ARCHBISHOP AND PRESIDING PRELATE
His Beatitude Sir Godfrey Gregg DD
I take a different approach from today to reach the few people that delve into the emails daily. Let me take this opportunity to thank all who faithfully read and send me a comment. I am glad that the Lord is using this vessel to minister and witness to your hearts.
This morning I greet you my brothers and sisters with the “Peace of God which passeth all understanding”. I will make this message three parts so I will not bore you as you read. However, I will see you tomorrow to continue where we left off.
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.” –Romans 12:1
We have seen that the only acceptable ground of consecration is the ground of resurrection, and that God will reject any consecration of our old and natural man, however sincere and well-intended, to Him. To consecrate our natural man without passing through the death and resurrection of Christ is tantamount to Cain offering to God the produce of the ground, which was rejected by God. To be truly consecrated to Jesus Christ is the most difficult commitment for Christians to make, partly due to the fact that they are still unwilling to give up their self-life in full surrender to Christ and His will. Instead, many are consecrated to their profession, their families, to serving others, their culture, or even charity; yet they would turn a deaf ear to the subject of being fully consecrated to the Lord Jesus Christ. Certainly, to live a consecrated life for Christ does not preclude our attending to some of these good deeds, such as taking care of our family and the needy ones; however, the question is, does the Lord Jesus Christ have the preeminent position in your life? Is He at the very top of your priority or is He lower in priority than yourself, your family and friends?
My brothers and sisters, many Christians ignore the fact that to live a fully consecrated life for Christ is the normal Christian life; rather they consider it to be a life merely for the few faithful and the fanatics for Christ. Our Lord is dethroned more deliberately by Christians and even some Christian workers than by the world. They treat God as if He is a machine designed only to bless us, and Jesus as a miracle worker to bring abundance to our lives. Yes, the Lord Jesus did say that He came to bring us an abundant life (John 10:10); however, He is not referring to a materially abundant life (else all of the Lord’s disciples would be deliriously wealthy, but they were not), but an abundant entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ (2 Peter 1:11).
The goal of consecration is not that we will work for God, but that He will be free to do His work in and through us. God calls us to His service and places tremendous responsibilities on us. He expects no complaining on our part and offers no explanation on His part. God wants to use us as He used His own Son – for His glory.
Consecration is most assuredly not for selfish gain. If it sinks into that, it ceases to be consecration, because as we have seen: true consecration only issues out of our dying to our self and living in newness of life in Christ. Being consecrated, we will cease to live our lives for our own happiness and pleasure. Rather our true aim in life, if the love of Christ constrains us, will be “not I, but Christ” (Galatians 2:20). Not for “me” at all, but all “for Christ”; not to secure my safety, but to secure His glory; not for my comfort, but for His joy; not for the fulfillment of my dreams, but for the fulfillment of His grand purpose!
If we truly and fully surrender ourselves into His hands, He will search and probe fully and firmly, though tenderly. Painfully as it may be at times, but only that He may accomplish the very thing we want – to cleanse our vessel and fill us with the real treasure of Himself, so that we may walk in real newness of life and live life abundantly. Yet if we refuse to give ourselves unreservedly into His hands, it is useless to be talking about being consecrated to Him. The heart that is not entrusted to Him for cleansing and transforming will not be undertaken by Him to be made His abode. The life that fears to come to the light lest any deed should be reproved, can never know the blessedness of fellowship and the privileges of walking in the light with the Lord, even as He is in the Light (1 John 1:7).
As he walks in the light, a consecrated person will see with spiritual insight that God sovereignty controls his circumstances. Oftentimes, we take our circumstances for granted, saying God is in control, but not completely believing it. We act as if the things that happen were really controlled by people. To live a consecrated life in every circumstance means that we have only one loyalty, or object of our faith—the Lord Jesus Christ. God may cause our circumstances to suddenly fall apart, which may bring the realization of our unfaithfulness to Him for not recognizing that He had ordained the situation. We never saw what He was trying to accomplish, and that exact event will never be repeated in our life. This is where the test of our consecration comes. If we learn to worship God accept His will even during the difficult circumstances, we will enable Him to work out His good pleasure in and through us.
Consecration may be the act of a moment, but it is the work of a lifetime. It must be complete to be real, and yet, if real, it is always incomplete; a point of rest, and yet a perpetual progression. We give our lives over to God definitely and completely. But then begins the practical development of consecration. Here He leads on gradually, according as each of us, His children is able to endure. I do not suppose anyone sees all that it involves at the outset. Little by little the Master shows how much more our lives may be made to conform to His eternal purpose. It will seem as if there is always more and more to be done by the very fact that He is constantly showing us something more to be dealt with or surrendered in our lives in order to to prove that we are truly His and His alone.
As we wholly give Him our lives – no matter how poor, puny, and useless they may be – then He can make our wilderness like Eden, and our desert like the garden of the Lord. When we yield to the Lord for Him to work on us, the day will come when our Lord may find His good pleasure in us: “My beloved is gone down into His garden, to the beds of spices, to feed in the gardens, and to gather lilies” (Song of Solomon 6:2).
A coworker of mine said, “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.”
Your servant and brother,
+ Godfrey Gregg DD
Archbishop and Presiding Prelate
Administrator and Apostolic Head Vice Grand Commanding Officer of The Mystical Court