Life-Study of 1 & 2 Thessaloniansby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
In this message we shall consider what it means to have our heart established blameless in holiness. First Thessalonians 3:13 says, “That He may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all His saints.” Three important words here are heart, blameless, and holiness. What does it mean to have our heart established blameless? This certainly is an unusual expression. Of course, this establishing is not our work; it is the Lord’s doing.
What is your understanding of the phrase “blameless in holiness”? The words “in holiness” do not qualify the verb “establish.” Rather, they qualify the word “blameless.” In this verse Paul is not saying that the Lord establishes our heart in holiness. Instead, he is saying that the Lord is making our heart blameless, and making it blameless in holiness. Thus, we need to find out what it means for our heart to be blameless in holiness.
Second Thessalonians 2:13 says, “But we ought to thank God always concerning you, brothers beloved by the Lord, because God chose you from the beginning unto salvation in sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth.” This verse speaks of salvation in sanctification, and 1 Thessalonians 3:13, of being blameless in holiness. To be in holiness is different from being in sanctification. Of course, holiness and sanctification both refer to an element that is holy. However, holiness refers to the element itself, and sanctification refers to the process of being made holy, the process of being sanctified. A process is going on to make us holy; this process is sanctification. Therefore, to be in holiness is to be in the element, and to be in sanctification is to be in the process of being made holy.
God’s salvation is in sanctification. This means that God’s salvation involves a continuing process through which we are being made holy. As this process is taking place, we enjoy God’s saving power. Holiness is the element of God’s holy nature. It is in this element that we are to be blameless.
Once again I would like to take as an illustration the simple matter of making tea. Tea is an element, and “tea-ification” is the process of making tea. Suppose you have a cup of plain water. In order to tea-ify the water, you need to place a tea bag into it. When a tea bag is first put into water, the water may seem to remain the same. It seems to be little more than plain water. But after a period of time and some action of stirring, the water will become tea-ified; that is, tea is added to the water and mingled with it. Hence, we may say that the water is under the process of tea-ification. Eventually, the tea is in the water, and the water is in the tea. This means that the element of tea is mingled with the water. As a result of this tea-ification, the tea and water are blended together to make one beverage. Actually, this kind of drink is tea-water.
For the tea to be in the water is one thing, but for the water to pass through the process of tea-ification is another. In like manner, we need to be blameless in the element of holiness, and we also need to undergo the process of sanctification so that we may enjoy God’s salvation daily and even hourly.
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