SANCTIFYING WORK FOR WORLD WITNESS
It is amazing that God through the Apostle John should give us a window into the heart of Jesus for His disciples and us. He does this by recording Jesus’ longest prayer in John 17. There are many points Jesus covers in this prayer, but I want to get your attention on a couple of themes in this prayer. It is preceded by three chapters, largely devoted to the coming of the Holy Spirit.
Three times Jesus refers to the Spirit as the “Spirit of truth” (14:17; 15:26; 16:13). While the Spirit has many roles in our lives as believers, this is a very critical role. Though the Spirit is not directly mentioned in Chapter 17 (The Lord’s Prayer), the focus on Him in the previous chapters cannot be disconnected from the points in this prayer. Truth sanctifies when we let the Spirit apply it to specific things in our lives; particularly character.
“Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth. As You sent Me into the world, so I have sent them into the world” (17:17–18). How would this sanctifying process take place? Jesus told the disciples that the Spirit would glorify Him, “for He will take what is Mine and declare it to you” (16:14). That must include Jesus’ words which are truth. The Scriptures combined with the teaching of the Spirit of truth (14:26) in us, gives a constant divine work in us which sanctifies. What is this for? It is to make us holy, set apart for God’s use, but it is more than that. Notice verse 18; “As You [the Father] sent Me into the world, so I have sent them into the world” (17:18). The sanctifying work of the Spirit is so we are wholly prepared for our mission in the world.
I will deal with this subject more tomorrow, but for now, prayerfully consider how much you are allowing the Spirit to prepare you for God’s work in this world. To the degree you allow Him to sanctify you, prepare you, will be the degree of your effective ministry.
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