By A.W. Pink
Sanctification Is Supernatural.
Not only is true sanctification an important, essential, and unspeakably precious
thing, it is wholly supernatural.
It is our duty to enquire into the nature of evangelical holiness, as it is a fruit or
effect in us of the Spirit of sanctification, because it is abstruse and mysterious,
and indiscernible unto the eye of carnal reason. We say of it in some sense as Job
of wisdom, “whence then cometh wisdom? and where is the place of understanding?
Seeing it is hid from the eyes of all living, and kept close from the fowls
of the air. Destruction and death say, We have heard the fame thereof with our
ears. God understandeth the way thereof, and He knoweth the place thereof…And
unto man He said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart
from evil is understanding” (Job 28:20-23, 28). This is that wisdom whose ways,
residence, and paths are so hidden from the natural reason and understandings of
No man, I say, by mere sight and conduct, can know and understand aright the
true nature of evangelical holiness; and it is, therefore, no wonder if the doctrine
of it be despised by many as an enthusiastical fancy. It is of the things of the
Spirit of God; yea, it is the principal effect of all His operation in us and towards
us. And “the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God” (1Co 2:11). It
is by Him alone that we are enabled to “know the things that are freely given to
us of God” (v. 12) as this is, if ever we receive anything of Him in this world, or
shall do so to eternity. “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered in to the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love
him”—the comprehension of these things is not the work of any of our natural
faculties, but “God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit” (1Co 2:9-10).
Believers themselves are oft-times much unacquainted with it, either as to their
apprehension of its true nature, causes, and effects, or, at least, as to their own
interests and concernment therein. As we know not of ourselves the things that
are wrought in us of the Spirit of God, so we seldom attend as we ought unto His
instruction of us in them. It may seem strange indeed, that, whereas all believers
are sanctified and made holy, that they should not understand nor apprehend
what is wrought in them and for them, and what abideth with them. But, alas,
how little do we know of ourselves, of what we are, and whence are our powers
and faculties even in things natural. Do we know how the members of the body
are fashioned in the womb? (John Owen).
Clear proof that true sanctification is wholly supernatural and altogether beyond the
understanding of the unregenerate is found in the fact that so many are thoroughly deceived
and fatally deluded by fleshly imitations and satanic substitutes of real holiness. It
would be outside our present scope to describe in detail the various pretensions which
pose as gospel holiness, but the poor Papists, taught to look up to the “saints” canonized by their “church,” are by no means the only ones who are mislead in this vital matter.
Were it not that God’s Word reveals so clearly the power of that darkness which rests
on the understanding of all who are not taught by the Spirit, it would be surprising beyond
words to see so many intelligent people supposing that holiness consists in abstinence
from human comforts, garbing themselves in mean attire, and practicing various
austerities that God has never commanded.
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"Afresh, precious, precious Jesus, I resign this body to You, for doing or suffering, for living or dying. Will You accept it? Will You use me for Your glory more than heretofore, that You may have some little return for all the benefits You have done to me? Oh, do grant this request; my heart longs for it, my spirit pleads for it; and "if You will, You can." You know the hot temptation of which I am the subject. Bring Your glory out of it, and keep me from the evil, and it shall be well." - Ruth Bryan