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Set Apart for Christ

By David A. DePra

In the inspired Word of God, there are a number of names given to designate one who is in Christ. The name, "Christian(s)," is used three times. But the most often used name for someone who is in Christ is the name, "SAINT." This is not without significance. The word SAINT comes from the same Greek word that is otherwise translated, "holy." Thus, "a saint," or, "the saints," are God’s HOLY ONES.

Yet what does it mean to BE HOLY? This is the real question. In both the Old and New Testaments, the word HOLY means, "to be set apart for God." If you examine that, you will see that this definition is not so much talking about our works – although HOLY ONES will obviously have HOLY WORKS. But, "to be set apart for God," is much more. "To be set apart for God," means TO BELONG TO GOD. This speaks of a RELATIONSHIP, and really an IDENTITY.

What is a Christian? What is a Saint? A saint is one who belongs to God – is set apart FOR GOD. That is the meaning of HOLINESS. But link that up to the fact that a saint is one in whom Christ dwells. This tells us that if we are IN CHRIST that we are, by definition, one who is set apart for God. Indeed, CHRIST IN US – or us in Christ – is what sets us apart for God. HE sets us apart. HE is our holiness.

Now, if this were merely a matter of vocabulary and religion, it wouldn’t matter much. But through this name, "saint," we are actually being told WHO we are to God, and WHO God is to us. We are being told what are relationship is to God through Christ – we belong to HIM. We do not belong to the world, and we do not belong to ourselves. We belong to GOD. But every bit of this is possible only because Christ is in us. As Paul said:

And you are Christ's; and Christ is God's. (1 Cor 3:23)

Does Christ belong to God? Yes. Do we belong to Christ? Yes. Then we belong to God. This is the core of HOLINESS. And as you can see, it is all made possible by CHRIST IN US. In short, Jesus Christ in us IS our holiness.

Born From Above

Since the apostolic age, continuing to today, Christianity has generally become nothing more than a religion, or a belief system – yes, based on the Bible, and yes, one that talks about Jesus Christ – but generally speaking, Christianity has become nothing more than a religion that people practice in the name of Jesus. This is even the case in some of the movements where emotionalism and supposed signs and wonders are happening. Most of these things are products of the flesh – religious flesh. Some folks don’t want to hear that, but it is a fact. And the fruits prove it.

Even in some of the churches today that claim to honor the Word of God, Christianity is nothing more than a religion that has emerged from people’s doctrinal understanding, and from their Biblical interpretation. Yet it doesn’t matter how accurate such interpretations and doctrinal constructs are, this still isn’t the Christianity of the Bible.

The Christianity of the Bible never emerged from doctrines. Rather, doctrines emerged from Christianity. Neither was Christianity a religion, or a religious movement. Rather, the Christianity of the Bible was the result of those first saints receiving from above the spiritual life of Jesus Christ. They were BORN FROM ABOVE – and that is what made them SAINTS. It is what made them, "Christians." All of their doctrines and teachings, as well as their new understanding of the OT, then emerged out of their experience and understanding of the Christ who now dwelled within them.

But once the original apostles were gone, and that generation of the saints passed away, what was left were the doctrines and teachings of the Word of God. This was wonderful, essential, and thank God we are blessed to have the Bible. Yet built into this was a possibility. That possibility was that people would BYPASS the Person of Jesus, and the necessity of being born from above, and establish the doctrines, traditions, and practices – in and of themselves – AS CHRISTIANITY. What you end up with is dead religion – although it is nevertheless possible to have the right doctrines.

Wasn’t this the case with the Old Testament? The Old Testament was OF GOD. It contained written Truth, and pointed the human race to the One who would later come. But the very same Word of God tells us that the law could NOT make perfect the worshipper. Indeed, even Jesus said that during that time, "the Holy Spirit was WITH you, but shall be IN you." Anyone can practice a religion in the outward by keeping rules, laws, and by proclaiming doctrine. But only if we receive life from above is it possible to experience the PERSON to whom all of these point. We must not try to have a relationship with a SHADOW. The substance and reality is CHRIST HIMSELF – and we are to receive Him IN US.

I mention all of this to point out that it is quite possible to try to establish doctrinal teaching, and to establish rules – all in an attempt to achieve a holy life, and all in an attempt to be a saint. Christian people still think that holiness is the result of living according to law and rules. But this is error. It is legalism. The source of holiness is not works. The source of holiness is the HOLY ONE – Christ in us.

This may astound some people, but if I try to make myself holy by works – if that is what I am doing – then not only is my faith not in Christ, but in my works, but I am actually living in UNHOLINESS. Sure. Religious flesh is NOT holy. Only Christ is holy. Works cannot make me holy. But if I abide in Christ, holy works will emerge. We need to see the difference.

The fact that most of us haven’t a clue about this distinction, indeed, don’t understand what it means, shows our utter ignorance of Jesus Christ. We still mistake the flesh for the Spirit. Yet, this is basic Truth in the epistles of Paul. But we still don’t get it.

It is possible to read the Bible, and to see what a saint is supposed to be, and to see how a saint ought to live – and then to try to create a religion which imposes the traits of a saint upon those who desire to be saints -- THROUGH LAW. This is done all the time. For example, people read the book of Acts and try to duplicate what happened there by forming communes, or imposing laws and authority systems, and think that this is going to bring about New Testament Christianity. It will not. As mentioned, if this is what I’m trying to do, then it is of religious flesh, and in fact, an UNHOLY thing. Any mixture of religious flesh with the Person of Jesus is unholy.

The reason those things happened in the book of Acts was because of the LIFE of Jesus Christ. Try to DO even Biblical things without the LIFE of Jesus, and you will meet disaster. No. You must receive His LIFE from above, and come to where His life governs in Spirit and in Truth. In other words, you cannot be made HOLY by merely doing holy laws. Rather, you are MADE HOLY by being born from above. That is how it begins, and it must, from that beginning, be lived out by those set apart FOR GOD.

Here we see the absolute necessity of being BORN FROM ABOVE. And yet if we are born from above, through which Christ comes to dwell in us by the Spirit, we have seen that this is exactly what makes us SAINTS, and which SETS US APART UNTO GOD. Sure. This is all ONE Truth, and ONE reality. It is what Christianity is, and who SAINTS are. Christ in us sets us apart for God. Christ in us is the only holiness there is.

Belonging to God

A saint is one who is set apart UNTO God – for His purposes. According to scripture, this is the only kind of saint there is in the mind of God. This is a fact even though many saints don’t act like they are set apart for God. In other words, it is entirely possible to be a saint, to be set apart for God, but to nevertheless violate this relationship. And if I am violating it, I am actually walking in UNHOLINESS.

I mentioned earlier that, "to be holy," was not merely accomplished in our works. No. "To be holy," means to belong to God – in every way by relationship. We can see how that certainly includes works. But it goes beyond works. "To be holy," means that my SELF belongs to God. This means that there is no aspect of a human being who is in Christ which does not belong to God – our works, our wills, our desires, our motives, and everything about us, both inward and outward. ALL of a saint is set apart for God.

Once this is understood, then many Bible verses make sense. For example, Paul wrote about being, "baptized into Christ." Baptism means to be, "immersed into." Well, we are, "baptized into His death." Can we see that ALL of our, "self-ownership," has been buried in the death of Christ? But then we are raised from that death – as saints who no longer belong to themselves, but are HOLY UNTO GOD. Again – this is the meaning of being IN Christ. There is no other meaning.

When we come to the Cross of Jesus and take our place in His death, we are actually separated by His death from the old creation in Adam. But we are likewise planted into His resurrection. This is the birth from above – which Jesus said can only happen, "through water and Spirit."

Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. (John 3:5-7)

Jesus is saying that the birth from above; the new birth; is only possible through water – which is representative of coming to the Cross and taking my place in the death of Christ, which is what being, "baptized into His death," means. I must be born OF WATER – through that baptism into the death of Christ – and then through Spirit. When I take my place in the death of Christ, I have been separated from that old creation in Adam. But then I receive NEW LIFE FROM ABOVE – the very resurrection life of Jesus Christ. Thus, having been separated from this old creation by the death of Christ, I am set apart UNTO GOD through new life in Jesus Christ. I am then a SAINT.

Our birth from above – and the fact that we no longer belong to ourselves, but to God – is the result of being BOUGHT with the price of the blood of Jesus. "Redemption," means, "a buying back." The saints are those who have been bought OUT OF the old creation UNTO God through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. That is what a saint IS.

Thus, we see that a saint has been set apart FROM the world; from the old creation, and set apart UNTO God. A saint is HOLY because a saint is IN CHRIST. Thus, when a saint lives contrary to this Truth, he is living in an unholy way. When a saint uses himself or his own purposes, he is not living as if he belongs to God, and this is UNHOLY. In short, holiness is a life that is according to the Truth that a saint belongs to God. Unholiness is a life that is a violation of that Truth.

There is no need to speculate as to whether a saint belongs to God, or as to what this means. It is clearly spelled out all through the Bible:

What? know you not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which you have of God, and you are not your own? For you are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.  (1 Cor 6:19-20)

You are bought with a price; be not you the servants of men. (1 Cor 7:22-23)

Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: (1 Pet 1:18-19)

The Truth that saints BELONG TO GOD – and not to themselves – actually defines the entire Christian life. It tells us what a Christian IS, and it tells us what a Christian is supposed to DO. It rightly represents how we become saints, and it tells us what our relationship with God must be if we are to continue in His purposes. A saint belongs to God. That is holiness. A saint does NOT belong to the world, or to himself. That would be unholiness. These are unchangeable Truths.

The World

Through the new birth – which is a passing from death to life – we are set apart FROM the world UNTO God. Actually, we are birthed into another realm – the realm or kingdom of God.

In scripture, this is stated in a number of ways. When we are born from above, we are separated by the death of Christ from the world, from the Adam race, from the old creation, from the kingdom of darkness, and from the flesh. We are birthed into the kingdom of God, into the new creation in Christ Jesus, into the Light, and into the Spirit of God. This separation is NOT some impractical legal designation. No. Paul says, "If any man is in Christ HE IS a new creation. Old things have passed away, behold, all things are become new." (II Cor.5:17) God does not merely CALL us new creations, or legally designate us as being IN CHRIST. No. We ARE new creations who ARE in Christ. This is real. It is not merely religion or theology.

God’s Purpose of Christ

Now, all of this leads us to a great Truth. We use words like HOLINESS, and sanctification, and character, but in the end, it all comes back to one fundamental purpose of God – to gather up all in Christ. Or, to apply this to our present thought of being set apart for God’s use, the primary USE for which God has set us apart is CHRIST. We are set apart FOR Christ – as those in whom Christ will dwell and do a great work to God’s glory.

I want to state this again, because it is the whole point and purpose of God. The purpose for which God has set us apart is CHRIST. A saint is one who is set apart for God’s use – and that use is to be a vessel for Christ. We are to be a living epistle. We are to be living witnesses unto Christ. THAT IS GOD’S use for His saints.

Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he has purposed in himself: That in the dispensation of the fullness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him…Which is his body, the fullness of him that fills all in all. (Eph 1:9, 23)

God’s use of us is that we become a living expression of the resurrected Christ – that we become the temple of God. Thus, when we talk about being separated unto Christ, or being set apart for God’s use, that use is not for THINGS, or a job, or a ministry. No. God’s use for us is CHRIST – that we might become a vessel though whom Christ can be manifested. THAT is the primary reason God has set us apart – and the one upon which all else depends.

But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us. (2 Cor 4:7)

Christianity is Christ in us, the hope of glory, or conversely, Christianity is BEING IN CHRIST. All that God has for us is in the Person of His Son. He is the great treasure. But we are the earthen vessel in which the Treasure dwells. Thus, we see God’s use for us – we are to be the earthen vessel in which the great Treasure Himself dwells and is manifested. THIS is God’s primary use of those that he sets apart.

Now, of course, any time God gets glory in and through a person, that person benefits. Indeed, if you want an abundant life, it is here that we find the answer. An earthen vessel does not have an abundant life because he or she is given THINGS. Rather, an earthen vessel has an abundant life because there is the Treasure Himself within – in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. (Col.2:3) Material THINGS can be added as they serve the life of Christ in us. But all abundance is found in the Person of Christ, and issue out of our relationship with Him – yet to God’s glory and purpose.

Christ In and Through Us

The saints are those who belong to God – for His use and purpose. That purpose is Christ – to be a vessel that manifests Christ.

There is great misunderstanding and error everywhere today over this matter of Christ in us, and living through us. For example, today we have the false gospel of self-esteem proclaimed by Joel Osteen, Robert Schuller, and some others. More and more this false gospel is becoming the theme of ministries, because they have seen that it brings in the money and the members. People want to be told they are OK, and they want to feel good about themselves. And frankly, it no longer matters HOW or WHY you feel good about yourself – just so you do! Christian people seem blind to the fact that error and evil spirits can make you feel marvelously good about yourself. Satan works in the realm of the flesh and in the psychic realm. These are the, "feel good," areas of natural man – but void of Jesus Christ.

I have personally heard such statements on Christian television as, "Jesus Christ died to bring out YOUR greatness," "We don’t preach about sin in our church because we don’t want to put people down," "God wants to rebuild the real you," "God is pleased when YOU are YOU," and, "God wants to give you all of your desires." In addition, many ministers are offering to be your, "life coach" -- for a fee, of course. (Can you imagine the apostle Paul charging money for being a, "life coach?") Some churches are offering classes on inner healing, and sessions on how to be delivered from, "generational curses." I could go on. But every one of these things is false. They are not the Truth. And to a greater or lesser extent, they are able to be passed off as Truth because we do not have an inward revelation of Jesus Christ, nor do we understand what Christian growth really is. Thus, we fill the void with substitutes.

The Bible tells us the Truth about God’s purpose – and the reality of Christ within:

But of him are you in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: That, according as it is written, He that glories, let him glory in the Lord. (1 Cor 1:30-31)

(We are) always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body. For we which live are always delivered unto death for Jesus' sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh. So then death works in us, but life in you. (2 Cor 4:10-12)

Here we see that God has no intention of making YOU into a better person. Rather, He intends to crucify the flesh – to absolutely bring an end to the government of the natural. If God does that, then Christ will be seen – because He already dwells in those who are born from above.

Of course, God does none of this without our faith and surrender. Christ doesn’t live through us by bypassing us or live through us to the disregard of us. And I’m not talking only about works. I’m talking about the SELF and all that is of the natural. God not only wants to set us free from sin, but also to set us free from SELF – even what we might think is GOOD SELF.

So what we see is that despite the fact God isn’t out to make YOU a better person – under the conventional understanding of that – He is out to manifest Christ in and through us. This is what is necessary if we are to be witnesses unto Christ.

Spiritual Fruit

It would seem that there are so few that understand this great Truth of Christ in us, and manifesting Himself through us. Christian people simply do not see the relationship between themselves and the Christ in them. We either have no consciousness of Him, or we mistake our emotions, temperament, or soul power, for Christ. We just don’t understand what it means for Christ to live in and through us – we still think this is about God making us a better personality.

But no. This is not about God bringing out the best in us. It is about God crucifying the best out of us, so that Christ might be seen. Such a Truth is foreign to the thinking of most people. In fact, we don’t even get the definition of spiritual gifts, or spiritual fruit, correct. We think these are about signs and wonders, etc. No. Spiritual gifts are Christ. Spiritual fruits are Christ. They are HIM – by His Holy Spirit – being seen, and moving, operating, and manifesting God. Do we seriously think that the gifts of the Holy Spirit are different, or separate from, the Christ who dwells in us through the same Spirit of God? Never. Why do we think that Jesus stressed that the Spirit of God would always reveal HIM, and manifest HIM, and testify to HIM, and glorify HIM, and reveal the Truth about HIM? The Spirit of God – the Spirit of Christ – has the job of revealing Christ TO us, IN us, and THROUGH us. Everything done by the Spirit of God is unto that end, one way or another.

Read John 14-16 and you will see that this is the Truth. Read also Ephesians 4 – even the ministry gifts of the Spirit of God are unto the purpose of EDIFYING the church IN CHRIST. This means, "to build up ," in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ. The Spirit of God was given for no other reason.

Jesus actually, in one sentence, gave the Truth about how He would manifest Himself through us. He simply said:

Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abides in me, and I in him, the same brings forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. " (John 15:4-5)

You will note the words, "abide in Me, and I in you." "Abide," means to, "live in." Thus, Jesus is speaking here of the Truth of CHRIST IN US, and US IN CHRIST. Sure. "Live in Me, and I in you." This is exactly what He is talking about.

He states that the key to bearing spiritual fruit – which equals manifesting Christ – is to ABIDE or LIVE IN HIM. What does that mean, exactly?

Well, for one thing, it surely means to LIVE FROM CHRIST – instead of living from myself. A branch cannot live apart from the Vine, but this is precisely because the branch lives from OUT of the Vine, that is, gets all life resources from the life of that Vine. In short, if we are IN CHRIST, we are to live from OUT of Christ as our source of life. "Christ, who is our life." (Col. 3:4)

How often this is misunderstood. We still think that God has given us a THING called, "eternal life." Or that eternal life is nothing more than a legal classification that God has given us because we put our faith in Christ. No. Eternal life is not a THING at all. Eternal life is THE PERSON. Thus, the reason we have eternal life is because we are ONE WITH LIFE HIMSELF. We are one with Him spiritually – our spirit is one with HIS SPIRIT. (I Cor. 6:17) Seeing this Truth would not only clear up the meaning of so many Bible passages, but it would make us able to see the very nature of the new birth.

Through the new birth we are made ONE with Christ, and this is why all that HE IS stands forever available to us. This is why Paul wrote:

I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. (Gal 2:20)

But of him are you in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: That, according as it is written, He that glories, let him glory in the Lord. (1 Cor 1:30-31)

These passages are explained ONLY if Christ, who is in us, is actually ONE with us. Paul did not write, "Christ was crucified FOR me." No – although that is a fact, and Paul writes about it other places. But here he writes, "I am crucified WITH Christ." Can we see a spiritual ONENESS – but not just a oneness that is doctrinal. No. This is the Truth – we are one with Christ if we are IN CHRIST – this is what being IN CHRIST means. And that means IMPACT, and change IN US.

It is because we are ONE with Christ spiritually that it is possible that by living IN Him, and FROM OUT OF Him, that He will be seen – that is, the fruits of the Spirit that belong to Christ will be made manifest. If we abide in Christ – living by His faith and drawing upon Him for ALL that we are – that Jesus says is the key to bearing fruit.

Now note something here. It is vital to see. We NEVER bear fruit by trying to bear fruit. We never bear fruit by developing a religious system that is supposed to, "build character." Oh, how utterly sickening some of these things are! People take classes from supposed teachers and are given a bunch of Bible based principles to follow, and told that if they follow them, that these will develop Christian character in them, and make their lives come out to look the way God wants it to look. Such nonsense is nothing more than getting under a LAW – it’s just that this law doesn’t read like law. But it is law. And it will often make arrogant Pharisees out of Christians. Or it will bring us under the kind of condemnation that law always brings us under.

You cannot build character in yourself. There is NOTHING in you to work with. You are an earthen vessel. In fact, I believe that a great part of the Christian life – a great part of the work of the Cross – is to bring us to total a defeat and a total end of these crazy attempts to do for ourselves what is already found ONLY in Christ. If you want to manifest Christian character God MUST crucify out of you this entire desire to BE like Jesus! You will never BE LIKE Jesus. But you can manifest Christ by abiding IN HIM.

Read again those above passages. CHRIST HIMSELF – who is IN US – is our wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption. HE IS THAT – we are NOT, and never will be. We will never be the TREASURE. We are the earthen vessel in whom the Treasure dwells. But we get to experience all that He is.

So to ABIDE IN and FROM OUT OF Jesus Christ as our Vine means that we live in the Truth that HE is our wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption. We no longer look to ourselves for those things. We do not put our faith in ourselves to be those things. We do not try to be those things. Rather, we abide in the Vine because we KNOW He is those realities to us.

It would seem that one indication that we are, in fact, abiding in Christ, and calling upon Him for all of our resources, is that we are able to LEAVE OURSELVE ALONE. What I mean by that is that we are not continually fussing with ourselves and trying to be this or do that in order to be right with God, or in order to feel good about ourselves. Does a branch focus in on itself and try to develop all kinds of techniques and systems so that it can bear fruit? No. All the branch does is abide in the Vine. In fact, I honestly believe that the more we KNOW JESUS and the more we LOSE OURSELVES TO HIM – I believe the more we will be free from any sort of focus or obsession with ourselves. This is a Truth that goes back to Adam and the fig leaves he used to cover his nakedness. It is all right in that account.

Natural thinking knows about high-self esteem and low self-esteem. BOTH are all about SELF. The true knowledge of God in Jesus will result in a condition completely OUTSIDE of that – it will be a total focus on CHRIST. But you see, this requires faith in Him – a faith that will be a rest. We will leave ourselves alone to Him. And ironically, the result will be spiritual fruit to God’s glory.

Fruit that is produced by the flesh – religious flesh – will always result in pride. That which is born of flesh will be flesh. But if we simply abide IN HIM – and live from out of Him by faith – there will be real spiritual fruit. But it will be CHRIST IN US seen through us.

Christ Is Our Life

Paul said, "When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory. " (Col 3:4) Christ doesn’t simply give us a THING called, "life," – Christ IS our life. Do we realize that this proves that IN HIM is everything? I mean, if He IS our life – then what could be outside of LIFE? We read earlier how Christ is unto us wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption. Sure. Christ THE LIFE – Christ is OUR life. In Him are all of those realities – and He is in us. He is the only reason we are alive to God. Indeed, Christ is the only life we have – because if we are born anew from above, we relinquished the old life at the Cross.

Now, once we realize that Christ is our life, and the only life we have, it brings home all the more the fact that God is not bringing out OUR greatness, or making us better people. No. Christ is our life. Everything that is good and of God is in that life – is in HIM. This is about HIM IN US, and then, through bearing fruit, HIM THROUGH US. It is all Christ. It is not of us. Again, we are the earthen vessel. He is the Treasure.

Here we see what HOLINESS really is: Holiness is, first, Christ in us – Christ is our sanctification. Then secondly, holiness is Christ being free to live through us and be seen in us. This involves works. It involves character. It doesn’t happen separate from us. But it is CHRIST, not us.

Can we see what is required if Christ is to be seen in and through us? It requires a great change IN US! But not a change in the sense that we build character in ourselves, by taking what we are as a person and making it better. No. The change is that we relinquish what we are – we lose ourselves to Him. We are crucified out of the way; out of the place of government.

If Christ is already IN US, then we don’t need to ADD more of Christ. No. We are COMPLETE IN HIM. (Col. 2:9-10) Rather, what we need is to have, "subtracted from us," all that is hindering Christ. This is the work of the Cross. Often, the Bible calls it CHASTISEMENT:

For whom the Lord loves he chastens, and scourges every son whom he receives. If ye endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chastens not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness. (Heb 12:6-10)

If Christ is our life, then Christ is our holiness. Holiness is when we are out of the way, and Christ is seen. You cannot be made holy separate from Christ. Holiness is not something God does to you, or that happens to you. Holiness is not something that you build in yourself through works. No. Holiness is Christ. Holiness is the result of receiving that which is holy from above – Christ through the HOLY SPIRIT. Then, holiness is the result of coming into the purpose for which God has set us apart – to be used as a vessel of Christ. THEN works emerge. But your works are only holy if Christ is your holiness.

That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. (Eph 4:22-24)

Who is the NEW MAN? Is the new man US – only an improved model? No. The NEW MAN is essentially CHRIST IN US. The new man is the union of our spirit with the resurrected Christ through the Spirit of God. The new man is the Treasure within the earthen vessel.

If we lose ourselves to Christ – and God Himself has to bring this to us – then we will BE FOUND IN HIM. But what does this mean? Paul told us what it means:

And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead. (Phil 3:9-11)

To be found in Christ means that you no longer base your righteousness on ANYTHING about yourself, but Christ IS your righteousness. You KNOW HIM and the power of His resurrection – not merely the doctrines – but you are experiencing these things in Christ. Or, as we read earlier, you are able, in a progressive way, to say with Paul:

I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. (Gal 2:20)

But you see, as long as we continue to look at ourselves, and our emotions, and our performance, and our flesh – as long as we base things upon US – we will never break through. You and I will NEVER find any fulfillment of God’s purpose in ourselves. No. Rather, CHRIST IS OUR LIFE. That covers it – it covers everything. HE IS everything that God desires – and He is in us.

A person who is born from above is holy unto the Lord. They are a SAINT – a holy one. They are one who is set apart for God’s use; one who belongs to God. But God’s use is not merely for THINGS, or for ministry. No. God’s use, and the purpose for which saints are set apart, IS CHRIST. A saint is one who is set apart to be a vessel containing Christ, through whom God can glorify Himself.

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