WITH the change in the meaning and use of words since the Scriptures were translated into English, some checking at times is required to arrive at the original thought of the writer. Checking would seem to be a better word than research, in that the research has largely been done by competent authorities, masters of Hebrew and Greek. Their findings are available to us in such works as Cruden’s, Young’s and Strong’s concordances, the Emphatic Diaglott and various Greek and Hebrew lexicons, Bible dictionaries and commentaries.

Today we often use words which are not used in Scripture; or, if used they may have a different meaning from that of present usage. Yet we may find these words very expressive.

Consecration is such a word. Its meaning as given by Cruden’s is; To devote anything to God’s worship and service; to hallow, or sanctify, whether person or things.

With the foregoing meaning, the word is used a number of times in the Old Testament. The word consecration does not occur in the New Testament. However, the word consecrated appears twice, and in both instances it is in relation to Jesus. It is used in Hebrews 7:28, where Jesus is stated to be “the Son who is consecrated for evermore.” In this case, a better translation would be “perfected.” It is again used in Hebrews 10:20 referring to “a new and living way, which he (Jesus) hath consecrated for us.” Only in these two instances does the word consecrated appear in the New Testament.

Does the Bible’s limited use of the word consecration mean that our use of it is incorrect? By no means; because the sense of the word is conveyed to us in the Bible by other words. How well the thought of Jesus’ consecration to his Heavenly Father is thus expressed: “My meat is to do the will of Him that sent me.” (John 4:34) “Not my will but thine be done.” (Luke 22:42) “Lo, I come … to do thy will, O God.” (Heb. 10:7) “I delight to do thy will, O my God.” (Psa. 40:8) [Prophetic of Jesus] “I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.”—John 5:30

Is it not possible that acceptance of Christ and consecration to God are taught in Scripture in words we have not fully recognized as given to this end? Certainly this vital step which we call consecration has been encouraged from the time Jesus invited anyone who would be his follower to “deny himself, and take up his cross and follow me.”—Matt. 16:24; Mark 8:34; Luke 9:23.

In the account (Acts 2:38-42) of three thousand being baptized and added to the church after the preaching of Peter on the day of Pentecost, certainly he must have preached the propriety, even the necessity, of consecration before suggesting water immersion, in the hope of receiving the Holy Spirit.

And this we believe he did. His words were, “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (vs. 38) “and with many other words did he testify and exhort.” (vs. 40).

Again, after Peter, accompanied by John, healed a man by the Temple gate who had been born lame, and a crowd gathered, Peter preached another sermon. Here again after explaining who Jesus was, and their sin in connection with his crucifixion, Peter urged that they “Repent … and be converted.” To be converted means to turn about, that is to change one’s life, from doing one’s own will to doing God’s will. “Conversion,” then, properly understood, could have given the hearers the same thought or meaning we have when using the word consecration.

Paraphrasing—“Accept the one in ignorance whom you crucified: reformation and consecration are in order; thus, through faith in Christ, your sins will be covered, not imputed to you. Then, if faithful to God as Christians, when in God’s plan the Church takes part in the first resurrection, ‘your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord.’” Following the glorification of the complete church in the first resurrection, God’s time will have come for the refreshing or blessing of all the families of the earth. Then, indeed, shall come “the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.”

We sometimes call this preaching of Peter wherein he tells of “the times of restitution of all things,” a “Restitution Sermon”—which it is. However, it was also a call to those who would “repent” and be “converted” to become real followers of Christ, consecrated believers. And God surely blessed Peter’s words to the understanding of his hearers’ minds and hearts in that so many were added to the church. As Peter said, “The promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.”—Acts 2:39

Here on the Day of Pentecost, through the preaching of Peter and the other Apostles, was fulfilled to the people of Israel, the words concerning Jesus, that to “as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God.”—John 1:12

What a balance we find in Peter’s message and preaching—the call of the church now, so that if faithful they may, in association with Christ in the future, bless “all the families of the earth” in God’s “Times of Restitution.”

As we consider God’s love in Christ, the Church’s call, and God’s plan for all mankind, what inspiration for turning about (conversion), for consecration, for faithfulness in the doing of God’s will!

Dawn Bible Students Association
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