Life-Study of Hebrewsby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
The focus of God’s revelation in the New Testament is sonship. Sonship is God’s desire. God can only satisfy His desire for sonship by having His Son become the model and prototype. This prototype must be wrought into our being. What is being wrought into us is not only the Savior or the divine life, but also the prototype of the sonship, the Firstborn Son of God. As we have pointed out, there is a great difference between the Only Begotten Son of God and the Firstborn Son of God. With the Only Begotten Son, there was no humanity. He was divine, but He was not human. With the Firstborn Son, on the contrary, there are both divinity and humanity because He is not only the Son of God but also the Son of Man. The Son of Man has been brought into sonship through His resurrection. Now this Firstborn Son, constituted with both divinity and humanity, has been wrought into our very being.
Ephesians 1:5 says that we have been predestinated unto sonship. Sonship is our destiny. Our destiny is not to be saved. Salvation is a process; it is not the goal but the way to reach the goal. God’s goal is sonship. God’s forgiveness, justification, salvation, and regeneration are all focused on sonship. God has forgiven us, justified us, saved us, and regenerated us that we might be His sons.
Sonship has both a beginning and a completion. It begins with regeneration and it will be completed with glorification. Between regeneration and glorification there is the process of sanctification, transformation, and conformation. Many Christians have heard about sanctification. However, the concept of sanctification in Christianity is much different from that found in the Bible. The vocabulary, the terminology, is the same, but the understanding is vastly different, because the dictionary of today’s Christianity differs from the dictionary of the Bible. According to the pure word of the Bible, the meaning of sanctification is to be saturated with the element of the prototype. The more we are saturated by the element of the Firstborn Son as the prototype, the more we are separated unto God from the world. Through sanctification we are separated from the world, not by teachings or miracles, but by being permeated with the element of the divine and human nature of the prototype.
Our whole being is like a black spot. One day, the wonderful element of the prototype came into our spirit and sanctified it. What about the remainder of our being? We must admit that it is still very dark. Although you may consider yourself to be good, moral, ethical, and even “spiritual,” you are still dark. Perhaps you are in a dark grave. Whether you are good or bad, right or wrong, moral or immoral, ethical or unethical, “spiritual” or unspiritual, your being is still dark. Whenever others contact you, they sense your opaqueness. You dwell in the gloomy dungeon of your religion and ethics, and there is nothing transparent about you. Because you are so dark and non-transparent, you need to be sanctified by having the wonderful element of the prototype saturate your being. The more Christ spreads into you, the more you will be sanctified and separated from the world. This is sanctification.
Transformation is related to sanctification. The more we are saturated with the element of Christ, the more we are sanctified, and the more we are sanctified, the more we are transformed. As we have pointed out several times, transformation is not an outward change, adjustment, or correction. It is an inward metabolic change, a change in life, nature, and form. Sanctification is for transformation and transformation is for conformation. We must be transformed in order to be conformed to the image of the Firstborn Son of God (Rom. 8:29). By the Lord’s mercy, we are in the proper church life being sanctified, transformed, and conformed to the image of God’s Firstborn Son. This is deeper, higher, and more profound than being moral, ethical, or even “spiritual.” Some teachings regarding so-called spirituality are merely vanity. Genuine spirituality is conformation. Being spiritual depends upon being conformed to the image of the Firstborn Son of God. No human effort, labor, or imitation can manufacture this. It can only be produced by the indwelling prototype, the real and living Firstborn Son of God, who automatically works in us. As He works in us by the law of life, He continually anoints us from within.
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