of the Holy Spirit as our Sanctifier in 2 Thess. 2:13, before there was ever a world or anyone in it. Read Eph. 1:4.
What is the scriptural meaning of the word? The primary meaning is, someone or something wholly set apart unto God… There is the secondary meaning: that which belongs to God must be like God. We must be holy for He is holy. God, the Holy Father; God, the Holy Son; and God, the Holy Spirit indwell the Christian. Is not that reason enough why we should be sanctified? Wholly set apart unto God? Made holy even as God Himself is holy?”
When writing about our oneness with Christ through positional sanctification, Miss Paxson chose as her text John 15:5. “That little word ‘in’ is the biggest little word in all the Bible. Usually our first concern in our Christian experience is what we are. But where we are is of paramount importance, because where we are determines what we are. ‘Ye in me’ precedes ‘I in you.’ The branch must be in the vine before it can bear fruit. Then, where are you today, my friend?”
“The Bible shows us just two positions in which any human being can be-one is the position of the sinner, the other is that of the saint. To become a Christian we have to pass out of one position into the other. These two positions are radically different… You are in one or the other for there is no other place to be. There is no middle ground between these two positions. You are either in the trinity of which Satan is the head, of which the world is the embodiment, and the flesh is the expression; or you are in the trinity of which Christ is the Head, of which the church is the manifestation, and the Holy Spirit is the power. Where are you this moment? It is the most important question any human person ever faces in all his life… One thing, and only one thing, determines where you are. It is your relation to the crucified, risen, ascended, exalted Saviour and Lord. The salvation and the sanctification of the believing sinner required two outpourings-the outpouring of the blood of the Saviour on Calvary and the outpouring of the Spirit of the Lord at Pentecost…
The blood of the Saviour is that which both saves and sanctifies. (Rev. 1:5 & Heb. 13:12) It is the blood alone that saves… There is but one thing that saves and that is the blood of Jesus outpoured on Calvary’s Cross.
It is the blood that sanctifies. It separated us from the kingdom of Satan. It crucified us unto the world and the world unto us. And it delivered us out of the sphere of the flesh.
The crucifixion of Jesus Christ put an end to the old creation and separated us completely from everything that pertains to it. It put aside everything but Christ. It placed Christ as Saviour at the very center of the Christian’s life, making him Christ-centered.
Following Calvary came Pentecost. The believers in that upper room were baptized with the Holy Spirit, and the church, the body of Christ, was formed… From that day on down through the centuries every person who has put faith in the blood of the Saviour has been baptized by the Holy Spirit into that one body. He has been made one with Christ and the fullness of Christ’s life has been made his potentially…
The Cross of Christ is the Great Divide. It makes a clean-cut cleavage between the sphere of darkness and death and the sphere of light and life. It is the boundary line between the kingdom of Satan and the kingdom of God. It calls subjects out of the one kingdom into the other and compels the sinner to make a choice.
Have you responded to that call? Have you crossed that Great Divide? Have you put faith in the blood of your Saviour? The answer to this question determines not only with which trinity you choose to company in time, but with which you will spend eternity… As a Christian are you wholly set apart unto Christ? Are you wholly in His possession, under His control and for His use? Will you frankly face this question today?
‘Neither give place to the devil’ (Eph. 4:27)
‘Be not conformed to this world’ (Rom. 12:2)
Is your life at any point or in any phase conformed to this world? If you find any such conformity will you acknowledge it and come right out in complete separation at any cost?
‘Put off the old man-Put on the new man’ (Eph 4:22, 24)
Is Christ the source of everything in your life as far as you know? Is everything from Him? Is He the center of your life? Is everything in Him? Is He the goal of your life? Is everything for Him? Christ is something to you, but is He everything?”
Part One ONENESS WITH CHIRST