The word “sanctify” means “to make holy”. It is the Greek word hagiazo, the same word used in the Lord’s Prayer when it says Hallowed be Thy Name. It suggests being separated from sin, growing and learning in such a way that we lean further into the Spirit and further away from the flesh.

This passage in John tells us that the vision of The Gospel is not for us to be removed from the world, but to be sanctified while we live in it. The earth is just a context, a setting. The mission is to learn to be more holy and less subservient to Satan and the flesh.

How do we do this? There is only one way. The truth. Truth found in nature, in the Scriptures, and in our own hearts.

We are becoming a society more and more allergic to the truth. We don’t always like how it makes us feel or what it asks us to do. It is easier to adopt false narratives, to put on masks, to assimilate into the temporal and superficial promises of a jagged reality.

Truth is an acquired taste. It is sometimes hard to hear. It will challenge and convict us. It won’t rescue us from difficult circumstances (at least not by preventing them). The truth costs us. It is also the only thing that sets us free. The only way to be sanctified.

“My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.”
– John 17:15-17