God Sanctifies Us
"They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth." (John 17:16-19)
What does it mean to "sanctify" something? "Sanctify" means to clean up something, to set something apart as special or for special use, to make it appropriate for a special purpose. The word "sanctify" has the idea of making something holy, purifying it, setting it apart for a special spiritual purpose.
Have you ever been in a stable? It is not especially clean, is it? There are animals in stables, and all the things that go along with animals – their food, the way they smell, the dirt that they get on them. Stables, even when they have been cleaned out, are not exactly clean! But they are clean enough for their purpose – to be a house for animals like cows and horses.
Have you ever been to the mother-baby floor of a hospital? There is a very special nursery room for the newborn babies there. It is a room set apart for them, and it is always kept 100% spic-and-span clean. Why? Because babies pick up germs and sicknesses very easily. It is important to keep germs away from them until they grow strong and healthy enough to fight off sicknesses. This room is so set apart that normal people (non-nurses and non-babies) have to wear special robes to go in there and sit with the babies. Sometimes they have to wear masks. Normal people would look funny wearing masks and robes in a supermarket or at the library – but in a hospital nursery, we do not think it is strange. It is appropriate and right to be careful around babies in a hospital nursery. That room is set apart just for them.
Now, even though Jesus was born in a stable, we would probably never dream of putting a newborn baby in a stable under normal circumstances. Even the cleanest of stables will still have germs and weird smells – and no nurses or masks or robes! So what made the stable where Jesus was born a good enough stable for His birth to happen in? Well, that stable was special because God, in His sovereign wisdom and power, had prepared it and set it apart for the birth of His Son. By itself, that stable would have been just as dirty and smelly – and as inappropriate for a nursery – as any other dirty and smelly stable. But because God chose it and "sanctified" it, it was a good enough place for Jesus' birth.
God sanctifies people, too. He prepares them, He washes them clean, He sets them apart for His own special purposes. He is perfectly holy, so He is the only One perfectly able to sanctify us. Jesus' prayer in John 17 makes it very clear that God is the One Who sanctifies us, and that He does that sanctifying by the power of His Word.
If God has saved you, He wants to sanctify you. He wants you to be set apart as special for His special purposes. He wants you to be holy like He is holy. And the wonderful thing is, God has the power to change you. It is a long process, but the truth of God's Word is powerful enough to change you and make you holy.
God is the One Who can make us holy, by the truth of His Word.
» Am I sanctified?
» Is God sanctifying me?
» How has God been changing me through the truth of His Word?
Truth In Real Life
“I can safely say, on the authority of all that is revealed in the Word of God, that any man or woman on this earth who is bored and turned off by worship is not ready for heaven.”
Aiden Wilson Tozer – better known as A.W. Tozer – was born on April 21, 1897, in western Pennsylvania. Born on a farm, he was well-liked, and preferred to be called simply “Tozer” by his family and friends.
At a young age, Tozer demonstrated that he was good with words. He enjoyed reading, and he loved writing. And he was good at both!
When he was 15 years old, he moved with his family to Akron, Ohio. One afternoon, while walking on the sidewalk, Tozer overheard a street preacher say, “If you don’t know how to be saved, just call on God.” Tozer went straight home, went to the attic, called on God, and gave his life to Him.
Very few names in history are linked as closely to the subject of prayer as the name “A.W. Tozer.” As an adult, Tozer wrote some of the most powerful books that still exist today on this topic of prayer. He was a prolific and avid writer – meaning he wrote all the time – yet it has been said that “he spent more time on his knees than at his desk.” Why was he on his knees? Because he believed prayer was the most important job in life.
For almost 50 years, A.W. Tozer gave his life to ministry. He pointed countless souls to Christ by first pointing them to the importance of prayer. He wrote over 40 books, including his two most famous: The Pursuit of God, and The Knowledge of the Holy.
His gravestone reads simply, “A.W. Tozer – A Man of God.”
A.W. Tozer once said, “The chief end of man is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever.” Does it bore you to think of what it will be like to worship God in heaven forever? Do you truly enjoy God?
Revelation 4:11 – You are worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and by Your will they exist and were created.