“Sanctify them through thy truth, thy word is truth.” (John 17:17)
The LORD Jesus Christ as the High Priest of God interceded on earth for those sinners that the Father gave Him from eternity. We know that whatever Christ asks of His Father, He receives. Not one request of our LORD Jesus on behalf of His people could fall on deaf ears nor remain unanswered because the Son asks only that which the Father wills and the Father wills whatever the Son asks, John 14:13.
Reading then our LORD’S prayer for the sanctification of His people, we do so with the full assurance that not one of the members of Christ’s church will remain unsanctified. It applies to all members equally. It is a myth to presume that there are some who are less sanctified than others for whom the LORD Jesus Christ intercedes. It is also false to think that different ones of His church are at different levels of sanctification in their lives.
To be sanctified is to be set apart unto Christ in His life and death as the Substitute. The Bible declares that God’s elect were sanctified from eternity when the Father chose them out and gave them to Christ Who would come and pay their sin debt, Jude 1:1. They were completely sanctified in Christ’s life and death as their Savior and Substitute. When our LORD prayed that God the Father sanctify His disciples, it was in view of His work of sanctification that He came to accomplish for them, “But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption...” (1 Corinthians 1:30) And, being redeemed, justified and sanctified in Christ, the Spirit of Christ sanctifies them by regeneration, drawing each one to Himself in Faith, setting them apart to Him in their experience. Being sanctified by the Spirit of Christ, their hearts are made alive in Him, their desires and affections are after HIM as ALL their righteousness and holiness.
As sanctified in Christ, by His Holy Spirit, they hunger and thirst after righteousness, Matthew 5:6. This is not a righteousness within themselves but that which is theirs by the imputation of God’s righteousness that the LORD Jesus accomplished at the cross. God has once for all sanctified His elect, through Christ and His finished work according to the Truth, Hebrews 10:10. Christ Himself is the Word of Truth and His Spirit will always reveal Him according to the Word of Truth, which is the Gospel of God. Whatever working we find of the Spirit in the heart, it is by the Word of Truth, Christ, revealed in the heart. The life of believers is from Christ, through Christ and to Christ, Who is the TRUTH.