13 “But now I come to You; and these things I speak in the world so that they may have My joy made full in themselves.
14 “I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.
15 “I do not ask You to take them out of the world, but to keep them from the evil one.
16 “They are not of the world, even 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, I also have sent them into the world.
19 “For their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they themselves also may be sanctified in truth.
20 “I do not ask on behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word;
21 that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me.
John 17:13-21 (NASB95)
In verse 17 sanctify means “set apart for special use.” A believer is to be distinct from the world’s sin, its values, and its goals. God’s way is not to take us out of the world, but to take the world out of us. Through God’s Word He sets us apart from sin and from evil, that we might glorify Him. A major reason why we are to remain in the world is because he has a purpose for us here. In verse 18 it said, I have sent them into the world. The importance of the mission of the whole church cannot be overstated. As Jesus departed from the world; His ambassadors are to go into the world. In 2 Corinthians 5:20 the apostle Paul called himself an ambassador for Christ because he had a mission to convey the gospel of Christ to the Gentiles. “We are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us.” This calling to be an ambassador for Christ is a lifestyle. It is the way we look at life. It is the way we walk and talk in the world. Our lives do not belong to us for our own fulfillment. People are changed by seeing Christ in new ways in us. It is important to remember that we are not responsible to change a person; that is the work of Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. But, are role as ambassadors for Christ is to set up the encounter. We are to set up the encounter so people can experience the transforming power of Jesus Christ. ”Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is.” Romans 12:2 (NASB95)
Do you believe that you have been set apart for special use? Have you embraced your roll as an ambassador? What will you do this week to set up someone to have an encounter with Christ? Today lets pray that we realize that as an ambassador we represent Christ, the Son of the living God. Pray that those around us will see Christ in a new way by our lifesyle. As our Pastors and Church Leaders live out their ambassadorship, pray that they will show honor to Christ.