Believers are Consecrated and Set Apart to God (Hebrews 3:1)
"Therefore, holy brothers, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus, the apostle and high priest whom we confess" (Hebrews 3:1)
Part 2 of 4
In order to focus on Jesus and not get distracted by the world around us it is important to understand who we are in Christ. An amazing truth in all of this is that believers are consecrated and set apart for a higher purpose. The writer of Hebrews makes this very clear as he calls us holy brethren. Consecration means to declare or make something holy; it is associated with the idea of being sacred. What is awesome in all of this is that this declaration is made, not by us, but by God. He has consecrated us and set us apart for a higher purpose when we accept and trust in Jesus as our Savior.
Renewing our mind to this truth is of the utmost importance. We must know and understand who we are in Christ and who He is in us so that we can walk in the purpose to which we have been called and set apart. We are to look thoughtfully and attentively at Jesus considering His role as our High Priest in everything because He proved His faithfulness by sharing in our humanity and breaking the power of death that held us captive ( Hebrews 2:14-18 ). In the same way, he will help us in our time of need. More than that He will empower and guide us through this life in all things. When we pay attention, then like Peter we stay on top of the water walking toward, beside and with Jesus all the way.
Peter learned this lesson well; this is why he wrote in his second letter, "His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires" (II Peter 1:3-4). We have been given the power to escape the lure of this world and it comes by knowing God and walking in His truth. This is why we have been set apart and consecrated, so that we may live the holy lives to which we have been chosen and called.
God has a plan for each one of us but it is up to us to walk it out in our lives. Knowing this gives us purpose and incredible value. God is entrusting us with a mission. We were set apart and sanctified for this very purpose. This is why it is so important to trust in and focus on Jesus, because the plan is not something we can do on our own. His desire for our lives is so incredible that we need His help every step of the way.
We can look at examples from scripture of people who knew their purpose in life and trusted in God to fulfill it. Jeremiah is a great example. "The word of the LORD came to me, saying, "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations." (Jeremiah 1:4-5). Jeremiah was very young when God revealed His plan for him. But the plan came with promises. God promised him that he would not only give him the words to speak but He would perform them. Then he promised Jeremiah that He would make him a fortified city, an iron pillar and a bronze wall so that he would not be overcome by the people (Jeremiah 1:18-19). Jeremiah walked this out because God had set him apart for this very purpose and was with Him every step of the way.
The Apostle Paul is another great example. He started out hunting and killing Christians but thankfully his past didn't get in the way of his future. In Romans chapter 1 he wrote to the church, "Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God…" (Romans 1:1). He knew he was set apart for the purpose of preaching the gospel and in walking out this mission; he all but converted the known world at that time. He was chosen long before he was an enemy of the church, God knew what he would do and this did not change his mind. He had chosen Paul and empowered him to be a prevailing witness to the world.
Lastly by looking at Jesus we can see how powerful it is when one understands they are called, separated and consecrated to God's higher purpose in life. Jesus entered the synagogue on the Sabbath immediately after He was tempted by Satan. Here He made this mission known. "The scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written: "The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor." Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him, and he began by saying to them, "Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing." (Luke 4:17-21). Jesus had a mission like no one else. He knew what it was and focused all His attention toward it. He knew who He was, why He came and what He had to do. He knew the higher purpose to which he had been called and walked it out. His life made all the difference for humanity.
This is why we need to pay attention to Jesus and thoughtfully consider Him in everything we do. We should embrace Him as ours as we go through this life. Because He has chosen us, set us apart and has a wonderful plan for our lives. He will help us every step of the way. And like Peter He desires for us to get out of the boat and walk out His supernatural plan. To do this we need to look toward Him and understand who we are by His grace and mercy.
Tomorrow we look at Part 3: Believers Share in the Heavenly Calling