Sanctified and Sent – Stockmayer, Selection 3

on December 22, 2007 in Stockmayer


(Jeremiah 1:4-10)

Before the mother of Jeremiah had brought him forth–before he had been conceived–God laid His hand upon the Prophet Jeremiah; for we read, “Before I formed thee in the belly, I knew thee; before thou camest forth out of the womb, I sanctified thee.” “I called thee Mine in a special way.” He uses an instrumentality to get from little circles out to wider circles, that the whole community may be brought back to God. And immediately after the fourth verse, we read, “I have appointed thee a prophet unto the nations.” A prophet represents God–is in God’s place to us, and by his calling as prophet is constituted a messenger for God. To be sanctified is to be in God’s hand for silence and waiting, for acting and suffering, or for whatever commission God may be pleased to use you.

The Lord, who has created us in Christ and for Christ, has from all eternity predestinated us to be in Christ; what He does in time He has seen before–from eternity. Before we were conceived, the Lord knew for what special purpose He would use us in our earthly life after He had brought us into the knowledge of redemption and into the consciousness that we are sanctified ones, and that the existence which we try to make our best of–to make beautiful and useful–is not for us. Rather are we a people called to be ministers of the Holy One–of the household of God–in which each one has his own place to minister unto Him and to show forth the praise of His Name.

It may be a ministry to break down, to pluck up, to destroy and over-throw. How often the Lord is obliged to throw down, pluck up, and destroy and overthrow before anything for eternity can be created in us–builded and planted. How long He had to overthrow our building and planting, pluck up our gardens, and destroy our fields; but it was our own building and planting, and it could not last. Whether it be preaching or a most devoted life, which is not in the consciousness of a sanctified life–from Him and through Him and of Him–it simply magnifies us. If He cannot accept our planting and our gardens, He comes with storms to waste our flowers and destroy our plantings.

We find, as we go through the Old Testament, that these glorious ministers–Moses and Elisha, Isaiah and Jeremiah–all foreshadow that other One whom the Father had sanctified before He was conceived by the Holy Ghost in Mary’s womb. Have you ever pondered over that glorious word of our Saviour in John, chapter 10, verse 36? “…say ye of Him whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world…?”

“Sanctified and sent into the world”–in these words the Lord Jesus sums up the teaching of Psalm 40 and Hebrews 10:10: “Lo, here am I”–words spoken by Christ before He came into the world. As the Lord had sanctified Jeremiah before his birth, so the moment came when the Father looked at the Son, the moment to go down to accomplish the ministry which no angel or archangel could accomplish–the ministry foreseen in the Father’s heart from eternity, when the Son was foreordained as the Lamb slain in the Father’s heart; the ministry of carrying out that for which He stood at the side of the Father when He created man. (I have no passage just now, but you find it in the Holy Scripture as you go deeper.) God would not have created man, with the dreadful possibility that he might fall, had not the Guarantee or Security, the Lamb of God slain from the foundation of the world, stood at His side. And now in time came the moment when the Father looked at the Son, and the Son answered, “Here am I; send Me.” He whom the Father had sanctified and sent into the world undertook a mission for which all the missions of Jeremiah, Isaiah, Moses, and Elisha had only been foreshadowings and preparations–mere shadows. So He said, “Yes, Father, here I am; send Me.” That is to be sanctified: Whom the Father sanctified.

What a unique mission–to redeem the lost world by the shedding of His own Blood on Calvary (No fallen man could know what it means to be separated from God, having separated Himself by sin and transgression)! Jesus sanctified Himself in order to make us sanctified ones in a sense and bearing and meaning deeper than Jeremiah, for through Christ revealed we reach deeper into the Godhead than any Old Testament prophet could reach–even into oneness with the Son and the Father, into oneness with God.

There is in John 17, verse 19, another word of His about sanctification–“And for their sakes I (the Holy One, the Pure One, who did not need to be cleansed from anything) sanctify Myself, that they themselves also may be sanctified in truth.” Through sanctifying Himself, He was enabled to make of us sanctified ones. He brought us back into the proprietorship of God and into the use of God–back to God from human hopes and planting and building.

May we not better understand what it meant for Jesus–this wonderful One–to sanctify Himself, when we sum up that which took place before He said this word, “I sanctify Myself for them–for their sakes–that they themselves also may be sanctified in truth.” The truth is a solemn living for His Father; for blessing or curse, to exist for God: “To do Thy will is My pleasure, even if it be Thy will to go down to Gethsemane and the Cross; I delight to do Thy will.”

Do you not recognize, in the entire life of Jesus, one unique purpose and guiding thought? “I come to do thy will, Father”; and He kept faithful to that thought with which He came. There was not a moment in the life of our Saviour in which He had any other preoccupation than to please the Father and to do His will. There was not one interruption in His inward life and most hidden standing before His Father–in His silence or His speaking, in His doing or His resting; there was but one thread–one guiding thread–all through: “Here I am to please the Father.” And more than once during His earthly service and ministry–in the solemn and critical hours of His life–the Heaven opened and the Voice said, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”

Well, brothers and sisters, “cursed” ones, yet delivered from the curse forever through Christ’s having been made a curse for us and now made to be the beloved of the Father in the Son–Christ has done this and has said this: “I sanctify Myself to make of them sanctified ones.” He did it to make of us a people like the dew of the morning–a people of free will, devoted to execute the will of God in households, in a hidden spot, in public ministry, or whenever and however and wherever God may be pleased.

You know the purpose for which the three thousand received the Holy Ghost: it was to do God’s pleasure and to know God’s will; not to walk in the twilight, but to know–through the Spirit of the Son and the Father and through looking into the face of the Father–what would please Him; to know always, in every peculiar surrounding and circumstance, in every hour of life, in complications and difficult hours and sorrowful hours, His will.

The Father never failed to let His Son know what pleased Him; and devoted ones, consciously sanctified ones, who exist for God and for God alone, He never fails to let know what may please Him. It may be difficult for a while to know; there may come critical moments in which we hesitate. But from knowledge to knowledge, growing nearer to the heart of the Father and knowing Him better through every critical hour through which He makes us pass, we may with a keener eye grasp what is pleasing and what is not pleasing to the Father. Christ lived His life of thirty-three years to bring our lives into that glorious reign of light–to make them to be lives of holiness (that comes afterwards–the normal proof); but it means being a people who know and glory in the fact–most simply–that they exist for God and that they may be sanctified in the truth.

Take an example from the continent from which I came–an example from some servant of the Emperor, such as his coachman. Ask him, when he is driving for the Emperor, to guide you here or there. He would laugh in your face! The Emperor claims him; and even if the first general in Germany were to claim his service, he would only laugh. He has been called out from ordinary service–sanctified–to serve the Emperor. There is glory even upon such people; they cannot be bribed. The coachman is “sanctified” to the Emperor; there is glory in it.

Oh, the glory upon us poor, miserable sinners, who had been serving sin and ourselves–the very essence of wickedness–now to be forgiven and redeemed and sanctified for God!

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