CONSECRATION – Posturing Of Our Hearts Before The Lord
25 APRIL 2021 | TRADITIONAL SERVICE
Ps Clement Ong
Scripture Passage: Exodus 29 (NIV)
WATCH | SERMON (VIDEO)
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Just as poor posture leads to physical pain and reduced mobility, poor spiritual posture impairs our spiritual walk and growth. Our inner attitude of heart and mind can lead us to lukewarm faith and disbelief as we interact with the fallen world especially when we are not held accountable or journey intentionally with the faith community. God calls us to love Him with all our heart, mind and soul (Mt22:37-40) and to live a life set apart for Him, i.e. consecrated life. To consecrate is to be made holy or set apart for the Lord. Though consecration is not a pre-requisite to salvation, it is a required discipleship response following our salvation. It is not just for pastors and ministry workers (though the passage alludes to this) but for all of us as we are God’s chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God (1 Pet 2:9).
The passage can be divided into 3 parts:
- V1-9 – consecration and ordination of Aaron and sons
- V10-42 – sacrifice made and daily offering for tabernacle
- V43-46 – consecration that ensures God’s continual presence.
Context of the passage is Ex 20-31 when God began to set apart Israel from other nations. The Sinai Covenant (Ex 20-31) beginning with the 10 commandments sets out how to live a life of practical holiness in a covenant relationship with God. The commands reflect how we worship God and love Him with all of ourselves as God makes Himself known in us and through us.
Some observations on consecration:
1. Consecrating Ourselves – This involves preparation for holiness in our lives:
- V4-9 -washing, clothing and anointing
- V10 onwards – preparation of sacrifices
The priests are purified for the presence of the holy God so the glory of God can shine through them. As sinful fallen people, we cannot enter the Holy of Holies. There are preparations of holiness, but unlike the past OT rituals, being purified of our sins can be done via water in baptism as we declare outwardly of our faith in God, and also in spirit, as we seek repentance and choose to be set apart. Otherwise, we will be like the Pharisees whose faith and works are only ceremonial (Mt 23:27,28).
2. Posturing our Hearts – The sacrifices made represent atonement and total dedication to God. Our posture should be to offer ourselves as living sacrifices to God constantly so that each day ends with an aroma to God.
A consecrated life involves active surrendering of worldly interests for the Lord’s cause and glory. Discipleship involves commitment and cost. True consecration requires repentance and sacrifice.
3. Consecration positioned in Christ – Jesus fulfills what is written in the law and by the prophets. It costs God everything for Jesus to be sacrificed. He is our High Priest who can empathise with all we are going through (Hb 4:14-16). Ex 29 foreshadows the highest holiness and sacrifice realised in Jesus.
How has your spiritual posture been?
Christianity is not membership into a club – it is all about the Cross. We have no right to offer Jesus any less than the whole of our lives. May the words from the song Refiner’s Fire be our personal response - desire and choose to be holy, set apart for our Master, ready to do His will.
(Sermon Notes by Woo Choi Yin)
PONDER | REFLECTION QUESTIONS
1. "Be Holy, because I, the Lord your God, am Holy. (Leviticus 19:1-2) – Consecration is an act of setting ourselves apart for the Lord's will and kingdom work. We are set apart to commune with God, with His people and with the world whom God loves. Are we continuously setting ourselves apart in our daily life to commune with God and with our faith community? Reflect on what might be the struggles in our worldly commitments to turn to God wholly.
2. Consider the posture of our hearts when we enter into God's presence to worship and to devote of ourselves to Him. Are we on bended knees in repentance over our sins and struggles before the Holy of Holies? Is our hands lifted in surrenderance to God's will and purpose for us? Spend some time as you read this and daily to posture our hearts anew and in devotion before God.
3. God has provided the final sacrifice needed in Jesus Christ, so that in Him we, who have been made righteous before the Lord, can wholly place our trust in the Lord's enduring love to draw us back into acts of reconsecrating ourselves. As we take these steps to consecrate ourselves before the Lord and to follow Christ, let us recommit all aspects of our lives to Him.