Lesson 20:
The Subjective Sanctification of the People Gained through the Gospel Priesthood
Bible reading
Please pray over these verses. 

Romans 15:16
That I might be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles, a laboring priest of the gospel of God, in order that the offering of the Gentiles might be acceptable, having been sanctified in the Holy Spirit.

1 Peter 2:5
You yourselves also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house into a holy priesthood to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.


The New Testament priesthood of the gospel is to impart Christ into sinners, as the sanctifying, transforming element, to make them members of Christ’s Body. Having been positionally sanctified objectively, we need to be dispositionally sanctified subjectively through the growth and maturity in the divine life that we could be presented as an acceptable corporate offering to God.

Bible study reading
Please prayerfully read through the following portions of ministry related to this lesson.

Paul was a minister of Christ, a public servant serving people with Christ, ministering Christ into the Gentile believers. He was like a waiter serving people at the dining table with delicious food. Paul was a waiter at the universal dining table, serving people with Christ. All the people at this dining table were filled with Christ, and Christ became the transforming element within their being. Thus, the Gentiles were transformed with the essence of the wonderful, all-inclusive Christ, who is the life-giving Spirit.

To be sanctified means to be separated, to be made holy with transformation in life. Paul considers the Gentile believers as a sweet offering to God. Once they were unclean and defiled people, but now they are sanctified and have become an offering pleasing to God. They have been transformed and conformed to the image of God and thus are fully acceptable to Him. This was the result of Paul’s ministering Christ into the Gentiles. When Christ was wrought into them, becoming their very element, the Gentiles became a corporate offering to God, an offering that had been saturated with Christ and permeated with His divine essence. Hence, they were presented to God for His satisfaction. (Life-study of Romans, msg. 30, section 2)

According to Romans 15:16, Paul offered the saved sinners to God as acceptable sacrifices. All the unbelieving sinners are in Adam. When we preach the gospel to them and they receive the Lord, they are transferred out of Adam into Christ. When someone believes into Christ, he becomes a part of Christ. The unbelievers who are transferred into Christ are the increase of Christ. When I am preaching the gospel to offer saved persons to God, I am offering Christ—not the individual Christ but the corporate Christ. In the Old Testament the priests offered bulls and goats as sacrifices. God was pleased with that because they were types of the coming Christ. Our work today in the New Testament age is to preach the gospel to save sinners, to make them parts of Christ. When we offer these ones to God, God considers them as parts of Christ. Thus, we are offering the increase of Christ to God. (The Advance of the Lord’s Recovery Today, ch. 2, section 2)

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Going deeper
Please read or listen to these materials for an in-depth study of this lesson.

Further reading:
Life-study of Romans, msg. 30, sections 2-3
The Advance of the Lord’s Recovery Today, ch. 1, sections 4-5

Radio broadcast link:
Broadcast 52, Serving in the Gospel of His Son

Footnotes from Recovery Version of the New Testament:
Romans 15:16, footnote 3
Romans 6:9, footnote 2
1 Peter 2:5, footnote 1

Questions for personal or corporate study:

References in brackets indicate readings or broadcasts that may be helpful in answering the questions.
  • What is the subjective sanctification of the people gained through the gospel priesthood? (Romans 15:16, footnote 3; 6:19, footnote 2, Recovery Version)
  • Describe the New Testament priestly service, and relate how these spiritual sacrifices are rendered acceptable before God. (The Advance of the Lord’s Recovery Today, ch. 1, sections 4-5)
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Works Cited

Lee, Witness. The Advance of the Lord's Recovery Today. Anaheim: Living Stream Ministry, 1989.

---. Life-study of Romans. Anaheim: Living Stream Ministry, 1989.

All verses and excerpts © 2021 Living Stream Ministry.
Used by permission. Reproduction is prohibited. 
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