Made Holy – Word and Truth

Made Holy – Word and Truth

Made Holy – Word and Truth.

“Make them holy by your truth; teach them your word which is truth. Just as you sent me into the world, I am sending them into the world. And I give myself as a holy sacrifice for them, so they can be made holy by your truth.” (Jesus praying to the Father for His followers, in John 17:17-19).

MAKE HOLY: To set someone apart from sin for God’s use; to be dedicated to God’s service; to have a purpose and a role that is sacred; to have a sanctified assignment that separates someone for godly purposes; to develop a distinctive identity as God’s representative. 

Truth will always have a strong pulse, for the Scriptures are alive and at work. The Bible is God’s spiritual breath exhaled into the believer, offering life-giving communication. Far from a dead book, the Bible is full of divine energy, crackling with the power of truth. The Word is not a pile of dead leaves, a collection of lifeless words and stories raked into a stockpile of moral guidelines, abstract propositions and historical data. Through the Holy Spirit, Scripture has the ability to transform people. It has a life of its own, working on the believer as guide, critic, teacher and surgeon. The Bible is God’s directional, pointing us to Jesus, who is the source of the very energy the Word offers. The Word is God’s floodlight, revealing who we are and who God is. “There is no understanding the God of Israel without deep sensitivity to the holiness in words. For what is the Bible? Holiness in words.” (A. J. Heschel). The Bible is God’s set of vocal cords, speaking the truth, articulating what’s on God’s mind. The Bible is God’s potter’s wheel, used by the Potter to shape our life into something distinctive and useful. Believers who live into Scripture cannot help being set apart, made holy. Believers living in the Word are just naturally, much like a priest, representing God and made useful for His service. When we live into the Word, our life purpose becomes sacred, and we are sanctified in the process. The eternal truth of the Word renews our life and sets us free to serve the ever-living God.

Thoughts on the Truth of the Word:

“It is by hearing, reading and particularly meditating upon the Word of God that the Spirit becomes active in the renewing of the mind and heart.” (Peter Toon).

“Because you do not live your faith, your faith has ceased to be a living thing. It has become abstract – lifeless. Perhaps we shall find that the dis-incarnation of the Word of God is the real cause of all our misfortunes.”  (George Bernanos).

“You have your heads in your Bibles constantly because you think you’ll find eternal life there. But you miss the forest for the trees. These Scriptures are all about Me! And here I am, standing right before you, and you aren’t willing to receive from me the life you say you want.” (John 5:39, Message).

“It is the man Christ Jesus we have to know, and the Bible we must use to that end – not for theory or dogma. In that light, the Bible is the most practical and useful book in the world.” (George MacDonald).

“To meditate is to read a text and to learn it “by heart” in the fullest sense of this expression, that is with one’s whole being: with the body since the mouth proclaimed it; with the memory which fixes it; with the intelligence which understands its meaning; and with the will which desires to put it into practice.”  (Jean Leclerq).

“His word is in my heart like a fire, like a fire shut up in my bones.” (Jeremiah 20:9).

“My soul may be compared to the honey bee who gathers from the sweet, spiritual flowers of God’s revelation the divine pollen in order to taste the heavenly sweetness of the salvation which is in Jesus.” (Peter Toon).

“Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ.” (St. Jerome).

“I have not departed from your laws, for you yourself have taught me. How sweet are your promises to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!” (Ps. 119:102-103).

“I read the Bible often. I try to read it right. As far as I can understand, it’s nothing but a burning light.” (lyrics from Soul of a Man by the legendary bluesman Blind Willie Johnson).

“I hold the Bible in my hand in order to let my Master penetrate the depths of my being with His Word and thus facilitate inner moral and spiritual transformation.” (Peter Toon).

“The words I have spoken to you are Spirit, and they are life.” (John 6:63).

“To reduce revelation to principles or concepts is to suppress the element of mystery, holiness and wonder to God’s self-disclosure.” (Alister McGrath).

“Lord, I am not trying to make my way to your height, for my understanding is in no way equal to that, but I do desire to understand a little of your truth which my heart already believes and loves. I do not seek to understand so that I may believe, but I believe so that I may understand; and what is more, I believe that unless I do believe, I shall not understand.” (St. Anselm).

“Just as you do not analyze the words of someone you love, but accept them as they are said to you, accept the word of Scripture and ponder it in your heart, as Mary did. That is all. That is meditation.” (D. Bonhoeffer).

“The Scriptures are seen within the believing Church as being like a long love letter sent from heaven to His Bride, the Church, by the Bridegroom, the exalted Lord Jesus. A lover is not interested in grammar and syntax; she is only interested in the beloved, in what he says, reveals, and promises. She savors the letter with tenderness and with expectancy. She will recognize meanings and intimations in the words which others could never do, for love has special qualities as an interpreter.”  (Peter Toon).

“The Father chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all He created.”  (James 1:18).

“God of truth, I ask that I may receive, so that my joy may be full. Meanwhile let my mind meditate on it, let my tongue speak of it, let my heart love it, let my mouth preach it, let my soul hunger for it, my flesh thirst for it, and my whole being desire it, until I enter into the joy of my Lord, who is God one and triune, blessed forever. Amen.”  (St. Anselm).

“Now I saw, that the most important thing I had to do was to give myself to the reading of the Word of God and to meditation on it, that thus my heart might be comforted, encouraged, warned, reproved, instructed; and that thus, whilst meditating, my heart might be brought into experimental communion with the Lord.” (George Muller).

“Meditation is a divinely appointed means of acquiring the mind of Christ.”  (Peter Toon).

“Jesus answered the Sadduccees, ‘You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God.” (Matthew 22:29).

“Blessed Lord, Who hast caused all Holy Scriptures to be written for our learning: Grant that we may in such wise hear them, read, mark, and inwardly digest them, that by patience, and comfort of thy Holy Word, we may embrace and ever hold fast the blessed hope of everlasting life, which thou hast given us in our Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.” (the Anglican Book of Common Prayer, 1662).

“When your words were found, I ate them, and your words became a joy and the delight of my heart. For I am called by your Name, O Lord God Almighty.” (Jeremiah 15:16).

The Truth of the Word makes us holy. (refer to John 17:17-19 at the top of the page).

** All quotes by Peter Toon are from his book, Meditating As A Christian.