Sanctify Them Through Thy Truth

Sanctify is a word that many people, even Christians, shy away from. It scares them and sounds like something undesirable and impossible. But it is a good and important word. If we let the Bible define it for us, it won*t be so foreign to us. We can learn to embrace it. Jesus prayed His Father to sanctify His children.

John 17:17: Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.

Since Jesus asked His Father to sanctify us, the most important sanctification must be the work of God. It is not something that we can do for ourselves. He sanctifies us by saving us, making us new creatures, different from what we were and different from the lost people around us and making our lives different from theirs. Our part in sanctification is to show others that it has happened.

It is impossible for us to sanctify ourselves without the working of God. We must surrender to Him and to His work upon us and upon our lives. We ought to pray and ask Him to sanctify us. And then we ought to submit ourselves to whatever it is that He wants to do to us and for us. We submit ourselves to His sanctification by reading, studying, hearing, obeying and sharing His Truth, the Bible. If we do those things He will sanctify us. If we reject, neglect or ignore His truth He won*t sanctify us. Jesus prayed: Sanctify them through thy truth: We also participate in the process of sanctification by avoiding sin, obeying the Lord and living the new kind of life that He has put in us.

2 Corinthians 6:17-18: Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, 18 And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.

Acts 26:18: To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.

When we have enough faith in Christ to receive Him we are already sanctified.

Romans 15:16: That I should be the minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, ministering the gospel of God, that the offering up of the Gentiles might be acceptable, being sanctified by the Holy Ghost.

1 Corinthians 1:2: Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, (sanctified ones) with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours:

1 Corinthians 6:11: And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.

2 Timothy 2:21: If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master*s use, and prepared unto every good work.

Then He gives a list of some things we ought to purge from our lives and add to them.

2 Timothy 2:22-24: Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart. 23 But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes. 24 And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient,

And then He tells us that our sanctification can impact others.

2 Timothy 2:25: In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; 26 And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.

When we avoid sin we are part of the process of sanctification and we become useful to the Lord and we are prepared to do good works instead of sinning.

Hebrews 2:11: For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren,

Hebrews 10:10: By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

Hebrews 10:14: For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia:

The Formal Sense: By sanctification is ordinarily meant that hallowing of the Christian believer by which he is freed from sin and enabled to realize the will of God in his life. This is not, however, the first or common meaning in the Scriptures. To sanctify means commonly to make holy, that is, to separate from the world and consecrate to God. . . . The Ethical Sense: the chief interest of Christian thought lies in the ethical idea, sanctification considered as the active deed or process by which the life is made holy. . . . The Personal Sense: . . . we do not get the full meaning of this thought of sanctification as consecration, or belonging, until we grasp the New Testament thought of our relation to God as personal. The danger has always been that this consecration should be thought of in a negative or passive way. Now the Christian*s surrender is not to an outer authority but to an inner, living fellowship. The sanctified life is thus a life of personal fellowship lived out with the Father in the spirit of Christ in loving trust and obedient service. This positive and vital meaning of sanctification dominates Paul*s thought. He speaks of living unto God, of living to the Lord, and most expressively of all, of being alive unto God. So completely is his life filled by this fellowship that he can say, *It is no longer I that live, but Christ liveth in me (Galatians 2:20). But there is no quietism here. It is a very rich and active life, this life of fellowship to which we are surrendered. It is a life of sonship in trust and love, with the spirit that enables us to say *Abba, Father.* It is a life of unconquerable kindness and good will. It is a life of *faith working through love. It is having the mind of Christ. The sanctified life, then, is the life so fully surrendered to fellowship with Christ day by day that inner spirit and outward expression are ruled by His spirit.

My personal definition of sanctification: *When God sanctified me He gave me a personal relationship with Him that I did not have before. When He chose me before the foundation of the world He planned to sanctify me. The moment I received Jesus His sanctification became actual and personal. Sanctification became something that I could enjoy and benefit from, not something that I need to fear or resist. It became something that I should seek and strive for. It is now the work of God upon me and upon my life, including my thoughts, my plans, desires, my attitudes my activities. Being sanctified is being different from what I was before. It is being what God wants me to be. It is doing what God wants me to do. He helps me to stop sinning and to do righteous things.*

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