17 Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.
Previously our Lord had prayed that the Father would “keep” or protect the apostles from the poisonous dynamics of the world. Now He prayed that they would be set apart by truth that comes through the Word.
17 Sanctify them
The word “sanctify” means set apart. Jesus prayed that the Father would set the apostles apart by the truth of what they were taught. The issue here is the values that come from the truth—revealed truth.
The word “sanctify” does not mean to purify. The idea is to be set apart for some purpose. The purpose in this context was to carry on the ministry of Jesus on earth.
by Your truth [revealed truth].
God sanctifies people by “truth.” People can be sanctified only if they allow divine revelation to govern them.
Your word is truth.
We find God’s truth in propositions of His “word”; that is, in divine revelation. This is the only “truth” that is infallible.
The premise of being set apart unto God rests on revealed truth.
It is not enough to separate ourselves from the values of the world system; we need to learn more about God’s system of values, His worldview, His viewpoint on reality. We need to be kept from the one and confirmed in the other.
As the Word of God captures our heart, it will transform our lives. We must both understand and apply it to ourselves to make this happen. Sanctification of the believer’s ministry and life comes by this process.