17Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth.
17Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.
What separates people from God and what keeps them from knowing Him on their own? The answer is found in understanding the sin that is within oneself. In this sermon on John 17:17 titled “The Doctrine of Sin,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones explains that believers are sanctified in the truth, and sanctified from the ugliness of sin that keeps one in a wrong relationship to God. Sin is what separates people from God. It is not intellect or a cognitive problem. Disobedience to God places a person in a wrong relationship to Him because sin is centered on self and causes the pagan to be focused on themselves and not God. The sinner is not God-centered. How does he or she know this? The law is that which exposes one’s sin and the holiness of God. Therefore, the sinner must be converted from sin. They must receive a new nature and become a new person, a new creature in Christ. But conversion is only the beginning. Through ongoing sanctification, the believer is not cleansed from sin and made like Christ. The believer must consider if they have glossed over sin and crowded it out, or have dealt with their sin through repentance and belief and continue to deal with it in their sanctification.
Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981) was a Welsh evangelical minister who preached and taught in the Reformed tradition. His principal ministry was at Westminster Chapel, in central London, from 1939-1968, where he delivered multi-year expositions on books of the bible such as Romans, Ephesians and the Gospel of John. In addition to the MLJ Trust’s collection of 1,600 of these sermons in audio format, most of these great sermon series are available in book form (including a 14 volume collection of the Romans sermons), as are other series such as "Spiritual Depression", "Studies in the Sermon on the Mount" and "Great Biblical Doctrines". He is considered by many evangelical leaders today to be an authority on biblical truth and the sufficiency of Scripture.