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Sunday, November 13, 2011

consecration as distinctly holy

The word that describes behavior that is distinct from the world around us for the sake of honoring God is “consecrated” (also "holy"). It means set apart, but we often think of that as separated AWAY from the world rather than distinct WITHIN it. But the special use for which God sets us apart is to be used.

From the beginning God set apart His people – by laws, by covenant and sign, by behavior. The purpose was not to shelter them away and keep them pure and aloof, but that they would be a witness to the surrounding world of the character and nature of God.  In Christ, we continue to be set apart IN the world for God's glory (cf. 1 Peter 2:5-12).

Said another way, we are to be a reflection of the holiness of God. But God, as perfectly holy, does not hide away from humanity. Rather, in holiness God has come among us in Jesus Christ, to live and be one of us, but to do so with complete distinctness as the perfectly obedient one, to redeem and draw humanity unto Himself.

Whether we talk about consecrating gifts of money for the mission and work of this church or talk about consecrating our lives in service to God, we are talking about openly belonging to God for His public glory. So, the mission and ministry of the Church is not for ourselves, but for the world around us, to point to God. Our mission and ministry as Christians is not to get blessed by God, but to give ourselves in service to God for the blessing of others.

As Christians, we are God’s own possession, set apart as distinct for God’s public glory.

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