Set Apart to God

Sanctify

Pastor Jerry Gillis - January 10, 2021

Community Group Study Notes

  1. Have someone in your group provide a brief, 2-minute summary of Sunday’s teaching. 

  1. What was one thing that God was showing you through this message?   

  1. What does it mean for us to be in the process of sanctification? Why does God want us to be sanctified?   

  1. How can you personally live like Jesus is Lord of all? How can we, as a group, encourage you to do that? 

  1. What is one action step that you can take in light of Sunday’s message and our conversation today? 


Abide


Sermon Transcript

So with a new year on the calendar, we have a tendency to look forward and rightly so, we ask questions about what we can become or what we can accomplish. And it feels a little bit like when we turn the page for a calendar year that it's like having a blank page. It's a little bit like having a fresh start, almost like we walked to the dry erase board and we got to a race last year, and now we're able to say, what does this year look like? No matter how last year went to it feels like this fresh start for us. And I think that's true enough. So we look forward, right? And we set goals, or we dream dreams. We may have dreams around our fitness or our weight or our health or our jobs or our accomplishments, or maybe we're looking at attainments around education or anything else, right. We want to look forward. I understand that. And it makes perfect sense to me that when the calendar turns, we have a tendency to do all of those things. But before we start looking forward too far, I'm gonna propose that we take a few moments to look back. Now, I'm curious, this time in 2020, this time, last year, 2020 January, you had no idea what was awaiting you for the rest of the year, right? You set some goals, you dream some dreams. Quick question. How did those go? Just out of curiosity, how did those go? My guess is that if you're like pretty much everyone else on the planet that most of your goals and most of your dreams were unmet or they detonated, or they were wildly unsuccessful. Why? Well, we have the great excuse. It's simply 2020 happened, right? 2020 happened to everyone. And as a result, we realized the world felt like it stopped. And we forgot about our accomplishments and we forgot about our goals. And we forgot about all of those things. Because at that point we were just trying to stay afloat in this turbulent sea that we called the year 2020. So we didn't meet our goals and we didn't accomplish all we wanted to accomplish. Our dreams are still not fulfilled at this point, but 2020 did a number on them. Fair enough, there's lessons in all of that, by the way, lots of them more than I have time to even talk about. And that's not really what I'm talking about today, but we should learn some lessons in looking back about God's sovereignty, about our human frailty, about our false sense of security, about our false sense of control, about our runaway emotions. There's lots of lessons that we could talk about based on what we have walked through in 2020. But I don't, I know that you probably are saying, can we just be done already with 2020? 'Cause you're just ready, right? You wanna have this in the rear view mirror and all you want to see is the smoke billowing up from the dumpster fire that was 2020. And you want to just keep driving 100 miles an hour in this direction. And all you see is smaller and smaller. The smoke from 2020 behind you. I got it. But I would encourage you to at least look back for these moments that we're together for just a moment and ask one question, what was it all for? What was it all for? You see, we need to ask that question, because many of us have asked questions about 2020, and some we've said out loud and some we kept to ourselves because we knew if we said them out loud people will think we were crazy. Maybe that we didn't say out loud that came into our head because we knew we shouldn't say that in front of our kids, right? We've all had questions around 2020, but I wanna make sure that we're asking the question that we need to ask. What was it for? You see if we believe God is sovereign, and if we believe that he is working in all things and in all circumstances to accomplish his eternal purposes, then we need to ask the right questions. What was it all for? Maybe we'll answer that by just going, I don't know. And you're asking other questions. Was it to make us mad? Was it to make us feel a sense of insecurity? The 2020 happened because it was just God's punishment, mad at the entire world. Well, I'm gonna endeavor to answer at a high level, the question, what was it all for? And I'm gonna do so by appealing to what the apostle Peter said when he was writing his first letter to those that were scattered all over Asia Minor. We're going to be there in just a moment in First Peter. And I would encourage you to find your place there because that's where I'm going to be looking for answers to this question. But before we get there, I wanna push back even farther. I know that I'm already pushing back 2000 years. If I'm asking, what did Peter have to say about this? But I'd like to push back even farther, because one of the things that we know as believers is that we realize that God has been working in history from its outset. The eternal God has been working in history from its outset. And what we realize and what we believe is that God is writing and or manifesting this beautiful and grand story right before our eyes. Some of which we have witnessed and some more that is yet to come. And I think it's important for us to understand that because when we start to see that it helps us to get some context for what I'm going to be talking about. And it gives us some context for how we view what 2020 was all for, what was the purpose of it? And so if we were looking at this grand story, that God is unveiling to us, we would begin in chapter one by simply calling it. And I'm just using this term, creation. You can see it behind me. I'm gonna put it on each of these on this back screen. I think there it is, creation. What do I mean by that? I mean, the God who has always beens stepped out on to nothing and made everything, he said, let there be light. And there was light in the heavens and the earth were created in all of their vast array, the sun, the moon, the stars, the sea, the fish, the plants, the animals, and God ended up creating representatives of his, people that were made in his image, male and female. He created them in his image for the purpose of representing him. And for the purpose of relationship with him, it was a beautiful picture of God's design for those that he loved, those that he called very good in his creation, his image bearers, humanity, and in this creation, God had a purpose for how human beings were supposed to live and how human beings were supposed to represent him. God had purposes in all of those things, but what you and I both know is that those purposes went to some degree unfulfilled. That's what led us into this. After this beautiful opening chapter called creation, we walk into a chapter that we would call the fall. The fall is when our forebearers, Adam and Eve chose, instead of the relationship that God had designed with them, and the representation that they were supposed to have for him in the world. They chose a different route. They chose to walk on their own lines. They chose to believe a lie of an enemy of God, instead of the truth of a God who loved them. They chose to believe in independence from God, instead of in relationship and dependence upon God. And as a result, they faced consequences for that decision. And humanity has been facing those consequences ever since. None of us has to argue with the fact that we have all demonstrated the same thing that we have come short of the glory of God that we have missed the mark, which is what that means. It's as if we've pulled back the bow and shot the arrow, and we have missed the bullseye. God has intentions for humanity. He has desires for humanity. He has plans for humanity, but every single human being has missed the bullseye for what those are. And so the fall is a story that keeps on telling itself in every generation of humanity. The downside of that is that not only did our forebears feel the ramifications of that, but so do we. And we have born out the truth that we are all sinners and come short of the glory of God. And as a result, we recognize as well that we can't solve that problem ourselves. We can't save ourselves, but even right there, right after the moment of the fall, God initiated a new chapter in my mind. And it's what I call the covenant. What I mean by that is just after the fall, where God is still talking to Adam and Eve about the consequences of this fall. He actually says that there will be a child. There will be an offspring born to the mother of all living, born to Eve, coming from her, this offspring and what's going to happen is that that offspring's going to deal with the enemy. The enemy is going to pierce his heel, so to speak, but that all spring is going to crush the head of the enemy. This was the beginning of a promise that God had made for what he was going to do, to set humanity right. He was going to do to be able to rescue humanity. God forwarded that promise through a man named Abraham a number of years later, where he said, "Abraham, I know that you and your wife are old. And I know you don't have any kids, but I'm gonna give you children like the sand of the seashore, like the stars of the sky. And I'm going to do it because through you, through your seed, I am actually going to bless the world, through your seed, I am going to rescue the world." And that's exactly what he did from Abraham comes this nation called Israel. Israel was a nation that had laws. God gave them to Moses. And he said, I want you to be this kind of people. I want you to be a different kind of people. I want you to be a people that are set apart to me, that are set apart for my purposes. I want you to be a people that demonstrates my glory in all of the world. Not like all the pagan nations around you who have either no gods or a bazillion gods who aren't really gods at all. I am the one and only God. And I want you to serve me. And I want you to demonstrate this glory to all of the world. God made that promise. God reaffirmed that promise over that time period to King David, because he said, "Through you, I'm going to fulfill this and forward this promise because after you is coming one who is of your tribe, that is going to rule and he is going to rule as no one has ruled before, he's going to have an everlasting kingdom." This promise was made right there in the very beginning. And Adam and Eve heard it. It was made to Abraham. It was made to David. And we know that ultimately, even though Israel was up and down in their faithfulness to God and God kept raising up prophets to remind them and call them back and say, God is good to his promise. God is going to do what he said he was going to do. We know that eventually that's exactly what happened. We just celebrated Christmas. And what we celebrate at Christmas is that God came to be with us, Emmanuel, that this faithful Israelite was born. And he was the offspring of the woman. He was the seed of Abraham. He was the King after David's tribe. And he was born in a little backwater town called Bethlehem, about six miles from Jerusalem. And there, heaven and earth came to exist in one person, fully God and fully man at the same time. And Jesus born of a Virgin, lived a sinless life, proclaimed the nature of the kingdom of God, told us how we could be reconciled to God. And then he went to a cross to die for us. That's the chapter that comes after covenant. It's a chapter we would call redemption, that Jesus goes to a cross to solve the sin problem on our behalf that we could not solve, so that we could be reconciled to a Holy God. Jesus who knew no sin became sin for us so that we might become the righteousness of God in him. That Jesus died for our sins. That even though we had sinned, Jesus still died for us willingly for the joy set before him, he endured the cross. He did it of his own accord so that he might satisfy the justice of God and give us the creations of God, an opportunity to become children of God, reconciled to a Holy God. What a beautiful picture, isn't it? In fact, the beauty of this redemption that Jesus wrote, is talked to us in a number of different ways in the scripture using different terms. Some of them we hear and we say, boy, those sound really theological. The statements like regeneration, regeneration comes from redemption. In other words, when we put our faith in what Jesus has done in dying for our sin and rising from the dead, conquering it. And we know that there's only one way to be able to be reconciled to God because Jesus said, I'm the way, the truth and the life that upon that faith that we put in him, here's what happens. God regenerates us. All things that are old are gone and he makes all things new. Somehow there is a new birth inside of us that we've been made new. We've been regenerated. What a beautiful picture? Like justification. It's another one of those big theological terms that flows out of redemption. Justification means this, that we were law breakers. And that when we stand before the great judge, we don't have anybody. We don't have any way to be able to make an argument for ourselves. But we've got an advocate. One who went to a cross on our behalf and said, "Hey, they're mine, I pay." How does this look now? It means that we are now justified before a Holy God. It means that we can stand before God, because we are in Christ. And now God views us through Christ. Like he views his own Son. This is a remarkable thing, justification, and adoption. That's another thing that flows out of redemption. It means that we had a messed up past, and we've got a questionable future, but we have a Father who sought us out and he brought us to himself and he bore us a brand new family where we are not alone, but we are now a part of the great family of God. We've been adopted into his family. You see these things, regeneration and justification, and adoption. These are the works of God. These are things God has done. We didn't regenerate ourselves. We can't justify ourselves. And we didn't adopt ourselves into a family. God did all of these things through the redemption of Jesus Christ. It's a glorious story, but the story's not over because there's coming a time where this Jesus who died, who rose from the dead, never to die again. He ascended back to the Father, but he made a promise upon his departure that he is coming again. And when he does, he is bringing with him new creation. That means that all the broken things will be made better. It means that all the bad stuff is going to be undone. It means everything is going to become brand new. It's the last chapter. As we understand it, that we would call restoration, he's gonna restore all things, he's going to make. He's going to put back in order or set to rights, everything that had been messed up. This is a beautiful reminder, but for you and I, when we look at this as the last of the chapters of the great story, it is, at least as how we understand it on earth. The truth is that restoration is not really the last chapter. It's the first, it's a brand new beginning chapter. I love how C.S. Lewis actually placed this in what he did in his writings. You guys know I have a man crush on him anyway, but he said, when he was writing "The Chronicles of Narnia", a bunch of books, right? And he wrote all of them, some of you are familiar with "The lion", "The Witch", and "The Wardrobe", but some of you've read them all. When you get to the very last book it's called "The Last Battle", and this is kind of summing up everything, right? And the very last words of the very last book that he writes in this entire series, say this. "Now at last, they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story, no one else on earth has ever read, which goes on forever; in which every chapter is better than the one before. Restoration in our minds. We might look at it as the last chapter. It's actually the beginning chapter of a brand new book. This is the great story of God in summary. And why it's important for us to understand that? Is because God doesn't always work in ways that we get, God doesn't always choose in his sovereign purposes to do things that make perfect sense to us. If you looked at every avenue of how all of this unfolded, you would never have been able to prognosticate all of these things happening, but God has sovereign purposes for what he's doing and why he's doing it. And we can trust him in all of it. And when we look back on through a big lens at the beautiful creation, fall, covenant, redemption, restoration story, this grand narrative, what it makes us do is it brings forth faith and love in us because we know that God has demonstrated his faithfulness through history. And so we can be a people that walk by faith and we can be a people that walk by love of God and love of people because God has been faithful. It also makes us a people of great hope because just as he's been faithful to do what he said, he's going to be faithful to bring about what he's promised. And that's important for all of us, because it sets us in a place of understanding how we're supposed to live. See, but right now where we live right now, this moment, 2021, we actually live between two of these chapters, right? We would call it redemption on the one hand and restoration on the other, that right now, where we sit, we're living between these two chapters, we might even be able to say, we're living in the overlap of these two chapters. Why is that that's important for us? It's important because so much of what has come from redemption is a work of God that God has done, what we talked about, regeneration and justification and adoption, those kinds of things that God has worked these things in our lives. And they certainly have ongoing effects. What I'm also grateful for in redemption is that we are still living in a time where God is still saving people. God is still reaching his hand out through the person of Jesus Christ and by the influence of the Spirit of God and saying, if you will repent of your sin and put your faith in me, I will change everything for you in this life and the life to come. He's still in the saving business. He still adopting people into his family, thank God, that God has not gotten out of the salvation business. So those implications still continue on and they continue to move forward in time. But there is something that for the people of God that is going on, that we must cooperate with God on, this isn't a scenario where it's a once for all event that has ongoing applications. It is an event that happens certainly, but it's one that we must actually cooperate with God on. And it's a word that I want to establish of what we should be engaged in the time between these two chapters. It's the word, sanctification, or sanctified. Now as you write that word down, you might be thinking to yourself, that's a little bit of an intimidating word. Hey, don't let the weightiness of the term throw you, because we're gonna look at it. And we're gonna understand it better over the next few minutes that we're together. And I want to actually begin, as I told you with what Peter was saying, when he was addressing those that he was writing to. Listen to how he opens the letter in 1 Peter 1:1-2 "Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to God's elect, exiles scattered throughout the provinces of Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit, to be obedient to Jesus Christ and sprinkled with his blood: grace and peace be yours in abundance." So Peter begins this letter that he's writing to those that are spread out all over the place. Believers scattered all through Asia Minor. He begins by writing to them and reminding them that they are chosen and that they are sanctified that they are being sanctified. Now, I need you to understand that when Peter is writing to these folks, it's a difficult time for them. There's a lot of parallels to our timeframe. In fact, many of these people because of their faith in Jesus, they were experiencing job losses. Some of them were facing kind of a crisis of what was gonna go on inside of their family because of everything that had transpired in their faith. Some were experiencing crushed dreams that had never materialized because they followed after Jesus. And we're now facing persecution. Some were facing the physical, the physical implications of actual persecution in their lives. And then yet others were really confused because the shifting political tide under their faith with the Empire of Rome, was giving them a real alarm because it was shifting in ways that were now set up to oppose people that were following Jesus Christ, as opposed to affirming them. And so all of these things were causing them to ask a lot of questions. I imagine that they were probably asking Peter, a lot of questions, like, what's all this for? What's going on here? Why is all of this happening? Why all of this suffering? Why all of this persecution? And Peter through his writing actually begins to unpack some of the nature of the answers to those questions. But what Peter tells them when he opens this up, as he talks to them about being sanctified, that the sanctifying work of the Spirit. Now he used a term in the Greek hagiasmos, which comes from a root word hagiazo, which means this, to set apart, to make Holy, to consecrate. That's what the term actually means, sanctify. It means to set apart. And when it's used in biblical language, when you hear the phrase sanctify in biblical terms, it means to be set apart to God. This is the foundation for what the term actually means, to be set apart to God. Now, if you were wondering, hey, does the Old Testament talk about this idea as well? It does a lot. In fact, you find, when you read Peter, particularly First Peter, that he's referring to the Old Testament in virtually everything he's talking about, he either directly quotes it or he's referring to ideas from it. But when you read the Septuagint, the Septuagint is the Greek translation of the Hebrew Old Testament, okay. So, you know the Old Testament is a Hebrew scripture. It's written in Hebrew, but the Septuagint is a Greek translation of that. And it's interesting because when you read through the Septuagint, what you find is that you find this term hagiazo or hagiasmos in any of its kind of derivatives, is used 144 times in the Hebrew scriptures, 144. Do you know what it describes? It describes people being sanctified or set apart, a nation being set apart, Israel. It describes things like altars, temples, utensils that are used, all being set apart. It also describes seasons or days or times as being set apart. Do you know what's interesting about that to me as I was walking through all of that kind of looking at how this term is utilized all over the place? You know what's interesting about people and things and days? They're all common, ordinary. Do you know what that teaches us? Teaches us this truth. This one, yeah. The common is made Holy by God's activity. The common is made Holy by God's activity. You see that's a part of what sanctification actually means. Here's what it means. Ordinary people just like us, can be set apart by God, to God and made Holy. How awesome is that? Ordinary people like me and you, can be set apart to God and made Holy. Do you know what else? So can ordinary days, ordinary occurrences, ordinary things. This is a great reminder to us about the idea of sanctification. And that's why Peter is trying to encourage these folks that are suffering because of their faith. They are suffering. They're facing hardship. They're in tough circumstances. They're wondering about their future. And do you know what Peter is saying them? I want to remind you of something. You're being sanctified. In other words, in these tough circumstances, in these difficult trials that you're finding way in, God's gonna get involved, and he's gonna shape you more into the image of Jesus, and use you for his purposes. That's what he's encouraging them with. That's what I want to encourage you with, because you and I both know, I said it last week. You and I both know that 2021 is really just 2020 with a fake ID, at least early on, right. We're all kinda feeling the same way, but I'm trying to remind you that God, God is involved in what's happening here. In fact, the way that Peter describes this whole idea as he opens his letter is a very Trinitarian formula that he uses. Listen again, to verse number two, who've been chosen according to the foreknowledge of who? God the Father, through the sanctifying work of who? The Spirit, to be obedient to who? Jesus Christ, right? This is what we see immediately. Peter's using this Trinitarian formula, listened to me, the way the New Testament talks about sanctification. It's an act of God that God is doing no doubt about it. Sometimes it talks about God the Father being involved in sanctification. Sometimes it talks about Jesus and his role in sanctification. And at other times it talks about like in our text here, the Spirit being involved in sanctification. In fact, here's what Paul says in First Thessalonians chapter five, he says, "May God himself, the God of peace sanctify you through and through." Generally speaking, when the New Testament uses the term, God it's referencing the Father, right? And if you looked in Hebrews, you would find the writer of Hebrews in chapter two saying this, "Both the one who makes people Holy, and those who are made Holy are of the same family." That's still the same idea and word behind set apart or sanctified to make Holy. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters. You see sometimes you see, God the Father active in sanctification. You see Jesus active in sanctification. You see the Holy Spirit as the sanctifying agent. So, why is that important for us? Well, what it does is it helps to give us a sense of how we define what sanctification is. But it also is a reminder that while God is the initiator of sanctification, listen to this, we cooperate with him in it. We don't just sit back, do nothing. And God says, I sanctify thee, now go on with your life. Well, he does, he initiates that in our redemption. We are set apart as people when we put our faith in Jesus Christ, there is a setting apart of who we are, but God's determination is that he wants an ongoing process of sanctification until ultimately with restoration, sanctification comes to a close, we've been made like Jesus upon his return. This is what he desires to do. So let me give you a definition of sanctification. It's my definition, but I'm really putting it together from the scripture itself. Here's the definition of sanctification. Our cooperation with the Spirit to shape us into the image of Jesus so that we're set apart to God for his purposes. I know that you're going, oh, that doesn't seem like a simple definition 'cause I'm still writing right now. And could you make that like two words? I couldn't, I tried, but I couldn't. It's a simple definition. Our cooperation with the Holy Spirit, to shape us into the image of Jesus so that we're set apart to God for his purposes. That's what sanctification means. And that's why we need to pay attention to it. Listen, so what Peter is doing here is he is opening his letter, reminding his people that he's writing to the people he's shepherding, he's writing to these believers. Here's what he's trying to remind them of. Listen to this. All of life is for the purpose of being set apart to God for his purposes through you. All of life, everything that's going on, no matter the hardship, no matter the circumstances, no matter the political chaos, all of life is for the purpose of being set apart for God and to God for his purposes. So let me bring that closer to home. If it's the case, that all of life is for the purpose of cooperating with the Spirit of God, for the believer, right? That all of life is for the purpose, for the believer of cooperating with the Spirit, to be shaped into the image of Jesus so that we are set apart to God for his purposes. If all of life is for that, then what was 2020 for? To be sanctified. That's what it was for. Pop quiz. What's 2021 for? To be sanctified. Bonus question. What's 2022 and every year thereafter, as long as you're breathing for? To be sanctified. This is the purpose of God for you, to cooperate with the Spirit of God, so that you are shaped into the image of Jesus, so that you are set apart, for God, to God, for his purposes in the world. This is the point. So, what would it look like for us to surrender, to sanctification? What would that look like? Because it does require our cooperation. What would it look like to surrender to sanctification? I'm gonna answer that question and this one's gonna be a really short one to write down. So I've made it a lot easier on you, to answer this question, but I'm actually just borrowing from Peter. So I'm gonna go ahead and tell you that, I'm ripping him off. What does surrender to sanctification look like? It looks like this, live like Jesus is Lord of all. That's what it looks like. Saint Jerry, okay. How did you come up with that answer? Because later in First Peter, he comes back to the idea of sanctification. And I want you to hear what he says in First Peter chapter three, listen to this, "But sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, but with gentleness and respect." Sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts. Here's an easy way for me to say this to you, set apart people, set apart Christ in their hearts as Lord. Set apart people, set apart Christ as Lord in their hearts. That's what we do. That's what we do. We live like Jesus is Lord of all. All right. If that's the case, Jerry, then, how do we live like Jesus is Lord of all? Well, I don't have enough time to unpack all of that, but I'm gonna give you two quick ideas that I think you probably should understand. And the first one's very simple. It's this, you've got to look at the common as sacred. This is how we start to live like Jesus is Lord, because when we're living like Jesus is Lord of all, what we're demonstrating in that, is we're demonstrating what it means to cooperate with the Spirit, to be shaped into the image of Jesus and to be set apart to God for his purposes in the world. So, we've got to look at the common as sacred. What do I mean by that? Well, for too long, what we have a tendency to do as people, as we have a tendency to divide the world up into two places, sacred and secular, that is a false dichotomy. Don't do it. It's all his, all of it. Every person walking around on the planet has written in invisible ink on their bodies made by God, everybody. You may not be able to see it, but with spiritual eyes, you get that little thing out of the crackerjacks box where you can actually look and go, oh yeah, they're man made by God, right? You got to remember that. That means that although everybody is not a child of God, everybody is a creation of God, and is worthy of dignity and respect and value as a result of that. We become children of God by faith in Jesus Christ, through regeneration, through justification, through adoption, into the family of God. But we've all been created by God, why? Because he's God of all, it's all his, he's Lord of everything. And we actually begin to listen to this. We actually begin to start to chip away at the idea of Jesus being Lord of all when we create these false categories of sacred and secular. Now I'm not talking about sin here. We'll talk about that in this series believe me, next week. We're gonna talk about that. But I'm talking about just creating these ideas of sacred and secular, and we've done it in the Christian sense in a very weird way. And these are my Christian socks, right? Because maybe they have a scripture verse on them or maybe they've got a cross on them or something. I'm wearing my Christian socks. As opposed to when I go to work, I wear my secular socks. Is that the dumbest thing? Right, you're laughing rightly so, because it's ridiculous to say that, they're just socks. They may be socks with a Christian message on them. They may be socks with a football team message on them, but they're socks. There's no such thing as Christian socks. It's feeding into this weird idea of, sacred and secular. I'm going up to the Christian pharmacist, get some Christian pills. I mean, is there like Christian Zyrtec? That I can take, so even though it may not, it will stop most of my sneezing because it's Christian. But even if I do sneeze, if I take Christians Zyrtec, it will assure me that there will be people around to say, God bless you. It's ridiculous, right? Now you just go to a pharmacist, who happens to be a Christian, thank God. Hey, Edie and I used to laugh all the time when we were in Florida, we would sometimes finish church and, well, we always finished church, but we would come out, like we would come halfway. I'm just like preaching. And then I leave. We would get into the car and we turn on the radio and we'd be listening to man. It'd just be like smooth, like smooth jazz, boom, boom, boom. And we'd be like, oh, this is cool. And then the guy comes on. He's like, "Thanks for listening to Christian jazz." And we were going, there were no lyrics. But apparently we were listening to Christian jazz. I don't even know what that means. It was so weird. I guess they're just saying that the guys who were playing jazz are Christians. You can see how this weirdness actually begins to push itself into creating this false dichotomy of secular and sacred. I like what Dr. Gregory Thornbury, who was the former President of King's College in New York city said, he said that Christian as a word is the greatest of all nouns, but it is the lamest of all adjectives. What he was trying to say was this, the Christian should describe a people. It should describe who we are. We are little Christ. We are followers of Jesus. It's not describing necessarily a vocation or music or those kinds of things. I understand that why people use that. I'm not trying to pour too much onto that. But what I'm trying to say is back away a little bit and realize if we're feeding into this divide of secular and sacred, we're missing it. Because what we know about sanctification, is that common people and common things can be made Holy by a God who sets them apart. That's what we know. So, stop thinking about money just as something secular. If it is in your hand, as someone who is set apart, make it bow down to the Lordship of Jesus, because that's what you can do. Jerry, man, I love how you work in ministry. You're a pastor. I love people missionaries. And I love people who teach in seminary, man, and that's just a great job. I work a secular job. So I don't really know about it. Why, why, what, what, what, what? Stop it! Stop it! Your job is sacred because it's God's, it's you. And it's you cooperating with God that can transform what you're doing into something sacred. Doesn't matter if it's preaching or being a missionary or selling cars, staying at home, whatever it looks like it can be sacred, because what God does is he takes common people and common things and he can make them Holy. When we cooperate with him in the process of sanctification. Stop looking at it that way. Stop looking at business as, Jerry. It's just business, man. It's just business. You've segmented like there is some realm of life that is outside the Lordship of Jesus Christ, man. It's just business. I wouldn't do that stuff in church, Jerry, listen, this is just business. Stop it. It's all God's. He's Lord of everything. So we've got to be able to treat the common as sacred. This will affect our politics too, by the way, it affects the way that we handle ourselves in politics, some of you are going, oh, he is stepping in it. It's about to go down. I am scared to it, listen. He's gonna get so many emails. I need you to understand something. I don't say this. I'm not trying to even like blow up or anything. I'm not scared of you. I love you. Why would I be scared of you if I love you? I'm not scared of you. I'm not worried about your email. It says, oh, you better not. Or I'm not worried about that. I'm giving an account to God. I'm accountable to you too. So I'm not gonna try to say anything that's not true. But ladies and gentlemen, we have to understand that even with how we deal with what we deal with in the political world, some of you are more positioned in one direction and think these kinds of policies will be better for our world. Others are saying, well, these kinds of policies will be better for our world, but some people have bought into the secular, sacred divide. It's just politics. You know, we gotta do what we gotta do and in the end's justify the means, no, they don't, not in the life of a believer, not in the life of a believer. We must be sanctified. We must be able to call wrong, wrong without justifying it. And call right, right. Whether it's our tribe or another tribe. And by the way, maybe we should get less tribal about all of that. And think more about being part of the family of God and the kingdom of God then about the rulers of this world. Politics do matter. Politics do matter. I'm not trying to say that they don't, you can be very invested and very interested in them. I don't take any umbrage with that at all. Glad for that, to be the case, convince people of what your thoughts are related to certain things. I'm fine with that, but make sure you're doing it both through a biblical worldview, and, and by the Spirit of Christ, that people when they engage with you, don't look at you just like they look at everybody else in a particular political tribe, but instead think to themselves, huh! Man, that's real different than what I'm used to. The church of Jesus has to lead out in that. We have to be able to demonstrate to the world that we know how we actually know how to love one another and talk about things that we need to about from a Christ centered standpoint. Sometimes we can even agree to disagree on certain things. There's other things that are pretty close fisted issues that all of us know that God has said very clearly, but there's other things that we can agree to disagree about what policies would be better here, what policies would be better. Okay. We gotta be able to do that. And you say, well, that's just politics. No, no, no, no, no. It's all God's, it's all God's. So we've got to be able to view the common as sacred, but do you know what else? I'll say this as I kind of quit, we've got to give intensity to prayer and worship. If we want to live like Jesus is Lord of all, if we are supposed to cooperate in our own sanctification, by the Holy Spirit, then we better press in to know him intimately. I'm impressed in, you see sometimes what happens to us, God wants worshipers. He says, he's seeking them. He seeks worshipers, who worship in Spirit and truth. He's seeking after them. He wants worshipers. Sometimes all we give God, our listeners. Maybe if we're doing a little bit better, learners, which by the way is a good thing. But if our listening and our learning does not bring us to a place of worship, then we're missing it. I'm not just talking about singing. Singing is a part of worship, certainly, but I'm talking about taking our lives and walking them up on the altar and saying, here am I, all of me for all of you. I offer you my very life, here it is, whatever you want to do with me. I'm here for a very short time. Very short time. Life is a vapor. It is here and then it's gone. So I want my life to be for your purposes, God. I want all of what I do to be sacred. My job, my marriage, my stuff, my finances, whatever it looks like, it's all yours. This is what sanctification looks like folks. This is God's purpose for us. And we're gonna have to pray and seek his face, praying out of the word to seek his face in that process. That's why I'm appealing to every single person that calls The Chapel, their home church, to sign up, and pray and fast with us as a congregation for the next 21 days. Why? Because we need God. That's who we need. We need God. We need, we need God more than we know. We need God to reshape us more into the image of Jesus. We need God to set us apart even more, for his purposes in the world. And don't know how you're ever gonna do that? Unless there is an intensity of prayer and worship with God. So I want you to sign up with us. You can go to the chapel.com/fastandpray. There'll be ways for you to sign up, sign up for a time period. That you'll fast and pray if your health allows. There's resources on there, you're gonna, huh, I'm a little nervous, I don't know how would I start? Whatever, there's resources on there. We'll walk you through it. You can see it all right there, thechapel.com/fastandpray. I want everybody that calls The Chapel home, everybody everywhere, for us to take this opportunity for the next 21 days as we study sanctification over this next time period. While we, as a church are praying and fasting, wouldn't be incredible if every single hour of every single, every waking hour, that's what we're looking for. Every waking hour of every single day for the next 21 days, we had multiple people at every hour who were praying and fasting, such that God may reshape them and praying on behalf of our church. I need your prayers, because I wanna do what God wants done. This is Jesus' church. He's the head, I want to respond to his leadership. What he wants for us. I need your prayers. We need your prayers. Those of us who are leading, but I need to press in to seek God. You need to press in to seek God, because God needs more of us. So I'm asking you to join us. Every single person that calls The Chapel home, thechapel.com/fastandpray. And you can find more about that when you go on there and it's easy. Let me say this as I finish, if you're here and you've never come to a place of receiving Jesus, I want you to know something. God thought about you when he was writing this whole story, he cares. That's why Jesus came and died for sinful people so that we could be made Holy, redeemed, adopted into the family of God. And if you've never been, then I want to encourage you, when we're done in just a minute. We'd love for somebody to just take a moment to help you with that. They'll have a mask on just like you will, but you can come straight across the atrium, into the fireside room. We'd love to be able to talk to you about that. Father, I pray in Jesus name, that the truth that you have spoken, which saturate our hearts for your glory. Father, there is nothing that I desire more than to see your people walking in the truth, and see my own life, walking in the truth. I want that for us, God, but I know that we must press in, and be reshaped, have some weeds, pulled, have our lives made more like you. Help us as a people, help us as a nation, to demonstrate the glory of who you are. 'Cause that's what our world needs to see as you, you, you. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen.


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Subject: Set Apart to God

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