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Your Word Is Truth

John 17:17 (ESV) -- Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.

Jesus’ final prayer in John’s Gospel is in chapter 17. Following this prayer, the soldiers arrest Jesus and the events of His death and resurrection ensue. Jesus’ last prayer is for His followers, both those with Him during that time, and those who would come to faith by their testimony. In other words…us. 

Jesus’ prayer for His people contains a short, but powerful truth in it. It is a request and a statement. Jesus prays, “Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.” When Jesus speaks about “your word,” He means the words and revelation of His Father. It includes all the words that come from God, including His own. 

He asks the Father to sanctify His people in the truth. The word sanctification is about making holy and pure. After salvation, believers are supposed to grow in practical righteousness. We put sin to death. We learn how to live our lives and order them in ways that are pleasing to God. We are declared righteous and holy by faith. This is called justification. But sanctification is the process of actually becoming those things in practice. What sanctifies our minds, wills, and emotions? The truth. We must be people of the truth if we want to be holy and righteous. If our lives are going to please God, then they must be in step with the truth. 

Jesus then clarifies even further, “your word is truth.” The Word of the Triune God is truth. This truth is contained in the Scriptures. We have this treasure of knowledge and wisdom. God has revealed Himself to us. We know His character, our sin, His gospel, and how to live a pleasing life in His sight. Any sanctification we experience comes through alignment of our lives with the truth. His Word is truth. 

Are you spending time in Scripture? Are you learning about what God requires of you? Jesus prays for our sanctification in the truth, and that comes through God’s Holy Word. 

Reflection & Journal:
- What does sanctification mean?
- Why is the truth of Scripture required for us to be sanctified?
- How does this passage inform us on how we should pursue spiritual disciplines and Scripture reading?

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