Set apart

“…But this beautiful treasure is contained in us—cracked pots made of earth and clay—so that the transcendent character of this power will be clearly seen as coming from God and not from us.” – Apostle Paul

I am set apart

To carry the Gospel – I have it!

“People in the first century hid their treasures of gold and jewels in clay pots. ‘Earthen vessels’ were in every house in the first century. They were cheap, fragile, and easily broken. The metaphor here is of a clay pot representing human frailty and weakness. A clay pot is something very ordinary, very expendable. The gospel team viewed themselves as very average. They were not a beautiful set of china. They were like clay pots that people quickly discard. Their value lay in what they had—the glorious gospel of Christ. What these vessels contained is what gave them importance. Generally, people today place costly items in valuable containers. Here, however, God put something of great value in the lowly human beings of Paul and his team.” – https://versebyversecommentary.com/

As a believer, you are a precious “earthen vessel,” simply meaning you are not yet perfect in this life.
Yet as a believer, you have a “beautiful treasure” – the way, the truth, the life – within you.
So as a believer, you carry this glory – even in your brokenness – for an amazing, divine purpose.
But as a believer, what you do with that God-given purpose is your decision, and an eternally impactful one!

“Earthen jars should not rob the treasure of its glory. God puts ministry in the hands of frail human beings so that He might demonstrate His power in them. No one can ascribe the power of the gospel to finite human beings. God’s ministers are unattractive in themselves but valuable in what they have. They are clay pots but majestic vaults of divine truth. The value is in their message, not in their position, education, or giftedness.” – https://versebyversecommentary.com/

“The God who spoke light into existence, saying, “Let light shine from the darkness,” is the very One who sets our hearts ablaze to shed light on the knowledge of God’s glory revealed in the face of Jesus, the Anointed One. But this beautiful treasure is contained in us—cracked pots made of earth and clay—so that the transcendent character of this power will be clearly seen as coming from God and not from us. We are cracked and chipped from our afflictions on all sides, but we are not crushed by them. We are bewildered at times, but we do not give in to despair. We are persecuted, but we have not been abandoned. We have been knocked down, but we are not destroyed. We always carry around in our bodies the reality of the brutal death and suffering of Jesus. As a result, His resurrection life rises and reveals its wondrous power in our bodies as well.” – Paul to the believers in ancient Corinth, 55-56 AD

To be holy – ἅγιος- I live it!

“Many people think we become holy by the eradication of something evil within. No, we become holy by being separated unto God.” – Watchman Nee

 “A holy God cannot have unholy worshippers. His service can be no mere ceremonial, but must be the bowing of the whole man before His majesty, the aspiration of the whole man after His loftiness, the transformation of the whole man into the reflection of His purity, the approach of the unholy to the Holy through a sacrifice which puts away sin.” – MacLaren Expositions of Holy Scripture

Once “Unholy” and broken vessels become the carriers of the holiness of God! Just as the Apostles of Christ, all disciples are set apart unto holiness, called to reflect a Holy God to a dying world. This is what it means to be holy as He is holy. In no way is this command burdensome or an obligation that we begrudgingly struggle to fulfill! It’s the continuous work of the Holy Spirit – the excellence of God and not of us – that makes the reflection of His holiness possible in us.

“God calls us to be holy — set apart and special… The original words meaning holy are qadosh in Hebrew and hagios in Greek. These words mean to be set apart, sacred, and sanctified… Being holy means to live our lives in a way that reflects God’s glory, rather than conforming to the ways of the world (Romans 12:1-2).” – https://www.focusonthefamily.com/live-it-post/the-holiness-of-god/

Whitney Hopler, a contributing writer with crosswalk.com, has written an excellent article on practical ways to grow in holiness. She connects holiness with the development of the fruit of the Spirit and reminds us that this is only possible with our response to the continuous drawing of the Holy Spirit. Here’s a short excerpt from Whitney’s writing:

“…We can also ask the Holy Spirit regularly to help us grow more holiness in our lives by renewing our minds. Ephesians 4:22-24 points out: ‘You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.’ The Holy Spirit will help us renew our minds (Romans 12:2) and cultivate attitudes of holiness in us that are called the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23).” – from https://www.crosswalk.com/faith/spiritual-life/what-does-it-mean-be-holy.html

“So roll up your sleeves, get your head in the game As obedient children, let yourselves be pulled into a way of life shaped by God’s life, a life energetic and blazing with holiness.” – 1 Peter 1:13-15 (MSG)

“…Then you are ready to put on your new self, modeled after the very likeness of God: truthful, righteous, and holy.” – Ephesians 4:24

To be Christ’s ambassador – I give it!

As you’re responsive to the leading of the Spirit of Christ, that beautiful treasure – the light of the Gospel, the message of Jesus and the glory of God reflected in Him – will shine brightly. It is to be “clearly seen” in you, by the world around you. What an incredibly sacred gift and responsibility! You are set apart to be Christ’s ambassador.

The glory of Christ and His Gospel shines the brightest on the outside of a follower that is transformed by the life of Christ on the inside.

“This is the wonderful message he has given us to tell others. We are Christ’s ambassadors.” – 2 Corinthians 5:19-20

 “And you, beloved, are the light of the world. A city built on a hilltop cannot be hidden. Similarly it would be silly to light a lamp and then hide it under a bowl. When someone lights a lamp, she puts it on a table or a desk or a chair, and the light illumines the entire house. You are like that illuminating light. Let your light shine everywhere you go, that you may illumine creation, so men and women everywhere may see your good actions, may see creation at its fullest, may see your devotion to Me, and may turn and praise your Father in heaven because of it.” – Matthew 5:14-16

“…don’t be embarrassed to testify about our Lord… God has already saved us and called us to this holy calling—not because of any good works we may have done, but because of His own intention and because eons and eons ago (before time itself existed), He gave us this grace in Jesus the Anointed, the Liberating King. And now, the time has come! That grace was revealed when our Savior, Jesus the Anointed, appeared; and through His resurrection He has wiped out death and brought to light life and immortality by way of this good news.” (2 Timothy 1:8-10)

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