The Unaborted Mission of the Christ

  • Tuesday, October 19, 2010
  • “Sanctify them in the truth; Thy word is truth.”  John 17:17
    To sanctify is to ‘set apart for a sacred work’. Jesus in His prayer to the Father asks that we be sanctified… that we be "set apart" in spite of the world in which we live! It is this aspect of the "justification / sanctification / glorification" story of the gospel that is the focus of these verses in John 17.

    “Sanctify them in the truth; Thy word is truth...”  begs six questions to be asked… “Who? What? When? Where? How? and Why?!”

    1. WHO?
    The "them" is simply all those that God has redeemed through His Son…
    “After Jesus said this, He looked toward heaven and prayed: Father, the time has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify You. For You granted Him authority over all people that He might give eternal life to all those You have given Him.”  John 17:1-2

    The setting apart of those God has given to the Son is NOT optional! God foreknew and predestined these He called to be justified, sanctified and glorified!

    And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.” Rom. 8:28-30

    2. WHAT?
    Well then what is sanctification?? It is a process of transformation…
    “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”  Rom. 12:2
    …from the inside out… It is a renewed mind that precedes any action on our part…

    3. WHEN?
    Since at the moment of faith we were "set apart", our ongoing process of sanctification is just that… on going…
    “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”  1Cor. 10:31

    4. WHERE?
    We are set apart from the world and we are set apart for the world!

    His prayer to sanctify us separates us from the world…
    “They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.”  John 17:16-17

    His prayer to sanctify Himself for us sets us apart for the world…
    “As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world. For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified.”  John 17:18-19

    5. HOW?
    So just how does this sanctification work? Simply stated… The Word…
    “Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.”  John 17:17

    And God Himself…
    “May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it.  1Thes. 5:23-24

    6. WHY?
    And finally, why… Why does God desire to sanctify US?? In order for His gospel to go forth, through us, to the world in which we live..
    “As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world.”  John 17:18
    “But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.”  1Pet. 3:15a

    May our prayer be that we would be more in the World and the World would be less in us.


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