"Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth." - Jn 17:17
How often we have heard these words! We use these words of our Lord to establish that truth is found in the Bible. And this is true, but is that what Jesus was talking about?
Jesus is talking to the Father. Jesus isn't telling the Father or us where to find the truth. Instead Jesus is saying God's word will set the disciples apart from the world.
"14 I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. 15 I do not ask You to take them out of the world, but to keep them from the evil one. 16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world." Jn 17:14-16.As Christ came into the world to do God's work and to glorify Him, so the disciples have been left in the world to do His work and to glorify the Father.
Jesus later says that His disciples are in the world, but they are not of the world. What is it that keeps the disciples from being of the world but the word of God. Disciples can be in the world, remaining holy and about the Father's business, because the word of God sets them apart.
"Sanctify them in the truth" is showing that God's word must come to the disciples if they are to be "in the world but not of the world". They won't have human wisdom. They won't have traditions. They won't be left with doubts and questions. But God will give to them the Holy Spirit inspired truth so that they will be set apart.
How about you? Are you striving to overcome sin? Do you feel you are too often just like the world. Is your life in the world AND of the world? Well it's because you are not sanctified by the word of truth. Without God's word, you are going to act as one who is still of the world.
God bless you. Dan Mayfield