Set Apart

Over the past several decades of pastoral ministry, I have seen a lot of changes in the spiritual climate within the church. One of the most noticeable changes has been in the area of sanctification for believers.

"Sanctification" = being set apart from sin to holiness, godliness, righteousness


Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
1 Thessalonians 5:23

But we are bound to give thanks to God always for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God from the beginning chose you for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth, to which He called you by our gospel, for the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.
2 Thessalonians 2:13-14

Therefore if anyone cleanses himself from the latter, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work.
2 Timothy 2:21

Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.
John 17:17

And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.
1 Corinthians 6:11

By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
Hebrews 10:10

God has spoken and His Word is clear. Followers of Jesus Christ are to live sanctified lives set apart from sin. And yet, the distinction between believers and unbelievers is getting harder to notice as believers tend to look like unbelievers. Not set apart from sin!!!

In 1 Thessalonians 4:3, the Apostle Paul urges the believers in Thessalonica to live sanctified lives. He goes on and tells them how:

1. By abstaining from sexual immorality (4:3-8)
2. By loving one another (4:9-12)

Last week, August 15, we looked at how to live sanctified lives by abstaining from sexual immorality. I encourage you to go to and see/hear that message if you missed it.

This week, August 22, we will look at living sanctified lives by loving one another. And specifically loving those "outside" of our faith. Paul says to love "more and more" / "increase" (4:10) and do this for the "outsiders" (4:12) who don't know God.

I believe lost people who do not know God need to see the church and its people set apart from sin. See us as different. See us as attractive because of the way we live and the way we love. This will only happen when we separate from sin and show the world how Christ has changed us.

When we are not sanctified, we are not set apart and we're just like everyone else. Just like the "Gentiles who do not know God" (4:5).

I hope to see you this  Sunday as we recognize the importance of living apart from sin by loving others.

And Lord willing, I'll be able to answer a question that's on my mind now (Wednesday morning at 10:30am). The question is:

How are "abstaining from sexual sins" (4:3-8) and "loving one another" (4:9-12) connected?

What do they have to do with one another?

God Bless and see you Sunday,
Pastor Paul

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