The Purifying Tower of Truth
John 17:17
Sanctify them through your truth: your word is truth.

This may be regarded as the central petition of this prayer of the great High Priest. Our Lord, having prayed on behalf of his disciples that they should be "kept from the evil," as those" not of the world," passes from the negative to the positive side of the Christian life. His heart's desire is that his people may be hallowed, consecrated, sanctified, made holy, as becomes those who are his own.


1. The nature of this blessing sought: consecration, or sanctification. It is a real and not a formal holiness, altogether distinct from and superior to the merely ceremonial purity which is so often regarded by the professedly religious as of supreme importance. It is consecration of the spirit, the center of the nature, the spring of the outer life. It is devotion to the service and glory of God himself. It consists in a distinction from the sinful world.

2. The desirableness of this blessing. Its absence is the cause of the wretchedness and degradation which curse human society, where sin rages unchecked. Holiness is the ultimate end for which revelation has been bestowed, and especially the end for which all the provisions of the Christian economy have been introduced. The pardon of sin is but a means to an end, and that end is the assimilation of the human character to the moral likeness of the all-holy God. Let it be considered that the holiness of his people was an object so precious and desirable in the esteem of our Divine High Priest, that for the sake of it he submitted to assume the form of a servant, and to die the death of the malefactor.


1. Remark the identity of God's Word with truth. We must not confine the application of the word to Holy Scripture, nor must we take it as equivalent to the personal Christ. Every manifestation of the Divine thought and will is the Word of God. Yet revelation, as usually understood, is emphatically this. God's Word is truth; for his knowledge admits of no limitation or imperfection; his righteousness forbids the possibility of deception; his benevolence delights in the instruction of his intelligent creatures.

2. The truth which is God's Word is the chosen instrument for producing human sanctity. This it does by revealing to man his evil life and ill deserts, by awakening the conscience of sin; by informing us of the holiness of the supreme Ruler; by presenting in Christ a flawless Example of moral excellence; by securing to the faithful forgiveness of sins through the redemption by Jesus Christ; by offering the influences of the Spirit of holiness as the only Agent in producing a result so difficult and yet so glorious; by bringing to bear upon the human heart the highest, purest, and most effectual motives - motives sufficient to enkindle aspirations towards holiness, and sufficient to induce to the employment of all those means by which alone the greatest of all blessings may, with Divine help, be secured and enjoyed. - T.

Parallel Verses
KJV: Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.

WEB: Sanctify them in your truth. Your word is truth.

The Element of True Holiness
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