Literature Ministries International
- By Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
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THE SECONDARY MEANING OF“SANCTIFY”
Ye shall be holy: for I the LORD your God am holy.
There is a secondary meaning to the word sanctify, and this is equally clear from the Scriptures. This is that we are not only regarded as holy—we are made holy. And obviously we are made holy because that is how we are regarded. God sets us apart as His peculiar or special people, and because of this we must be a holy people:“Ye shall be holy: for I the LORD your God am holy,” says God. So we are to be holy because we are holy, and that is the great New Testament appeal for sanctification.
So this second meaning is that God does a work within us—a work of purifying, cleansing, and purging; and this work is designed to fit us for the title that has been put upon us. We have been adopted, taken out of the world, and set apart, and we are now being conformed increasingly to the image, the pattern, of the Lord Jesus Christ, so that we may in truth be the people of God, in reality as well as in name.
So this is obviously progressive work. The first meaning involves something that is done once and for all, and it is because we are set apart that we are justified. God has looked upon His people from all eternity and has set them apart. He sanctified them before the foundation of the world, and because of that they are justified, and also because of that they are sanctified in this second sense.So the question is, which of these two meanings is to be attached to the word in John 17:17: “Sanctify them through thy truth”? It seems to me that there is only one adequate answer to that: Obviously both meanings are involved. Our calling demands that we must be a holy people since we cannot represent a holy God unless we ourselves are holy.
A Thought to Ponder
We are to be holy because we are holy.
From Sanctified Through the Truth, pp. 10-11.
Today’s devo is taken from Walking with God Day by Day © 2003 by Good News Publishers. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Crossway Books, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
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