JUDE — A CALL TO ARMS - 5
Set Apart for God
“…sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ…” — Jude 1:1
When I was growing up, I remember when we were getting dressed to go to church, my mom, would tell us to put on our ‘Sunday clothes.’ Or if you were going to a wedding or a funeral, you would ‘put your Sunday clothes on.’
Now, did we wear our Sunday clothes to school? No. Did we wear your Sunday clothes to play in the yard? No. To play games? No. Did we cut the lawn? No. Those clothes were separated from the rest of your clothes. They were set apart for certain occasions.
In the Scripture, when we are separated from sin (from things that are immoral or ungodly) and we are set apart to fulfilling God’s will and purposes, we would be described with this word.
The word “sanctified” means “to be set apart.” The Bible says we are “sanctified by God the Father.” The Lord Jesus Christ has purchased us with His own blood, and what He has purchased, He has sanctified. He sets His purchase apart for Himself. As a Christian, I belong to the Lord and have been set apart for His use.
Speaking of creation, the Lord says in Genesis 2:1-3, “Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.”
God’s rest was not a rest from weariness; it was rest of completion. He established the principle of the Sabbath. The Bible uses the word “sanctified.” He set a day apart to keep that day different from all other days. This use of the word helps to illustrate what God does with His children.
As Christians, in a world of billions of people, we have been bought by the blood of the Lord Jesus and have been set apart for something different than the rest of the world. We have been “sanctified” for God’s use, set apart for the Lord.
We are to yield ourselves to God. Yielding our members for anything else is sin because the Lord has redeemed us for Himself. His witness in the world is His people. His work in this world is to be done through His people. God makes Himself known in the world through His people. We are “sanctified”; we are set apart for the Lord.
Secondly, the word “sanctified” means “to declare or regard as holy.” There is an old illustration that is sometimes used in connection with the word sanctification about a man who worked in a bar. He trusted the Lord Jesus Christ as his Saviour. When he became a Christian, he wanted to get away from his sinful lifestyle. The desire to live a holy life gives evidence of salvation.
When the Lord comes into our lives, He gives power to deliver us from the things that are sinful. There are many things that bind people’s lives, and they think they can never get away from them. When Jesus Christ saves us. He sets us free. He gives us the power for victory over those things that bind us.
When this bartender because a Christian, he no longer wanted his job at the bar. He went to the owner of the bar and said, “I’d like to purchase one of the bar tables.” He refinished the table and used it in his home as a reminder of where God had brought him from and what the Lord had done for him.
This table was no longer used for liquor glasses and gambling. It was now used for an entirely different purpose. It served as a constant reminder of the work God had accomplished in his life.
When we become Christians, God sanctifies us. He sets us apart for His service, and He begins at that moment to regard us as holy. He sees us through the blood of Jesus Christ and regards us as holy.
If we ask God to forgive us and cleanse us, He will, but there are times when Satan will try to use false guilt to bring us again into bondage.
No matter how I regard myself, if I am a Christian, God regards me as holy. He does not see my sin. He sees that my sin is covered in the blood of Jesus Christ, and He regards me as holy.
Many people think that before they trusted Christ as Saviour, they think that God would put all the good they did on one side and all the bad on the other. If they ever get too far behind, they would try to do more good and catch up before they died. Many are scared to think that they might get killed while doing something bad and go to hell. What a terrible way to live!
We can never do enough to get to heaven. The only way we can get to heaven is by the grace of God, not by our own goodness. We have already proven that we are sinners. If we have committed only one sin, it is against an infinite God and there is an infinite payment. That infinite payment means that we would die and go to hell trying to pay for it forever and still never fully make the payment.
When we come to Christ for salvation, God changes our record. He counts our sin paid for and imputes the righteousness of Jesus Christ to our account. He sees us as He sees His own dear Son, and He regards us a holy.
“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” — Ephesians 2:8-10