Summary: The Gospel in three words
For Their Sakes
“For their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also may be sanctified by the truth.” John 17:19.(NKJ)
I read about a small boy who was consistently late coming home from school. His parents warned him one day that he must be home on time that afternoon, but nevertheless he arrived later than ever. His mother met him at the door and said nothing. At dinner that night, the boy looked at his plate. There was a slice of bread and a glass of water. He looked at his father’s full plate and then at his father, but his father remained silent. The boy was crushed.
The father waited for the full impact to sink in, then quietly took the boy’s plate and placed it in front of himself. He took his own plate of meat and potatoes, put it in front of the boy, and smiled at his son. When that boy grew to be a man, he said, "All my life I’ve known what God is like by what my father did that night."
The Basis for Our Sanctification .
Sanctification is essential so that we can come into the presence of God, it’s His way of dealing with us. Our Sanctification is also vitally important in evangelism as we discovered last week. But what’s the basis for our sanctification , how is our sanctification possible? how does it come about? Well we find it here in this verse before us today “For their sakes I sanctify myself” This verse is the very core of the gospel the very essence of what the gospel is all about.
The whole of the Christian gospel is in this one verse “For their sakes I sanctify myself”.
What Does Christ Mean By “I sanctify Myself”;
He can’t be talking about His own holiness. that’s impossible He was perfect from the beginning with out blemish. So what’s He saying, well He’s talking about sanctification in it’s primary sense of being set apart of being consecrated, being dedicated not about being made more holy. He’s talking about being set apart for the special work of God in him and through Him. It means a total offering to God of himself for His Glory and for his purpose. And the word myself has great significance, it means my total self all that I am, all of my privileges, all my relationships, all of my abilities , all of my possessions all that I am my whole being I offer to you father for their sakes. They being the Christians then in existence, and for our sakes too, those who were to follow, for their sakes I am giving my toil self to you.
His Sanctification Also Meant Giving Up Something:
Philippians 2:6-8 says “who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal to God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.”
Which means that Christ didn’t regard being equal to God a prize that he wanted to hold onto. Here he is devoting Himself to this task of sanctify Himself for our benefit by laying aside the marks and the signs of His glory, as the hymn puts it ‘Mild He lays his glory by’ This was all part of this sanctification of himself for our sakes. He laid aside all the signs of His glory and submitted to being born as a babe in weakness and utter helplessness.
He offered Himself to the Father and said, I’m going to make myself responsible for the salvation of these people and I don’t care what it costs me.
Christ Now gives himself to God as a Sin offering for Us:
What I’ve been talking about so far is quite staggering and mind blowing. But there is something even more deeper than this. Jesus now turns to the Father and offers Himself as a sin offering on our behalf. He hands Himself passively to the Father and says, I’m ready to be made sin for them, lay their sins on me. I’m here offering myself for their sins lay them on me. He handed himself over that’s what sanctification is all about, total dedication. Or put in the language of scripture “cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree” Galatians 3:13 (Deut 21:23). to be crucified was to be cursed, it was an absolute disgrace, and here in effect Jesus says to the Father “as this is the only way I can be sanctified, I give myself and make myself a curse. Let their sin be layed on me so that they may be sanctified.’