Paul, a servant of Christ, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God.
Consecration is being separated, sanctified, and set apart for the Lord. Consecration is being hallowed for God’s plans and purposes – set-apart for Him. What is the motivation of consecration? What is the point of being set-aside? What is the reason for this distinguishing mark? What does this isolation mean? What does it mean to be sanctified?– to be dedicated unto God? – to be consecrated?
The principle of consecration – is that God might use that one as a sign.. a sign of His immeasurable grace in the ages to come – to principalities and power – a sign of His grace right now – in this corner of the field where He has planted you. And every consecrated believer in one way or another point to the Lord Jesus Christ.
Paul was “set apart for the gospel of God”. He was consecrated unto God, and like many before him – Paul was a sign that points us to Christ. Like the other apostles before him, Paul was required to suffer greatly..as a sign. Paul explained his special form of consecration to the Corinthian believers, “for we are made a spectacle unto the world, and to angels, and to men.” 1 Corinthians 4:9
The world often scoffs at the sanctified man or woman – set apart to do God’s will. Just as the world scorned the dedication of Nehemiah as he built Jerusalem’s wall. But through the generations, Nehemiah has become a sign in so many ways. Moses became a duel sign to the nation of Israel – as a pattern and as a warning, He became a sign to Israel through his outstanding life... and his disobedience.
This humble man was first used of God to save Israel from Egypt’s oppression. This great man was chosen and separated by God to be His singular mouthpiece. This consecrated saint was once disobedient and judgment was passed on Moses. Moses was a consecrated prophet of God who became a significant sign to Israel – a sign that obedience would be rewarded and disobedience would be punished.
Consecration is not the easy route in life... and it can be a cruel and difficult path, but it is also a misunderstood principle, which causes many to shy away from it. Some misconstrue consecration as participation in an oft-repeated 'alter call'. The call to rededicate one's life is a frequent occurrence in mainstream Christianity.
Believers can be almost pressured into a round of committing their life to God, and so a constant round of repetitive alter calls to dedicate and rededicate result. Such activity is the total misunderstanding of a life that is consecrated to the Lord.
The argument is:-'He has done so much for you.. it’s the least you can do for Him'. How sad that this is the normal ‘expectation’ of the life set apart unto the Lord!! Yet this argument is used to get someone to once again.. 'get up out of your seat… Consecrate and re-consecrate: Surrender and re-surrender: Commit and re-commit'. This may be man’s way – but it is certainly not the scriptural concept of consecration. This is more akin to a works-style consecration than a deep-hearted sanctification.
Andrew Murray explains:- A superficial acquaintance with God’s plan leads to the view that while justification is God’s work, by faith in Christ… sanctification (growth) is our work… to be performed under the influence of the gratitude we feel for the deliverance we have experienced, and by the aid of the Holy Spirit. As a result, many sincere Christians set out on this path.. but it is wrong.
But the earnest believer soon finds how little gratitude can supply the power. When he thinks that more prayer will supply, he finds that, indispensable as prayer is, it is not enough. Often the believer will struggle hopelessly for years. What he thinks is that justification is God’s work – but sanctification is ‘mine’. Yet, after years of trying all he can do is give up and say – it can't be done in this life.
How true! A believer may have the WILL to live and to work for God’s praise and glory… but a believer does not have the POWER – which must be received moment by moment. God organised it like that for nothing that is from me can be accepted by Him – including my own form of consecration rather than a life truly set apart to God.
The believer struggles hopelessly for years, until he listens to the teaching of the Spirit, as He glorifies Christ again, and reveals Christ, our sanctification, to be appropriated by faith alone.
Let us, like Paul, be set apart for the gospel of God and live a life, consecrated to God’s plans and purposes – set apart for Him.
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