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"How to Be Set Apart and in Step with God"

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October 13, 2019

From the Desk of Steve Shultz:

Steve Shultz

     It's always a good time to give ourselves a spiritual check-up, making sure we are living uprightly and our lives are pleasing to the Lord.

     This recent word by John Belt will help us all partake in a good healthy check-up as we are called to be set apart unto Him.

     I encourage you as we've entered into a new season, let's prepare ourselves and be those set apart vessels for Him and all He wants to pour "through" us. (To Subscribe to the Elijah List subscribe here.)

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     1 Timothy 4:1-3, "Now the Spirit clearly says that in the last times some will depart from the faith and pay attention to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils, speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their consciences seared with a hot iron, forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from foods, which God has created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth."

Keeping the Faith

     In the book of Acts it was the beginning of the last days because Peter mentions it when he quotes the book of Joel (Acts 2:14-21). There are awesome things happening where the knowledge of the glory of the Lord is covering the earth (Habakkuk 2:14). There are sad things in these days as well that are taking place.

     Paul says in 1 Timothy that people will give heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils, among other things. In doing this, Paul clearly states that some people will "depart from the faith" through these actions. Jesus also makes it abundantly clear that just because someone does something in "His name," does not mean that He (Jesus) knows that person.

What Is Lawlessness?

     Matthew 7:21-23, "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the Kingdom of Heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in Heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, 'Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?' And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!'"

     In this passage, Jesus not only doesn't know them but is very upset with their "lawlessness." What does the law do? It reveals sin – the sin in our hearts. It defines things. It creates boundaries. In Romans chapter 7 Paul shares that apart from the law he would not have an awareness of sin (Romans 7:7). Sin is defined by the law. Although the law does not bring salvation, it is good. In the inner man, Paul delighted in the law of God.

     Romans 7:12, 22, "Therefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy and just and good...For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man."

     In Matthew 7:21-23, for those who told the Lord all they had done in His name, it was not this random mishap or mistake that Jesus addresses in their lives – it was a practice of lawlessness and sin. In other words, sin was a normal routine and habit that had been embraced even though they had been out and about doing "the ministry."

Are Grace and Holiness Contrary?

     What about the grace of God? The primary reason why God's grace is amazing is because it has the power to transform a person from a lifestyle of sin to living a life that glorifies Jesus, abides in the Holy Spirit and therefore demonstrates righteousness and holiness. This is shown and revealed by a life manifesting the law of God from the inside out, a life with boundaries being separated from sin in daily living.

     Ephesians 4:20-24, "But you have not so learned Christ, if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness." (Photo via Unsplash)

Why Holiness?

     The first name of the Holy Spirit is "Holy." This is clear, with no mysteries here. Holiness is beautiful. It is part of our life of worship to God. Just as the psalmist David wrote from the depths of His intimacy with God, our life of devotion must be just as real and vibrant, as we have the fullness of His Spirit in Christ.

     Therefore, the standard does not go down BUT UP! Why? Because we have been entrusted with a greater measure of His Spirit and power, not only to live a supernatural life but to emanate a life of holiness that reflects God's nature in fullness.

     1 Chronicles 16:29: "Give to the Lord the glory due His name; bring an offering, and come before Him. Oh, worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness!"

     In the book of Revelation you will notice that...(continue reading)

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