Consecration And Sanctification

Q. Please explain the difference between Consecration and Sanctification. It seems to me as they are closely related. I was saved when I was 12 but don’t think I understood consecration until much later.

A. This sounds like such a simple question, but it isn’t. I hope I don’t wind up confusing you.

There are two Hebrew words translated “consecration” in the Old Testament. One appears seven times and means installation, usually of a priest. The other one is only translated “consecration” twice, once where it refers to the high Priest’s crown, and the other in connection with a Nazarite vow of separation. It’s translated “crown” or “separation” 22 other times.

The only form of the English word “to consecrate” that can be found in the New Testament is “consecrated” where it appears twice. In Hebrews 7:28 it comes from a Greek word that means “to be perfect” and refers to the Lord. It’s a form of the same word that’s translated “It is finished” in John 19:30. In Hebrews 10:20 it comes from a different Greek word that means “to dedicate” and refers to the way into the Holy of Holies the Lord’s death created for us. Putting the two together, you could say The Lord’s death consecrated us by making us perfect in His sight and this opened the way into the holy of holies for us.

The Greek word for sanctification appears 10 times in the New Testament. Although it can mean consecration, it’s never translated that way. It’s used to mean “sanctification” 5 times and “holiness” 5 times. It’s root word means “holy”, so to be sanctified is to be made holy.

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