Set Apart Means Being Set Free

I wrote a few weeks ago about lies – lies we tell ourselves and lies that our circumstances tell us. But there’s another category of lie that we often accept – lies that our culture tells us.

“You do you, I’ll do me. We’ll both be okay.”

In today’s culture, we are constantly being told to just be who we want to be, do what we want to do, feel what we want to feel, and avoid or criticize anyone who tells differently. Even within Christian circles, these ideas have taken root under the banner that “God loves me just the way I am.” As with most deceptions, there is an element of truth to this. God does love us, no matter what. God did design each of us uniquely. Our personalities, appearances, voices, hopes, feelings, talents – they all make us unique and special to God. Where we often misstep, though, is in believing that this unfailing love of God gives us license to do and be whatever we feel is best.

The truth is this – God loves us too much to leave us in a state of sin or darkness. He wants to transform us into something so much better than we can be left on our own. This is the process of holiness. Holiness means to be set apart, belong to God, and be committed to His best.

Sin is slavery. Let on our own, we will fall into slavery (John 8:34, Romans 6:16-18, 1 John 2:15-17, Titus 3:3).

God’s best for us is freedom in Christ. That’s why we call coming to Chris salvation. We are saved from something, and saved to something. We aren’t just saved from Hell. We are saved from sin and the slavery it brings. We are saved to holiness (Titus 3:4-7, Romans 6:22-24, Romans 8:2, Galatians 5:1). 

I think about it like this – I am trying to get healthier and in better shape physically. As much as I enjoy eating chocolate and doughnuts, I (unfortunately) can’t fill my diet with those types of foods and actually be healthy. As much as I would love to eat whatever I want and just sit on my couch every day, the result would be bad. Really bad. I make the choice to avoid certain things (and certain quantities of things) because I want to be healthy – to be free to enjoy an active life.

The same principle applies to God’s direction for how to live. He wants us to be free to enjoy what He’s given us. The process of holiness is the process of being set free. When we live set apart, we live set free to experience God’s best for us, and to be a light to others.

  • 1 Peter 1:15-16
  • 1 Thessalonians 4:7
  • Romans 6
  • 1 Thessalonians 5:14-17
  • Galatians 5:16-26

So, why do we need to follow a different standard, measuring our decisions by God’s word rather than our own feelings? Because the only way to experience the free of God’s best is to live set apart with Him.


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