consecrate, consecrated, and consecration are not too
often found in Christian discussion as their primary
usage in the Bible is in the writings of Moses relating
to the priesthood of the Jewish Tabernacle arrangement.
But, as Paul explains (Hebrews 10:1), the shadows of the
Jewish Law pointed forward to the realities of the
consecration is closely allied to the subjects of
baptism, justification, and sanctification. (Please see
entries under those three topics.) However, there are
subtle differences between these doctrines:
is God’s acceptance of our faith in order for us to
establish a relationship with Him.
is the process by which the Holy Spirit works with a
consecrated Christian to set him aside from the world
and its ways for Divine service.
has two meanings for a Christian. First, it is simply
an outward symbol or acknowledgement that one has
committed himself totally as a servant-disciple of
Christ. It is also, however, the experiences which come
from being immersed in the doing of God’s will. Jesus
used the word that way in Matthew 20:22 and Luke 12:50.
is the act of committing oneself formally and officially
to a life of uncompromising dedication to God. Baptism
in its two definitions symbolizes this act and the life
that follows it.
It is common
in the Christian world for some of these distinctions to
become blurred because in a society dominated (at least
nominally) by Christian belief, the standard of the
masses becomes the standard by which things are
measured. Jesus, however, made it plain in his Wheat
and Tares parable (Matthew 13:24-30; 36-43) that the
masses of professing Christians are “tares”—not
dedicated Christians at all, but merely people adhering
to the general standards of their dominant society.
Some among these masses have a true faith resulting in a
commitment to righteousness in their lives—but this is
not true consecration; it is not what baptism
symbolizes. Among those faithful few dedicated to
righteousness are fewer yet who consecrate themselves to
spiritual pursuits above and beyond and superior to
their earthly interests. These are they who are called
“saints” in the New Testament. These are those who are
genuinely and Scripturally disciples, “wheat.” It is to
these that the New Testament Scriptures are written.
From among these will come the 144,000 individuals who
will constitute the mystical “body of Christ.”
(Revelation 14:1) It is these who will reign with
Christ over the earth. (Revelation 5:10) Others in
this “saint” class will receive a lesser, but honorable,
reward, not having attained what the Apostle John calls
“a full reward.” (II John 8) These, according to
Revelation 7:15, will be honored to serve God in His
temple with Jesus dwelling among them.
A life of consecration poses difficulties. Jesus
promised that. But all lives have
difficulties—unfortunately, without rewards for them!
Those who entered the “narrow way” of consecrated,
self-sacrifice all will testify that their blessings
outweigh their difficulties; and their joys are too
numerous and wonderful for words.
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