Consecration : what is It? The Spirit-Filled Life — John MacNeil The second step that must needs be taken by those of us who have been living without the Fullness, before it can be obtained, is Consecration, a word that is very common and popular; much more common and popular, it is feared, than the thing itself. In order to be filled with the Holy Ghost one must first be "cleansed," and then one must be "consecrated". Consecration follows cleansing, and not vice versa. Intelligent apprehension of what consecration is, and of what it involves, is necessary to an intelligent consecration of oneself.
1. Sanctification. Consecration is another word for sanctification. Many people have a confused idea as to what sanctification really is. It must be borne in mind that we are not considering the theological term sanctification, but the use of the New Testament word "sanctify," "sanctification." No one would confound "consecration" with "cleansing," and yet many confound "sanctification" with "cleansing." To "sanctify" is to purify, to cleanse, to make holy, they tell us. But the idea of purification, of cleansing, of separating from sin, is not in the N. T. word "sanctify" at all. "The very God of peace sanctify you wholly" (I Thess. v.23). That does not mean "purify" you, separate you from sin, as a glance at two other passages, in which the same word occurs, will show. "For their sakes I sanctify Myself" (John xvii.19). "Sanctify in your hearts Christ as Lord" (I Pet. iii.15, R. V.), where it cannot mean purify, separate from sin. In these passages its true meaning is very apparent -- to "set apart for a holy use," to "separate to God," to "consecrate." To "cleanse" is to separate from sin, but to "sanctify" is to separate to God, to set apart for God that which has already been separated from sin. We cannot set apart to a holy use (consecrate) that which is not cleansed. Hence we see why it is that "cleansing" must precede sanctification or consecration, "that He might sanctify it, having cleansed it" (Eph. v.26, R. V.). "Sanctification" is not identical with "cleansing," but it is its complement. "We have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all" (Heb. x.10). "Wherefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people through His own blood, suffered without the gate" (Heb. xiii.12). From these passages we gather that it is by the Blood of Jesus we are sanctified, set apart to God. This is another function of the precious Blood, in addition to the one we have already been considering, viz., cleansing from the guilt of sin.