In his Daily Meditation blog post, writer Kayode Crown reflects on Leviticus 11:44 –
For I am the LORD your God. Consecrate yourselves therefore, and be holy, for I am holy. You shall not defile yourselves with any swarming thing that crawls on the ground.
Are you a consecrated Christian that continues to offer yourself up as a living sacrifice (Romans 12:1-2) before God? In today’s society, we must constantly remain vigilante and keep ourselves from the things of the world. In fact, in 1 John 2:15-17, this succinctly describes the difference between a consecrated Christian and one who moves and lives by the standards of the world:
15 Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. 16 For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. 17 The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.
Scripture is replete with the idea that as we follow Christ and are saved by the nature of God’s divine grace, we are to also present ourselves holy before God. Many say this is quite difficult to do since no one is able to keep every commandment of God that has been given. Yet, the issue is not a sense of being legalistic before God (as the Pharisees and Sadduccees were). It is the idea that once we are saved, we have received a new life that is devoted to God and through the power of God’s divine grace, we live to overcome this world and the lusts of our hearts.
Crown provides this insight:
Consecrating yourself is a mandate for every Christian. In view of the mercy of God, Paul said that we should offer our bodies a living service in holiness to God (Romans 12:1-2). Peter said that we should be holy as the lord our God is holy (1 Peter 1:15-16). As sons of God, we are called to look like God. By his Holy Spirit he has given us, we have the capacity for holiness, for perfection in it.
It is the very same mandate Christ gave to his disciples when he finished providing the 8 essential steps to spiritual maturation. This steps to spiritual maturation are what we know as the beatitudes of Christ (Matthew 5). At the end of chapter 5 of Matthew’s Gospel, we read Christ’s admonishment – Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.
Since we are mandated to present ourselves before God in holiness and truth, how then does grace work within the nature of sinful man? The answer is that Holiness brings about the accomplishment of God’s grace within us and as we grow, we mature in grace and truth because of the relationship we have with the Father. Crown makes this point clear when he writes:
The bible says that Jesus was tempted on all points but he was without sin. John said that he beheld the glory of Jesus as being full of grace and truth (John 1:14, 17). In association with him, we are supposed to increase in grace and truth (2 Peter 3:18). Those are the two signs of consecration.
Christ is our model of holiness because of the grace he manifested to those whom he encountered, the truth he spoke in simplicity, and the life he himself lived out. Crown expresses it in this manner:
If not, the bible would not have said we should follow the footsteps of Jesus (1 Peter 2:21). And the fact of incarnation would have less meaning. The reason for the incarnation was that Jesus would save us from our sins (Matthew 1:21); it is so that we would have a model.
All this comes down to the idea that not only is being consecrated Biblical, it is through the process of being true disciples of Christ that we are consecrated unto holiness and righteousness.