B) Dedication of People
The other thing we see in the Exodus passage is the consecration of people. People being set apart for God’s service. Here we see the priests being set apart, but elsewhere through the whole of the bible we see people set apart to be prophets, leaders, teachers, priests, kings, etc. We are told by Paul that we are temples. Just like the tabernacle, we need to be consecrated so that God can dwell in us. Paul writes in 1 Cor 6:19
“Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.
And again in 1 Cor 3:16 - Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you?
We are just like temples because if we are consecrated, God will be free to dwell in us - for we are holy.
Paul also writes in Rom 12:1
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. 2 Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Paul here is talking about being consecrated and there are a few things I want us to note from this passage...
1) Consecration is for believers
Romans was written to the saints of God in Rome. Here Paul urges them to be consecrated to God. In one sense, being a Christian means we become God’s and are set apart. But here Paul is speaking about consecration as being above and beyond conversion. Note however that apart from being believers there is no other limitations. Anyone can be consecrated. - the great or small, the talented and the not so talented.
2) Consecration is voluntary
Being consecrated, or being dedicated to God is a choice we must all make. Paul makes an impassioned plea here for the people of Rome to become living sacrifices. We, like the Roimans have a choice as to whether we allow ourselves to be dedicated to God. He will not force himself on us, but wants us to freely offer ourselves.
3) Consecration involves a bodily sacrifice
Consecration involves a sacrifice. Paul says to offer your bodies as living sacrificies. This conjures up the imagery of the Old Testament sacrifices where the animals were offered. The analogy is the same. An animal was given to the priest who took it to the temple and sacrificed it. The person making the offering transferred to God all his right, title and interest in it by laying his hands on its head. Paul sees that as Christians we are the temple, the priest and the sacrifice. Our sacrifice involves our whole body, mind and spirit - all that we are, being given to God for his use. This includes
our body (physical strength, our hands and feet, our ears so we can hear the cry of the distressed),
our time (let him guide our use of time and see everything, even interruptions, as coming from him),