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Here's a thought for Aug. 27

August 27, 2010
By The Rev. John Chisham

River of Life Alliance Church

John 17:17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.

Christians are to live in opposition to the world. This is a shocking statement to some, but it is the gospel truth.The way that we get to a point where we are set in opposition to the world is that we are hagiazo (GR)- set apart, set in opposition to that which is common or unclean. Jesus is praying that we would be set apart first by Him, being the manifestation of truth (John 14:6) and by the Holy Spirit, which is the spirit of truth (John 16:13). In other words, we would through the presence of Christ in the Holy Spirit we would be sanctified (Hagiazo). But also , very clearly, He declares that the Word of God, that is Jesus Christ and the written revelation which expresses the nature and character of God, is truth. When we read and believe (demonstrated by application) the Word of God, we are automatically set apart from this world and the world system. Jesus is asking His Father in this prayer that we would be set apart, set in opposition to the world and its system.

My question as I studied this passage is if this is how Jesus is pleading for us, then why do we return to the world so readily? Why do we play around with the world, enjoying its enticements? Why do we cling to the lust of the eyes and the lust of the flesh while Jesus pleads with His Father for us not to be overtaken by evil and to be set apart from and in opposition to the world? The flesh does war against the Spirit to be sure, and it will be a constant struggle. The good news is that Jesus is making intercession on our behalf so that we will not sin. But if we do sin, he is our advocate (1 John 2:1).

1My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:

There are many modern denominations and pastors which are opposing the word of God and as a result they have become apostate. This can happen in Churches because as individuals, many Christians are illiterate when it comes to the Bible as a result of not regularly reading, studying, and applying the Word of God. In order for the Word of God to be effective in sanctifying us, we must study it and apply it. The word of God is to be a sanctifying agent that turns us off of the broad road leading to destruction, instructing us on how to walk on the narrow road which leads to life. When the church compromises the truth of God's Word to grow in size and in favor with the world, the church is in reality rejecting God. This is why the church, in attempts to become relevant, has become irrelevant.

We are in the world for one purpose and one purpose only, and that is to glorify Christ, to be the manifestation of Jesus Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit. It is a good thing that we have Jesus interceding on our behalf and the Holy Spirit in power, and the guide of the Word of God so that we can know how to glorify Christ. If we will read and obey the Word of God, we will be set in opposition to the world system. We will be hated, indeed we may even be persecuted for our stand. But we have the promise of Christ that if we are His, He has the strength to hold on to us, never leaving us, never forsaking us, living forever to make intercessio



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