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True Consecration

Though the word “sanctification” has been often described as some type of process or progression, Scripture always presents it in its completed sense at the time of rebirth (same for righteousness and justification). Its general meaning is the same for holy and “consecration” (OT term), of which all three are perpetual one-time occurrences included with salvation, e.g. redemption. The general thought of consecration in the OT was to be set apart for God by your doing. If consecration was instructed in the present dispensation it would only involve the work of the Spirit, for all things godly are by the Spirit—in the life of Christ.

1 John 4:17 (“as He is”) is in reference to the spiritual position of believers in the above attributes of the Lord Jesus; 1 John 3:2 (“we shall be like Him”) is in reference to the physical condition of believers at His “appearing” (2Tim 4:1; Rom 8:23), along with of course the final absence of that which impedes perfect fellowship with God—the sinful human nature! The Son’s present position before the Father is also our present position (soon our present condition). I say “present” because our eternal presence with Them is as certain as though we are in Their presence now.

True Consecration

The Lord Jesus is in glory, and I am united to Him in spirit in all His beauty and perfection. I am also left in this world to be for Him down here. The same One who has gone up there is the same One who is down here in His saints (via the Spirit of course and is how all those reborn are in one another—NC). Up there I am in all His perfection in the Holiest, sustained there in all the sweet savor of the One whom the Father has taken up.

This we surely all know, otherwise we do not have the sense of our acceptance with the Father. So it says, “As He is,” not as He was. “As He is, so are we.” It does not say that we shall be as He is, but that we are at this moment. It is perfectly true that I shall be like Him in the glory, but that is not what this passage says. It is, “As He is, so are we, in this world”—not in heaven. The thought is that we cannot be placed in any higher position; and any place except that one up there would neither be commensurate with the work He has wrought, nor satisfy the heart of the Father for me.

My apprehension of the Lord Jesus in glory at the right hand of the Father determines my expression of Him down here. See how it comes out in Paul. He says that he sees the Lord Jesus; that he has to do with Him where He is: “With open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image (via the “new nature” which is “after the image of Him that created him – Col 3:10—NC) from glory to glory”; and so he adds, “bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.”

In Romans 12 we read, “I beseech you therefor brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.” People read this, and fancy that they are giving God something; but this is not the fact at all. In Romans 7 you find that you have a new life, a new nature, but you have also with it a very unpleasant guest, which ultimately causes you to cry out, “O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me?”

I long to subdue the flesh, and who does this for me? Why, Christ. “I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord.” I say to Him: I was a sufferer from this noxious guest, but now I have got deliverance; and as it is You who have done it, I present my body to You, which is the least I can do. I give You nothing but an empty house, and You may make the most of it. “Present your bodies a living sacrifice, hoy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable (not legal) service; and be not conformed to this world, but be ye transformed.” It is not reformation, it is “transformation.” I find my deliverance in Christ, and now I would present my body to my Deliverer; but that body is only an empty vessel, one which He must fill Himself, and His filling is consecration.

Hence consecration is not that I have given Him anything, for I have nothing to give. People talk about consecrating themselves, their talents, their property, and so on, and I know is a certain sense what they mean; but the fact really is, that I put aside everything in me which would hinder the expression of Christ flowing out of me, that the life of Jesus may be made manifest in my body.

For this Paul prays in Ephesians 3, “that Christ may dwell in your hearts”: the true force of the word is domicile. That He may so dwell there that we “may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height” of our Father’s own favor—the full scope of blessing; “and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God.” Christ is that fullness, having Him thus dwell in the heart is real consecration.

- J B Stoney

Excerpt from MJS devotional for Feb. 13:

“The great secret of the Christian life is found in ceasing from self, in which the power of the Cross manifests itself in us.” – A M
None But The Hungry Heart