The Element of True Holiness
John 17:17
Sanctify them through your truth: your word is truth.

I. THE MEANS OF SAFETY. Jesus has been praying that his friends may be safe; and here is the way to safety. The truly holy are the truly safe. When some infectious disease is raging far and wide, it is the drunkard and glutton who are most exposed to danger. And thus in seasons of spiritual temptation it is those who live far from God, and have allowed the world to run riot in their hearts, who are likeliest to fall.

II. THE MEANS OF UNITY. Jesus goes on to pray for unity; and holiness will lead to unity as well as safety.

III. THE ELEMENT OF THIS SAVING AND UNITING HOLINESS. We are to be in living, constant contact with God's truth as it is in Jesus. That truth is to be continually around us, even as the air we breathe. It is to be underneath us, even as the solid earth on which we stand. Truth is ever important, but the truth as it is in Jesus is of supreme importance, as the truth that concerns us all in our greatest interests. If with all our knowledge we have failed to lay hold of God's truth in Jesus, then we are still miserably ignorant. We must not be dunces in the school of Jesus. The time will come when one truth of his will give us more satisfaction and peace than all we have learned amid this world's greatest opportunities. And since Jesus prays that we may be sanctified in this truth, it is plain that the truth lies near us, only needing our reasonable attention and effort to make it our own.

IV. THE NEARNESS OF THIS TRUTH AS CONTRASTED WITH OUR NEGLIGENCE OF IT. We can talk much about the truth, and yet feel it very little. We can call it of supreme importance, and yet not make it so. The guilt, the danger, and the misery of sin are often on our lips; but only on our lips. We do not speak of the presence of sin in our souls as if we had made the terrible discovery for ourselves, and appreciated all that the discovery implied. The thing of real concern with us is not truth for the heart, but food and raiment. Hence this frightful want of correspondence between what we are and what we profess to be. There is a sanctification as far as the providing of the elements is concerned; and vet no sanctification, because the elements are unused. Our lives are very mean, worldly, and empty, compared with the opportunities we enjoy. God has brought us into a land of the choicest blessings. We are invited to sit down at a table loaded with the bread of eternal life. The fountain opened for sin and uncleanness springs up before our eyes. If we are none the better, and make not the slightest progress, it is because of a neglected Holy Spirit. It is truth that sanctities; and the Holy Spirit is to lead us into all the truth. Without him, we have eyes and yet see not, ears and yet hear not. We must not bring our own little line to measure him who is the eternal Son of God. Not many wise are called to the inheritance of the sanctified. We must be humble and submissive; then shall we know things not otherwise to be known. The work of Jesus is to give us something to know and make our own. The work of the Spirit is actually to make that something our own. The more hold that Divine truth has upon us, the plainer it is that we are growing in holiness, in separation from the world, and union with the Father through the Son. - Y.

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

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

Sanctification Through the Truth
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