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What Does It Mean To Be Set Apart For God


Originally written on: 2-11-2016
Updated on: 12-30-2022

Christians are called to be set apart from this world. However, we are not the first people to be called out from among this world. As we journey through, you will begin to understand what set apart means, who is set apart, and how being set apart affects you. Throughout this bible study, we will add history in blue to coincide with this bible study.
Table Of Contents

We will begin with history through the Word of God of who was selected to be called

Abraham humbling himself to God | Contributed by Sweet Publishing, freebibleimages.org

Genesis 12:2-3 KJV 2 And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: 3 And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.

Genesis 18:18-19 KJV 18 Seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him? 19 For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment; that the Lord may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him.

In Genesis, God called Abraham to be set apart from his family, friends, and where he lived. At that moment, he had a choice to make to either ignore the calling or accept the calling. What did Abraham do? He chose to obey the call of God. When he chose to obey God, that set him apart, not just physically from everyone, but mentally, emotionally and in his actions.

Why did God call Abraham?

Who knows, but the most important part of this is he was called. In scripture, it says that many are called, but few are chosen (Matthew 22:14). So, Abraham accepted the calling and did what God asked him to do. We will see what happens further down.

What Does It Mean To Be Set Apart?

To be set apart means God chose us specifically for His Glory. The church has been set apart to be holy as God is holy, and to tell the world that God through Jesus Christ called them out of darkness into His marvelous light. As a Christian, I am set apart to show the great and marvelous love God has for us and to live a life that is holy before God. This means living a life that is not conformed to the ways of this world.

To be set apart means = select something or someone for a specific purpose; by Websters-Dictionary

Why has God set apart Christians? He does have a very specific purpose for the church, which is made up of both Jew and Gentile.

1 Peter 2:9-10 KJV 9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light; 10 Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.

You Are Set Apart By God For a Special Purpose

The good news is, unlike worldly clicks and groups, the kingdom of heaven is extended to “whosoever will” believe in Jesus in their heart to save them from their sins. This means you and I (we are set apart by God for a special purpose). You through faith in Jesus Christ will also be given understanding and wisdom of God’s word. You do not have to be on the outside looking in (God’s Kingdom). Know that all believers in Jesus Christ were at one time on the outside, Ephesians 2.

Abraham chose to be set apart. So what does this mean? In scripture it says:

Deuteronomy 7:6-9 KJV 6 For thou art an holy people unto the Lord thy God: the Lord thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth. 7 The Lord did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people; for ye were the fewest of all people: 8 But because the Lord loved you, and because he would keep the oath which he had sworn unto your fathers, hath the Lord brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you out of the house of bondmen, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt. 9 Know therefore that the Lord thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations;

Abraham chosen by God | Contributed by Sweet Publishing, freebibleimages.org

Who Is Set Apart?

Just like Abraham, it is important for every Christian to know God called us to be set apart. He has set us apart from the ways, thoughts, and attitudes of the world. This means every Christian who is called by God to His Son to receive Salvation is to live their life in such a way others see and know they are not molded by the world, Romans 12:1-2. Once someone receives Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior, they are set apart from the world and unto God.

Read ---> 1 Peter 1:2, 15-16

The expectation God has of those chosen is they be holy. Why, because God is holy. How are Christians holy, by the Holy Spirit? The holy standard of behavior God commands of believers is offensive to the unholy nature of man, and living by these standards of God makes Christians a hated target in the world.

Read ---> John 15:16-21

Jesus tells His disciples, you didn’t choose Me, I chose you. What is the purpose of a disciple of Christ? It is to bear fruit and keep bearing fruit. The prayer of a disciple of Jesus Christ is prayer that represents the character of God. Praying scripture is the truest prayer, not my will Lord, but Your will guiding my life. The life of a Christian is lived according to a different set of values and morals which sets us apart from the world.

abrahams-family Genesis
Abraham’s descendants | Contributed by Sweet Publishing, freebibleimages.org

Abraham’s acceptance of God’s calling not only changed his life, but the life of his descendants and the world. Can you imagine if he did not accept this calling? Today God has put Israel on hold, so to speak, and for now, the focus is on His church, meaning, each believer in Jesus Christ is set apart by and for God.

Israel was first to be set apart but interwoven in His Word is the promise of salvation to the Gentiles. When Jesus, God in flesh, came from heaven the Jews had no idea that through Him they and the Gentiles would one day be one body.

Why did God choose Israel?

Deuteronomy 7:6-9 and 1 Chronicles 17:22 God chose them because He loves them and to keep the covenant He made with Abraham. What we know from this is God is faithful to His Word and He loves because He is love. Notice God did not choose them for their greatness or anything they could offer Him.

Recap – the who, is Christians (which make up the church), who are now the believing Jews and Gentiles.

How Is Being Set Apart Affect You?

Now is the time to see and believe that the world truly hates True Christianity!

The world is becoming increasingly a place of accepted immorality, and violence is hitting every area. The news headline confirms this and conveys evil is now good and good is now evil. The biblical God, Christ Jesus, and Holy Spirit are being blurred into the world. The world, worldly Christians, and false Christians are wanting Jesus to be a man only, because of this, the deity of Jesus Christ is mocked and at every turn the brunt of jokes. In today’s world of cultural Christianity and good ole boy Jesus, true Christians will need a solid foundation of understanding – I have been set apart.

What Does Being Set Apart Look Like?

Being set apart, you will be persecuted because the world has no affection or love for Jesus Christ. Christians who are set apart do not belong to this world, they belong to Jesus Christ. Just as Jesus was and is hated by the world, so is a Christian when their life exhibits His character. As Christians refuse to agree with the world (who denies Jesus is the living Son of God and God in the flesh) they become targets of the world who purposely look for those who are set apart to act out this hatred (by arresting, prosecuting, and killing them to silence them). When you are set apart, though it is the world acting out hostility, you have a real enemy who instigates the hatred of the world towards you.

2 timothy 4 turning away from god

Abraham’s descendants became the nation of Israel, and those in Christ are the seed of Abraham and share in the blessings of Abraham, all because he chose to be set apart.

This mystery of salvation for the Gentiles was revealed through Jesus Christ. Gentiles are now heirs with Jews (Ephesians 3:3-6). This had been hidden from all past generations (2 Peter 1:21). The Jews knew to look for their Messiah, but they believed it was to defeat the Romans, set them free, and set up God’s kingdom, not to bring equality between them and Gentiles.

What Did God Tell The Gentiles?

Isaiah 42:6 KJV I the Lord have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles;

There was no detailed description as to how this would happen, so the Jews filled in the details, and history keeps repeating itself even today. There are still things no one understands, and the same thing is done, man’s reasoning is added to scripture. The Jews believed their being given the law by Moses and Abraham being their father is what set them apart. But Jesus, Who is God, came and began to say it is time for change (this is now).

How Did Jesus Respond?

2 timothy 4 turning away from god

Jesus voiced – “I have come to seek and save the lost”. He read from Isaiah which says “The Spirit of the Lord [is] upon Me because He has anointed Me [the Anointed One, the Messiah] to preach the good news (the Gospel) to the poor; He has sent Me to announce release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to send forth as delivered those who are oppressed (who are downtrodden, bruised, crushed, and broken down )…”

Jesus told – Jesus told a parable about two men coming to pray. One came and gave himself a glowing review of how good he is and does everything right. The other would not even look up to heaven, but could only cry out to God about his sinfulness. Jesus said, this person was justified before God. Jesus Is saying God is looking at what motivates the outward actions, but they did not recognize Him or hear Him because He did not fit their mold. A Christian who seeks God with ALL their heart and mind will be shown the Truth according to God. For a disciple of Jesus Christ, this is the greatest knowledge and wisdom to be possessed.

Jesus spoke – He spoke differently to those set apart. To crowds He spoke in parables (Matthew 13:35 with Psalm 78:2) and His disciples ask Him why (Matthew 13:3, 10-11, 34-36). Jesus answered because the secrets of the kingdom of heaven are for the Disciples of Christ (those set apart). Those who have not received Christ as Lord and Savior and reject Jesus as God, they do not understand the heavenly application. They will have shallow or worldly understanding and apply God’s Word as rules and religious rituals, but there will be the absence of true understanding.

Who Hates Those Set Apart

When you accept the call of God, you have declared war on the kingdom of darkness. You will now struggle with Satan, who is your enemy, Ephesians 6:12.

I will be god – Satan says!

Isaiah 14:13-15 Satan was determined he would dethrone God and he would be god. Satan still has that goal today even though God defeated him. For the time being God has given him rule over the kingdoms of this world, however his time is short.

What Is Satan’s Goal?

Satan has one goal for everyone, even those who worship him, and that is to steal, kill, and destroy them. Jesus has one goal, to give eternal life to the lost, John 10:10. When the Son of God came from heaven to earth, Satan believed he could steal His character, kill His body, and destroy His power. Crucifying Jesus was his opportunity to achieve this, so Satan thought, 1 Corinthians 2:6-8. Satan is a real enemy who plays mind games. But Christians have the mind of Christ. We are to surrender all thoughts to His authority and He will bring them into obedience, 2 Corinthians 10:2-5. Satan wars against true believers because Christ is in them, and they live in Christ Jesus. This makes the Spirit filled believer an absolute threat to the kingdom of darkness.

Devil roams around like a roaring lion, 1 Peter 5:8 | by Martin Young biblecartoons.co.uk

John 14:30 KJV Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me.

Satan has no claim on Jesus. Jesus is life and Satan is death. Satan and Jesus have nothing in common. Jesus is without sin, and Satan loves sin. Satan has no power over Jesus Christ. This means Jesus Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection have destroyed the power of death and sin. Those who live in Christ Jesus know they have eternal life in heaven. Christians no longer have sin and death in common with Satan.

Why is it important to study and know God, His Son, His will and purpose?

The world is becoming darker, and your Light will shine bright and reveal the Rock upon which you stand. This Foundation will offend the world, and it will eventually deny you the right to live peacefully in your faith. The ruler of darkness will come to steal your joy in Christ Jesus. Kill your faith in Him and destroy you and your family. Jesus said “Be of good cheer, I have overcome the world for you, John 16:33.

What does my being set apart give me?

1 Corinthians 2:9 KJV But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.

2 Corinthians 12:4 KJV How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.


What does it mean to be set apart in the Bible?

As a Christian, I am set apart to show the great and marvelous love God has for us and to live a life that is holy before God. This means living a life that is not conformed to the ways of this world.

What does set apart mean in church?

To be set apart in the bible means God chose us specifically for His Glory. The church has been set apart to be holy as God is holy and to tell the world that God through Jesus Christ called them out of darkness into His marvelous light.

Does holy mean to be set apart?

Believers are commanded to set themselves against the ways of the worldly system. Our identity is in Christ not in or with worldly ways (Romans 12:1-2). The simplest way to put this, we love what God loves and we hate what God hates. Living habitually in the ways of God’s word will automatically set you apart from the world.

Read: 1 Peter 1:14-16, 1 John 2:15-16 and Psalm 1:1-2

holy 40 hagious -properly. different (“unlike”)… “the Holy Spirit” transforms believers to be holy (“set apart, different from the world”) by Discovery Bible

What the Bible says about being set apart?

Faith in the Son of God, Jesus the Christ, sets us apart from this world. Through faith in Christ, we receive eternal blessings. In Christ, we are blessed with every “spiritual blessing in the heavenly places.” Which is given through the Holy Spirit.

Being set apart, we have received; redemption through His (Jesus Christ) blood for the forgiveness of sin. We are marked as belonging to God when we received the Holy Spirit.

Believers are to live life according to the holiness of God. That is, we have a new way of thinking which causes our lives to be in complete opposition to the world.

read 1 Peter 1:14-16 and Philippians 4:8

Why is it important to be set apart for God?

There is an important foundational purpose to be set apart for God. It determines your eternal destiny. John 3:18

Those without faith in the Son of God are already under the judgment of God. What does that mean? It means the wages of sin is eternal misery.

Jesus will return! 1 Thessalonians 1:8-9 and Revelation 21:8

This makes being set apart for God and from the world, the most important choice you will make. John 3:36

More Bible Teachings to Read

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20 thoughts on “What Does It Mean To Be Set Apart For God”

  1. Thanks so much for this encouraging message. May we be set apart and strengthened in unity as we walk in these times awaiting his return. Amen.

  2. I have really been blessed by this explanation of being set apart.
    Thank you so much for taking the time to write it.
    God bless you and your ministry
    And we pray ” come LORD Jesus come.”

      • Thank you Lord for the day thank you for your many blessings thank you for bringing us to this place Lord father God and your surroundings we ask you God that you continue to strengthen us in your word and that will be a blessing to all who encounter it as we follow your father God we know that you go before us and behind us thank you for upholding us with your righteous right hand aside from you we are nothing we keep this day to you knowing that you are sovereign the king of kings and that we are daughters of the most high blessed be the name of the Lord in Jesus name amen

  3. Thanks so much for the understandable explanation who and why we are Set Apart”. It helps me to understand why we Christians are being treated so badly by the world these days.

  4. Thanks for explaining so well what being “set apart” means and why. Helps me so much to understand things and why they are happening to us Christians today.

  5. I love the Lord Jesus Christ and his word and his promises his prayers for guidance his love and his presence. I am headed by family members coworkers and other Christians and I have sometimes wonder why and I’ve noticed their desires of jealousy or hatred towards me.

    • Keep standing and may the Lord give your strength and courage. The family of Christ is not an easy road to endure but a very rewarding one. God Bless You!!!

      1 Peter 3:14 ESV But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled,

  6. Wow..I am not alone! As we are changed into His likeness, from glory to glory, are enemies really are every where; family and kinsmen. Let’s love our ‘enemies ‘ , do good, bless them and pray for them!

  7. Love your truth. I needed this. It seems like people in general hate me. I treat everyone nice. But I will drink this cup, I would not trade my jesus… God bless…

    • I understand. I have been hated by those who were strangers and family. I pray for the strength and courage of Christ Jesus to be a mighty power in you. I ask God our heavenly Father to show you His great love as we are hated for Christs name sake.


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