“Sanctify them in the truth. Your word is truth. As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. For their sakes, I sanctify Myself, that they also might be sanctified in truth. I do not ask on behalf of these alone, but for those who believe in Me through their word; that they may all be one, even as You, Father are in Me, and I am in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me.” John 17:17-21
Jesus prayed that His disciples would be kept from the evil one, by being directed, protected, corrected and saturated with The Truth. The word “sanctify” describes a personal, perpetual process of consistent companionship with Jesus that allows His Spirit to exercise the freedom to convict the world of sin, and to conform believers to the image of their Savior and Lord.
Salvation is an event that can be marked on a calendar, and celebrated with great joy. Sanctification is The Process of dying to self. It begins with salvation, but it continues with every breath a believer takes, and with every word of truth a believer hears and obeys, from the word of God.
“Your walk with God is the next 20 seconds.” Anonymous
Note to self: What you do with your next breath determines the direction, protection and correction of your life. Consider the importance of the prayer of Jesus. He places a very high priority upon the sanctification of His disciples, and those who would believe in Him through their word.
A walk with Jesus begins when disciples take their first step of obedience. These early disciples obeyed, when they heard Jesus say, “Follow Me.” As His words grew more difficult to hear, other followers left Jesus, but these men stayed and obeyed.
“As a result of this many of His disciples withdrew, and were not walking with Him anymore. So Jesus said to the twelve, ‘You do not want to go away too do you?’ Simon Peter answered Him, ‘Lord, to whom shall we go? You have words of eternal life.’ “ John 6:66-68
Salvation takes place on the day believers identify personally with the death of Jesus on The Cross for their sin. Sanctification takes place as believers daily yield their way, admit their sin, and bend their will to The Yoke of Jesus. The old camp song says it all, “Wherever He leads, I’ll go.”
Salvation and sanctification are inseparable expressions of a genuine relationship with Jesus. Those who claim to embrace Jesus as Savior, but have no passion to obey Him as Lord, are only posing for a “selfie.” They try to include Jesus as a once in a lifetime photo op, but they have no desire to walk with Him daily. They settle for being a poser with Jesus, without ever being a follower of Jesus. This is neither salvation or sanctification.
Salvation is the result of the first step of obedience, but sanctification is the result of daily steps of obedience. Jesus expected His disciples then and now to accept Him as their crucified Savior, and to allow His Spirit to transform them into sanctified followers of His Lordship. He prayed for no less.
Note to self: Don’t try to clean the fish before you catch them. The world is a polluted place, but that is where the fish are found. Catching precedes the cleaning of the fish. Cleaning never leads to catching fish. Trying to clean fish before you catch them only frustrates you and annoys the fish. Stop it.
Sanctify is rich in meaning, and carries the weight of many words to describe it clearly. It means to set apart, to make holy, to hallow, to dedicate, to consecrate, and to purify. Anyone connected with God carries the stamp of His sacred character upon their inward souls and on their outward behavior. When it comes to the Fruit of The Spirit, the apple never falls far from the tree.
Jesus prayed for His disciples to be sanctified in the truth of God’s word. Praying and obeying the word of God will guide any believer away from the pollution of the world, and towards The Father’s solution for the world, His Son, Jesus Christ.
“I am the way, the truth and the life, no man comes to the Father, except by Me.” Jesus – John 14:6
Self-gratification and self-glorification are the twin towers of self-satisfaction. Sanctification is marked by self-denial and absolute surrender to Holy God, and His Son’s Lordship. The citizens of The Kingdom take on the character of The King, by praying for Him to finish in The Yoke, what He began in them at The Cross. TALK LESS! PRAY MORE!
“Before we can pray, ‘Lord, Thy Kingdom come,’ we must be willing to pray, ‘My Kingdom go.’" Alan Redpath