Romans 1:1 Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, 2 which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy Scriptures, 3 concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh 4 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, 5 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, 6 including you who are called to belong to Jesus Christ,
Today we look at what it means to be set apart for the gospel of God. Gospel of God means the “good news that comes from God.” The good news is what is spoken of in Romans 1:2-4. God promised to deliver us from our sin and its penalty in the Old Testament. The prophets spoke of a Savior that would come through the family of King David according to the flesh and be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness. His name is Jesus Christ. Paul clarifies the gospel in 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 and Romans 10:9. If any person believes Jesus died on the cross for his sin, was buried, rose from the dead on the third day and is Lord, then that person is saved from the penalty and power of sin. That is truly good news from God.
To be set apart means to be selected out of a group for a purpose. The purpose is given us in Romans 1:5. Set apart people are people who have been given the purpose of bringing about the obedience that comes from faith or belief in the gospel, for the sake of Jesus’ name among all nations. The Apostle Paul was set apart for the gospel to take the message of the gospel to the Gentiles in as many regions as he could. He established local churches, appointed elders or had them appointed later by others, and then he moved on to start more churches. He was gifted as an apostle and given the grace to complete his assignment. All believers are also set apart for the gospel, but are assigned the area they live in only. Believers in a local church may spend their entire life in one region taking the message of the gospel to all in their sphere of influence in their neighborhood, work place, school, etc. The purpose is to bring about the obedience that comes from faith in Jesus Christ to the area lived in. Believers are to seek to share the gospel of God with as many as possible.
Set apart means to display Christ in our lives, but not only that. We are more than valuable China ware on display in a China cabinet. Set apart means displaying Christ for all to see and sharing the gospel of God for all to hear. People need to hear the gospel in order to put their faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior (Romans 10:14-17). Are you like the China ware on display in the China cabinet or are you like the China ware in the China cabinet that get used to feed people? We are set apart by God to be China ware that displays its beauty but also is used to feed people. We are to live displaying Jesus Christ to all around us and be sharing the gospel so people can hear the gospel and be saved from sin’s penalty and power and live in obedience to Jesus.