I. "SANCTIFY THEM IN THY TRUTH, THY WORD IS TRUTH."
A. Having prayed that they may be kept from the evil one, He now prays that the Father might sanctify them in His truth.
1. The word sanctify is to hallow, or consecrate. It was to set something apart for God.
a. All of the vessels used in the temple worship were to be sanctified; i.e., they were not to be used for any other purpose than in the worship of God. They were never to be used for personal purposes once sanctified to God.
b. The great blaspheme of Belshazzar was to take the vessels that his grandfather Nebuchadnezzar had taken from the temple that had been sanctified and drink wine out of them as he praised the gods of gold and silver.
2. The firstborn son was to be sanctified to God.
B. The Greek word translated sanctify comes from the root word hagios which means holy. The idea is to be set apart.
1. He has declared that they are not of this world, now He is praying that they might be set apart from this world.
C. The means by which this was to be done was His truth.
1. How does the truth of God's word sanctify us?
a. It causes us to see the emptiness of the world, and its inability to satisfy our deepest needs.
b. I see that the world has nothing to offer me but misery and strife. The wisest and perhaps the wealthiest man whoever lived, after pursuing satisfaction and happiness in the world, declared. "Emptiness, emptiness, all is empty and frustrating."
2. I see through the word the blessings and fulfillment the people found who consecrated their lives to God.
D. The Greek reads sanctify them in Thy truth rather than as translated through Thy truth. The word is the element in which we are being sanctified.
1. In the Old Testament the priests would wash themselves in water as the agent of sanctification.
2. Also they were sanctified by the blood of the sacrifice and the anointing oil.
3. God spoke of the tabernacle being sanctified by His glory.
4. The water, the blood, the oil, the glory of God were the agents in which they were sanctified.
5. The word of God is the agent in the New Testament whereby we are set apart from the world. Washed in the word.
E. We are sanctified by the Holy Spirit, and God, and our faith in Jesus.
1. Jesus when He called Paul on the Damascus road told him that He was sending him to the Gentiles to open their eyes and to turn them from darkness to light from the power of Satan to God that they might receive the forgiveness of sin and an inheritance unto them that are sanctified by faith in Jesus.
2. Paul writing to the Romans speaks of being sanctified by the Holy Ghost. 15:16.
3. Jude writes to those who are sanctified by God the Father.
II. "AS YOU HAVE SENT ME INTO THE WORLD, EVEN SO HAVE I SENT THEM INTO THE WORLD."
A. God sent Jesus into the world that He might reveal the truth of God to man.
1. We are sent into the world that we might reveal the truth of God to man.
2. Jesus was sent to be a witness for God.
3. We are being sent that we might be witnesses of God.
4. Jesus came to seek and to save those who were lost, so are we to seek to save those who are lost.
5. Jesus was here as the light of the world, so are we to be the light of the world.
6. Jesus received the Spirit who anointed Him, filled Him and guided Him. So are we to be filled, anointed, and guided by the Spirit.
7. He was ever about His Father's business, so are we ever to be about our Father's business.
B. He had prayed that they might be sanctified by the truth, then He sent them into the world, but they were to be set apart from the world into which they were sent.
C. In John's first epistle he declared, "As He is so are we in this world."
D. To me it is glorious that He has given me His place of acceptance on high, I am accepted in the beloved. And I have His place of witness here on the earth.
III. "AND FOR THEIR SAKES I SANCTIFY MYSELF."
A. Here is no doubt a reference to the cross, "I sanctify Myself." As the lamb that was set apart for the sacrifice, so He was setting Himself apart as a sacrifice unto God for the sins of the world. In Hebrews 13:12
, we read that Jesus also that He might sanctify His own people with His blood, suffered without the gate.
1. Note that it is for their sakes.
2. He suffered the death on the cross for our sakes.
3. It is through His merit that I can come to the Father.
4. I have nothing to offer to God.
a. It is blasphemous to offer to God the works of my hands.
b. At best, the motives for my works are questionable.
c. I do not even know the true motives of my heart. My heart, like yours, is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked, who can know it?
d. My nature is so basically selfish, that I do not know nor can I discern the real motives for my finest actions.
e. If I stop to help a little old lady across the street, am I hoping someone will see me and think what a fine person I am, or do I hope to get some reward from her or from God for my kind action?
5. Thus it is through His merit that He asks the Father to sanctify them through the truth.
6. Whenever I come to God for anything, I never come to God on the basis of my merit, but on the basis of the merit of Jesus Christ who sanctified Himself for me.