When most people think of the word “consecrated,” they probably think of a special place or object that has been dedicated to the service of God. That is indeed one of the meanings of consecration, but there are actually several other definitions that you may be more familiar with.
For example, when you consecrate something, you are making it sacred. The word “sacred” comes from the Latin sacer, which means both “holy” and “sacrificial.” It’s no surprise then that when Christians talk about being “holy,” they mean to say that they are set apart from their sinfulness and living in accordance with God’s will. When we say that something is “sacrificial,” we mean that it can be offered up to God as a gift—for His use or His pleasure alone.
So when we talk about being consecrated, we’re talking about our relationship with God—it’s not just about what He does for us (although He does plenty), but also about what we do for Him.
In the Bible, when people consecrated things or places for God, they were often doing so as part of their worship practices. There are many examples of this in the Old Testament: for instance, when Moses built an altar at Mount Sinai (Exodus 24:4), when Solomon built a temple for God (1 Kings 8:63), or when the Levites were instructed to dedicate themselves to God’s service (Numbers 8:5).
Today we can consecrate ourselves by committing our lives to Christ and serving him wholeheartedly.
definition of consecrated in the bible
CONSECRATE, v.t. L., to consecrate, sacred. See Sacred.
1. To make or declare to be sacred, by certain ceremonies or rites; to appropriate to sacred uses; to set apart, dedicate, or devote, to the service and worship of God; as, to consecrate a church.
Thou shalt consecrate Aaron and his sons. Exodus 29.
All the silver, and gold, and vessels of brass and iron, are consecrated to the Lord. Joshua 6.
2. To canonize; to exalt to the rank of a saint; to enroll among the gods, as a Roman emperor.
3. To set apart and bless the elements in the eucharist.
4. To render venerable; to make respected; as, rules or principles consecrated by time.
CONSECRATE, a. Sacred; consecrated; devoted; dedicated.
They were assembled in that consecrate place.
This word is now seldom used, unless in poetry.
CONSECRATED, pp. Made sacred by ceremonies or solemn rites; separated from a common to a sacred use; devoted or dedicated to the service and worship of God; made venerable.
CONSECRATING, ppr. Making sacred; appropriating to a sacred use; dedicating to the service of God; devoting; rendering venerable.
1. The act or ceremony of separating form a common to a sacred use, or of devoting and dedicating a person or thing to the service and worship of God, by certain rites or solemnities. Consecration does not make a person or thing really holy, but declares it to be sacred, that is, devoted to God or to divine service; as the consecration of the priests among the Israelites; the consecration of the vessels used in the temple; the consecration of a bishop.
2. Canonization; the act of translating into heaven, and enrolling or numbering among the saints or gods; the ceremony of the apotheosis of an emperor.
3. The benediction of the elements in the eucharist; the act of setting apart and blessing the elements in the communion.
CONSECRATOR, n. One who consecrates; one who performs the rites by which a person or thing is devoted or dedicated to sacred purposes.
In the Bible the word consecration means “the separation of oneself from things that are unclean, especially anything that would contaminate one’s relationship with a perfect God.” Consecration also carries the connotation of sanctification, holiness, or purity.
The importance of being consecrated or pure in our relationship with God is emphasized in an incident in the book of Joshua. After forty years in the wilderness, the children of Israel were about to cross over the Jordan River into the Promised Land. They were then given a command and a promise: “Joshua told the people, ‘Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the LORD will do amazing things among you’” (Joshua 3:5).
The people of God were commanded to bathe and change their clothes; the married couples were to devote themselves wholly to the Lord (1 Corinthians 7:1-6). The significance of this command was that in ancient times water was considered a luxury and wasn’t used often for personal hygiene. The bathing and changing clothes symbolized making a new beginning with the Lord. The picture here is that sin is defilement (Psalm 51:2, 7), and we have to be cleansed before we can truly follow God.
Upon consecrating themselves, the children of Israel were assured of God’s promises. The Lord promised that He would do amazing things among them (Joshua 3:5). Just as He opened the Red Sea to deliver them from their Egyptian bondage, He would open the Jordan River and take them into the Promised Land. In fact, this was just the beginning of the miracles God would perform for them in the conquest of the Promised Land. It’s no wonder the psalmist declares, “Your ways, O God, are holy. What god is so great as our God? You are the God who performs miracles; you display your power among the peoples” (Psalm 77:13-14).
Another good example of consecrating oneself is that of David upon confessing his sin of adultery. He bathed and changed clothes before he worshiped the Lord (2 Samuel 12:20). This same imagery is also used in the New Testament (Colossians 3:5-14; Ephesians 4:26-27).
The Bible tells believers to be a holy people, separate from the world: “Therefore come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you” (2 Corinthians 6:17). Being consecrated is a critical component in our relationship to God and to those in the world. Paul tells us, “Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will” (Romans 12:1-2).
In other words, as true believers in Christ, the act of consecration involves our lives being a living sacrifice to Him; we are totally separated from the defilement of the world. Each day, we are to live out our lives as a “holy” and “royal” priesthood to the glory of God, for we are now God’s people (1 Peter 2:9-10).