“I have given them thy word … Sanctify them through Thy truth: Thy word is truth” (JN 17:14, 15).
One of my favorite passages of scripture is found in John 17. It is in this chapter that we find our Lord’s High Priestly Prayer. There are so many nuggets of truth to be found in Jesus’ prayer in John 17. It’s definitely a chapter worth meditating upon.
In the passages above, we find two important truths. First of all, we find a good reminder that God’s word, which has been passed down to us, is truth. Secondly, it is by way of God’s word that we are sanctified, changed, or made a holy people.
When we talk about growth in grace [2 Peter 3:18] or being conformed to the image of Jesus Christ [Romans 8:29], in all reality, we are talking about the sanctification process. And, it doesn’t matter how long we have been saved or attending church, we all still need to be sanctified more than we have been to date.
Sanctification is the divine process that God uses to make us BECOME who He wants us to BECOME (Christlikeness) in order that we can DO what He wants us to DO (cause of Christ)!
In God’s order of things, the BECOMING should precede the DOING!
This process of sanctification is vital not only for our personal lives, but for those of us in the ministry, this should be our primary objective when it comes to helping and discipling others. As one author noted:
Without a passion to disciple believers to Christlikeness through the ministries of the church, the church will focus merely on perpetuating its programs, and the sheep will grow sickly and unfruitful. The edification ministry of the local church is also, therefore, a discipling effort—helping believers make biblical change toward Christlikeness. … Christian teachers must remember that while the goal of most businesses is to please the customer, making him a consumer, the goal of Christian education is to change the customer, making him a contributor, a servant. Discipleship must be the driving concern. For that reason, every Christian teacher must understand the principles of biblical change.
And our being sanctified, changed, or becoming more holy is dependent upon what we do with the Bible and what we allow the Bible to do with us. It is for this reason that we must become a people of the Book. We must read it, study it, memorize and meditate upon it, and, of course, above all, obey it [Matthew 7:24-27].