Consecration
by Rich Deem

Introduction

Consecration is a sort of "old-fashioned" term. It is found most often in the Bible in the Old Testament in reference to items that are to be set apart as holy for the purposes of worshipping God. It is also used to describe the setting apart of the priests, who are to be consecrated to the Lord. Although the word is not used extensively in the New Testament, it occurs in reference to the consecrated bread,1 and is applied to individuals and the purposes of God.2 However, for Christians, consecration is not optional, since we are all priests for God.3

Jesus and consecration

Jesus proclaimed the doctrine of consecration throughout His ministry. All that we own and all our relationships are to be consecrated to God so that they do not become idols in our lives. No thing or person is to be held above our relationship with Jesus Christ. The classic example is shown in Jesus' dialog with the young rich ruler (Luke 18:18-27).4 This ruler asked the question, "Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?" Although we cannot discern his attitude from his voice, we sense a potential insincerity in his question from Jesus' response to it. Jesus' first response was to challenge his sincerity in using the word "good" to describe Him. As the Son of God, Jesus was "good." However, if the ruler thought of Him as just another teacher, he would have never called Him "good," since God alone is good. Jesus then challenged Him with the ten commandments (actually, only five of them). The ruler had the audacity to say that he had kept them all from his youth. The ruler's response showed a problem with his attitude, since nobody has kept all the commandments "from his youth." Jesus knew from his attire and possessions that the ruler was wealthy and that this wealth was an idol that had become more important to him than God. So He told the man to sell all his possessions, give the money to the poor, and follow Him. At this point, the innocent "question game" had turned deadly serious, and the ruler realized that Jesus was correct in His prescription for his life. However, the wealth was more important to the man than following Jesus, so he sadly turned away.

The disciples, thinking that Jesus' prescription was meant for everyone, thought that nobody could be saved, since nearly everyone has possessions that they are unwilling to give up. However, Jesus was not proclaiming salvation through works or deeds, but reliance upon God. Jesus' response to their question of who can be saved was, "The things impossible with men are possible with God." Salvation is a work of God and requires only faith in His promises.

The Christian and what's important

Mark - ready for camp
Mark - Ready to go camping in the wilderness

The picture at the right is our youngest son, Mark, as he packed to go camping last summer. He packed everything he was going to need - Spiderman, his long truck and a backpack full of toys. Obviously, Mark was taking what he thought would be important, although he would have been completely unprepared for what was to come. To a large degree, we Christians can be like that. Nearly every Christian has idols in his life. For some, it is money or material possessions.5 For others, it is relationships with other people. To some, their parents,6 children,6 or spouse,7 can be an idol (more important than God). Others are so concerned about themselves that their own love of their life is an idol before God.7 Contrary to what many people present, Christianity is not just a casual acceptance of Jesus Christ as Savior. Jesus will accept you exactly as you are. However, He doesn't want you to stay that way.8 Jesus cannot be your Savior if you don't make Him Lord (master or boss) of your life. Jesus said that all His disciples must "take up their cross daily."9 In the current era, this statement has been interpreted as enduring anything the world has to offer in terms of ridicule, harassment, etc. However, the original meaning was not quite so innocent. At the time of Jesus, taking up a cross meant going to one's death by means of crucifixion. That this was what Jesus was trying to convey is indicated by His following statement, "For whoever wishes to save his life shall lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake, he is the one who will save it."9 Paul tells us that it is God's will that we give ourselves "first to the Lord,"10 that we offer our bodies as "instruments of righteousness,"11 which is our spiritual act of worship."12

Conclusion Top of page

Consecration is the act of setting oneself apart from the world to become dedicated as an instrument of righteousness for the purposes of God. True Christianity is a radical commitment to Jesus Christ, not just going to church on Sundays. If you desire to become a man or woman of God, consecrating yourself to Him will reap the rewards of entering into His wonderful light!

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light. (1 Peter 2:9)



References Top of page

  1. how he entered the house of God, and they ate the consecrated bread, which was not lawful for him to eat, nor for those with him, but for the priests alone? (Matthew 12:4)
    how he entered the house of God in the time of Abiathar the high priest, and ate the consecrated bread, which is not lawful for anyone to eat except the priests, and he gave it also to those who were with him?" (Mark 2:26)
    how he entered the house of God, and took and ate the consecrated bread which is not lawful for any to eat except the priests alone, and gave it to his companions?" (Luke 6:4)
    For there was a tabernacle prepared, the outer one, in which were the lampstand and the table and the sacred bread; this is called the holy place. (Hebrews 9:2)
  2. Then when he had come and witnessed the grace of God, he rejoiced and began to encourage them all with resolute heart to remain true to the Lord; (Acts 11:23)
    And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. (Romans 8:28)
    But you followed my teaching, conduct, purpose, faith, patience, love, perseverance, (2 Timothy 3:10)
  3. But I have written very boldly to you on some points, so as to remind you again, because of the grace that was given me from God, to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles, ministering as a priest the gospel of God, that my offering of the Gentiles might become acceptable, sanctified by the Holy Spirit. (Romans 15:15-16)
    you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. (1 Peter 2:5)
    But you are A CHOSEN RACE, A royal PRIESTHOOD, A HOLY NATION, A PEOPLE FOR God's OWN POSSESSION, that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; (1 Peter 2:9)
    and He has made us to be a kingdom, priests to His God and Father; to Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen. (Revelation 1:6)
    "And Thou hast made them to be a kingdom and priests to our God; and they will reign upon the earth." (Revelation 5:10)
    Blessed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a thousand years. (Revelation 20:6)
  4. And a certain ruler questioned Him, saying, "Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?"And Jesus said to him, "Why do you call Me good? No one is good except God alone. "You know the commandments, 'DO NOT COMMIT ADULTERY, DO NOT MURDER, DO NOT STEAL, DO NOT BEAR FALSE WITNESS, HONOR YOUR FATHER AND MOTHER.'" And he said, "All these things I have kept from my youth." And when Jesus heard this, He said to him, "One thing you still lack; sell all that you possess, and distribute it to the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me." But when he had heard these things, he became very sad; for he was extremely rich. And Jesus looked at him and said, "How hard it is for those who are wealthy to enter the kingdom of God! "For it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God." And they who heard it said, "Then who can be saved?" But He said, "The things impossible with men are possible with God." (Luke 18:18-27)
  5. "No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money. (Matthew 6:24)
    "But they all alike began to make excuses. The first one said to him, 'I have bought a piece of land and I need to go out and look at it; please consider me excused.' "And another one said, 'I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I am going to try them out; please consider me excused.' (Luke 14:18-19)
  6. "He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. (Matthew 10:37)
  7. "If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple. (Luke 14:26)
    "And another one said, 'I have married a wife, and for that reason I cannot come.' (Luke 14:20)
  8. But Jesus said to him, "No one, after putting his hand to the plow and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God." (Luke 9:57-62)
  9. Then Jesus said to His disciples, "If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life shall lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake shall find it. For what will a man be profited, if he gains the whole world, and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?" (Matthew 16:24-26)
    And He summoned the multitude with His disciples, and said to them, "If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life shall lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel's shall save it. For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul?" (Mark 8:34-36)
    And He was saying to them all, "If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life shall lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake, he is the one who will save it. For what is a man profited if he gains the whole world, and loses or forfeits himself?" (Luke 9:23-25)
  10. And they did not do as we expected, but they gave themselves first to the Lord and then to us in keeping with God's will. (2 Corinthians 8:5)
  11. Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness. (Romans 6:13)
  12. Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God--this is your spiritual act of worship. (Romans 12:1)

Reflections
We are what we think.

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Last Modified May 17, 2011

 

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