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Thread: Consecration: Bondslaves Redeemed

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    Default Consecration: Bondslaves Redeemed

    On His Side and Consecration on Our Side

    We ought to know the purpose of God in creating us and in redeeming us. He wishes for us to manifest the life of His Son and share in His Son’s glory. Even before the foundation of the world, God has purposed one purpose, which is to say, that He wants to have many sons just as He has the only begotten Son. And thus it states in Romans 8.29: “whom he foreknew, he also foreordained to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.” Why has God done such things? Because He had foreordained us to be conformed to the image of His Son. This is the eternal purpose of God. He purchases and redeems us that He may possess us.

    Yet God uses two means to possess us: one is on His side, the other is on our side. On His side, God sent His Son to die for us, to buy us back. According to the right of purchase, we are His bondslaves. Thank the Lord, He has bought us. God once said to Abraham, “He that is born in the house, and he that is bought with money, must needs be circumcised” (Gen. 17.13). Hallelujah, we are not only born of God we are also bought by Him.

    We are bought by God and thus belong to Him, yet He sets us free. Although according to the right of redemption we belong to God, He nonetheless will not force us into service. He will let us go if we desire to serve mammon, the world, the belly, or other idols. For the moment God is inactive: He is waiting for us to move: till one day we say on our side: “O God, I am Your bondslave not only because You have bought me, but also because I will gladly serve You.” A verse in Romans 6 unveils a most precious principle concerning consecration. We become God’s bondslaves not only for the reason that He has bought us, but also for the reason “that to whom ye present yourselves as servants unto obedience, his servants ye arewhom ye obey” (v.16a).

    Here, then, are the two means by which God possesses us. On the one side, we are His bondslaves because He has bought us; on the other side, we willingly and gladly present ourselves to Him as His bondslaves. As regards law, we become God’s bondslaves on the day He purchased and redeemed us. As regards experience, we become His bondslaves on the day we offer up ourselves to Him. From the viewpoint of right and ownership, we are God’s bondslaves on the day we were redeemed. From the viewpoint of practice, we are truly His bondslaves on the day when we voluntarily and gladly give ourselves over to Him.

    Consequently, no one will ever be ignorant about his being a bondslave of God, for in order to be His bondslave, the believer will always need to voluntarily present himself. Such consecration is totally one’s own choice and initiative. Hence the offerer will know what he is doing. God will not coerce a person to serve Him. And that is why Paul, knowing the heart of God, does not force, he only “beseeches” (see Rom. 12.1a). God delights to see His people offer themselves willingly to Him. . . .

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    The Results of Consecration

    What are the results of consecration? One is given in Romans 6, and the other is given in Romans 12. Many do not realize the difference in results, but there is a great difference between these two. In Romans 6, consecration benefits us in that it causes us to bear fruit unto sanctification. In Romans 12, consecration profits God in that His will shall be done. The result of consecration in Romans 6 is that “being made free from sin and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto sanctification” (v.22). Day by day, you may live a victorious life. The result of consecration in Romans 12, however, is “that ye may prove what is the good and acceptable and perfect will
    of God” (v.2c).

    You should not conclude that with your letting go, believing, and praising, this is enough. There is a final act, which is to put yourself into God’s hands that He may manifest His holiness through your body. In the past, you had no strength to consecrate; now having crossed the threshold of victory, you are able to offer up yourself. Please recall that previously you had no way to place yourself in God’s hands; now, though, it is no longer a question of ability but a matter of your will. In the earlier days, you could not; presently, it is that you will not. . . .

    Chapter 6 has in view personal sanctification, whereas chapter 12 has in view the matter of the Lord’s work. Both chapter 6 and chapter 12 speak of the matter of sanctification or holiness. What is sanctification? It means a being set apart to be used exclusively by a particular person. Formerly, persons and affairs and things could touch me because I was for my own self; now, though, I am wholly for God.

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    The Bases of Consecration

    Let us search the New Testament first. There we find how the children of God are constrained by love to live unto the Lord who died and rose again for them (2 Cor. 5.14). The word “constrained” means to be tightly held or to be surrounded so that one cannot escape. When a person is moved by love, he will experience such a sensation. Love will bind him and thus he is helpless.

    Love, therefore, is the basis of consecration. No one can consecrate himself without sensing the love of the Lord. He has to see the Lord’s love before he can ever consecrate his life. It is futile to talk about consecration if the love of the Lord is not seen. Having seen the Lord’s love, consecration will be the inevitable consequence.

    However, consecration is also based on right or divine prerogative. This is the truth we find in 1 Corinthians 6.19-20. “Or know ye not that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit which is in you, which ye have from God? and ye are not your own; for you have been bought with a price: glorify God therefore in your body.” Today among Christians this matter of being bought with a price may not be clearly understood. But to the Corinthians at the time of the Roman Empire, it was perfectly clear. Why? Because at that time they had human markets. Just as one could go to the market to buy chicken or duck, so one could buy human beings in the human market. The only difference was that whereas food prices were more or less established, in the human market the price of each soul was established by bidding at auction. Whoever bid the highest price got the man, and whoever owned the slave had absolute power over him. Paul uses this metaphor to show us what our Lord has done for us and how He gave His life as the ransom to purchase us back to God. The Lord paid a great price—even His own life. And today, because of this work of redemption, we give up our rights and forfeit oursovereignty. We are no longer our own, for we belong to the Lord; therefore we must glorify God in our bodies. We are bought with a price, even the blood of the cross. Since we are bought, we become His by right, by divine prerogative.

    On the one hand, for the sake of love we choose to serve Him; and on the other hand, by right we are not our own. We must follow Him; we cannot do otherwise. According to the right of redemption, we are His; and according to the love which redemption generates in us, we must live for Him. One basis for consecration is legal right and the other basis is responsive love. Consecration is thus based on the love which surpasses human feeling as well as on right according to law. For these two reasons, we cannot but belong to the Lord.

    Young believers should thoroughly understand this. You are bought back by the Lord. You are like a slave whom the Lord purchased with the highest bid. Hence for you to be a free person is totally out of the question. Christ, the Son of God has bought you not with silver and gold, but with His precious blood. Herein is love; such love ought to constrain all the young ones not to live for themselves from this day forward.

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