“I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. 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 17:15-19 KJV)
When a person believes Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, who was with God before the foundation of the world, and that He as God became human for the purpose of paying the penalty for OUR sins, and rose from the dead, that person IS MADE the very righteousness of God, in Christ.
“Being then MADE FREE from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.” (Romans 6:18 KJV)
“For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might BE MADE the righteousness of God in him.” ( 2 Corinthians 5:21 KJV)
Such a believer has become one with Christ, who is one with the Father. And so that person has been made one with the Father as well. This is a truth that many believers fail to grasp because after our moment of Salvation in Christ, we still have our mortal flesh and sin nature. We are not yet complete in Christ from our mortal perspective. And we will not be until our bodily Resurrection when the sin nature in us will be removed.
However, to God, He foreknew every person that would accept His unmerited Free GIFT of Salvation from before the founation of the Earth. When Moses asked God at the burning bush what name of God to tell Pharaoh sent him, the reply was “I AM THAT I AM”.
This is significant! Our God lives in the forever present. By that, I mean that God sees our past, present and future all at the same time. Hard for us to comprehend because we are living within this thing God created called time. God knew before he created you and me, who would accept Christ and who would reject Christ. The Bible says there is ‘The Wicked’ and ‘The Righteous’. To us living in time, we all start out in the ‘wicked’ group from the age of accountability. And “whosoever” accepts Christ, God predestined to conform to His image (Ephesians 1) and become the Righteousness of God, IN CHRIST. To God, we are already in Heaven and the New Jerusalem with Him because God exists in all times. He is the great “I AM”. The ONE and ONLY.
Hard for us to grasp right? So when you fail, when you fall into sin, when you stumble, remember that NOTHING you do takes God by surprise. He has it all worked out before you were even born.
“And we know that ALL THINGS work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28 KJV)
Knowing this to be true is a real wake up call. We are to God already completely righteous. Because we Christians are so good? No. It is because what Christ did on the cross when He shed His blood for the remission of our sins (Matthew 26:28). When a person accepts the Gift of Salvation the Holy Spirit indwells the person. He then starts to guide and teach and sanctify the person (John 14:26).
Do We Sanctify Ourselves or Does The Holy Spirit Sanctify Us?
In John 17:17, Jesus answers this question.
“SANTIFY THEM THROUGH THY TRUTH: THY WORD IS TRUTH.”
Before Jesus became human His name was The Word. (John 1) Jesus Christ is not only the truth, He is the way and the life!
“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6 KJV)
Jesus Christ is the only way back to a proper relationship with God. Such a relationship requires a perfectly Holy Righteousness but we have sins committed standing in the way of this. That is why The Word (Christ) became human, never sinned, and shed His blood for the remission of our sins. Believing in the atonement for our sins through the Passion of Christ, God made us the Holy Righteousness of God, in Him.
What Is Our Part Though?
Again, what should we do as believers? First, thank God for such an amazing gift! Second, read the Bible because it is God’s Word and the absolute truth. The more you read the Bible and the words of Jesus the more you are helping the Holy Spirit renew your mind. You will see the truth and be set free from the guilt of your sins and set free from the punishment of your sins. You will look at things from God’s viewpoint and not the world’s viewpoint and that will empower you to accomplish the good works of God through you.
“Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall MAKE YOU free.” (John 8:31-32 KJV)
Notice the word ‘make’. The Bible does not ever say it is our efforts making us saved and righteous before God. And it is not our own efforts that sanctify us completely. Only the Holy Spirit renews our minds and changes us from the inner self outwardly. That said, by reading the truth from the word of God we are pressing toward the goal of the Holy Spirit. It says over and over again what Jesus said in John 8. It is God alone that MAKES US positionally righteous and justified. It is never our works accomplishing this. It is our belief in Christ, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world! (John 1:29)
Writing to even the the carnal believers in Corinthians Paul makes this statement,
“For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.” ( 2 Corinthians 4:16 KJV)
And we see in Titus,
“Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.” ( Titus 3:5-7 KJV)
Paul also makes it clear that we should do our part in this renewing of our mind. How a person thinks and believes about the world will determine their actions in the world. A person’s viewpoint is an important key factor in how a person lives. We all begin with the world’s viewpoint. And who is controlling the world’s viewpoint of truth? The Bible says it is our adversary, Satan.
“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” (Ephesians 6:12 KJV)
In Ephesians 6, Paul continues and is telling us to put on the whole armour of God and it is all about knowing the truth in the Bible and allowing this to transform us. And that means we should be studying the word of God to know the truth. Knowing the truths in the Bible will also protect us from our adversary!
“Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:” (Ephesians 6:13-17 KJV )
We have our part to do in the Holy Spirit’s work of renewing our mind to God’s view point and truth.
You still have free choice after the moment of your Salvation to walk by the Spirit in truth (by God’s word) or to walk by the flesh in carnality as the Corinthians were doing. Are you still saved either way after Salvation? Yes. Paul called the Corinthians believers. Does that mean there are no consequences for sin and we can just keep sinning and ignoring God’s word without consequences? No!
We have our part to do and why would we not want to know the truth from God’s word? Jesus redeemed us with His shed blood and has given us all things. Christ says in John 15 to abide in Him and His words and Christ will abide in us.
Do not just listen to Pastors or Priests. Do not just read my articles or e-books and believe. No.. start reading your Bible after your moment of Salvation, having received this most amazing GIFT from God. The Holy Spirit within a believer will Sanctify you and guide and teach you the truth.
“And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” (Romans 12:2 KJV)
When that happens over time, you will be changed and conformed more and more into the image of Christ. God will place desires in you to accomplish good works He has prepared for you to perform.
Start reading the amazing truth in God’s word; The Bible.