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Set Apart

Sanctification. It is a word we do not use outside of a religious context. What does it mean? I often hear and see the word used to define the process of developing a godly character. Some authors speak as if sanctification is something that takes years to achieve and then only with the utmost vigilant attention to removing sin from their lives.

As I look at the Hebrew and Greek lexicons, I find the word, qadash in Hebrew (and its sister word qodesh, which means holy) and hagiasmos in Greek (hagiazo being the root) to mean the process of setting something apart. Objects used in the tabernacle were set apart for use only in the tabernacle. God is holy or set apart from all other gods—there are none like him. God set his people apart from all the other nations. They were to keep separate because God had a specific purpose for them.

Believers today are to be sanctified, set apart, but are we? How separate are we from the people around us? How separate is Christian “culture” from non-Christian? We seem to have forgotten that God expects nothing less from his people. Perhaps if we were more diligent about being separate we wouldn’t find it so hard to pure (another aspect of sanctification).

Lord, you have a reason for setting your people apart from all others. It’s because you are separate from all other gods. None compare to you. You have a unique place in the order of things for you and you alone are Creator and Saviour. Only you are worthy of worship. We are the called ones (Revelation 17:14), called and chosen to be set apart for you and your salvation. Father, I want to live as one set apart by you, distinguishable from others because I am separate and different with a purpose: I am yours. So be it.

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