Expositional commentary on Scripture using an inductive exegetical methodology intent upon confronting the lives of Christians with the dogmatic Truths of God's inspired Words opposing Calvinism and Arminianism, Biblical commentary, doctrine of grace enablement, understanding holiness and wisdom and selfishness, in-depth Bible studies, adult Bible Study books and Sunday School materials Dr. Lance T. Ketchum Line Upon Line: The Role of Consecration and Sanctification in Revival

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

The Role of Consecration and Sanctification in Revival

“1 Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings, 2 As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby: 3 If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious. 4 To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious, 5 Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. 6 Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded. 7 Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, 8 And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed. 9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: 10 Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy. 11 Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul; 12 Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation” (I Peter 2:1-12).

To be saved is to know that God is a gracious God (I Peter 2:3). Salvation is a free gift of grace that comes to the repentant believer completely undeserved. However, once a person is saved, God’s grace takes that believer to unimaginable and immeasurable heights in the positions of service the believer is given.

It is difficult for the twentieth century citizen (especially Americans) to understand the concept of a Sovereign King giving a lowly, undeserving sinner a prominent position of leadership. These types of positions usually go to prominent people who are the most qualified in their fields and who are the most deserving and trustworthy. In the text of I Peter 2:1-12, we see the grace of God magnified in giving all believers the exalted positions of Believer/Priests.

We read these words but often fail to comprehend either the overwhelming grace of God in giving us this exalted position or the enormous responsibilities of the position. Although every Believer/Priest ministers to the world, they minister on behalf of their High Priest Jesus Christ for their heavenly Father. Ministry is their work. Ministry is not just for a select few. Every believer is a Believer/Priest before God and God is working in every individual believer’s life to perfect him for “the work of the ministry” (Ephesians 4:12).

Essential to every believer’s spiritual maturity to prepare him for “the work of the ministry” is that believer’s daily spiritual revival. A Priest is a person who represents God to the world. Since God is invisible (He is a spiritual Being), a priest is supposed to seek to accurately reflect all that God is in his life and practice (this it what it means to glorify God). Each believer is to bear the image of Christ.

“Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren” (Romans 8:26-29).
As we can see from the context of I Peter 2:1-8, the Priesthood of the believer cannot be taken out of the context of the doctrine of election (v 6). Just as in Romans chapter eight, the “elect” refer to a corporate body of people made up of individual believers. An individual becomes one of the “elect” when he puts saving faith in the finished work of Christ and receives God’s gift of salvation by grace through faith, is “born again” and becomes a child of God. Every one of those individuals is predestined “to be conformed to the image of His Son,” Jesus Christ. This refers to the future resurrection (or translation) of believers and their final glorification.

“Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. 3 And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure” (I John 3:1-3).

“ And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly. Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption” (1 Corinthians 15:49-50).
When the believer is finally resurrected (or translated), he will be glorified. He will be given a new, glorified and sinless body just like the glorified body Jesus presently possesses. Once glorified, the image of God that mankind was originally created in will be fully restored. Today the Believer/Priest does not fully bear the “image” of Christ. At best, the believer can only present a distorted image of Christ. Yet the Believer/Priest is commanded to “put off” the practices of life that deface and defile the image of Christ and “put on” the practices of life that restore the image of Christ in our lives.

“8 But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. 9 Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; 10 And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him: 11 Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all. 12 Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; 13 Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. 14 And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. 15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. 17 And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him” (Colossians 3:8-17).
All that the Believer/Priest does in this life is done in the Name of our High Priest, “the Lord Jesus” (Colossians 3:17). The very nature of the word “saint” (all believers are “saints) signifies a person set apart from the world to serve God. A Saint is a sanctified person. The service all believers are set apart unto is the ministry of the Believer/Priest. God has historically had two general requirements of His priests before He could bless their ministry and accept their service. These two requirements are essential to the believer/Priest’s daily revival.

1. Sanctification

Sanctification is the state of being set apart. Although the believer is positionally set apart in salvation, which gives him his position as a Believer/Priest, the sanctification requirement to be blessed and used of God is referring to practical sanctification. In practical sanctification, the Believer/Priest separates himself from worldly things and practices and separates himself unto Godly things and practices. This is Paul’s plea to the Corinthian believers.
“1 We then, as workers together with him, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain. 2 (For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.) 3 Giving no offence in any thing, that the ministry be not blamed: 4 But in all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses, 5 In stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labours, in watchings, in fastings; 6 By pureness, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Ghost, by love unfeigned, 7 By the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armour of righteousness on the right hand and on the left, 8 By honour and dishonour, by evil report and good report: as deceivers, and yet true; 9 As unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and, behold, we live; as chastened, and not killed; 10 As sorrowful, yet alway rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things. 11 O ye Corinthians, our mouth is open unto you, our heart is enlarged. 12 Ye are not straitened in us, but ye are straitened in your own bowels. 13 Now for a recompence in the same, (I speak as unto my children,) be ye also enlarged. 14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? 15 And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? 16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, 18 And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty” (II Corinthians 6:1-18).
This is the same as the “put off” and “put on” principles we have all ready discussed. Practical sanctification is not just a matter of externals. Practical sanctification begins in the heart as the believer yields his will to the Holy Spirit Who then empowers the believer to “put off” and “put on.”
“My son, give me thine heart, and let thine eyes observe my ways” (Proverbs 23:26).

“16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? 17 But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. 18 Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness” (Romans 6:16-18).
2. Consecration

Sanctification deals with what we are and where we are spiritually. Consecration is how we get there. Consecration is a complete self dedication to doing and being all that God wants us to do and be. Consecration is to personally choose the mind and will of God as the final authority for life and practice with a full determination to see God’s will realized in our lives.
“1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God” (Romans 12:1-2).
No Christian will ever be the kind of sanctified Priest that God can use and bless until he is completed dedicated to separate from any form of worldliness and present himself “a living sacrifice” to the Lord. Consecration is the complete yieldedness of all that we are or can be to the Lord. It is the complete yielding of our lives and wills to God. Practical sanctification will be the result.
Any Christian who truly wants to see Holy Spirit revival in his life must be willing to consecrate his life to the Lord and be set apart from worldly practices and set apart unto God. If you truly want Holy Spirit revival in your life, it will require a fully surrendered life, halfway will not do. If you want revival, it is everything or nothing.
What if today was your last day on this side of eternity? What is God’s grace in your life worth to you as you look beyond death’s door into eternity? From that perspective, does anything besides living for Christ really matter?
"What shall I render unto the LORD for all his benefits toward me” (Psalm 116:12)?

“14 For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: 15 And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again” (II Corinthians 5:14-15).

No comments: