Summary: We are to give our lives to Christ totally. Our lives are to be fully consecrated to the service of Christ
Keys to Consecration
August 14, 2005
While assembling supplies for the African nation of Biafa, an American Red Cross volunteer came across a box with a strange note on it. The note read: “We have recently been converted and because of our conversion we want to try to help. We won’t be need to use these again. Can you use them for something?”
Inside the box were several Ku Klux Klan sheets that had been used as disguises. Those sheets were cut into strips for bandages. Those bandages were later used to bind the wounds of Africans who desperately needed assistance.
The power of Christ moved those men from being focused on hate to being focused on helping. When this took place a fundamental change happened, those men were used to help bring healing. The power of Christ can move anyone from a position of hate to a position of healing.
This is what Jesus desires for all of His people; a true heart change. He wants us move us from where we are right now into a deeper and more intimate relationship with Him. God moves from being converted to be being consecrated. God wants more for your life than to just be saved because he wants you to be filled with His Spirit and sanctified.
The words of the old hymn Take My Life come to mind here: Take my life and let it be consecrated Lord to thee.
What does it mean to be consecrated?
The word consecrate means to be set apart for the service of God. There were four main words that were used in the Hebrew to describe this:
1.) Haram - to devote
2.) Nazar - To separate
3.) Qadhesh - to set apart
4.) Mille yadh - to fill the hand: used to describe the ordination of priests
The term consecrate was applied to several aspects of the Jewish life
• Places: Holy of Holies - The inner most part of the temple
• People: Priests and prophets
• Things: Altar of Incense and the Ark of the Covenant
• Times: Various feasts and special days such as Yom Kippur or Passover
A consecrated life is one that seeks to bring honor to the name of Christ.
• Identified with Christ: Do people know you are a Christian?
• Imitation of Christ: Do you seek to become more and more like Jesus?
• Inauguration of the Holy Spirit: Does the Holy Spirit reside within your life? Does He have control of how you live? Sanctification is inaugurated in a moment but experienced over a lifetime. Too many people get focused on the moment and forget that it is meant to be a daily experience. When was the last time that the Holy Spirit moved you to change something in your life?
Consecration is evidenced in the constant striving for the completion of Christ’s work within a person’s life.
Paul gives us an excellent understanding of consecration as it applies to the life of a believer. Open your bibles with me to Romans 12:1-2
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. Romans 12:1-2
I. Consecration means sacrificial living (1)
Sacrifice your body
Paul is calling the Roman believers to not just surrender their physical bodies to God but the entirety of their mortal existence. In other words, Jesus wants everything from your life. He wants you dreams, your desires and your disappointments. Jesus wants all that you have, all that you are and all that you will become surrendered to Him.
This means that every possession is Christ’s not yours. This means that every moment is Christ’s not yours. Every effort of your life is Christ’s not yours. When you hold something back from Christ, you are literally saying that He is not worth giving up what you want. We are meant to live for Christ with every breath we take and love Him with every fiber of our being.
Sacrifice your service
Paul calls us to offer ourselves as living sacrifices. This seems like the ultimate paradox because the Jewish mind set would have automatically assumed that a sacrifice was dead. It would have seemed impossible to have a living sacrifice. The sacrifice was given by shedding its blood and letting it die on the altar.
When you give a living sacrifice to Christ it is an offering of a life that was once dead and has been given new life. When we were dead in our sins we were not truly living but through Christ we find true life. Remember Paul is talking to believers here because he called them brothers. As believers we must strive to live lives that are separated for God’s service. Lives that are set apart for His use.