Set Apart for the Gospel

Romans 1:1-7 ESV

“Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy Scriptures, concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh and was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord, through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of his name among all the nations, including you who are called to belong to Jesus Christ,

“To all those in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints:
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.”

If I had to summarize the message of the gospel in just one Bible verse it would probably be 1 Peter 2:24:

“He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.”

I mean, that really is what the gospel is all about. Jesus said that if anyone would come after him he must deny self, take up his cross daily (daily die to sin and to self) and follow (obey) him (Luke 9:23). And we receive the same message all throughout the New Testament that we are to be crucified with Christ in death to sin and be resurrected with Christ to walk in newness of life in him, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness (Rom 6:1-23; Eph 4:17-24; Rom 8:1-17; Titus 2:11-14; 1 Jn 3:4-10, etc.).

For what did Paul say here? He, as a minister of the gospel, was to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of the name of Jesus Christ. And to whom was he addressing these words? To those loved by God and called to be saints. And to be a saint is to be holy, and to be holy is to be set apart by God and for God for his purposes, and it is to be separate (unlike, different) from the world because we are now being made to be like Jesus.

Romans 1:8-12 ESV

“First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is proclaimed in all the world. For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I mention you always in my prayers, asking that somehow by God’s will I may now at last succeed in coming to you. For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you— that is, that we may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith, both yours and mine.”

When we believe in Jesus Christ to be Lord and Savior of our lives, if our faith is genuine, we become part of God’s family, his household of faith. And those who also believe in Jesus with God-given faith become our brothers and sisters in the Lord. And together we form the church, the body of Christ, which is not a building or a church denomination or a business of man, but it is the collective body of all who have died with Christ to sin and who are living to God and to his righteousness, by the grace of God.

And one of the purposes of the body of Christ is that we might encourage one another in our walks of faith in the Lord. We are to pray for one another, and we are to meet together for mutual encouragement and exhortation, and for the sharing of our spiritual gifts with one another as the various parts of the body of Christ in our specific God-given assignments. And this is essential that this takes place for we need each other to help us to grow to maturity in our faith and to keep persevering in our walks of faith, too.

[Rom 12:1-8; 1 Co 12:1-31; Eph 4:1-16; Eph 5:17-27; Col 3:16; Heb 3:13]

Romans 1:16-17 ESV

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, ‘The righteous shall live by faith.’”

We are not to be ashamed of the gospel, and we need to be sharing the gospel with everyone we can, even with others who profess faith in Jesus Christ. For not everyone who professes faith in Jesus is a genuine follower of Christ. And since the gospel is not a quick formula on how to “get saved,” but it includes our walks of faith and instructions on how we are to live and instructions on what constitutes faith which saves, we need to be sharing this message continually, for many lies are being spread.

Many liars and deceivers are teaching a diluted and altered gospel which cheapens and distorts God’s grace into a free license for immorality. They are teaching that we can just believe (not defined) once in Jesus and we are good to go and heaven is now guaranteed us when we die regardless of how we live our lives on this earth from now to eternity. There is no dying with Christ to sin and living to God and his righteousness in their gospel message, and some of them even teach against that.

So, we need to be earnest and dedicated to getting out the message of the full gospel (the whole counsel of God) to as many who will listen so that many people will be turned from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God that they might receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in Christ Jesus, our Lord. And so that they might walk according to the Spirit and no longer walk according to the flesh, and that they might daily die with Christ to sin and live to God and to his righteousness, by the grace of God and in his power and strength.

[1 Pet 2:9; Matt 5:13-16; Matt 28:18-20; Acts 1:8; Acts 26:18]

And then one day Jesus is going to return and he is going to take everyone with him who is of genuine faith in him. But please know that not everyone who professes faith in Jesus Christ is going to heaven when they die. We must walk (in conduct, in practice) no longer according to the flesh but now according to the Spirit, and we must forsake our lives of living in sin and for self in order to follow our Lord in obedience to his commands or we don’t have the promise of eternal life with God.

[Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10,15,21; Tit 2:11-14; Jas 1:21-25; Rom 12:1-2; Php 2:12-13; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-10; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-11; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8; Heb 10:26-27; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Matt 7:21-23; Ac 26:18; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15; Eph 2:8-10]

Sweet Beulah Land

By Squire Parsons

I’m kind of homesick for a country
To which I’ve never been before.
No sad goodbyes will there be spoken
For time won’t matter anymore.

I’m looking now, just across the river
To where my faith, shall end in sight
There’s just a few more days to labor.
Then I will take my heavenly flight.

Beulah Land I’m longing for you
And some day on thee I’ll stand
There my home shall be eternal
Beulah Land, sweet Beulah Land

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