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Friday, July 20, 2012

Wholly Sanctified # 12

The sanctified body is a body that has cleansed its sense of bearing and put up curtains on its ears against all the sin that assaults our senses from without. It refuses to hear evil as much as to speak it, and puts gossip and slander to flight by looking boldly in its face, and demanding, "How dare you."

Beloved, are you one of those of whom it is  written: Who stops his ears against plots of murder and shuts his eyes against contemplating evil - this is the man who will dwell on the heights whose refuge will be the mountain fortress ... Your eyes will see the King in His beauty and view a land that stretches afar. (Isaiah 33:15-17)

The sanctified body is a body whose dress is free from worldliness and sin, and marked by that modesty and simplicity that neither attracts attention by its being excessive or defective. The truest dress is that which the ordinary observer is less likely to notice. It is so controlled by simplicity and propriety that most persons should fail to remember anything special in the appearance of the wearer and of which it could be truly said that the wearer was equally unconscious of his or her apparel. There is much in this that speaks for God or the world. Is your dress sanctified to the Lord? Is your person a simple, earnest, modest witness for Christ?

The sanctified body is a body that has been purified from intemperate work, immoderate and excessive service of any kind, and the needless neglect of the simple laws of nature and of health.  These efforts should not bind us where God's work or will requires us to go to the extreme of toil and self-sacrifice and self-denial; yet where such denials are needless, they are wrong. It is especially a physical sin for men and women to violate every principle of prudence in the pursuit of pleasure or selfish gain and receive the sad retribution in worn-out bodies and premature disease and death, in pursuit of the fancied prize.

A Dedicated body. In the 12th chapter of Romans the apostle Paul beseeches us to present our bodies a living sacrifice. In a later Epistle he speaks to the Corinthians as not their own but bought with a price, therefore expected to glorify God in their bodies which are His. It is impossible for the spirit and soul to be consecrated to God while the body is still held in our own hands, in some measure at least. This is as incongruous as a house presented to a friend while we retain the title deed to the lot on which it stands, or a precious jewel while we retain the key of its casket.

The dedication of the body implies the setting apart of our entire physical beings with every organ and member as the property of God, the object of His special care, and the instrument of His special will and service. While it may be done in one great comprehensive act, once for all, it adds great force and definiteness to it to make it explicit and to recognize every individual member as particularly yielded to His ownership and control. Millions have probably been helped to such a consecration by the eloquent yet simple hymn of Frances Ridley Havergal:
Take my life and let it be
Consecrated, Lord, to Thee;
Take my hands and let them move
At the impulse of Thy love.

We are so prone to generalize things that it is extremely wholesome for us to make our spiritual acts explicit. A consecrated body is one that recognizes itself as the property of God and recognizes Him as the Guardian and Keeper of all its interests and needs. He is responsible to  take care of us, and, like little children, we look to Him for all. It is a body that has learned to regard every sense and organ, not as a minister of our
own pleasure, but a channel for His life and a weapon for His work.

~A. B. Simpson~

(continued with # 13)

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