Christ Nailed to the Cross -  Albrecht Dürer

Consecration of Our Sin

As discussed previously, consecration is an act of God where he makes holy or sacred that which has become profane. It's important to emphasize that even our sins, selfishness and wrongdoings can be cleansed through Christ. Jesus said, "Behold, I am making all things new!" (Revelation 21:5) But how does God transform our sins into what is holy?

The loving and humble apostle John explains clearly in his first letter to the churches how sins become transformed.

But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us.

My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.

1 John 1:7-10, 2:1-2

John explains that our sins are purified through confession and the blood of Jesus. When we utter our confession in obedience to God and expect through faith that our sins are purified, they are made holy through Jesus' sacrifice on the cross. This means that even when we sin today, we can place our sin as a sin-offering at the feet of Jesus on the cross. It is that one-time act of pure and perfect love that we can still access today. In fact, as I've noted before, this is why we have the Eucharist. It's not just a symbol of his death and resurrection. It has the redeeming purpose of transforming our sin into God's glory. This is why confession is inextricably linked with the Holy Supper. Through confession of sins, we offer our sins to Christ. And then in eating the supper, we enter into the death of Christ. Our sin literally and actually consumes Christ. Our confessed sin becomes part of the act that killed him 2,000 years ago.

But we can't end it there in his death. If our sin dies with him forever, then we die with our sin forever which is hopeless. Our sin must be transformed as well as being put to death. Through faith and the witness of the saints, we know that Jesus was resurrected into his glorified body. With that resurrection, our sinful acts arise with him and are made clean for his glory. We move from death to life with him.

Yet after we confess our sins and they are consecrated into God, one great peril awaits us: guilt. We must faithfully let go of our sins and feel guilty no longer. We are all teased with the desire to bask in our sin, throwing a pity party for the sole benefit of our personal self-glory. We must not be tempted to harbor guilt in the salty bay of our heart. We must have faith and know that our sin is transformed. Each day Satan will tempt us toward guilt of our forgiven sins. But we must not wear that sin ever again. We must not carry the guilt into life. Through faith, we must know the sin is made clean. Even if the scar, the trauma, remains as a deep wound in the world, look upon it with eyes of Christ. They are the nail holes in his hands. They are beautiful, for they are the glory of God. They are the love of God. We must see the disfigurement of our sin in the same way: they are the redeeming and suffering love of Christ. Jesus said to Thomas, "Peace be with you!...Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe." (John 20:26-27)

It's deeply comforting to know that our sins can be used for God's glory. But this is not to say that we should sin so God's glory should be displayed. The Church has fallen into this heresy time and time again. Early in Church history, the Gnostics would sin in order to supposedly increase the abundance of God's grace. The heresies of Antinomianism and hyper-Calvinism have fallen into this same error. Paul responds to this heresy in Romans 6, "What then? Shall we sin because we are not under the law but under grace? By no means!" We can't fall into the trap of justifying our sin, knowing that God will forgive. We only add to the agony of Christ on the cross. This is no way to treat a friend.

We must confess our sins and make reparations as possible. Though this act of reconciliation, we are doing the work of Christ on this earth. This is how our sin, those wounds caused by our selfish acts, are consecrated back to God.

"Come now, let us settle the matter," says the LORD. "Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool."

Isaiah 1:18

Tags: consecration