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.
We will begin with history through the Word of God of who was selected to be called:
Genesis 12:2-3 and Genesis 18:18-19
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 = to keep or save (something) for a particular purpose and to be a quality that makes (someone or something) better than or different from other people or things
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.
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.
The Good News
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. 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;
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.
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.
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.
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 the world truly hates True Christianity! BAM was that nicely put lol!
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.
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 had God told them?
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).
What Did Jesus Say?
“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 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.
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!
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.
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.
Things I have not yet heard nor seen.