Sep 23, 2022 Sanctified in Truth – Words of Grace – September 25, 2022
When we set aside Bible words because they seem complicated or uninteresting to people, the result is that the truth of those words gets neglected and lost.
A better way to handle Bible words is to use them, understand them, and explain them. Doing so will help us experience them.
So it is with the word, “sanctify.” To sanctify means to be set apart from and for something.
Jesus used this word in his final prayer for the disciples before he was crucified. He prayed that the Father would, “Sanctify them in truth” (John 17:17).
We sanctify things every day. We take some things from other things and determine they will be used for certain things. Are there clothes you wear only on special occasions, or dishes you use for company but not for everyday meals? If so, you have sanctified them. And when you did, you removed these clothes and dishes from the others, gave them a purpose, and then put them to good use.
Jesus prayed that God the Father would sanctify his church in truth. By the truth of his word, he intends for us to be set apart from and for something.
Jesus wants his church to be set apart from the world. This does not mean that he wants us taken out of the world (John 17:15). It means that he wants the world (worldliness— its values, unbelief, and hostility toward God) taken out of us. Jesus wants the light of truth rather than the darkness of sin in us. He wants us to be holy.
Jesus also wants his church to be set apart for the mission of God in the world. He said that he is sending his followers into the world just as the Father sent him into the world (John 17:18). As sanctified people in the world, we bring the light of Christ to darkness, declare the gospel of Christ to the lost, and display the glory of Christ together.
Like dishes taken from the cupboard, designated for special occasions, then set at the table to bear a feast prepared in love, so we are as Christ’s people. By God’s grace, he has taken us from the world, given us to his Son, designated us for his mission, and sent us to bear the news that Jesus is the Savior and Lord of all who will believe.
Why would we ever set aside sanctification?
This Sunday at Grace, we will use this word, seek to understand and explain it, pray for it, and worship our God who sanctifies us in truth.