Sanctified by God’s Will

“Then said he; Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second. By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.” —Hebrews 10:9,10

THE JEWISH LAW required the sacrifice of bulls and goats. This taught, by example, that without the shedding of blood no remission of sin is possible. But animal blood could not actually take away sin. This arrangement was merely a typical arrangement designed by God as a teaching tool. God was not actually pleased with it, especially after Jesus had offered himself as an acceptable sacrifice for sin. When Jesus said, “Lo, I come to do thy will,” he gave his all. This was acceptable to God, and it terminated the old typical sacrifices, establishing the “better sacrifices.” (Heb. 9:23) Doing God’s will made Jesus’ sacrifice of his own will acceptable and thus he was sanctified.

Verse 10 shows that doing this same will—God’s will—sanctifies us, the followers of Jesus, but only because Jesus had offered up as a sacrifice for sin his humanity. Taking God’s will as our own will means sacrificing our will, and thus we are sanctified or set apart for God’s service. We become ministers of reconciliation in God’s great program for eradicating sin.

In what way does the true Christian differ from all others who name the name of Christ? In good works? No, not this alone, because many others do good things also. In self-denial? Others deny themselves also, spending time and energy to help others. Some people suffer a great deal for righteous causes. Matthew 7:22 shows that many will say, “Have we not done many wonderful works, and even prophesied in thy name?” Still the Lord will say, “I never approved of you.” Some who even preached in his name are not approved. None of these good things alone marks true Christians. Taking God’s will as his own is what marks a true Christian. This marks the true follower of Jesus.

Putting God’s will first and only in our lives, makes a great change in us, especially in our minds. So great is this change that I Corinthians 2:16 says, “We have the mind of Christ.” This chapter shows what it means to have the mind of Christ. For one thing, we are able to know the mysteries of God—to discern things hidden from the world and from the natural man.

It is his mental and moral powers which constitute man as being in the image of God. The ability to think, to remember, to know right from wrong, raises man above the plane of animals. Even in fallen man, the power of the mind does great things for him. Most remarkable is the ability to take an ideal, a hope, and to live by it. The hope of a successful career causes many students to work hard and concentrate on difficult things in their studies. A widow can determine to raise her family by working hard herself. The power of determination inspired by an ideal does great things.

A New Determination

I once knew a young man who was wild and irresponsible. One day he said, “I am determined to give up my wild ways and settle down.” It was soon manifest that he meant what he said. He did not become a Christian, or even profess to be religious, but he did become a successful businessman. So great was the change that people said he was a ‘new man’. He did not get new brains, but his mental powers were used in an entirely different way than previously. His determination was new, and gradually his way of thinking and living came into harmony with this new determination.

This ability to take a new purpose into our minds is used by God in drawing and developing the New Creation. God causes a ‘seed’ of truth to be ‘sown’ in our minds. We hear what Jesus called “the Word of the kingdom.” (Matt. 13:19) This Word explains what God’s kingdom is to do, and that by following Jesus we can have a part in assisting the world of mankind in that kingdom. If we are honest, humble, and hungering after righteousness, this Word will cause us to think more and more seriously about accepting Jesus as our leader, and following him. First comes the thought that we ought to serve God. Later this crystallizes into a fixed purpose. A desire to consecrate is changed into decision and determination.

If the determination is sincere, God accepts our consecration and begets us with his Holy Spirit. We are thus begotten by “the Word of truth,” “not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” (James 1:18; John 1:13) We have this treasure in an earthen vessel, which is the human body. The new purpose works in us and changes us. This change is not merely to become a new or reformed human being, as may happen to anyone who takes a new purpose into his mind. This is God’s work, and results in a New Creation, begotten to the divine plane.


This new purpose has enemies within the old body in which it is housed. The Spirit of truth enters our mind as a great general might land on a foreign shore and recruit his army from among those he desires to conquer. He lifts up and encourages the rightly disposed. These help him in his conquest. There are, however, lower elements of society who oppose his efforts and give him considerable trouble. So in each of us there are higher and lower elements. The higher ones such as righteousness, mercy, truth, and love, welcome the Word of God. The lower tendencies, lawlessness, love of ease, and selfishness, oppose the doing of God’s will.

These lower tendencies are called “members” in Colossians 3:5: “Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, covetousness.” These oppose the setting of our affection, (or ‘mind’, Margin), on things above as counseled in verse 2. These must be crushed often whenever they arise, until they are finally dead. But Romans 6:13 suggests that there are good “members” which we can use as instruments of righteousness unto God. Mercy and compassion are among these. We can see why Paul calls these “members.” Are they not part of us, part of our very being? Character has been defined as the sum total of our habits. These cause action; they determine what kind of person we are; and by these we are known.

In Romans 7:19 Paul said, “The good that I would, I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.” Verse 23 explains why this is. He says, “I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind.” The law of sin worked in his members causing him to do things he did not want to do. The law of sin is to fallen man what the law of gravity is to physical objects. Anything heavier than air tends to be drawn to the center of the earth unless stopped by a greater force. So our natural habits tend to gravitate toward earthly things. The tendencies of the new mind oppose these earthly predilections warring against the law of our mind. Paul said he had a new mind, a new purpose, a determination to do God’s will at any cost. This was opposed by the tendencies and cravings of his body, his earthen vessel.

A Spiritual Mind

The new mind is spiritual because it is begotten by God’s truth. It is also spiritual because it is the New Creature which, in the first resurrection, will receive a divine body. (II Pet. 1:14) It is the same mind that Jesus had after his baptism. I Corinthians 2:7 explains about this mind of Christ, that it has “hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world to our glory.” This wisdom is hidden because the natural man cannot comprehend the wisdom of God. Verses 9 and 10 show that the good things in reservation for those that love God will cause many that do not love him now to do so at that time. It will be said, “Lo, this is our God!”—Isa. 25:9

These wonderful blessings now hidden are stated to be revealed to us by God’s Spirit. Any of God’s truths not now perceived by the natural man are thus classed among the deep things of God, the spiritual things. The deep things of God are not complicated theological questions. If these were the deep things, the poor and unlearned could not have a spiritual mind.

A clear knowledge of restitution and the high calling indicates a spiritual mind because these things are revealed by God. I Corinthians 2:12 explains that the Spirit is given to us “that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.” Among these are the merit of Christ’s sacrifice and the exceeding great and precious promises by which we can become partakers of the divine nature.

The mind of Christ includes his determination to do God’s will at any cost. In Philippians 2:5 we have this statement: “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus.” Verses 7 and 8 explain that this caused Jesus to make himself of no reputation and become obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. This required a very strong determination, a power-motive to control himself, and to sacrifice his humanity completely.

Back of this powerful motive was a clear knowledge of God’s plan, what God designed to do, and how, and why. A skilled workman must know what he is doing and why, or he soon loses interest in his work. So with us, a clear knowledge of God’s plan is necessary to inspire a strong determination. This determination must continue to keep us sacrificing, or God’s favor will be withdrawn. Only if the determination continues can we be doers of the Word and not hearers only.

A Willing Mind

Before we can get a clear knowledge of God’s plan, we must have a willing mind; we must be willing to obey God. John 7:15-17, explains that the Jews marveled at Jesus’ ability to teach. He had never learned from the generally accepted sources of education of that time. Jesus answered that the doctrine was not his own, but was from God. Then he said, “If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.” Anyone who sincerely wishes to do God’s will shall know what God’s teachings are. Then, in verse 18, Jesus says that a true teacher of God will seek God’s glory, not his own. Therefore one who has the mind of Christ will not only know God’s purposes, but will have a strong determination to do exactly what God wants him to do. He will know the truth. He will have meat in due season.

Most ‘members’ of our earthen vessel oppose the new mind. The President of the United States has a cabinet of advisers. The members of this cabinet advise and endeavor to influence the President in all important matters, but the President must make the final decisions and endeavor to have them enacted and enforced. Our new mind is our manager. And it is influenced more or less by the various tendencies of our human nature. The natural mind of a normal human being is fleshly or carnal, and in its fallen state is not subject to the law of God, neither, indeed, can it be. (Rom. 8:7) The natural mind may have some conflict with its various members, but generally there is little conflict along this line. Most people do what they want to do.

The new spiritual mind, however, is opposed by the earthly members, since they naturally gravitate to earthly things. Paul says that the flesh lusts, or desires, against the spirit, and the spirit lusts, or desires, against the flesh. These are contrary the one to the other, so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. (Gal. 5:17) The new mind being the manager must resist these earthly tendencies, and maintain its ascendancy. It is the conflict that makes it possible for the New Creature, the new mind, to be an overcomer; and, because of being an overcomer, to be seated with Christ in his throne.

Doing God’s will sanctifies or sets us apart for God’s service. It also transforms us by the renewing of our minds. God’s will is represented by this new manager—the mind of Christ. We are to let this mind rule us until our sacrifice is finished. According to Romans 6:13, we are to “yield our members … as instruments (Margin, Greek, ‘arms’, or, ‘weapons’) of righteousness unto God.” Depraved tendencies must be put to death. Good tendencies must be put to work doing God’s will. Mercy, sympathy, justice, truth, and other good qualities, are to be exercised as much as possible. Whenever decisions must be made, let these “members” be heard.

‘Members’ Harnessed

‘Members’ would include all our powers, abilities, and talents, since these are a part of us—a part of our being. We should harness or use all of our powers to help the new manager—the new mind, the power of thought—to control us. Our thoughts can run wild from one thing to another without any definite purpose. Thoughts can be on evil things, a hindrance to the development of the New Creature; or they can be on idle things, or things of no profit. But to be of help they should be centered on the good things of God’s Word. Doing this would be in harmony with Peter’s advice to “gird up the loins of your mind,” and set them on heavenly things. (I Pet. 1:13) As we endeavor to do this, the Holy Spirit of God will then search out the deep things of God, and we will get an increase of knowledge. We will get to know more of the details of God’s plan. And the clearer our knowledge is, the greater will be our inspiration to continue doing God’s will.

Another helpful ‘member’ is our conscience, which we are to keep “void of offense.” (Acts 24:16) Conscience is a God-given power to discern right and wrong. Furthermore, it acts quickly. A person may say, I had a feeling that this was not right, though I did not know why. So our conscience is like a good watchdog, and we should listen to even its faintest bark. We should never violate our conscience.

Paul said that to him that esteemeth anything to be unclean (Margin, Greek, ‘common’), to him it is unclean. (Rom. 14:14) Actually any creature of God is clean, Paul said, but a person who believes it is unclean should never violate his conscience by partaking, until he learns differently. The conscience can be educated. Later a person would find, as Paul did, that all creatures of God are clean. Before Paul saw the heavenly vision, he could, with a clear conscience, persecute Christians. But this vision educated his conscience, and he saw that he was wrong.

So our conscience is a very great help to us. We read in Hebrews 10:22 that our hearts should be sprinkled from an evil conscience. This is done by an acceptance of the ransom merit of our Lord’s sacrificed life. On the basis of this, our consecration is acceptable and our conscience is clear before God. But it is necessary to keep our conscience clear by watching our thoughts and actions, and keeping them fully in harmony with our vow of consecration. In this way we keep our conscience “void of offense toward God, and toward men.” (Acts 24:16) Our conscience is thus a great help to the new manager, the mind of Christ, in keeping the earthen vessel in subjection.

Dawn Bible Students Association
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