The dictionary definition of the word ‘consecration’ is: to make or declare sacred; set apart or dedicate to the service of a deity: to consecrate a new church building.
Our text today is from 1 Peter 2:1-12. From this passage we will look at what it means for us to be consecrated and set apart for God’s purpose in our life. A couple of things, perhaps need to be clarified before we come to the body of our teaching. When we talk about sacred, we can mistakenly understand this word to mean ‘untouchable’ or somehow other worldly and not pertaining to our everyday experience. Often we delineate between sacred and secular, so that we incorrectly see these two ideas as being compartments in our lives. e.g: ‘church and prayer is sacred while business and everyday work is secular.’
This is inconsistent with biblical teaching and what the Scripture shows us. When Jesus called His disciples (Mt 4:19, Mk 1:17), He told them to follow Him and He would make them ‘fishers of men.’ Jesus did not at first say they would become the Apostles, which eventually they did. Instead He flipped their thinking so that everything they did became set apart for the purpose of the Kingdom, and in that action, even fishing, when used for The King, becomes sacred.
The important understanding that we must come to, as followers of Christ, is that ‘sacred’ just means set aside to be used for Him alone. When we see this, then everything we are
and do becomes set apart for the sacred purpose of God. In His Kingdom , there is no distinction between what is sacred and what is not. In God, everything is sacred.
This does not mean we can do whatever we want. We see the result of that in the garden of Eden with our first parents. God gave us the Law to show us that everything is sacred.If we read Exodus 20:2-17 we can see that He is sacred. Worship is sacred. Language is sacred. Rest is sacred. Parents are sacred. Life is sacred. Marriage is sacred. Property is sacred. Truth is sacred. Thankfulness is sacred.
Because the ten commandments are beyond our ability to keep, God Himself, The Son, came to fulfill every requirement of the law. He lived the life we could never live (perfect), died the death we deserved (wrath) and rose again on third day to give us the hope of eternal life with Him. This is the gospel. This is what we believe. This is how we live as followers of Christ, and in living as His disciples, He does not ask for a portion of our lives, He calls us to be totally infected with the sacred virus. Every cell, fiber and molecule of our being has to be affected by the totality of the work at the cross. If not, then we live in compartments of what we deem the sacred and the secular. This is not the life of a disciple, it is the ‘box ticking’ existence of being religious. This is our journey at Cross Central. We have not arrived, but this is where we are moving toward and the path that we continue to track.
Hopefully you can appreciate how we see this word ‘sacred’ and the implication that this understanding has on each of us and how we serve God. Everything we do can be for God (Col 3:23, Gal 6:9, Ecc 9:10).
Looking now at today’s text, there are four truths that show us what consecration is about:
1. Consecration is about continual maturity. (1 Peter 2:1-3) – One of our values at Cross Central is ‘BECOME’. This highlights that we believe no one has ‘made it’ and that everyone of us is still under construction. Therefore we invite and seek the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. The Apostle Peter writes that we are to put away the unresourceful ways of sin and we are to pursue the spiritual sustenance of God’s Word (Heb 5:12-14), so that we would “…grow up into salvation-” Today we will anoint people as a symbolic demonstration of a spiritual desire to be dedicated for the sacred service of The King and His Kingdom. This is not a one off event, but a continual journey of growth and maturity.
2. Consecration is about who we belong to. (1 Peter 2:9a) – In the special forces candidates are chosen because of their ability to pass a rigorous series of mental, physical and emotional tests. They are selected for service because of who they are. God does not consecrate us because of what we can add to His Kingdom, we are consecrated because He has ransomed us with His own blood.
3. Consecration is about what we have been called to. (1 Peter 2:9b) – Not only are we a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation and a people for his own possession, but we have a calling and a purpose for why He has redeemed us. It is to proclaim the excellencies of him who called us out darkness into his marvelous light. No one can stand in the shadow of Mount Everest and think about how grand and lofty they are. How much more, when we gaze upon the majesty and grace of God, can we do anything but proclaim how great and awesome He is. This is our sacred purpose. To make Him first and us second. He is God and we are not. He is Creator, we are created. This is our purpose and mission – To bring glory to God…how do we do this?
4. Consecration is about living forgiven. (1 Peter 2:10-12) – By living lives transformed by the gospel of Jesus Christ. Once we were not a people, but now we are God’s people; once we had not received mercy, but now we have received His amazing grace and mercy. Consecration does not mean perfection. It means forgiven. And because we are unworthy recipients of God’s mercy, the outworking of consecration is that we no longer indulge in the passions of the flesh, but that we wage war on those things that would dilute our dedication. We conduct ourselves different, because we have been forgiven, and so we forgive others. We live a consecrated life – dedicated to The Sacred Purpose.