February 1, 2015
(Advance Slide #1)
We have all seen pictures of castles.
(Advance Slide #2)
- They were surrounded by high walls, with places for soldiers to be ‘on guard.’
- What was behind the wall?
- More guards, but why?
- There were places of commerce, there was the main castle that housed the king.
- There was also the gold/riches that the king has collected.
Why the high wall and guards?
- Everything inside was worth protecting...the wall is a shield of protection!
- The more valuable that an item is the more trouble people go to protect it.
- Inside the castle wall is not a good place to be if you don’t belong.
Keep that illustration in mind as we look at the text in a moment.
- Jesus is praying, “Father protect them!”
- “While I was with them I looked after them”
- “Now, Father as they go out on their own, in my Name...protect them!”
(Advance Slide #3)
Jesus was praying that the Father protect the apostles.
- God wants to do the same for us too...because we too need protection!
- How does He protect us?
- Lock us away…
- Surround us by a high walls…
- Armed guards walking the wall…
- Well, sort of!
(Advance Slide #4)
God’s Word is a purifying protection...if we let it!
(Advance Slide #5)
15 I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one. 16 They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 17 Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. 18 As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. 19 And for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth. John 17:15-19
NOTICE vs. 15
(Advance Slide #6)
“I do not ask that you take them out of the world...”
- Jesus did not want them removed from the world, but why?
This is what God did with the Israelites.
(Advance Slide #7)
- He gave them a special land...they were literally isolated from the rest of the world.
- They were sheltered and protected from the paganism from the outside world.
- There were cultural barriers between them and say the Egyptians.
(Advance Slide #8)
What about us?
- If we were loved by God so much why didn’t He just immediately send us to some place of protection?
- God intended for us to live IN the world, but not OF the world.
- Peter called believers “aliens and strangers in the world.” 1 Pt. 2:11
- We cannot be missionaries here if we’re not here!
(Advance Slide #9)
There is a danger isn’t there?
- There is a danger of becoming like the world...our neighbors.
- Paul warned:
17 Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds. 18 They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. 19 They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity. 20 But that is not the way you learned Christ!—” Eph. 4:17-20
How are we protected?
- He PURIFIES us!
- The text uses the word ‘sanctify’ which simply means “being set apart.”
(Advance Slide #10)
- I’m set apart up here; those is the nursery are set apart; even Steve in the sound booth is set apart!
So how does God ‘set us apart” in this world?
- We have been given a powerful tool.
- Our purification/sanctification is the Word!
- The inspired Word of God as well as the Word that became flesh!
(Advance Slide #11)
With the help of God’s Word we can be purified...in fact it the only way!
- The purification in God’s incarnate Word also helps us.
Let’s consider a few things:
(Advance Slide #12)
So, how do we live the purified life?
- There are several things that God does to purify us:
(Advance Slide #13)
“To the church of God that is in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints together with all those who in every place call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, both their Lord and ours” 1 Cor. 1:2
“Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.” John 17:17
Purify them with the word...well, what word is that?
“For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.” Romans 15:4
(Advance Slide #14)
How can the Bible do all that?
- Because it is the Word of God!.
(Advance Slide #15)
- More importantly, it is the Word of TRUTH!
- We need to KNOW it, BELIEVE it, and LIVE it!
- If we do not protect our hearts and minds we will be influenced by the lies.
- We can hear lies so much and so often that it slowly wears away that we believe it!
- But the ‘Voice of Truth’ brings:
- Wisdom; it gives life, and gives it abundantly!
- And as we read a little bit ago God sanctifies us and protects us!
By knowing the Word of God it does, in fact, protect us!
- How? It enables us to deal with our sin!
- As we discussed last week, the Word helps us by exposing our sin!
- When we use it correctly, the Bible becomes a purifying shield for our hearts!
- We can walk/live in this world of sin and still remain purified!
(Advance Slide #16)
These words, when lived out in our lives WILL BE a protection to us!
We are purified by the ‘truths’ in these Words.
- We are also purified by the “Word that became flesh…”
- Jesus came to give His life, to give us life!
We can get a picture of this purification in the words of John:
(Advance Slide #17)
5 This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. 6 If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. 1 John 1:5-7