Set Apart by Grace

Sermon preached by Christopher Adams, Sunday January 4th, 2009:

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“We’ve been set apart… and it shows!”

When Paul wrote his letter to the Romans, one can deduce that he had met some of the disciples, heard of many more of them but likely had never been to this most influential of all cities in the Roman Empire. Also, around the same time as he was preparing the letter, the Holy Spirit was constantly warning him of serious danger on his way to delivering a poor contribution for the Jerusalem disciples. In a real way, Paul penned this most amazing treatise on the Christian faith knowing that he might not ever make it to Rome alive, but at the least he could meet the disciples’ needs to the best of his ability. That’s Paul’s awesome heart to build up God’s people into a powerful force that could turn the whole world upside down!

Paul wanted every single disciple to know that just as he himself had been called to be set apart for a holy purpose, so too had each of them been called from among the Jews and the Gentiles to be set apart to love and be loved by the God who created the universe! (Romans 1:1,5-7) We understand God’s grace the most when we are giving others the chance to know His perfect redemption. As Kip McKean has often said, “When we are living out Jesus’ purpose as disciples of seeking and saving the lost, that’s when our felt need for God will be the greatest!”

My goal of preaching this in-depth study series on Romans for the next 8 weeks, is to deepen our conviction about what true faith really looks like in our lives. If grace is God’s part of the salvation equation, and faith is our response, then living by faith unlocks the door that leads us to the righteousness that God revealed through the gospel of Jesus Christ. James challenged first century disciples that faith without deeds was as dead as a body without the spirit . . . so how does belief, trust and obedience express themselves in our faith-response? We know none of these aspects-of-faith merit our forgiveness or makes us any more worthy of God’s mercy–but are there conditions for accepting God’s sacrifice of atonement that he offered in perfection in His Son Jesus Christ?

We need to wrestle with the scriptures and with our hearts to allow Paul and the Holy Spirit to transform us, and even to cure us of our oft-worldly, 21st century view of a true faith-response to God’s amazing grace.


“Set Apart by Grace” preached by Chris Adams on Sunday, January 4, 2009

Acts 2:5–13
• People are set apart by the Holy Spirit.
• Your sin killed Jesus.
Question: Where do you think the first church in Rome got started?
• Jews in the first century, who were baptized when the first Sermon was preached, went back to Rome and converted the entire Roman church!
Question: Where and when do you think the book of Romans was first written?

Romans 15:23–29
• The influence and outreach was there.
Question: How does Paul come to Rome?
• Paul and other brothers as a group of leaders connected to the church in order to do great things for God.
• There was a call for people to give and sacrifice.

Acts 20:1–3
• Paul finally arrived in Greece?
Question: Where in Greece could Paul have possibly stayed?

Romans 16:23

1 Corinthians 1:14

Romans 16:1–2
• Paul is misunderstood as being egotistic, because everything he does he does for the Lord.
• Whatever you do is evangelistic.

Romans 1:1–7
Question: How are you supposed to be set apart?

1. Set apart for a great purpose.
• Paul preached Jesus Christ to the Romans.
• You belong to the body of Christ.
• You are filled with the purposes of serving the risen Jesus.
Question: Are you going to get excited about your purpose of being set apart to serve Christ Jesus?

2 Corinthians 6:1–2
Question: What is your purpose?
• You will receive God’s grace.
• When you lose your purpose, you lose your felt need for God.

Romans 1:8–13
• You always have to know your audience.
• The word “grace” was a Gentile greeting while the word “peace” was a Jewish greeting.
• Paul’s purpose was all about relationships and the gospel.
• There are churches that have heard about the Syracuse International Christian Church.
• Relationships will impact and mutually encourage each other.
• You need to pray for every member in your church all the time.

Question: How do you approach the church?

Romans 1:14–17
• Paul tried to get them to relate to their future in Christ and not their past.
Question: Why was Paul preaching to the Romans?
• Paul was obligated by the cross, not by human design.
Question: Are you eager to preach the gospel, for the Cross?

2. Set apart for a true faith.
Romans 1:18
• They trusted in their own works to be saved.
• You have to get the heart of faith to trust God.
• You are a slave of sin, if you continue to sin.
• The Jews were prone to trust in the external things that they did.
• Jesus addressed the Jews with this legalistic mindset that they had in mind. (John 5:39)
• In your own time, write out what it means to live by faith.

Ephesians 2:4–10
• It is the temptation to not work because you are not saved by works.

Hebrews 9:15

Romans 3:25
• Everyone has been saved by grace through faith in God’s works.
• Faith is many faceted.

Hebrews 11:6
• Believe that there is a God and you are not Him.

2 Peter 1:3–4
• Describe your faith.
Question: Why are you living by faith?
• God communicates and challenges you to trust.

2 Corinthians 1:20
• His promises are perfect.
• Trust those promises.

John 8:31–32
• Sincere belief is not complete. His laws and commands are there to help you.
• You ought to be responding to God’s communication by obeying.
• Your part to responding to God’s command is to obey.
Question: Can you obey a fact?
Question: Can you trust a command?
• Match your response to the form of communication.
• You believe Him, trust in the promise and obey God’s command.
• Rewire your brain to focus on grace in the right way.

1 Corinthians 15:9–11
• Don’t forget what you believed! It is so easy to fall!
• Satan wants to water down the word of God.
Question: Are you going to be set apart for a true faith?
• There are conditions of acceptance for God’s grace.
Question: Why would baptism not be a work that merits your salvation in God’s grace?
• Baptism is a condition of acceptance for what God has done.
• You cannot separate faith from grace.
Question: What is your sin?
• Confession of sin is the condition of acceptance for accepting the continual grace.
• Grace + Faith = Righteousness
• His grace and patience is unlimited.
• Put your faith in God’s grace.