Have you been set apart by the Holy Spirit? I hope that you have. If not, you are not a child of God. The first work of the Holy Spirit is to set us aside as children of God.
John 3:3-6 – “Jesus answered and said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”4 Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? He cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born, can he?” 5 Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.”
Romans 8:15 – “For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!”
We are not born as children of God. We were all born into sin and are, in all honesty, children of Satan. It is only through the Holy Spirit that we are able to become children of God. It is not by good works or any other means that we become children of God. It is only through the regenerating power of the Holy Spirit that we are born again and become spiritual children of God.
The second work of the Holy Spirit is to sets us apart unto holiness.
Galatians 5:16 – “But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.”
The life of holiness and righteousness comes only through the work of the Holy Spirit. We cannot live a pleasing life to God without the work of the Holy Spirit. It is as we yield to the Holy Spirit that we will find victory over sin.
Why do we need to be set apart by the Holy Spirit?
The Holy Spirit is needed for works of service. The Holy Spirit is needed to accomplish God’s work and His mission. The work of the Lord is spiritual, even though there are many physical aspects, and we need God’s Spirit to accomplish this work.
We see that the Holy Spirit set apart the prophets. We see this with Elijah and Elisha.
2 Kings 2:15 – “Now when the sons of the prophets who were at Jericho opposite him saw him, they said, “The spirit of Elijah rests on Elisha.” And they came to meet him and bowed themselves to the ground before him.”
It is this Holy Spirit that enabled the prophets to speak the Word of the Lord and do miracles.
This is confirmed in 2 Peter 1:20-21 – “ But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, 21 for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.”
The leaders and rulers of Israel were anointed for the work of God through the Holy Spirit. Moses and the elders of Israel were set apart by the Holy Spirit.
Numbers 11:16-17 – “The Lord therefore said to Moses, “Gather for Me seventy men from the elders of Israel, whom you know to be the elders of the people and their officers and bring them to the tent of meeting, and let them take their stand there with you. 17 Then I will come down and speak with you there, and I will take of the Spirit who is upon you, and will put Him upon them; and they shall bear the burden of the people with you, so that you will not bear it all alone.”
It is important to see here that the Spirit was given to the leaders of Israel that they might through the power of God do the work of God. These leaders helped Moses shepherd the people of Israel. The leaders did the work of judging and guiding them in the power of the Holy Spirit.
The judges of the Old Testament were given God’s Spirit to rule the people of God. Two examples of this are Othniel (Judges 3:8-11) and Gideon (Judges 6:33-34).
Certain kings of Israel were given the Spirit of God to rule the people of Israel. We see this with King Saul (I Samuel 9:15-16; 10:1-7). We see this with King David as well (I Samuel 16:13).
Even the Son of God was set apart by the Holy Spirit for ministry (Matthew 3:13-17; Luke 4:17-2)
We can see as well that the Holy Spirit set apart the apostles for ministry. We see this with Paul and Barnabas.
Acts 13:2-3- “While they were ministering to the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit \said, “Set apart for Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” 3 Then, when they had fasted and prayed and laid their hands on them, they sent them away.”
In the same way the Holy Spirit sets apart the overseers of the church.
Acts 20:28 – “Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.”
It is this same Holy Spirit that sets us apart unto Christ, His body.
I Corinthians 12:13- “For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.”
We are set apart and set into the body of Christ to become one even as God is one. We are one with God and one with one another.
The Holy Spirit set apart the Church of God to fulfill His great commission or mission in this world.
Acts 1:4-5 – “Gathering them together, He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for what the Father had promised, “Which,” He said, “you heard of from Me; 5 for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”
Acts 1:8 – “you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.”
The Holy Spirit sets apart and enables believers to function in the spiritual gifts. I Corinthians 12:7-11
What must we do to be set apart?
We are not able to set ourselves apart. If we try to do this, we will fail. If we work in our own strength, our works are as filthy rags before God. The only thing that is required of us is to trust and obey Him.
In all this, we can see how important the Holy Spirit is in our lives and the life of the church.