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Sunday, December 09, 2012

Prayer and consecration, part 2, by E. M. Bounds

Consecration is not so much the setting one’s self apart from sinful things and wicked ends, but rather it is the separation from worldly, secular and even legitimate things, if they come in conflict with God’s plans, to holy uses. It is the devoting of all we have to God for His own specific use. It is a separation from things questionable, or even legitimate, when the choice is to be made between the things of this life and the claims of God.
The consecration which meets God’s demands and which He accepts is to be full, complete, with no mental reservation, with nothing withheld. It cannot be partial, any more than a whole burnt offering in Old Testament times could have been partial. The whole animal had to be offered in sacrifice. To reserve any part of the animal would have seriously vitiated the offering. So to make a half-hearted, partial consecration is to make no consecration at all, and is to fail utterly in securing the Divine acceptance. It involves our whole being, all we have and all that we are. Everything is definitely and voluntarily placed in God’s hands for His supreme use.
Consecration is not all there is in holiness. Many make serious mistakes at this point. Consecration makes us relatively holy. We are holy only in the sense that we are now closely related to God, in which we were not related heretofore Consecration is the human side of holiness. In this sense, it is self-sanctification, and only in this sense. Sanctification or holiness in its truest and highest sense is Divine, the act of the Holy Spirit working in the heart, making it clean and putting therein in a higher degree the fruits of the Spirit.
This distinction is clearly set forth and kept in view by Moses in “Leviticus,” wherein he shows the human and the Divine side of sanctification or holiness:
“Sanctify yourselves, therefore, and be ye holy, for I am the Lord your God. And ye shall keep my statutes and do them; I am the Lord which sanctify you.”
Here we are to sanctify ourselves, and then in the next word we are taught that it is the Lord which sanctifies us. God does not consecrate us to His service. We do not sanctify ourselves in this highest sense. Here is the two-fold meaning of sanctification, and a distinction which needs to be always kept in mind.

- From The Essentials of Prayer, by E. M. Bounds.

Although E. M. Bounds died in 1913, this book was first published in 1925, by an admirer of the author's life. Bounds was known for praying from four until seven each morning.

This post is one of a series, taken from The Essentials of Prayer, by Bounds. Found through the Christian Classics Ethereal Library, here. The Essentials of Prayer is in the public domain. The previous post in the entire series on the book is here. Thanks for reading. Read this book, and, more importantly, practice, prayer.

December 19, 2012: This post has become a target for spam comments, so I am disabling comments on it. If you want to comment, please comment on a different post. Thanks.