Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.
Note 102 at Joh 17:17: The word "sanctify" means "to set apart for sacred use; consecrate" (American Heritage Dictionary). There are two aspects of sanctification described in the New Testament. First, there is a positional sanctification that is the possession of every New Testament believer "in Christ."
Vine's Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words describes this aspect of sanctification by saying, "'Since every believer is sanctified in Christ Jesus (1Co 1:2, cp. Heb 10:10), a common N.T. designation of all believers is "saints," HAGIOI, i.e., "sanctified" or "holy ones." Thus sainthood, or sanctification, is not an attainment, it is the state into which God, in grace, calls sinful men, and in which they begin their course as Christians (Col 3:12; Heb 3:1).'"
Vine's Expository Dictionary also says, "'Sanctification is that relationship with God into which men enter by faith in Christ (Ac 26:18; 1Co 6:11) and to which their sole title is the death of Christ (Eph 5:25-26; Col 1:22; Heb 10:10, 29; 13:12).'" We may also say that a synonym for this aspect of sanctification would be "justification."
Second, there is a progressive or experiential sanctification (i.e., the holiness of one's life). Vine's Expository Dictionary describes this process by saying, "'Sanctification is also used in the N.T. of the separation of the believer from evil things and ways. This sanctification is God's will for the believer (1Th 4:3), and His purpose in calling him by the gospel (1Th 4:7); it must be learned from God (1Th 4:4), as He teaches it by His Word (Joh 17:17, 19; cp. Ps 17:4; 119:9), and it must be pursued by the believer, earnestly and undeviatingly (1Ti 2:15; Heb 12:14). For the holy character, HAGIOSUNE (1Th 3:13), is not vicarious, i.e., it cannot be transferred or imputed, it is an individual possession, built up, little by little, as the result of obedience to the Word of God, and of following the example of Christ (Mt 11:29; Joh 13:15; Eph 4:20; Php 2:5), in the power of the Holy Spirit (Ro 8:13; Eph 3:16). The Holy Spirit is the Agent in sanctification.'"
So we are already sanctified in Christ (Heb 10:10), we are being sanctified daily as we yield to God, and we will be completely sanctified when we see the Lord (1Jo 3:1-2).
Note 103 at Joh 17:17: In this prayer, Jesus had already prayed twice that the Father would keep His disciples from evil (Joh 17:11 and 15). Here He revealed the way that God would accomplish this: through God's Word, the Holy Scriptures. Anyone who desires to live for God and reject the devil and this world system must know God's Word.
Note 104 at Joh 17:17: God's Word doesn't just contain truth; it is truth. There is no truth that contradicts God's Word. Anyone who claims to know more than God's Word is a fool (Ro 1:22 and 1Co 1:25).
|Previous Verse||Next Verse|