The 7th sermon in our series on “the greatest prayer ever prayed”.
To be sanctified is – “to be set apart for sacred use, cleansed and made holy.” It has two parts:-
A – Position.
It is where someone or something is set apart from common use to be devoted instead to a holy purpose. Here are some examples of what God has sanctified – the Sabbath (Genesis 2 v 3); Mount Sinai (Exodus 19 v 23); Israel (Exodus 31 v 13); the Priesthood (Leviticus 21 v 8); Paul and Barnabas (Acts 13 v 2); and of course all Christians are positionally sanctified.
B – Practice.
This is where Christians work out what God has put in and progressively become more and more like Jesus in their character and behaviour (2 Corinthians 7 v 1 & 1 Thessalonians 4 v 7.) Although sadly this is not a given, as the church in Corinth reminds us only too well; which is why there is a need to co-operate and partner with God in sanctification (Romans 8 v 13 & 1 Thessalonians 4 v 4.)
In this the “greatest prayer ever prayed” we discover three aspects of sanctification which mostly veer in the direction of practice:-
1 – The METHOD of Sanctification (v 17.)
It is through the ministry of the truth of God’s Word (1 Thessalonians 2 v 13), which if to be effective will require us to cultivate three attitudes. We are to:-
A – Love the Word (heart) – We are to read it regularly and reflect on its meaning; as well as listen to it being taught and expounded (Nehemiah 8 v 3 & 7- 8.)
B – Learn the Word (Mind) – We are to learn and memorise Scripture so that the Holy Spirit can bring it to mind when needed (Deuteronomy 6 v 8 – 9.)
C – Live the Word (Will) – We are to implement what it says by taking the appropriate action steps of obedience (Acts 2 v 37.)
2 – The MOTIVE of Sanctification (v 18.)
Sanctification is not about becoming more Christ like in a vacuum; instead it is about being sent into the world (Acts 1 v 8) to serve and to witness to the world (Luke 9 v 48) both verbally and visually.
3 – The MODEL of Sanctification (v 20.)
Jesus is our prototype model for sanctification (1 John 2 v 6) striking an effective balance between being in, but not of the world. He was able to identify without compromise and calls us to follow his example as we serve him in the world (Matthew 20 v 28.)
Challenge – Are you being sanctified by the Word of God, by your service in the world, and by imitating the example of Jesus?
Theme: “A work in progress!”
Reading: John 17 v 13 – 19
Preacher: Chris Hughes
Led by: Richard Sills